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Are You a Generic Real Estate Agent?

Rodney Carrington has a “classic” anthem that speaks directly to how the population  – at least in Central Ohio – views real estate practioners.

Rodney’s “Fred” (hear it on YouTube) is the tale of a mean-old cowboy that travels across the country on his horse to find the perfect woman, but she’s already taken and he ends up riding off into the sunset on his trusty steed.

So what does that have to do with real estate agents? Well you see the narrator can’t remember the name of anyone in the story. So it becomes … well you guessed it …

“He once shot a man just for snoring got out of bed and shot him dead and his name was … I didn’t know what his name was. So we just called him Fred.”

You come out of the gate with fire and brimstone. Putting that best foot forward and claiming to be the best agent for the job. And step two is … Ahh … you’ve just became a Fred.

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“I didn’t know what his name was, so we just called him Fred. Oh Fred’s riding Fred. Fred’s riding Fred.”

There are too many agents — anyone will admit to that — but to compound the problem is the number that hide behind the sign or mailings. I see your picture on the corner of the postcard or business card. But who is the person. How are you different than the other agents whose contact has crossed their mailbox?

“I didn’t know what her name was …”

Are you a Fred?

Well you better change, for the “Freds” are going to be the ones that don’t survive this market.

“Fred” appeared first as a bonus track on Rodney Carrington’s debut Hanging With Rodney in 1998 and also appears on his Greatest Hits (Capitol, 2004) album.

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Written By

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.



  1. BawldGuy Talking

    April 27, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Toby — you make excellent points. Most agents simply aren’t equipped to answer the questions, ‘then what?’ or ‘now what’? when put on the spot.

    Though I’d also agree most of them opting for some sort of mail, do so to avoid direct rejection, some of the most incredible earners I know personally have done so, and continue to do so via snail mail. A couple using that method require more than one comma when writing down their annual income.

    The agents of which you speak will be gone soon enough. For that we can both be grateful.

  2. Toby Boyce

    April 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I’m going to say that MAJORITY are afraid of going from easy to painful. I had a training session with a KW team leader yesterday and she was telling a story …

    “I had a new agent say ‘I’m never calling another FSBO, because the first two were so mean’.”

    Fear of failure is either the greatest motivator or the ultimate immobilizer. Too often people allow the latter to control their life.

  3. Ryan Hukill

    April 27, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Toby, so true! Fear of rejection is a huge problem for most agents, and I would say a main reason for the high rate of failure in this business, but not knowing how or why you’re different from the others, then using that to position yourself is almost as common.

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