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How to

Ask Me Again And I’ll Pull The Trigger!

Or, How To Sell More Without Spending Money or Shooting Your Loved Ones.

Days Blur . . .

You’re exhausted and frustrated.

You’re working hard and smart; networking, holding open houses, showing buyers, running comps, social mediaing, schlepping laundry, carpooling kids to practice, grocery shopping, running herd on teenagers, serving meals and doing all the work – domestic and otherwise.

To top if off, at the end of a looooong day you hear this irritating question.  In fact if you hear this freaking question one more time, someone’s gonna get shot . . . bang-bang.

Hey Honey/Baby/_____, Did You Sell Any Houses Today?

Loved One/Friend: Did you sell anything today?

Aspiring Achiever/You:  Not yet, I’m working on it.

Loved One/Friend:  Well, when will you?  Your business is costing us a fortune, money pours out and nothings coming in.  If you don’t sell something  soon, Fill In What Bad Thing Will Happen.

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At this point you’re frustrated by the lack of support and understanding and the conversation likely turns into a defensive, apologetic or otherwise unproductive exchange of words and feelings.  Instead of feeling angry or like you have to defend, apologize or justify yourself and your career choice, use a new strategy to turn things around.   What I want you to do is ask the question asking pressure-cooker to help you.  I want you to make them responsible include them in your quest for success.

If you do this right, you’ll generate more business, give the question asker an appreciation for what you do, and maybe more importantly — shut them up.

Here’s how…

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The next time a loved one asks you how many houses you’ve sold or listed today, say something like this…

Aspiring Achiever/You: I’m glad you brought that up.  I’m working really hard and I’m feeling good about the future, but I could sure use your help — can I ask you a favor?

Loved One/Friend:  Sure, I guess so.

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Aspiring Achiever/You:  Great!  Here’s the deal babe, about 70% of a successful agent’s listing and sales business comes from a friend, a past client or a referral recommendation  from a friend.  And most everyone we know knows 3 people who move a year. I’m working my ass off to connect with my friends and contacts.  Here’s where your help comes in, I bet you know 3 people from the gym or work who moved within the last year, don’t you?

Loved One/Friend: I guess so, what does that have to do with anything?  Whata-ya-mean?

Aspiring Achiever/You:  It means everything.  Here’s the deal babe, instead of asking me everyday how many sales and listing I’ve made, I’m going to ask you who you know at work or the gym, or where ever, who has mentioned they might be making a move.  I want you to keep your eyes and ears open, when someone mentions real estate or moving, I don’t want you to do or say anything to them!  I want you to tell me about it, then I’ll figure out how to best approach the situation.  If you’ll do this for me, I’ll sell more, list more and we’ll make more.

Will you do that for us?

Loved One/Friend:  Sure.

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It Can Be That Simple.

Don’t Let Opportunity Slip Away.

Don’t feel bad about what you’re doing.

Don’t shoot your significant others.

Do form a partnership.  Instead of answering their stupid questions that get you nowhere and nothing, begin asking them smart questions that get you somewhere and something.

New Partnership – Shared Responsibility – Feel Better – Do Better

It’s been my experience that most civilians, including our significant-others, are clueless about how the business really works.  It’s up to us to share how it works and what their role is.

The next time you’re asked “the question”, don’t defend or feel bad – boost your business by creating a partnership.

Good luck in the New Year and let me know how it goes.

Photo Credit

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Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Sheila Rasak

    November 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Yet one more AG article that I can relate to (other than the honey bunny part). I’m a machine. I work at work, I work at home, I work in the field, and then I come home and work some more. Then I do the laundry, marketing, pharmacy run, dry cleaners, nails (if I’m lucky), cook, and clean.

    I have a 21 year old daughter and an 82 year old father depending on me to bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan. Yes, I am woman (I’m not roaring as it’s 4:19 am and I’ll wake the others).

    The good news is I’m the only one who applies the pressure, the bad news is that every once in a blue moon I have to put on the brakes and call a family meeting to announce I’m not Wonder Woman and if one more person asks me where the peanut butter is without looking, the buck stops here and they’re going to have to hire someone to find it for them.

    By the way, do you know anyone who will be buying, selling, or investing in Ventura County or Santa Barbara within the next year? If so, let me know because I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything! (And I’m a tireless machine.)

