There’s always something to howl about

The Food Is Terrible, But Wow! The Service Is Out Of This World

Ever had a friend rave about a newly found restaurant who said the service was literally the best he’s ever seen? The question hangin’ in the air of course, is — How was the food? Ever heard a friend reply, “Oh, the food? Average at best. But the service was so off the charts, we’re goin’ back every week.” I’m bettin’ not.

Let’s lay out a few examples of the above.

Did attendance at Chargers games drop last season cuz they didn’t always wear their wildly popular throwback uniforms? OR, cuz they stopped winning?

Would you rather have the rude, gruff, but world class doctor? OR, the dime a dozen physician who serves homemade cookies in the waiting room, and makes you feel really good about yourself?

Is your best friend your best friend cuz they don’t tell ya the shirt you’re plannin’ to wear on that first date makes you look like a 1958 Sears appliance salesman? OR, cuz when you call them at 3 AM on a rainy Wednesday morning, they’re there in 10 minutes?

The Chargers’ win/loss record isn’t in any way connected to their uniform’s design.

Your doctor’s manners are irrelevant to his ability/inability to treat you.

Your best friend pisses your wife off regularly, yet he’s still the guy you go to when it MATTERS.

You’re in the real estate business. There’s only one thing you do that’s guaranteed, every time it’s tried, to put a smile on your client’s face.

Produce the result you were hired to produce.

Results speak more loudly than anything else you do, including your so-called world class service.

Those who spend the bulk of their time and money enabling them to produce those results for more people, faster, are the smart kids in the room.

Clients don’t pay us five figures for HappyTalk. They pay us for results.

It’s pretty easy to discern who, and who does not get that in any given market.

However, as Grandpa replied to me once, when, as a 12 year old I said painting pictures of landscapes/seascapes was hard, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”

Testimonials may speak of the wonderful service they received from their agent, but they wouldn’t be testimonials if the agent hadn’t provided the originally sought after results — and sooner rather than later.

You have a choice.

Produce results — OR — become an assistant for an agent who does. Then you can give all the wonderful service your heart desires.

Did that sound harsh? Find a testimonial about a real estate agent praising their agent, who never did produce the results they wanted, but gave the bestest service ever while failing month after month.

Ask yourself — Why are those with the most CatSkins on the wall called top PRODUCERS?

Results. Nothing trumps ’em, and there is no acceptable substitute.


21 Comments so far

  1. Jay B. February 28th, 2011 1:14 pm

    You hit the nail on the head. The Internet is full of articles about how to use social networks better, how to use your website better, how to smile better etc. and some people are so hyped about it that they forget about the “dirty work” that still has to be done in order to produce – results. A bad motion picture is still a bad motion picture, no matter how great the visuals are.

  2. Sean Purcell February 28th, 2011 7:03 pm

    Amen brother Jeff. Though in all honesty I would have to ask just how good the doctor’s cookies are before deciding that one… πŸ™‚

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  4. Teri Lussier March 1st, 2011 5:49 am

    To answer one of your questions: Yes. Yes it does sound harsh.

    You write about this so regularly Jeff, that now it’s stuck in my brain- a seed that took root- like a dandelion. Dandelions have tap roots that can grow straight down over a foot deep. Ever try to pull out a dandelion? They make special tools for this because you can yank out a few inches, remove the parts you can see, and the damn thing just laughs at you and blossoms again. And dandelions are impossible to ignore- the brightest, sunniest yellow, then the most fascinating cloud of seeds, the gentlest touch- a mere breath will send them scattering into the wind to plant themselves elsewhere.

    Now that you know what my lawn looks like… Anyway. My point is, that what you write here, your advice is like that to me. It’s near impossible to remove once it’s taken root, and I can try or pretend to ignore it- sure, I’ve done both- but it always returns to blossom and plant more seeds. Always.

  5. Jeff Brown March 1st, 2011 10:37 am

    Hey Teri — Love the analogy!

    Regardless to what school any particular agent belongs, when they’re teaching or learning how to become more successful, the elephant in the room is ALWAYS the lack of discussion about results. For whatever reason, and it seems especially so in our business, discussing results, or the lack thereof, is framed (not by you) as rude, skeptical, even cynical.

    Yet agents come and go, have been since I’ve been one, and most either don’t care what really produces bankable results, or think they can ignore the principles in common with those proven approaches. What’s ‘harsh’ is how ignoring those principles kicks those agents to the curb with brutal efficiency. Meanwhile, their mental/emotional existence on the way to the curb is miserable. Who knows why the vast majority won’t simply do what they know in their hearts will produce success? Not me, that’s for sure.

