There’s always something to howl about

Thoughts Worth Pondering?

It’s pretty much become the mantra in real estate, that agents, most of ’em anyway, never stop searching for the Holy Grail — which is of course the MagicButton (MB). Just keep pressin’ it and business overwhelms them. They’re idiots of course. I can say that with a straight face cuz when it comes to MB hunts, I qualified for ExpertGuide status decades ago.

In point of fact, there are plenty of MBs around. They’re free or at least relatively cheap. Problem is, one of the key factors agents demand is that their effort is kept to a bare minimum. What I’m here to tell ya, as a charter member of MBA — MagicButtons Anonymous — is that there are two hard and fast ‘laws’ involved in any MB in the real estate brokerage business.

1. Seriously focused and slavishly consistent effort.

Don’t wanna burst anyone’s bubble with that one, but even a sit-down El Toro lawnmower must be running, in forward gear, and at least steered by a human operator to cut more grass than is directly under it when turned on.

2. If there are no results — defined as ever increasing bank deposits — then the only magic involved was the almost seamless transfer of money from the agent’s pockets to the marketer hawkin’ the MB.

What are some of the free MBS?

The one with the bestest cliché value is the leveraging of your sphere of influence. Though I’ve not liked the whole ‘sphere of influence’ approach much, it’s mainly due to how brokers use it to make a few bucks off their hopeless rookies before givin’ them the boot. In reality, most agents simply don’t have a sphere containing viable buyers/sellers. Still, if worked well and consistently it should, and probably will produce some results. Since you already know these people, the fear of rejection shouldn’t be a factor — or so the thinking goes.

Another one is farming. I’ve literally seen an idiot 23 year old succeed at this one. He had two cheap suits and a coupla sports coats, while driving a truly crappy lookin’ ’59 Ford — original paint job and all. Truth be known, the main ingredient to his farming success, (besides his relentless consistency) was he was too ignorant to realize his countless shortcomings. He thought farming was THE MB of all time. What a moron. 🙂

This next one is radioactive for most — cold calling. This is a sensitive topic, an understatement if ever there was one. The honest agents who eschew this MB outa hand simply say they hate the seemingly never ending rejection. Fair enough. This year a fellow San Diego agent will make about 16,875 cold calls. He’ll earn about $540,000 give or take. For those doin’ the math, let me. That’s $32 a call. Oh, you’re in East Toilet Seat, Iowa? At 10 bucks a call that’s still a decent income — almost $170,000. How many strangers would you call for $10-32 a pop? Just askin’. This guy rarely works more than 45 hours weekly, and even more rarely on weekends. And it’s free. In a recent conversation with him, he laughed as he told me, “I love all the weenies out there who’re too sensitive for all that horrible, self-esteem robbing rejection.” Ruthless, insensitive jerk. 🙂

Farming not for you? Try knockin’ on doors in the neighborhood of an impending open house on a weekly basis. This was a specialty of mine, taken from one of my first ever mentors. There’s a weird psychology involved for which I’ve never had a satisfactory explanation. But home owners near an open house who’re even kinda sorta entertaining the idea of moving, are often prodded to pull the trigger. Again, don’t know why it works, but it sure did.

MBs with a price tag.

The obvious one is the IDX — an MLS based home search for the public on your very own website. This approach above all shows any objective observer how little most agents are willing to work. Think about it. A mechanism that literally brings buyers into your laptop. Yet there are a shamefully small number of agents who close more than a few transactions from an IDX yearly. The tech guys don’t help matters, what with all their internecine pillow fights about what works best or at all. Yet regardless of the number of leads, one wonders how it’s possible to do virtually no business from it. Agents are resourceful though, and find a way.

A thought to ponder.

Though blogging is dead according to many, (not by enough in my opinion) it’s virtually free except for the time required. The problem with most real estate agent’s blogs, at least from where I sit, is that they don’t say much, and don’t say it very well. Cupcakes are fun, but not as a diet staple. Provide solid info, expertise, and insight, and over time folks will contact you. At least that’s been my experience. Having a crummy blog with worthless, self-serving info is worse than not having one.

All that said, it continually confounds me as I learn of various agents who proudly wear the crown of online virtuoso, who garner incomes impressive only to those scraping by. They’re able to generate thousands of leads annually, not to mention multiples of that number of people who visit their site monthly to read their posts. Yet they do what would generously be described as pedestrian business. Why is that? I don’t have a freakin’ clue. I just know it’s true more times than not by a wide margin.

Ponder This

The MB that’s easily installed in any of these, and all those strategies not mentioned here, is the application of the two aforementioned laws. Maximum efforts directed at what produces results is THE MagicButton guaranteeing you success every time it’s tried. Before you start screamin’ how stunningly obvious that is, ask yourself why real estate agents as a group don’t even come close to making the national median income?

Apparently it’s not so obvious. I’ll make this statement without any wiggle words or phrases. I think it’s true for maybe 80-90% of the real estate markets in the country. (Some are just too horrible now.)

If you can’t do 2-4 transactions a month in your market, you’re either a rookie, simply don’t wanna do that much business, or haven’t invoked the two laws. Most of us, at one time or another, including me at times, have allowed those with the loudest voices online to convince us they’re also the most successful. Some are, some aren’t.

Soberly ask yourself these questions:

If you’re doin’ what they say and it isn’t working, why are you still doin’ it? Stop. Most of ’em are so fulla crap their eyes turned brown long ago.

If it’s working for ya, but not as well as you KNOW it’s workin’ for them, why aren’t you putting in the effort and consistency to produce the same results?

