Posted December 10, 2011 12:42 am by with 9 comments

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Real EstateBefore I owned my own business, I worked in-house for a large real estate brokerage. If you want to learn about sales go work for a real estate company. Apart from a handful of support staff most are completely run by sales agents. I learned a lot about sales and business while working there. But the two lessons that stuck out the most were:

Get Out of The Office.

There are two types of real estate agents, those that sell, and those that don’t sell. Now, of course that’s a very general statement but, by and large, it’s true. When I worked in real estate about 90% of our company’s revenue came from about 10% of our agents. From what I have heard this is a similar statistic at other firms. There are a lot of different reasons that some are better at real estate sales, but one of the most obvious to me was some agents didn’t come into the office. In fact, some only came in for meetings and to get the right paper work.  These agents understood that buyers and sellers of real estate aren’t hanging out in our office, just other real estate agents are. So they went to where their market is. On the surface, most of these agents looked like they were playing golf, lounging at the local bar, or wasting time in a coffee shop. But what they were always doing, was closing deals. These agents understood that to sell anything they needed to spend the time developing the right relationships, something you can’t do sitting in an office all day.

Do What Works.

So what about the agents that stayed in the office? What did they do? Most of them did what my boss liked to call, “busy work”. They organized their paper work, designed flyers, made cold calls, I even saw an agent spend two weeks designing a post card mailer. Can you guess how much of all that work generated new revenue for the company? Very very little. Despite the fact that many preached the power of the internet, few took the time to learn how to harvest it. As a result, these agents generated very little revenue.

So you can see that in order to do well in sales and in business you have to understand what works, and then get out of the office and do it. And the cool thing is, you can apply this anywhere. Take social media for example, how much money have you made through Twitter? Do you know? Is it much? If not, then why are you wasting your time on it. What about Facebook or Google+? Are they working for you? If so, then keep up the good work! But if not then you are just engaging in “busy work” and not going anywhere.

Because at the end of the day, social media, SEO, personal branding, and all of the other things that we obsess over, don’t really matter if we aren’t making money. Because, remember that’s what marketing is for! 😉

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  • Jessie

    good one.

  • thank you for your article. your said very good ,especially for a business man

  • Great advice. This can also be applied overall to a real estate agent’s online marketing, even though you’re suggesting that Realtors should get away from smartphones and computers to “get out there.” Agents can draw from the events, trends and other things happening in their service community to drive the content and voice of their online markeing.

  • I have actually worked for a global commercial real estate firm for the past 8 years (in a marketing capacity) and I completely agree with you that developing the right relationships is what counts. Two of my brokers have been nationally ranked and they are always procuring deals through their relationships … whether that be over the phone, via social media, or in person. I’m always surprised when I see brokerage houses still focusing on a strategy of cold calling or direct mail, or working on fancy, expensive, printed brochures for the properties they are listing when all an investor really wants is access to the numbers and ASAP (i.e. electronically) in order to make a decision.

  • Diane

    You are absolutely correct. I’ve worked in a number of different kinds of businesses (full-time and as a temp), and I have always noticed that the biggest sellers were seldom in the office. If they weren’t with prospective customers, they were visiting current customers, armed with new ideas.

  • Jessie

    In last few days best site I found

  • Intriguing concept you’ve got here, Joe. Someone told me that sales generates revenue, while marketing generates profit. What do you think of that?

  • New York Apartments

    I agree with these statements, but there are definitely more concrete reasons why some people do better than others in Real Estate. As someone who dates a real estate agent, I have only one point to make… there are two people in the office who do about 80% of the deals. However it is not a coincidence that the head broker is having an affair with one of these agents, and the other is from the same country as the broker. I have complete confidence in my boyfriend’s ability, but I doubt he will be having an affair with his boss, nor will he get the better leads. With that said, he is looking for a new office, and hopefully a more equal opportunity to prove his ability.

  • Thank you for your article.
    It’s very helpful info for me.