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The Jessie James Solution = Resuscitate Your Sales In 30 Days. Boom Goes The Dynamite, If You Light The Fuse.


You’re sipping tall, Iced Cinnamon Dolce Lattes.  Chit-chatting.  Your girlfriend shares,  I need to make a sale in the next 37 days or I have to quit the business.”

She confesses.  I don’t have  a single active listing or any qualified buyers.  She’s dead in the water.  She’s broke in bank and spirit.  She’s drowning and frowning.

She pleads for your advice, “What should I do to make a sale?  Now!

What advice would you share?  What do you believe is the most productive thing she can do to position herself to make the required sale?

Here’s What I’d Do…

First, I give her a big hug, tell her she can make it happen if she wants too, but it won’t be easy.

Here’s what I’d advise…

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The Jessie James Solution.

There’s not enough time to focus on taking a listing.  Odds are, it will take too long to sell.  Laser focus on attracting a qualified buyer is required. Don’t worry about listings, you’ll attract them naturally as well.

It’s time to Get Your Jessie James ON!

Whoa! Not that Jessie James, this one:

Judge Roy Bean, “Why do you rob banks?”

Jessie James, “Because that’s where the money is.”

I’d implore my friend to hold public Open Houses. 10 Open Houses in 30 days.  Here’s why?

  • This is the buying season and buyers browse Open Houses like banks hoard house money.
  • The looming expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credits (FREE Money) will create qualified buyer urgency this month.  Not next month.  This month.
  • It’s an activity that allows you to take action, make contact and attract serendipity.  I’ll explain what, why, when and how in Open House Tips below.

Open House is not, showing up late, planting a couple of directionals, flipping the lights on and hoping something lucky happens.  It rarely does.  Lady Luck mostly ignores the lazy.

I’m going to suggest that if the end is near, or you want to create sexy success now, you need to take Dramatic Kick-Ass Action and amp everything.  As if your career depended on it.  Because it does.  If it was me, instead of she, I’d hold 10 Open Houses in 30 days.  Strategically selected, well planned, powerfully promoted and passionately executed.  Here’s the tips I’d share.

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Open House Event Tips

When:  Now! The sooner the better. Hold Open House during weekday early evenings.  It stays lighter later.  Open House signs spied on the way home from work is unusual and attracts attention.  Hold Open House Events weekdays from 5pm to 7pm and every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (2pm to 5pm) in April. 10 Open House events in 30 days.

Where: Pick a property that is supremely attractive, easy to find with directional arrows and is priced in the sweet spot (what’s selling) for your market area (you can research the average sold price in your market).  If you don’t have a listing like that, no worries, don’t let that sink you, ask your team mates if you can hold their listing open.

What To Do:

  • Promote your Open House Online –,  your blog, Facebook Business Page, Twitter, association and brokerage websites.
  • Make 87 Color Open House Flyers.
  • Mail 21 OH flyers (invitations) to your current buyers prospects/suspects and 17 of your most enthusiastic cheer leader friends.  Follow up with phone calls.  Follow phone calls with a written short/ sweet note, mail with 2 business cards.  Hand deliver the OH Flyer/Invitation to 26 neighbors.  Personally invite them, end your conversations with a question.  “When we sell this home, would you like to know how much it SOLD for?”  If they say yes, get their contact information, add to your data base, enroll in your personal anti-Chaos, Perpetual Payoff marketing campaign, keep them informed of new activity, write a short/sweet note, mail it with 2 business cards.
  • If you are placing an OH sign on the edge of anyone’s property, knock on the door, ask for permission and invite them to your OH.
  • Do your homework about the neighborhood:  Current listings, recent sales, schools, parks, grocery stores, etc.
  • Set the stage – lights, blinds, aroma, music – No TV
  • Prepare “Flyer Packets – Your business card or personal brochure goes on top.  Include property fliers of your other listings or listings in varying price ranges.  The last page of the packet should be your personal profile sheet.  You should have 23 left over, use the Open House flyers for the first page of your information packet.
  • During  slow traffic periods, use your cell phone to make the touching-base phone calls you know you should be making, but haven’t.  Contacts leads to contracts.  Call.  Call.  Call.
  • At the conclusion of the open house, send Thank You Cards to attendees.
  • If you held someone else’s house open, report your results to the listing agent so they can report to their seller. This is professional and polite behavior.
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up with all prospects.

