Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Housing News

Salvation or Secret Agent Damnation?

look_to_the_cross_ii_by_aeternitasvenia1Top Of Mind Awareness Is Salvation

“You are doing all the business you’ll ever do, based on the number of people who are aware of you now.”  ~Rand Smith

You’re Screwed Without Top Of Mind Awareness!

Without it, you’re going to suffer the consequences of Secret Agent Damnation.  A painfully slow failure to launch and inevitable rejection, dejection and ejection or a quick and twitchy face-plant failure.  Either way, if nobody knows YOU as a Top Performing, Trust Worthy and Interesting real estate agent, you’re screwed. Secret Agent Damnation.

Wait!  You can save yourself.  Read on.

WTH is Top Of Mind Awareness?

Try this.  Talk to 5 people.  Look them in the eye.  Smile.  Ask, “May I ask five semi-personal questions?”  If they say yes, ask,

1.  When I say,  “to-die for dessert”, what tongue-taste comes to mind?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

2.  When I say,  “greatest rock-n-roll band of all time”, who do your ears hear?

3.  When I say, “favorite cocktail”, what drink do you think of?

4.  When I say,  “romantic vacation destination”, where do you think of? (and who’d you take?)

5.  When I say, “top performing real estate agent”, who do you think of?

The answers are examples of Top Of Mind Awareness in action; who or what occupies first recall position in a certain category.  Your category is “real estate agent” and your salvation is Personal-Brand,-Top-Of-Mind-Awareness within your personal sphere. Do you have 1st or 2nd place Top Of Mind Awareness within your sphere?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Here’s Why You’re Screwed Without It.  

Internal tracking of thousands of transactions + performing agent testimonials + observation + 30 years experience + professional research, confirms; on average, over 60% of the business is attributable to a referral, a recommendation or a previous real estate related relationship.

Interested in factual and professional research?   Check these excerpts from the 2008 Houston Association of Realtors Home Sellers and Buyers Survey:

Home Seller Survey – HAR 2008

Q.  How Seller Found  The REALTOR Who Helped Sell Their Home

A.  Referral from friends/neighbors/co-workers = 52%.  I knew the REALTOR personally, had used before = 24%.   Total = 76%  (Note:  If you’re an invisible and unknown agent, you’re losing out on 76% of the opportunities.  Doh! You’re screwed.)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Q.  Most Important Factor To Sellers In Choosing a REALTOR

A.  Reputation, honesty and trustworthiness = 29%.  Most knowledgeable in the market area = 21%.  A referral from family/friends/co-workers = 20%.  Total = 70% (Note: Secret agents and invisible agents are royally screwed.  Obviously nobody knows if your trustworthy, knowledgeable or have friends.) 

Q.  Number Of Realtors Contacted By Sellers

A.  I knew the Realtor personally and had used before = 58%.   Interviewed 2nd agent = 27% .  84% of the time, sellers interviewed only 2 agents.  (Note:  If you aren’t the 1st or 2nd agent the seller thinks about – you’re completely and utterly screwed!  Again.)

Home Buyers Survey – HAR 2008 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Q.  Most Important Factor In Buyers Finding REALTOR Who Helped Them Purchase Their Home

A.  Referral from friends/neighbors/co-workers = 51%.  I knew the REALTOR personally, had used before = 12%.  Total = 62%  (Note: Let me ask you, how screwed is a secret agent?)

Q.  Number of REALTORS Contacted By Buyer

A.  I knew the REALTOR personally, had used before – 47%.  Contacted a 2nd agent = 27%.  74% of the time only two agents were contacted  (Note:  Not the 1st or 2nd agent they think of or contact – pack your bags, you’re damned, punch the ejection button!)

Now We Know Why!  What Next?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The 3 R’s of Top Of Mind Awareness

Here’s the deal.  If you’re not IN all the way, leave now, save yourself an ass kicking.  To create Top Of Mind Awareness will take hard work and commitment.  Wondering what it takes specifically?  Wondering how to manufacture salvation, how to become the 1st or 2nd person that comes to mind when someone thinks about real estate and a real estate agent?

Repetition. Relevance. Remarkable. 

To grove righteous recall, you’ll need to rain your sphere with these 3 R’s.