    I do know this: Most agents live a mercilessly harsh life, what with the constant financial, personal, and often marital strain that comes with failing daily. It must be orders of magnitude more harsh to fail, knowing it was completely avoidable, but for the choices they made. It’s confounded me how the 90% can watch the 10% and not copy them. To me it’s akin to someone learning how to hit a baseball by holding the bat at the wrong end. They see how the others are successfully hitting the ball holding the other end, but for some reason, refuse to learn from unrelenting, and abjectly predictable failure.

    The irony? Hitting a baseball is hugely more difficult than succeeding as a real estate agent. Go figure.

  6. Sean Purcell March 1st, 2011 11:22 am

    @Teri – WOW! …I agree with you 100% and only wish I could have expressed it half as well. Beautiful analogy.

  7. Jim Klein March 1st, 2011 11:55 am

    > It’s confounded me how the 90% can watch the 10% and not copy them.

    Partly, because it’s something other than copying. There’s an element of creativity to virtually all deep production, and creativity is a very tough thing for most people. This is so especially in a lemming society, where nobody wants to do or think what’s never been done before. Plus, it’s very hard work…both creating value for a specific situation, and accepting failure rates that can be overwhelming.

    There’s copying too, of course. The funny thing about that is that copying creativity can often be tougher than the creating itself, especially if you’re trying to out-produce the creator.

    Any way you cut it, doing things correctly in a business environment is tough, tough work. That alone keeps the 90% out of the mix!

  8. Jeff Brown March 1st, 2011 12:15 pm

    Hey Jim — I agree with you on the hard work. However, copying top producing agents can be accomplished by most high school dropouts. We’re not curing diseases here.

    Will an agent copying a top producer closing 100 sides yearly do the same? Probably not. But, they’ll rise above one side a quarter, and more likely than not end up closing several sides monthly on a consistent basis. In this business, even dunderhead copycats can make six figures Gumpin’ themselves through using proven principles.

    They don’t need to be creative. Hell, the next creatively original thought I have will be the first. πŸ™‚ I’m BawldJapan for Heaven’s sake. Never met an idea I couldn’t make my own. I have no price whatsoever when it comes to using others’ brilliantly creative ideas.

  9. Jim Klein March 2nd, 2011 12:44 pm

    > Hell, the next creatively original thought I have will be the first.

    Yeah, I know you believe that. What you don’t get–or won’t acknowledge, I should say–is that putting the pieces together properly is a form of creation itself. Very few of us have actually discovered anything for the first time in humanity, Greg being an apparent exception around here.

    For guys like you and me, it’s all about hard work. In my case, I made up in hours what I didn’t have in skills! But still, it’s a question of /what/ is being copied, /how/ it’s copied and especially to what end it’s used. These are fundamentally creative actions, seeing the pieces of the puzzle and putting them together properly. “If it were easy, then everyone would do it.”

    But I know you don’t want to acknowledge that, and I especially know you hate talking about it! “Fluff” or something you call the talking, and not without good reason. I get that, but one of the things Greg discovered is that you yourself will benefit by giving yourself the credit that’s due. So take that, tough guy!

  10. Teri Lussier March 2nd, 2011 2:34 pm

    >Most agents live a mercilessly harsh life, what with the constant financial, personal, and often marital strain that comes with failing daily. It must be orders of magnitude more harsh to fail, knowing it was completely avoidable, but for the choices they made.

    Oh Jeff. This is… You know, I read that yesterday and was floored by it then and have tried to find words to respond. So well let me just say you just planted an oak this time.

    >@Teri – WOW!

    Yeah, I get that a lot. πŸ˜‰

  11. Jeff Brown March 2nd, 2011 3:29 pm

    Couldn’t have written it if not from early on personal experience. I ran like a man on fire from that life before it consumed me.

  12. Teri Lussier March 2nd, 2011 6:23 pm


    Even when you are handing out harsh criticism, I’ve always felt that what you share comes from two places: Experience and love. You went through the school of hard knocks in this business just like most of us. You had great teachers, but ultimately you still had to do the work; and what you write comes from such a place of love. You love this business, the people in this business, and like a parent, you want all of us to succeed. You hold up a mirror because you care. Thank you.