On Your Mark.  Get Set.  G_.

Don’t over complicate it.  Every day is precious.  Now is the time.

Do this with passion and instead of mourning the END of your real estate career, celebrate the END of Un-Success and the beginning of renewal, reward and redemption.

Thanks for reading and cheers to your success.

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PS. If you have something to add or an entirely different approach, share it in a comment below. There are good people who’s end is near and they need our help.  Thanks.

PSS. Where and when is your next Open House?

Photo Credit

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. Phil

    April 5, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing…I will be passing this on to several agents I know that could use this.

    • Ken Brand

      April 5, 2010 at 9:49 am

      If ever there was time to rise-up and light-up, this is it. Thanks for sharing with your friend. Cheers Phil and thanks.

  2. Sasha Farmer

    April 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

    This is awesome- not to mention that April 10/11 is National Open House weekend! What better time to hold a ton of them? I typically hold 2 each Sunday 12-2 and 3-5 but haven’t done them during the week (although have often wondered why!) Maybe I’ll give this a shot.

  3. Ken Brand

    April 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Amen Sasha, now’s the time. Thanks and all the best.

  4. Jay Papasan

    April 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Nice post, Ken. I love the emphasis on preparation and marketing. Gary Keller interviewed Philly real estate uber-agent, Allan Domb, at an event last year and I had a similar aha.

    Allan was relating how agents complain about the ineffectiveness of open houses when very little is done to market the event other than yard signs and balloons. To paraphrase: They spend spend 30 minutes marketing an open house that lasts 4 hours and then wonder why no one shows up. It should be the other way around. They should spend 4 hours marketing a 30 minute event…Allan shared how he does this and people line up waiting to see the inside of a property. That’s an extreme example but it underscores an important point. Be proactive in generating foot traffic, the ultimate measure of a successful open house.


    • Ken Brand

      April 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      I hear the same thing Jay. I always roll my eyes and say “WTH”. What I hear is, I tried it once or twice. Then, like you’re sharing, I ask, “what’d you do to prepare, talk to any neighbors, do any broadcasting, preview the neighborhood listings, notify your friends, etc.” The key is in selection and preparation, just as you’ve shared.

      Cheers and thanks

  5. Benn Rosales

    April 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Tactical and practical.

    • Ken Brand

      April 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Benn. What ever it is, I’m smiling for you guys. Cheers.

  6. Constantine Isslamow

    April 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Excellent tips. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    Wishing you continued success

    • Ken Brand

      April 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Constantine. You too.

  7. nanette labastida

    April 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    this post is going in my RE tips to live by folder – thanks Ken. of course it also gives me performance anxiety.

    • Andrew McKay

      April 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      I thought “performance anxiety” was something only us men suffered.
      More seriously Open Houses now planned this week in the evenings.

      • Ken Brand

        April 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        I wish you BIG success Andrew. Make it so my-man. Cheers.

    • Ken Brand

      April 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Well, there’s only way to get over high-anxiety. No, not drugs, alcohol or that other thing, you just gotta lean into it and be yourself. Next thing you know, you’re cruz’n and have’n fun. Cheers.

      • Andrew Mckay

        April 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

        Been having this conversation in the office. I strongly believe you have to develop your own sales technique so you are happy to get out of bed every day and perform that way. Our broker has bought a training program based around give out 10 business cards every day, phone everyone, constantly be a realtor in all situations et cetera, what I see as hard sell. If you’re not built that way you can’t keep it up. Obviously there are prospecting aspects of the work I think we all dislike and are an effort but to work everyday you have to be yourself.

  8. Jonathan Benya

    April 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    This is excellent, I’m totally passing this around the office, thanks!

    • Ken Brand

      April 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Hope it helps you buds meet some new buyers. Cheers.

  9. Jordan

    April 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I read this post because I recently relocated &, after 3 mos, am “broke in bank & spirit”. I’m doing it. 10 open houses in 24 days.

    The key is in the [gorilla] marketing.

    The green is in the follow up.

    Ken, I’ll keep you posted on the progress & process. THANK YOU!!

    • Ken Brand

      April 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      I’d love to hear how it goes. You’re right on track. One banana in the Go-Gorilla approach is simply personal contact. Get out and invite those neighbors. In-Person and On-Purpose conversation sparks a fire, all the other stuff we do to avoid contact is a big NO-GO.