Repetition – consistent and remarkable contact, conversation, information, entertainment, education and engagement (Marry Old School and New School Media to do this)

Relevance – you can’t puke worthless, pointless or pinhead-mediocre. You must share the opposite; valuable, relevant and remarkable.  Sit and think!  Think about what people want.  What questions do people ask all the time.  What things make people smile and nod.  

Think  > Come To A Conclusion Or Two > Take Action > Share Relevant, Remarkable Stuff > Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  I’m repeating myself.  That’s what it takes.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Remarkable – you can’t walk, talk, chew gum, act, look, work, communicate or engage in ordinary or expected ways.  Average and ordinary is forgettable. Remarkable is memorable.

Want Specifics?

Guess what?  There’s no Magic Bullet.  Wait.  Actually there is a Magic Bullet.  It’s YOU.  

Here’s my recommendation.   

This site is crammed full of bright ideas, read up.  I have shared several odd angled approaches, choose a few and take action.  The Name Tag Guy, has a practical approach on this topic, read his book  “How To Be That Guy“.  Seth Godin has an easy read on how to be a Purple Cow.  Hugh MacLeod will open your eyes, check him out.  Brand You 50 from Tom Peters will change things for you too. 

What Next?  Salvation or Damnation?

Pretty simple, but not easy.  Get BUSY.  Or, get OUT.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Clink-Cheers.  Thanks for reading.


Photo Credit:  Look to the Cross_II by *AeternitasveniA on deviantART

Disclaimer:  This is commentary.  This is not journalism or advertorial.  But, some day, I may collect up the good, bad and ugly of my commentaries and slap them into a book.  There are ads on this web site.  You will recognize them because they look like ads.  Although I recommend some books in my post, I’m not a book agent, nor do I receive any commissions or referral fees from the authors of the books I’m recommending.  I want you to know that I consider my blog posts a form of “Personal Branding”.  This “Personal Branding” may lead to opportunities that enrich aspects of Id,ego and super-ego, my professional and personal personas, my finance and romance relativity and possibly, hopefully,  my spiritual and metaphysical life or lives.  Then again, these could sink my opportunity ship.  Oh well. Ummmm….that’s all the disclaimer I can think of.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
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. Joe Loomer

    June 8, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Spot on, Ken.

    Market reports, condensed and including graphs and charts, are a big part of what I use on my Sphere – via old fashioned mailouts quarterly, through email campaigns the other months.

    Many of my past clients are VA, and since Uncle Sam will no-doubt have other plans for them within a couple of years, they are very receptive to this approach. They worry about the market conditions and their ability to sell. They tell me they consider me the top agent because others send them useless personal promotion postcards. I just promote myself through analysis of the the market.

    Didn’t know how well this was working until I had rotator cuff surgery and sent my 2008 wrap-up out late January – had already gotten several “where’s my data” calls and emails by then.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Matt Stigliano

    June 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Ken – Looks like I have some home work to do for the next few days. Thanks for all the tips on good things to read. I’ve found that there’s a lot of agents out there like you who have read them all, tried them all, and discarded the garbage a million times over. What people like you provide is excellent for new agents or even agents who need a kick in the pants. Thanks Ken!

  3. Ken Brand

    June 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Rock it Joe – Old School + New School + Joe Jazz = Pazazz Cheers

    Matt – Thanks. The irony is, as you know, whether your new or experienced, when it’s time to amp it up and either add or polish a skill or mindset, you begin like a student, start fresh and grow what you know till your a master or mistress, large and in charge. Cheers.

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.



Business Marketing

Social Media Doesn’t Work As Well As Some Think. For real estate agents, it’s even better or worse! Read on to find out who’s...

How to

Symmetry It’s attractive and sexy — Symmetry. Symmetry in the ways and means of Business, the science and art of Home-Economics and in the...

Business Marketing

Are you familiar with Chris Anderson’s theory? If you’re unfamiliar, or need to re-up, here’s my take: The Long Tail Theory centers around the impact...

Business Marketing

Popular. Sexy. Savvy. Funny. Kind. Honest. Involved.  SO WHAT? They know hundreds, maybe thousands of people. She wears a jeweled crown, Queen Of The...

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.