Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius


The REAL Reasons that You and I are in Real Estate

Sure – You all will tout “I *heart* my customers and clients” or “I *heart* negotiating” as reasons to be in real estate, or a more viable answer of “I need to make a living and this career works for me” (the whole “I love looking at houses so I got my license to do it professionally” bit dies after the first 75-home-no-contract-client…)

And there are some of you who just wanted to be in a profession that allowed you to legitimately carry around business cards with your photo on it. (Oh, that is a whole different story…)

But I need to stand up and call BS on all of those reasons to be in real estate.

You and I both know the REAL reasons that we have chosen this field.

Free Stuff.

I mean, yes, the free lunches from other brokers, builders and lenders courting you for your business are a plus. Especially when they keep taking you out after years and years of rejection on your end…

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

I am talking about the REAL treasures of real estate. The REAL reasons that you and I have chosen to GET and KEEP our licenses.

I am talking about the branded foam houses, the engraved plastic letter openers, the teddy bears with logo-tummies, the off-sized desktop cell phone holders, the countless mouse pads and sticky dashboard mats, the golf balls and blow up beach balls, the hand-shaped massage toys, the Velcro-back branded baseball caps, the ultra-wide-extra-short tee shirts, the wax-flavored chapstick, the tiny tins of mints, the cupboard full of various coffee mugs from every non-coffee-company you could imagine and all the pens you could ever wish for (in addition to the ones you steal from your title company).

And let’s not forget the free cookies and sodas at closing and the random gift baskets full of chocolate and biscotti brought into your office by an insurance or inspection company.

What would our business be without all this free stuff?

Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?



  1. Larry Yatkowsky

    January 5, 2008 at 11:34 am

    So right! Would have hung the license a long time ago if it wasn’t for those “stress relieving” squeezzie foam houses. Every NAR convention is good for filling at least two suitcases full of this stuff. True value for the money. 🙂

  2. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 11:38 am

    At least the foam houses don’t hurt very much when you randomly toss it across a convention hall packed full of other agents … Entertainment (or is it immaturity) at it’s finest.

  3. Charleston real estate blog

    January 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Mariana, I treasure my stagecoach from Wells Fargo 🙂

  4. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    And I treasure my magnetic paperclip dispenser shaped like a house given to me by that subprime lender “BNC mortgage” – may they rest in peace.

  5. Michael Price

    January 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I treasure the story of the Realtor “Expo” My wife had a partnership with the Houston Chronicle and they asked her to share a booth. A blue haired old lady pulling a red wagon (it’s the truth, she brought a wagon) came to the booth, she leaned over the podium and said “Whatcha givin away?”. I told her “good vibes and free advice”. This is no shit, she reached over the podium and picked up my wife’s pen and put in the bag of CPS (Cheap Promotional Shit) in her wagon. The look on my wife’s face was priceless. There was no logo on the pen, it was just a pen, not even a special pen. My wife looked and me and laughed and then started walking down the aisle after her. Suffice it to say, my wife got her pen back. It made a long hard day of wasted time much more bearable. I couldn’t stop laughing about it.

  6. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    That is a great idea: Next convention I go to, I am going to just go behind the booths and start collecting jackets and PDA’s. Nice one.

  7. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    (of course I don’t really mean that.)

  8. Mike

    January 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Grab me an iPhone and couple of laptops while you’re at it. 🙂

  9. Benjamin Bach

    January 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I’m really missing out on good schwag up here – maybe I should move south to the US ?

  10. Mike

    January 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Yep. Down here in the bayou city if y’all ask nicely you can have my bic roller ball. Just don’t take it without askin’ or my wife will open up big ‘ol six pack of whoop ass for sure!

  11. Larry Yatkowsky

    January 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Never thought of toss the squeezzie. Good idea.

    If we remember to gather next year, it could make for a different convention style. Would certainly be bloggable.


    25,000 Realtors Attain World Record Tossing Squeezzzie at Convention.

  12. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Benjamin – No? Really? Nothing? To bad …
    Larry – GREAT idea!

  13. Mariana

    January 5, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    So… I write this post and Derek comes home with a WAY cool leather boxed coasters and playing cards set from our title company … I guess they forgive us for stealing all their pens.

  14. Jonathan Dalton

    January 5, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Don’t forget free alcohol at franchise conventions. Had enough rum at C21 two years ago to kill a small horse.

    Which reminds me … from a past post … I truly was offended by the term “alcoholic.” For your information the politically correct term is “Inebriated-American.”

  15. Todd Carpenter

    January 5, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I knew a mortgage broker who used to cart around a baby-less baby carriage to collect swag. I went to a trade show on Friday and came away with 11 pens, three letter openers, a First Aid book (NICE!), two daytimers, and a video game that I can’t figure out.

  16. monika

    January 6, 2008 at 9:45 am

    We have Broker Opens nearly every day of week and they want you so bad that they feed you…so no buying lunches during the week. Plus our weekend open houses always have munchies galore….A REALTOR will never starve in NH. Hungry?? Just go find yourself an open house.
    Got a family to feed…just bring them along.

  17. Mariana

    January 6, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Jonathan – I am not sure I remember the last time I was gentle with my words because someone would get offended. (LOL!) Remember…. It IS called AA, not IAA.

    Todd – Yes. Some of those tradeshows can have some sweet give-aways – so long as you are an early bird.

    Monika- The fastest way to a Real Estate agents’ heart is through their stomach.

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    January 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    This is AWESOME!!! I am a pre-licensing instructor and I just roll my eyes when folks say they are getting into the biz, because someone said they should or “they really like people”…. silly rabbit 🙂

  19. Mariana

    January 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Pre-Licensing instructor? Brave man. Brave man. I am the only one from my class that is still in it full time – if at all. And I am not disillusioned … I am in it for the free calculators and branded picture frames.

  20. Chris Lengquist

    January 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I spend my whole life getting rid of crap. If I receive another eagle statue it’ll go where the rest ended up. In it’s original box in my trash can.

    Now, the beer coozies (sic?) from Chicago Title are cool.

  21. Mariana

    January 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    … Mmmm … Beer coozies …

  22. Mariana

    January 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    One year I went through both of my offices and put all of my collected “swag” (nice one Todd) and wrapped it up in a nice box and it became my white elephant gift for the year.

    Sad thing is that the one who received it, loved it.

  23. Lani Anglin

    January 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    ooooh- free crap! crap crap crap!!!

  24. Mariana

    January 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Lani – the correct term is “CPS” (see above). 😉

  25. Brian Wilson

    January 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Hooray for swag! Reminds me of the episode of The Office where Michael goes to the paper industry conference and loads up on…swag! But then he throws a party in his hotel room and no one shows up.

  26. Mariana

    January 7, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I must see that show …

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.