Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius


We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense


This was passed along to me by Benn:

We are a small real estate company in Md.  We are trying to expand our clientele do you have any advice on how we can grow our business.  We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense.  We tried the expired listings but most of the time the homeowner phone number is not listed.


(name deleted)

I’ve deleted your name, so in case you feel insulted by what I am about to tell you – you can feel a little less insulted because no one but you will know who wrote the note above.  Including me.  I couldn’t find you, no matter what I tried.  The very first thing I attempted to do was to find out a little bit about you – what you are doing now.  There are so many different companies who seem to have a similar name – that there was no way for me to land on your web site.  If you even have one.  You didn’t give your name or any contact information when you wrote this and I am going to assume this is somewhat standard operating procedure.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The first problem I see you being up against isn’t the size of your company, because that is irrelevant.  What sort of leaps off the page is you are  very out of communication with the world around you.  Do most of the people who live or work within a hundred yards of where you office even know your name or what you do?  If they saw you on the street would many of them even know you sell real estate?  I believe this is your primary barrier to confront and handle: come out of non-existence with the people in your immediate vicinity.  Start there.  Then widen that circle.  Get out and talk to people.  Get rid of (as in completely rid of) the idea that you need permission to approach someone – like you need someone to issue you a license of some sort before you open your mouth.  You didn’t find any phone numbers in the print-out of the expired listings.  So what?  Just give up on expireds?  Maryland is a pretty small state.  You could probably drive across the whole state in a few hours.  You could absolutely drive completely across the town where you live in 90 minutes.  Show up at their door.  Ask them if they still want to sell their home. 

You don’t want to pay a lot for advertising for two reasons: you don’t have the money to pay and you wouldn’t know what to put in the ad anyway.  Okay so skip advertising for now.  Prospect.  Learn what people consider valuable just by trial and error.  See enough people and ask enough people what they might be interested in and in very short order (a few hundred people from now) you will know what to say and what not to say when you are talking to a prospective customer.

There are exactly two methods of getting business in our business: marketing or prospecting.  Learn to effectively do one or both of those or leave real estate sales.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, those are the only three choices.  The skill of getting customers is the “important skill” in our business.  For a really bright future make this important thing your important thing.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
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

    June 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Yep. I’m with you. The question of the day?

    How many people did you talk to today?

    No convo = No contracts.

    Pretty simple, but not easy for most.

  2. Joe Loomer

    June 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Q: Why do most agents leave the business?
    A: They have no clients

    FSBOs and Expireds and becoming the economist of choice for your Sphere of Influence.

    Well said Russell!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Erion Shehah

    June 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Two quotes come to mind when reading this post:

    1. There’s always money to be made in doing the things most competitors find uncomfortable.

    2. The consistency of marketing is so much more important than it’s quality (Gary Keller)

  4. Erion Shehaj

    June 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    For the record, I know how to spell my name … Just mistyped it on the iPhone 🙂

  5. BawldGuy

    June 20, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Hey Russ — You remind me of the story Dad told me the night before my first day in the business. I was a couple months past my 18th b’day.

    For the umpteenth year in a row, ‘John’ had won the company’s National Salesman of the Year award. Everyone wanted to be around him, buy him a drink, be seen with him. When the time arrived for John to speak to the packed house, he was pretty drunk. Just before he passed out, he told his audience, “See the people”.

    As you’ve told me so many times while laughin’, ‘real estate sales ain’t rocket science.

  6. Cameron Novak

    June 20, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Want more business, get more exposure. Least expensive and effective method of doing this is ONLINE exposure. Get busy getting the word out.

    Cameron Novak
    Corona Real Estate Agent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.