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REALTOR, Know Thyself

I am a musical anachronism

Kari and I are a little bit odd in our musical tastes.  Oftentimes, we think we might have been born about 30 years too late.  At 28 years old, ask us who are favorite singers are, and no one from the last 25 years is like to make the top 5.

This became readily apparent a little over a week ago when we attended the Neil Diamond concert here in Charlottesville.  Our last three concerts in Charlottesville have been, Neil Diamond, Elton John, and Billy Joel.  🙂

Billy Joel was outstanding, Elton was just ok.  Honestly, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect from Neil Diamond, especially since we were a little disappointed by Sir Elton.

Neil did not disappoint.

Neil Diamond delivers

One of the things that immediately struck us about the Neil Diamond concert was that it was exactly what you might expect it to be, which was a little bit surprising, actually.  It wasn’t terribly fancy.  The stage wasn’t crazy elaborate.  It was just Neil, his guitar, a microphone, and his band and backup signers.  By the way, it was his ORIGINAL band and backup singers.  All the same folks for over 30 years now.  Pretty impressive.

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When you have a catalog of songs as impressive as that of Neil Diamond, and you have simultaneously released a new album, that offers quite a conundrum– sing new songs, or sing the songs everyone knows and loves?   Much to the delight of the crowd, Neil didn’t shy away from his old standards.  Sure, he did 3 songs off the new album, but one after the other, and almost as a kind of “intermission” in the concert.

The end result was that everyone in attendance, all the Neil Diamond fans that have been loyal for more than 30 years, got exactly what they wanted– they got to relive all those great memories from those great songs.

Neil knows exactly who he is, and he doesn’t apologize for it.  He doesn’t try to hide it.  In fact, he revels in it.  He uses it to his advantage, and he makes the most of it.

Who are you? Be that person.

As REALTORS, we often worry about marketing, finding a niche, and branding.  We worry about what makes us unique, what makes us stand out from the thousands of other REALTORS in our markets.

The one thing that makes you unique is– YOU.

No one else is you.  No one else can ever be you.  Sure, people can be similar, but that can’t be exactly the same.  You know what, there are potential clients out there who will be attracted to you, because of who you are, so don’t be afraid to show it.

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If you are a numbers person, use it.  Share stats, get into the MLS and pull out the crazy statistics that only you can find.

If you are a people person, use it.  Get out, go to events, shake hands, kiss babies.

If you are a service-oriented person, use it.  Volunteer, meet people, deliver service to your clients, help them.

Whoever you are, you have strengths and talents that you can bring to bear that will help you grow your business and succeed.

Neil Diamond has been signing “Sweet Caroline” for decades.  Every time it plays, the crowd still sings along.  What do you do well that will attract a crowd?

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Written By

I'm a REALTOR, basketball referee, happy husband, and Community Manager (in no particular order). I have a passion for the real estate industry and officiating, a passion that I try to turn into inspiration on my blog, The Real Estate Zebra. I am also the Community Manager at Inman News. When I'm not blogging here on AG or the Zebra, you can usually find me on Twitter.



  1. Derek Overbey

    December 18, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    First off Daniel, I absolutely love Neil Diamond. He’s like a fine wine. Keeps getting better with age. But on to the actual topic. I agree with you in the fact that agents need to be who they are. I can’t tell you all the times I would get approached when I was running the marketing department of a large regional brokerage by agents who would want to do this because Agent X is doing or try this because Agent Y saw success. I would always ask them if that was what “they” wanted to do and they would almost always say no. Then we would sift through their style, personality and coverage area and tailor a program to fit their needs and the needs of their clients.


    December 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    Niche = being yourself…in the right place 🙂

    When the day comes that Neil can perform at X with 0 audience members vs. performing at Y with a packed house…he will still be himself, but he won’t perform at X anymore.

    Knowing where Y is, is the order of the day in a marketplace of dramatically diminished volume.

  3. Brian Block

    December 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    My wife (on my request) bought us tickets to see Neil Diamond for my birthday a few years ago in D.C. He still puts on a helluva show and though we were some of the youngest in the audience, I’ve always been a Diamond fan.

    A very nice thought-provoking post.

    Every agent has fridge magnets and “I Love Referral” stickers — but that doesn’t separate you from the pack.


    December 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm


    I have never, ever had “I love referrals” stickers. They make me puke.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    December 19, 2008 at 1:55 am

    How many times did he sing a finish to Sweet Caroline? I think we got up to four here in Phoenix two months back.

    Neil delivers, plain and simple. Absolutely amazing for someone nearing 70 to still strut and emote and … well … be Neil.

    As for the real topic, I’m off to listen to Song Sung Blue.

  6. Missy Caulk

    December 19, 2008 at 10:23 am

    At our church last week they took all the Neil Diamond songs and changed the lyric to recruit kids to mission work over Spring Break, my husband and I were cracking up.

    The problem…the majority there were U of M students and except for Sweet Caroline they just didn’t get it.

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