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The Only 3 Reasons Sales Sag and What You Can DO About It



Can't Feed A Flea

Flea Food

A Short Story – By Simpleton Ken Brand

Shoulders Slumped, Blue Eyes Castdown, She Leaned In, Whispering…

“My sales couldn’t feed a flea.”

I Thought…

Ugggg.  Man, this business can be brutal.

Steven Rand’s words flit by, “You’re doing all the business you’ll ever do based on the people who are aware of you now.”, trailed by Marilyn Eiland’s, “It takes contacts to make contracts.” and “You’re raise is effective as soon as you are.”

It’s fixable.

I think in quotes an cliché’. Sigh.

I said…

“The solution is a simple as 1, 2, 3.  Sorta.  It’s simple, but it ain’t easy.

People list and buy real estate in your market everyday.  There are only three reasons they didn’t choose you.”

Reason 1:  THEY Didn’t Think Of YOU

How do your friends, past clients, friends of friends and strangers choose a real estate agent?

They ask someone they know for the name of a trusted real estate agent. Or, they contact the 1st person they think of, sometimes the first 2 people. Either way, if you’re not the 1st or 2nd person they think of, you’re screwed.

In this case, you have some sweaty Top Of Mind Awareness to work on.  I pointed her to and said, “Read UP, you’ll find bushels of bright ideas.  Pick a few and ACT now.”  I sent her HERE too.

“There’s a 2nd Reason your fleas aren’t fed”, I said.

Reason 2:  YOU Didn’t Know THEY Were Thinking of Selling or Buying

Out-and-about real estate agents collide with opportunity, some call it serendipity, I call it The Pinball Principle.

I flashed this…

It Pays To Run In Circles Like This

Prosperous people get out of the office, strip off their jammies, push away from the computer and splash around IRL.  They’re out-and-about or on the phone, engaging in On-Purpose and In-Person Conversations.  They’re connecting with people about shared passions.

NO contact + NO conversation + NO connection + NO discovery + NO opportunity to serve, solve or help = ZERO business.

“How much time do you spend with people who aren’t real estate agents?”, I asked.

“Not enough.  I guess.”, she murmured.

Make or take the time to surround yourself with people who like the things and activites you like.  People like, hire and referral recommend people they like and trust.  People like and trust people who are interested in the same things they are.

Get out more.  A lot more.

There is a 3rd reason.

Reason 3:  You Had A Shot, But They Choose Another

The good news, you were invited to dance.  Nobody wins all their opportunities.  The key going forward is to reflect on why you weren’t chosen and make adjustments and improvements. What ever you do, don’t blame them for being stupid, figure out what YOU can do to improve and do it.

The Easy Part Is…

Figuring out which of these 3 Reasons are holding you back?  It could be all three.

The Hard Part Is…

Deciding to DO things differently.  Better.  With more flare.  More consistently.  On-Purpose and In-Person. You’re gonna have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The Good News…

You’ve made it this far.  You’re bright. You’re strong.  You’re talented.  You’re Attractive.  You’re ON YOUR WAY. Get going.

The End Beginning.


Cheers and thanks for reading.

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.

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  1. Duke Long

    September 21, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Clean Simple Beautiful.

  2. Ken Brand

    September 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Duke. Cheers.

  3. MIssy Caulk

    September 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    RE is a contact sport, no sitting in the bleachers and hoping someone looks up and say, “I need to buy a house.”

  4. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 21, 2009 at 10:09 pm


    Good post.

    When I was selling software and we were having slow times, I always used to resort to just good ‘ole customer visits.

    Call existing customers, say I’m going to be in your area tomorrow and would like to stop by just to say hello or take them to lunch, etc.

    Out of these, always came a LOT of discovery and if you do just a few of them, you will uncover sales. It was amazing and almost never failed.

    Now days, when my RE sales are slow, I just try to enjoy it because I know soon the phone is going to be ringing and it’s going to be three clients all wanting the same weekend. LOL!


  5. Website and Blog Design

    September 22, 2009 at 9:03 am

    It is simple – not easy. Those are some of the toughest words to hear. We all know how to get business, it is just what we are willing to do to make it happen! Thanks for the Tuesday morning nudge!!!

  6. Mark Jacobs

    September 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    3 hours a day of lead gen and you will have more business then you can handle. You got to get belly to belly and face to face and ask for the business.

  7. Ken Brand

    September 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Missy – Contact sport indeed, hug it out, I say. cheers

    Rob – It’s amazing what people will share when you’re talking to them in person. Amazing. cheers

    Tara – Thanks:-) If it was easy anybody could do it. Rock ON. cheers

  8. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 23, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Right on Ken!

  9. Joe Loomer

    September 23, 2009 at 7:29 am

    #1 reason agents get out of the trade?

    They have no clients.

    Get at ’em! Good post Ken!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Sue Derby

    September 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Easy to remember tips. I’m going to share them with the new agents I coach. Thanks.

  11. Karen Rodriguez

    January 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    A much needed wake up call! You just told me everything I already knew, but needed to hear again!

    Peace, love, and real estate!

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Business Marketing

10 must-listen-to podcasts for business owners

(MARKETING) If you’re a business owner and want to learn something…anything…give one (or all) these podcasts a listen.



headphones listen podcasts

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

From interviews with business leaders to industry-specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly popular show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace,, Kiva, Teach For America, and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further than Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real-world applications and cover everything from marketing to technology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help, and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

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Business Marketing

Why your coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…



family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

Market your side hustle with these 6 tips

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.



side hustle paperwork and technology

Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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