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Will This Post Win The Inman Innovation Award?

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Looking For Something New

What you are looking at is an actual image from Google maps.  If you want to see what others are saying about it, you can find it on various sites.  Is it innovative?  A little bit, maybe.  But in the end, probably not.  Does a Realtor really need to “be innovative” to succeed?  I don’t think so.  There are more and more “out of the box” ideas that are presented to the real estate industry almost every day.  Loads and loads of “new” stuff that is really just more old stuff.  Most of the agents I talk to about various seminars seem to be looking for something new.  Something different.

Get Out of the Box?

I don’t believe that we need to get out of the box.  I believe most of us need to get all the way in the box.  One reason?  You can not depart from a location you have never arrived at.  You must get all the way in before you could need to work on “getting out”.

Our business is really pretty simple.  Get and keep customers is the main issue.  Lead generation (if it is going to matter) is really lead conversion.  If we are looking at the subject of getting and getting rid of listings, here is a concept to look at:

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Getting to the Table

All “problems” in getting listings are either in getting to the table or at the table.  About 70% of all sellers talk to only one agent prior to making their decision to list with them.  About 15% talk to only two agents prior to deciding.  This data alone clearly suggests that the main problem is not at the table but getting to the table.  Get to the table and you are likely to win.  The various ideas for getting to the table (that actually work) all seem to me to be very “low tech”.  Very low tech.  Finding out what is really wanted and needed and then providing just that – that sort of thing.

Unless you have a rather amazing list of names in your Rolodex, it will usually be the number of people you can ask to do business with you that will determine the outcome – and your income.

Will someone please let Inman know I am standing by for my prize?

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Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and



  1. Ken Brand

    August 31, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Amen brother, truer words were never spoke.

    It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you as a trust worthy, can do, Realtor Icon.

    Contact > Conversation > Connection > Discovery > Service/Help > Get Hired/Referred.

    You gotta make Contact to write Contracts.

    Nice reminder. You have my vote.


  2. Missy Caulk

    August 31, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Lots of things get us to the table, it is up to us when AT the table to listen, connect, and prove we can get the job done. Getting out of the office is one way. Getting OFF the computer, meeting new folks & remembering the past clients all are critical.

  3. Bill Lublin

    August 31, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Russell – as always you take the obvious and remind us that we’ve been overlooking it!
    If you aren’t asking someone to buy or sell a piece of property, you aren’t working!
    Well done! (And is that really your lawn?)

  4. Christina Ethridge

    August 31, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    This is precisely why, although we are on the web, blogging, virtual tours, etc., I do not adopt “innovative things” immediately.

    I’m still busy prospecting prospecting prospecting, well technically I mostly market for leads, but I do prospect those leads once I get ’em 🙂

    I do it all with really old school things like DIRECT MAIL and TELEVISION (no radio, yet).

  5. Vicki Moore

    September 1, 2008 at 2:10 am

    New ways are coming faster and faster; it’s difficult for me to keep up. Thanks for making it okay for me to stay a little behind.

  6. Mack in Atlanta

    September 1, 2008 at 5:01 am

    Russell, you may not win an award from Inman but how about an Attaboy from AG readers. As I was reading your post I was thinking that so many agents are looking for the silver bullet instead of doing the tried and true actions that produce income. Once they have mastered those actions then maybe they could add to their collection of income producing activities.

  7. Glenn fm Naples

    September 1, 2008 at 6:21 am

    You are right it getting to the table that counts and we cannot forget our basics for the development of income.

  8. Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra

    September 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Great post. Sometimes, it is important to be shaken by the collar.

    Perhaps I’ll see you on the stage at Connect. . .


  9. BawldGuy

    September 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Belly to belly is still the bottom line.

    The young bulls keep runnin’ around tellin’ us old bulls how it’s done.

    You just told ’em how you keep walkin’ down to the meadow to get ’em all. 🙂

    Needed a laugh today, and as usual, you didn’t let me down. Thanks

  10. Jenn

    January 11, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Great Point, Innovation is what drives business and marketing!

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