Find out what method fits you — AND produces results.

Then work your butt off doing it day in and day out.

Ponder This — THE formula for every MagicButton that’s ever worked.

Proven strategy(s) + massive effort + unrelenting, unwavering consistency = elite income.

90% of real estate agents think they know a better way. We all know how that’s been workin’ out for ’em, right? And that’s a thought well worth pondering.


18 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Brown, Real Estate Ninja and Mark Risley, Tom Hunter. Tom Hunter said: Thoughts Worth Pondering?: It’s pretty much become the mantra in real estate, that agents, most of ‘em anyway, n… […]

  2. Robert Worthington January 29th, 2011 7:59 pm

    Jeff Brown for real estate coach!?! Great post Jeff. Have you tried Tweeting to close your next deal yet? Haha. I believe you have to be firing on all cylinders. Some door knocking, some farming, some idx, ect. Noticed I left out the cold calling. Maybe I could take a lesson from you, or even the phone call maniac himself. I calculated 65 phone calls a day. That’s sweet to make $32 every phone call. I’m curious of the words he’s using.

  3. Jeff Brown January 29th, 2011 8:03 pm

    He’s a Mike Ferry guy down to his DNA. As far as how many calls daily, he does roughly 75 a day, about 45 weeks a year. Oh, and for the record. it doesn’t count as a call if nobody answers. Just so ya know.

  4. Robert Worthington January 29th, 2011 8:27 pm

    WOW. That’s impressive.

  5. Jeff Brown January 29th, 2011 8:30 pm

    It is, isn’t it? He’s been gettin’ the vast majority of his biz that way since before I met him in late ’96. The man’s a machine.

  6. Robert Worthington January 30th, 2011 7:24 am

    15 years of smiling and dialing. I guess for $540k annually it’s worth it….kinda….

  7. Jim Girard January 30th, 2011 7:35 am

    I think you hit it right on the head Jeff when you said the key factors agents demand is that their effort be at a bare minimum. The problem remains that agents don’t take their career seriously enough to put in a days work. The days of putting a sign in the yard and the phone rings are gone. It now requires some creative imagination, ingenuity and work. The agents that are out their hitting the pavement daily are the winners. The rest fall on stony ground and never take root. I don’t feel for them, we were way overdue for a purging.

  8. Teri Lussier January 30th, 2011 7:38 am


    >Yet regardless of the number of leads, one wonders how it’s possible to do virtually no business from it. Agents are resourceful though, and find a way.

    Is a Bawld Guy classic! 😀

    Great stuff start to finish.

  9. Jeff Brown January 30th, 2011 11:40 am

    Crackin’ me up, Robert. The guy’s had 5 or 6 years of $700K+ too.

  10. Jeff Brown January 30th, 2011 11:44 am

    Hey JIm — Even in the ‘sign days’, those who put the pedal to the metal still ran circles around most of their colleagues. I’m not training a glow in the dark virgin. If they don’t do six figures this year I’ll be too embarrassed to show my face in public.

  11. Jeff Brown January 30th, 2011 11:48 am

    Thanks Teri — I remember like it was yesterday, Dad saying to me, “If you applied the same energy actually working as you do to ‘getting ready to work’, you’d be the only 19 year old in your crowd making as much as most of their parents.”

    How right he was.

  12. Anita Clark January 30th, 2011 6:36 pm

    The magic button equates to rolling up your sleeves and putting in the required work. So many are looking for the magic elixir to go from not indexed to PR6 overnight. HA.

  13. Mack Linan January 31st, 2011 7:04 am

    Thanks Jeff, heck of a way to kick start my week. I have a cup of joe and a twister board covered in MB’s. Let’s do this! My web presence has really taken off this past year but still I find that most of my business comes from referals and friends of mine who don’t even know that I have a website.

  14. Jeff Brown January 31st, 2011 1:58 pm

    Welcome, Mack — IMHO you’re in the vast majority of agents out there. As much as possible, think combining your online efforts with OldSchool approaches. It’s worked wonders for me over the years.

  15. Mark Madsen January 31st, 2011 3:24 pm

    The web works for us, but it’s been years in the making. Plus, it requires more full-time attention, blood, sweat and tears than most agents can possibly imagine… or would ever be willing to attempt.

    Bottom line, work is work.

    My favorite –

    “If you’re doin’ what they say and it isn’t working, why are you still doin’ it? Stop. Most of ‘em are so fulla crap their eyes turned brown long ago.”

    Great article, Jeff.

  16. Jeff Brown January 31st, 2011 4:18 pm

    Hey Mark — “Bottom line, work is work.”

    Can’t add to that.

  17. Kevin Dwyer February 9th, 2011 4:42 pm


    You are preaching to the choir, Reverend Bawld Guy. Sometimes putting your head down and just doing it is the magic bullet. Self esteem robbing rejection does not taste nearly as bitter as having to tell the wife or girlfriend that you still haven’t sold a damn thing. “Sorry babe, no vacation this year” Been there/done that. Running from big ugly dogs and having doors slammed in my face while door knocking is a walk in the park compared to the feelings of inadequacy you feel when you’ve spent 30 days on Twitbook and don’t have “Jack Squat” as Chris Farley once said.

    Knock 100 doors a day for the next month. You’ll be SHOCKED at how easy finding leads is…

  18. Jeff Brown February 9th, 2011 6:32 pm

    Boy, I’ve been there too. Those who knock on doors day in and day out? They’re the ones goin’ on vacation, and feelin’ good about it too. Good stuff, Kevin.