    • Ken Brand

      November 22, 2010 at 7:53 am

      The saying that success is real estate is not a job, it’s a life style – is on the money. Even Wonder Woman needs to set the family straight – amen. My son Nick is going to school in Santa Barbara, he knows the drill. If he hears of any opportunity, he’ll share it and I’ll send it along. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing Sheila. Cheers.

  2. SteveBeam

    November 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I guess I was very lucky. My wife was super supportive when I started this business 11 years ago. She knew it would take time to get it going and it did but now we all reap the benefits.

    Staying in contact with past clients is “THE KEY” to success in this business. It is the golden pill every new broker is looking for.

    • Ken Brand

      November 22, 2010 at 10:06 am

      You’re exactly right, we’re our own Silver Bullets, contact, conversation, sharing and solving is the answer. And if you can super size your opportunity through the generous support of those close to you. Boom-shocka-locka! Cheers and have a Happy ThanksGiving.

  3. Mark Brian

    November 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Boy does this ever hit home! I can only hope using this idea could mean fewer motivational beatings from my loving wife though…..

    • Ken Brand

      November 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Ha, no free lunches, everyone works. All the best is 2011. Cheers.

  4. BawldGuy

    November 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Man, Ken, you’re flirting with the third rail here. 🙂

    I’ve seen more men with incredibly promising careers leave the business prematurely due to spousal created pressure than all other reasons combined, sans this current correction. Sadly, I’ve also seen far too many marriages run aground because the husband didn’t become an agent stud quickly enough. What’s worse? There have been a number of times I’ve witnessed a family breakup only to see the guy breakout several months later, often making more money than he had in previous jobs. Sometimes this has made him lovable again, but not in most cases.

    I’ve long said that for much of the ‘newbie’ portion of the real estate brokerage community, the understanding and supportive working wife is the backbone.

    • Ken Brand

      November 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Yes sir, like most every successful adventure quest, it takes all hands on deck and some sweaty work. When everyone understands what their role is, things can happen faster and financially funner. Like you, I’ve seen so many get close, only to have their partner yank the choker-chain.

      Also, I think we’d both agree, if an agent’s not doing the hard-daily-work, then they shouldn’t torture themselves, their family/partner(s), or the occasional victim. The willing to work should hit the ejection button and pull the ripcord.

      Thanks for sharing, have a nice Thanksgiving Jeff. Cheers.

  5. Teresa boardman

    November 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    If my spousal unit called me “babe” he would be sooooo dead.

    • Ken Brand

      November 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      Guess he knows better? It’s interesting to hear what some couples call each other. If Robyn calls me Ken, I know I’m in trouble. I’m used to “hey”, but mostly it’s “babe”. Happy Thanksgiving:-)

  6. Meg Hurtado for Movoto

    November 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    hey, great article. can definitely apply to other professions, but especially apt for the real estate game.

    • Ken Brand

      November 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Meg. Um-hum, most all business is people business I think. Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for the comment.

  7. Kelsey Teel

    November 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ken!

    I’ve seen this spousal pressure played out multiple times. Especially when the economy crashed…I know of an agent who was busting her butt to make a sale, but it just wasn’t happening. Her solution to her husband’s nagging was printing the MLS statistics and showing him “Hey, I’m not the only one not closing a sale. In fact, less than 15% of agents in this area closed a sale last month–give me a break.”

    The solution you presented is even better. No matter how much the industry and market conditions have changed, referrals are still a HUGE portion of business for all the realtors I’ve spoken to lately.

    Great article! 🙂

  8. Les

    November 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Very funny article. This is one of the reasons I think a lot of people get out of the business.

    • Ken Brand

      November 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks. Yeah, like most things in life, it’s easier, faster and funner if everyone close to you is Out-Loud supportive. Cheers.

  9. Coleen DeGroff

    November 26, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Hi Ken,
    One of the things I’m most thankful for in my life is having a very supportive husband. He understands it takes awhile to build a business, and by “build a business” I mean “spend a bunch of money I don’t have and charge it to my business credit card”. I am VERY thankful my husband has a good job which brings in a check, and I am VERY thankful he understands that this real estate overnight success thing takes a few years to get going.

    That’s a wonderful suggestion you have re having our spouse keep their eyes/ears open and let us know when they hear about anyone contemplating a move….that strategy sure is helping me grow my Gainesville real estate business!

    Thanks for the great post. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

    • Ken Brand

      November 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      That’s awesome Coleen, lucky for me, my Robyn has been supportive since we first met over 28 years ago. It makes it easier and faster and saner. Thanks for sharing and all the best in 2011 and beyond. Cheers

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