  13. Jeff Brown March 2nd, 2011 8:24 pm

    Teri — I appreciate the sentiment, as what you suspect contains much truth. Remember Russell Shaw talkin’ about when he’d get a commission check and race the clock to the bank? That was me. How bad was it? A lady at H&R Block, in front of my wife, said, “Mr. Brown, it would’ve been better this past year if you hadn’t worked.”

    Besides wondering what level of evil wench it takes to say that to a 22 year old in front of his wife, that day Darth BawldGuy’s embryo was created. πŸ™‚

    A couple weeks later I was Farmer Brown. Nobody was gonna do that to my spirit again.

  14. Teri Lussier March 2nd, 2011 8:44 pm

    I officially (read: mentally) joined the dark side today. I’ve been tip-toeing up to the edge, but today I just closed my eyes and jumped. Not trying to be cryptic, it’ll be obvious soon enough, but I’m really truly hungry now to see how far, how fast I can go. And the hungrier I get, the more successful I am, which makes me hungrier for more. Kinda cool how that works. But I also want to be excellent at the whole thing, you know? The whole thing. It’s my time.

  15. Jeff Brown March 2nd, 2011 8:56 pm

    Hey Jim — I understand and appreciate your thoughts. However, I generally don’t think the guy who puts the puzzle together should get nearly the credit the puzzle maker gets. Make sense?

    The world is made up of an extremely rare number of truly creative people. The rest of us pretty much paint by the numbers. Hard work, as you agree, is pretty much the main color on the canvas each of us create. It’s probably a combination of upbringing, spiritual beliefs, and genes compelling me to eschew credit for some of the success I’ve enjoyed.

    I don’t come from the blow your own horn without ceasing school. I believe Grandma was correct when she told me that as long as my wife and my banker were always happy to see me coming, I was doing things right. I think it’s the reason, to this day, I’m such a very, very private guy. The people who need to know what I’ve accomplished, know.

    The bottom line for me, at this time in my life, is finding folks like my younger self, wondering if they have what it takes to go not only to the next level, but the next five. My mentors, only one of which is still above the sod, were priceless catalysts in my professional journey. Without them, my life turns out very differently. Shouting their messages from the mountain tops is my obligation to them. I can’t possibly pay them back.

  16. Jeff Brown March 2nd, 2011 8:57 pm

    Any time you need a sounding board, or another opinion, you know where to find me.

  17. Sean Purcell March 2nd, 2011 9:09 pm

    Jeff, I like to think I know you fairly well and you are, no doubt, a private person. But you are in no way a paint by the numbers person. As Jim pointed out, there is precious little “new” in this world and putting together a puzzle someone else made would be easy compared to what you do.

    My analogy: you’re the guy looking over various ball players, each of whom is great individually, and picking just the right guys to put together a powerhouse team. Could you possibly win as many pennants (cat skins) as you have without these guys? No. But you’re the one doing the drafting and creating the game plans. Without your creativety and talent, it ends up looking a lot more like what we see in most real estate offices: the Bad News Bears.

  18. Jim Klein March 4th, 2011 10:06 am

    For various reasons, I was very touched by both your comments. Principle-wise, that is to say generally, I think Sean’s got it right. IMO it’s the whole point behind capitalism and the justice of having incentives–results, really–for each individual to be the very best he can be.

    It would take me pages to explain how similar we are, Jeff. Looking from the outside, our biggest difference is that you have succeeded and I have failed. For the moment, that is, since I won’t ever acknowledge failure as an option to accept. Looking from the inside, my guess is that we’re nearly identical in all respects relevant to this topic, and I console myself that this is what really matters. This is why Greg has been so important to me.

    I’ll tell you this. If I have anything to do with it, there’s going to be a day at the Delmar nags, when the poor schmoes won’t know what hit ’em!

  19. Jeff Brown March 4th, 2011 12:15 pm

    Sean — Made my day using what I see as a GM analogy. Even as a fantasy that was way cool. πŸ™‚ You’re most likely closer to truth than I’m comfortable admitting. Love the Bad News Bears reference, as it was my residence in that story causing me to desperately become BawldJapan in the first place. πŸ™‚

  20. Jeff Brown March 4th, 2011 12:24 pm

    Jim — You sound like Dad, God rest his evil soul. He wouldn’t ever acknowledge failure in any light, no exceptions. It was an auto-pilot thing with him, and completely unreasonable from any sane point of view. Yet, it worked like rain on parched lawns.

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