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That Don’t Impress Me Much!

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World's Best REALTOR - I Sell Lots of Homes

“I’ve known a few guys who thought they were pretty smart
But you’ve got being right down to an art
You think you’re a genius-you drive me up the wall
You’re a regular original, a know-it-all
Oh-oo-oh, you think you’re special
Oh-oo-oh, you think you’re something else.”

— Shania Twain

Get real

Everyone has encountered one or two (or more) in their real estate careers. The big shot agents with the big time egos. Let’s get real. We’re helping people buy and sell homes. Even the top agents and brokers in the country wouldn’t be able to afford the swanky limousine service for which Tom Daschle forgot to pay income taxes.

Movie stars who make $30 million a picture and are household names — I can understand the ego.
Ditto the Senator who makes decisions and writes legislation that affects their state, the country, and global politics. But, what… you sold $12M, $22M, or $40 gazillion dollars worth of homes last year, you own the subdivision, and they recognize you at the grocery store? Big whoop!

Bajillionaire Agents? Please.

Probably thousands of blog posts have been written about whether it’s wise to include “Top 1% of Agents” or “Multi-Million Dollar Producer” on your business card or in your ads. I’m not going to rehash and revive this debate. How you advertise to consumers and your potential clients is your business. Agents and brokers who want to continue to spew forth this drivel, please feel free.

However, when working with and communicating with your fellow colleagues, please know that

That Don’t Impress Me Much!

When cooperating with another agent on a transaction, I care that they are responsive. I care that they act ethically. I care that they are pleasant. While they represent their client, and I represent mine, and we both want the best deal for our respective clients, ultimately we and our clients all want the same thing — a hassle-free transaction that settles on time.

Do they need to brag?

What I don’t care about is the agent’s biography and sales statistics. Like every area, we’ve got a few major players who everybody knows about. I’ve worked with several of them on sales in the past and am working with a few now. You know who I’m talking about — 20-30+ years in the business, their smiling mug is everywhere — print, online, shopping carts. They don’t brag about their business… they don’t need to. Everybody in the business likes them and respects them, and they silently go about year after year selling tons of homes.

Here’s a shocker…

…the braggers are the mid-level folks. They’ve sold more homes than you and been in the business slightly longer, but haven’t really made a name for themselves yet. They rattle off their sales stats quicker than two pre-pubescent boys negotiating a baseball card trade. They believe that because they sold a few dozen homes last year, they know everything about the business and they know it better than you — although they never ask or inquire as to how much business you’ve done.

You know what? Save it for your ads.

You sold $40 mil last year but don’t have an e-mail address on your business card?
That Don’t Impress Me Much!

You run full page ads in the local paper every week, but don’t return my phone calls?
That Don’t Impress Me Much!

You’re in the Circle of Legends, Champion’s Club, or Gold Elite, but filled out the contract incorrectly?
That Don’t Impress Me Much!

Bottom Line: When dealing with other agents and consumers, we care about how you handle the immediate transaction and your responsive and pleasant service — not how many homes you sold this month or what percentage of listing appointments you win.

“You’re Tarzan!
Captain Kirk maybe.
John Wayne.
Whatever!
That don’t impress me much!

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Ken Brand

    February 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Well Brian, I’m impressed.

    A fun read that made me laugh and nod with familiarity. Thanks for the entertainment, equally important “cool your jets” reminder.

    Thanks. Cheers.

  2. Missy Caulk

    February 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Yea the Brian we know and love, the truth said with humor is so much fun to read. ( and I love Shania)

  3. Charlie Harden

    February 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Good one Brian. Very true… How ’bout some pics of Shania?

  4. Rob Cook

    February 11, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Right on, brother! I’ve been in the RE business now for six years. I used to live and die by watching my rankings in the local MLS to see how high I was moving up and down the chart. It’s the first thing I did after every sale I posted to see where I moved as a result of that one sale.

    Now, I could care less. You can easily lose sight of what you are in this for, especially from our client’s perspective. They don’t ive a rat’s u-know-what if I did X million is sales volume last year. What they care about is did they get a fair shake on that house they just bought or sold.

    I know I’m not the big #1 super-dee-duper agent in terms of cold hard sales numbers, but I know I’m doing a pretty good job for the folks who choose me to help them out in this screwy business.

  5. Mitchell Hall

    February 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Brian, Great post, I agree. You know what else Don’t impress me much? How many social networks an agent spends all day on. lol

  6. Melina Tomson

    February 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Hey are you making fun of my super duper most amwesome-sit real estate agent in the world status? It’s a self-given award, that well…I give to myself every year…

    That’s it…See if I vote for you again in your VAR blog-off… 🙂

  7. Melina Tomson

    February 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Shoot…I can’t spell check. That should say awesome. not amwesome. I think I’ll enter the spelling bee. 😉

  8. Carson Coots

    February 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I think people want to root for (and give their business to) the underdog most of the time. It’s no fun to wait in line either. I don’t feel like lining the pockets of a rich guy/gal any further, and others may feel the same way.

    “Humility is a virtue with biblical and spiritual roots that is taught the world over. In some areas of the world, such as Asia, humility is prized much the way we in America prize our freedom of speech. Early on we are taught humility for good reason. We haven’t developed the social skills to talk about our accomplishments and ourselves gracefully. Instead, as children we blurt out, “My daddy has lots of money,” “I’m better than you because. . .” or in the case of my friend’s son, “I have more land than anyone,” which he proudly proclaimed one morning between mouthfuls of Cheerios as his mother cringed. Our parents and mentors know it’s important to squelch this behavior right from the get-go or people aren’t going to like us. And they’re right.”

    Excerpt from
    BRAG: How to Toot Your own Horn Without Blowing It. https://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/brag.htm

  9. BawldGuy

    February 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Brian — Thanks for the chuckle. You remind me of a nugget Grandma passed on to me back in the day.

    She said, “There are only two people in this world who should always be happy to see you coming their way — your wife, and your banker.”

    Turns out she was spot on.

    Carson — Anyone who gives their business to anyone for any reason other than they expect results, was never on M.I.T.’s recruiting list. 🙂

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Business Marketing

10 must-listen-to podcasts for business owners

(MARKETING) If you’re a business owner and want to learn something…anything…give one (or all) these podcasts a listen.

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As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

From interviews with business leaders to industry-specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly popular show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America, and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further than Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real-world applications and cover everything from marketing to technology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help, and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

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Business Marketing

Why your coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…

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family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

Market your side hustle with these 6 tips

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.

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side hustle paperwork and technology

Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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