      All the best to you my friend. Cheers.

    • Nicole

      April 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      I am going to be in your shoes very soon… relocating and wondering how long it will be before I’m able to get up and running where I don’t know AnYONE. Would love to hear how this worked for you!
      Please post updates. 🙂

  10. Greg Afarian

    April 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Nice post Ken! Love the Jesse James quote! Do open houses during the week work for you? That’s a sort of a non-traditional time to do it, I like the idea. What sort of response have you gotten from it?

    • Ken Brand

      April 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Icons I work with report success with their Open Houses in the late afternoon. Time after time I’ve witnessed civilians wandering into a morning Broker’s Open House Tour. They saw the pied-piper signs and thought is was a public Open House. They can work.

      And in this particular story, what does she have to lose. She needs to engage, if nothing happens, she has what she started with.

      Give it whirl. Try it a few times, see what happens.

      Thanks for sharing Greg. Rock On.

  11. Doug Francis

    April 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    What I love about this business is how you can change your whole circumstances in 30 days or in 1 day. Real estate is hard work but with the attitude of “I can do this” then amazing things can happen.

    I hope you lit a fire under a few people to get out there and sell!

    • Ken Brand

      April 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      I’m with you Doug. The idea that when we wake, something big and unexpected can happen…hopefully on the Silky UP side. Of course it helps if you get out and actually do stuff. Cheers Doug

  12. Phil

    April 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    One way of looking at it is…if one of your kids were to be abducted and the ransom was, you have to sell 6 properties this month and you get your kid back. How quickly will you sell 6 properties? Trust me…you WILL make the sales. Today, most agents just sit on their butts and wait and wait and wait for business to come to them (it’s not going to happen). I remember a Top Producing agent (100+ transactions) telling me once when I was a rookie (13 years ago), Phil, if you want to be a successful Real Estate agent, you have to be the first one in the office and the last one out and talk to people. That is exactly what I did and I became a Top Producer my first year in the business and still am. Thanks to that advise, I did exactly what I was told. Amen!

    • Ken Brand

      April 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      I don’t know. Way back when my daughter was 16, if she had been abducted and held for ransom, I would have paid them extra to keep her. Then again, I guess I would have been motivated to sell houses to pay them to keep her. So, your right, it would work.

      Equally important, maybe most important, like Benn and @Mizzle say, If you do something, something will happen. Congrats on your success!

      Cheers friends.

  13. Benn Rosales

    April 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    The so smart @mizzle once said ‘if you do real estate things, real estate things happen’ – it’s pretty much true of anything in life and so simple to remember.

  14. tomferry

    April 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Ken- great reading and advice I would give myself. Jessie James … I like that!


    • Ken Brand

      April 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Tom. Cheers to sharing.

  15. Jordan

    July 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    So I did this back in April. I got quite a few good leads: 1 buyer, 1 seller, 1 buyer/seller combo. The seller is now listed and under contract, the buyer will be ready to buy in August, and the combo family is unmotivated/undecided (i.e. on my mailing list with a few check-in emails/calls along the way).

    I’m doing it again now! It’s addicting and a quick way to learn the area plus pick up some clients. It’s good stuff. But hear this: PREP IS THE KEY to a successful O.H. and THE GREEN IS IN THE FOLLOW UP. Without preparation and follow up, all you have is a two hour shot in the dark.

    Thanks Ken!

    • Ken Brand

      July 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

      You’re welcome Jordan. Thanks so much for sharing. I imagine it has more to do with who you are and how YOU do it, than anything else. Congrats on the succes, and go, go, go.


  16. Ready to getback in the game!

    October 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I’ve been in referral for two years, and ended up letting my license expire. I just found this website/post, and I’m fired up again! Taking my CE courses, and I’ll be on the move! Real Estate Sales here I come…again! Thanks!

  17. Erin Golding

    January 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Just stumbled on this on Ken. I love it! Just the kick in the pants I needed for the new year. Might be a little tough to do opens in January in a New England winter but what have I got to lose? nothing! I have new clients to gain.

    • Ken Brand

      January 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Happy New Year Erin, Good luck with your efforts. Yeah, kick things in the pants and bundle up, we don’t want you to get frost bitten, just a purse full of qualified buyers and sellers. Thanks for the comment. kb

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