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Are you the Ricky Roma or the Elle Woods of real estate sales?

I have come to realize there is a divide, a great divide among real estate agent personas.  One side sees real estate as a hand numbers game, one filled with scripts and charts and hard sales.  The movie Glengarry Glen Ross takes the persona of that hard sales agent with a close for every season and puts it him/her on a coke binge.  It’s almost painful to watch.

On the other side of the divide is the real estate version of Elle Woods, from Legally Blonde.  The social butterfly who’s chatty with everyone and who knows everyone’s birthday and everyone’s kids’ names. The queen of social interaction.

Ricky Roma of Glenngarry would say “no consumer wants to be your friend, they just want to buy a house” (he might add “and you don’t want to be their friend either”).  Elle would banter that “no one wants to be sold real estate by a smarmy used car salesman pushing a pen in their hand”.

Of course these two characters are as gimmicky and extreme when applied to real life agents as they are with the movie characters, but you see my point.  You have one side who wouldn’t get caught reading a script, even knowing what a hard angle close was or seeing each lead as a number.  And you’d find just as many agents thinking those who spend their time being social (on or off line) and not focusing on numbers, closes and scripts are destined for mediocre survival at best.

But can you be an Elle Woods who hits it out of the ball park?  Can you be a Ricky Roma who remembers the kids birthdays and has a Facebook Page (where he himself, not a VA, posts)?  Can they both thrive?  Ricky and Elle might think not, but I’m not so sure, what do you think?

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image courtesy of Marco Bellucci

Written By

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.



  1. Ken Brand

    September 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Did Mitch and Murray send you?

    Nice post, and a sharp reminder about how to hustle and flow. It’s a dance.


    • Janie Coffey

      September 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

      that’s right, it’s a dance and you gotta have a few steps in your repertoire to get the most dance partners 🙂

  2. BawldGuy

    September 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    One person dies of natural causes. The other person accidentally falls of a cliff and dies.

    Which one is more dead?

    • Janie Coffey

      September 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      I guess that all depends on when in life those things happen?

  3. BawldGuy

    September 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    According to the medical examiner, they’re both exactly the same ‘amount’ of dead.

    One agent does the GlenGarry Glen Ross thing, the other does the social butterfly plan. They both close 50 sides this year at the same median price.

    Who made more money?

    As long as it’s with high character and values, how the cat skins end up on the wall isn’t relevant. People primarily wanna know IF you have skins on the wall. Only then will they ask how they got there.

    • Ken Brand

      September 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      I agree, what works, works. I also think that by embracing both, your ability to attract, connect, satisfy and impress a broader range of personalities, might lead to 60 or 70 closed sides, instead of 50. Sort of like a well rounded MMA fighter, the more skills, the more tap-outs, knock outs, and victories.

  4. BawldGuy

    September 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Ken — That’s why Ali was so great in the ring. Not only was he faster than fast, the guy could take a punch. When he found an opponent with superior fire power after his own skills had diminished a bit? He figured out the rope-a-dope — adaptation at it’s best. Foreman became just another skin on Ali’s wall.

  5. Ryan Martin

    September 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ricky Roma knows that the “coffee is for closers”. Glengarry Glen Ross is an awesome real estate movie. Alec Baldwin’s speech is a classic.

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