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The Short Game vs. The Long Game… 

 April 11, 2022

By  Dennis Jones

I received this question from RARE Tips subscriber, J.R.,

“Dennis, you talk a lot about long-term relationships and how building a real estate business is a long-term effort. What do people like me do who need immediate income and need to create short-term results?”

This is a great question.

And it’s a question I bet many of you have wanted to ask, but J.R. is the only one who did. Kudos to J.R. for taking action and asking for assistance and not assuming he can figure it out on his own.

Being open and ready to learn is a quality of wise people and J.R.’s question makes it clear that his future is bright!

There is a lot to unpack in his question, so let’s get at it.First of all, when I refer to “Long-Term”, I am referring to the particular philosophy and way of doing business that I have embraced for many years.To me, Long-Term refers to an attitude and approach that everything I do is based on proven sound principles that have been well thought out and they not only define the way I want to run my business, but they also define the way I want to live my life, and the legacy I want to leave behind when I open my last lockbox.

The way that plays out in daily practice means I do not overtly apply pressure on people to make a buying decision.It is not my purpose to sell anyone a home.But it is my purpose to assist people in making wise decisions that align with the goals they previously shared with me.You will never hear someone describe me as a “slick salesperson”. I have no tricks up my sleeve and do not subscribe to the various ninja tactics and techniques that Facebook gurus peddle to you every day.

Instead, I treat people with respect and serve their needs ahead of mine.I once heard a famous person say that money, fame, and fortune come as a RESULT of humbly serving people first. The person who said that was not in the real estate business, but achieved greatness in their chosen field.

Equally as important to my philosophy and way of conducting business is the complete absence of projecting a position of “neediness”.

You will never hear me say, “When you are ready to buy, give me a call” or… “I am available for you 24–7” or… “I’ll list your home for 1%” or any of that kind of B.S. that screams of desperation…and neediness.

You might be thinking, “that’s all well and good for you, but I am just getting started and I need leads now!”

And that’s where the “Short-Term” strategies come into play.

Now before I take a deep dive on this, I am going to assume that J.R. did his research and was fully aware that real estate is not a salaried job and that every dollar you earn is the result of your efforts, and your production.

It’s best to come into the real estate business with a few months of living expenses in the bank so you don’t have to stress about paying your bills while you get the commission ball rolling. Without that, you will resort to “neediness” and the desperate strategies previously mentioned and end up giving away more commission than you keep in fear of losing a client.A wise mentor of mine once said, “If you cannot differentiate your value from the value of another agent, then the only way you will secure the client is to lower your price.” That quote made a huge impact on me. I’ll save my elaboration for a future email…

So what exactly do you do to get the ball rolling and create Short-Term results (i.e. commissions)?

Here are four tactical things you can do immediately:

1) BE VISIBLE. Get out of the house. Join network groups. Attend community functions. Participate in school activities and mingle with parents. Take walks in your neighborhood and introduce yourself. Walk your dog. You will not build a real estate business by being a “secret agent”.

2) HOLD OPEN HOUSES. This one is critical. You need to hold open houses every single weekend. Holding an open house puts you smack in front of potential buyers. You’ll need to master specific dialog skills to extract people’s names and addresses for your CRM but if you do this every week, you will soon be working with new buyers. RARE Tip: If you do not have a personal listing to hold open, consult with your Broker for opportunities in your office.

3) BUILD RECIPROCAL VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS. You need the services of other professionals to best do your job. You need lender relationships, home inspectors, handymen, plumbers, electricians, roofers, painters, carpet and tile cleaners. Make a long list of vendors who serve your targeted area who you want to be your “preferred vendors” and invite them to Starbucks for coffee on you. DO NOT ask them to refer their friends to you. INSTEAD, ask them how you can best refer people to them. Your goal is to leverage the law of reciprocity which drives human nature and causes people to bend over backward to pay you back for the referral you provided to them…by providing a referral to you in return.

4) CO-MARKETING. This one takes some people skills but the payoff can be huge. The tactic is to approach popular businesses in the community to partner with you on postcard mailings to local residents. Your offer is to split the cost. You get to market your message to the community and they get to tag along with a coupon promotion. This happens all the time…just look through your mail this week and the examples of others doing it will jump out at you. Now it’s your turn to do it.

There are other strategies (like buying leads), but these four strategies are absolutely non-negotiable if you expect to be at this for long.

Each of these tactical lead generation methods is based on the principle that you cannot build a real estate business as a secret agent.

You have to get out there and let people know who you are!


Dennis Jones

Dennis L. Jones is a 21-year veteran real estate broker, entrepreneur, author, public speaker, direct marketing consultant, copywriter, sales coach, computer geek, and the founder of Really Awesome Real Estate Agents.
Email: Dennis@RareAgents.com.

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