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Daddy Dearest

My relationship with my broker is like a father and his 15-year-old.  He makes a point; I look for a way to argue it.  I used to believe everything he said; then I grew up.  The problem with his opinion is that he’ll take it to his grave.  His belief for a time was that postcards were the way to success.  Not making enough money?  Mail more postcards.  Still not making enough money?  Mail more often to more people. 

He hated cold calling, door knocking and open houses.  Stupid waste of time.  Then I got a listing as a result of an open house.  The sellers were jumping from open to open one Sunday interviewing agents.  What a concept.  Not having my consumer hat on, I hadn’t thought of that.  I did cold call for awhile.  I don’t have the stomach for it, so it didn’t last.  Door knocking?  I really enjoy that.  I’ve met a lot of super people and it’s great exercise.  It’s amazing how much nicer they are when you’re standing at the door.

Then open houses became the way to make money.  Not making enough money?  Do an open house.  Weekend open house.  Weekday open house.  Twilight open house.  Lunch time open house.  He suggested that my business plan should include 15 hours a week of open houses. 

Cold call?  That’s disgusting.  How intrusive, annoying and agressive.

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Don’t do business with family.  They’ll hate you no matter what you do.  You’re too involved to be able to advise them professionally.

Then he jumped on the Buffini bandwagon.  Got the whole company involved.  48 agents were taking the 100 Days to Greatness class.  Oops.  Buffini says hit up your family – backpedal on that one. 

Not making enough money?  Notes.  Notes are the way to make money.  Write lots of personal notes.

Not making enough money?  Pop-bys.  Pop-bys are the way to make money. 

Floor time?  Doesn’t matter that you’re sitting at a desk anyway.  Oh, you got a sale from a walk-in?  So what.  Stupid waste of time.

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Business cards!  That’s the answer.  Standing in line at Starbuck’s?  Hand out your card to everyone in line.  After the meeting, hordes of attendees run over to get coffee and scare the crap out of the barista.

My answer to making money is a multi-thronged approach.  I like variety.  I get bored easily.  I recently read that 70% of my time should be involved in prospecting.  So I call my clients regularly.  Send birthday, anniversary, house purchase anniversary cards.  I send a monthly newsletter – used to do the Buffini CAP, but I got bored with that one and changed to a newsletter promoting not only myself but my clients’ businesses.  That’s a fun one.  Client dinners/parties are awesome fun; inviting several clients to have a chance to meet each other and have a great time too.  

Still not making enough money?  Maybe I should reconsider those 15 hours of open houses.

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Written By

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate



  1. ines

    December 19, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I wonder what your broker has to say about Blogging.

    I agree with you – it’s about variety and finding a balance. If you rely on one method to get business, you will be left in the dark standing by yourself twiddling your thumbs.

  2. Mariana

    December 19, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Oh! I like to do all kinds of stuff. Mix it up a bit, as I get bored too. I am pretty consistent about our newsletter: I always have some random trivia question where I give away free gas. That is fun. I will go door-to-door in may farm/neighborhood, but nowhere else. I can’t cold call. Not in my nature. Charity involvement is one of my favorite (benign) ways of working my business into my life …

  3. Wade Young

    December 19, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    One of my plans for 2008 is to call accountants, financial planners and family attorneys. I got started a little early, so I’ve already had meetings with quite a few professionals. NO ONE is calling these people. Right now they are referring business to some guy or gal they met at a tips group — no one they really have an established relationship with. I am a mortgage broker, but it might work for realtors too.

  4. Vicki Moore

    December 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Ines: I had to explain to him what blogging is. 🙂 I’m glad you agree with variety. I made the mistake of focusing my business on first time buyers; doing classes, etc. Ooops. Not working well for me right now.

    Mariana: Free gas!?! That must be so popular. Very fresh idea.

    Wade: Funny you mention that. I’ve actually made it a plan for next year to contact divorce and probate attorneys. Glad to hear you’re getting some action from it.

  5. P in CO

    December 20, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Mariana, how do I get on your newsletter. I’d like to win free gas!

  6. Mariana

    December 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Vicki – I only give away $20-$25 worth of gas, but in this gas economy, every little bit helps! You know, it HAS become rather hard to find Gas Gift Cards though …

  7. Vicki Moore

    December 21, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Only! It’s a great gift.

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