Selecting A Farm Area

Real estate is very territorial. Having a license to sell real estate in Alabama permits one to sell anywhere in the state but common sense tells us we can’t provide quality service from one end of the state to the other. A person can have license in multiple states but that doesn’t mean they can provide quality service from their home town. I live in an area that only a few miles separate Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Some people hold a license in each of those states. You can’t sufficiently service a county, not even a city within a county.

Farming Works

I am referring to a territory that a sales person will work within the boundary. This is considered their farm. Let’s narrow the field and focus on real estate sales. Farming is an older and more complete term for prospecting for new clients to work with. A few years ago the term “Prospecting” was replaced with the term “Lead Generating.” These two terms don’t encompass near as much as “Farming.”

Real estate is very territorial. Having a license to sell real estate in Alabama permits one to sell anywhere in the state but common sense tells us we can’t provide quality service from one end of the state to the other. A person can have license in multiple states but that doesn’t mean they can provide quality service from their home town. I live in an area that only a few miles separate Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Some people hold a license in each of those states. You can’t sufficiently service a county, not even a city within a county.

If a person really wants to be successful in selling real estate, they should select an area of a city, or a subdivision to be their territory. They are going to farm this territory by focusing all their efforts on this territory much like an agricultural farmer tends to his crops. When concentrating on a small area, one can make it a priority to learn everything about that particular area. [Read more…]

You Can Have Anything You Want if You…..

It Is So Hard to Decide

It Is So Hard to Decide

I can personally guarantee that someone who read this, if not a lot of people who read it will totally disagree with this statement, “You can have anything you want if you want it bad enough.” Even if you disagree, the statement is accurate 99% of the time. We pretty much do what we want to do all the time. Some will say, “I don’t want to go to work but I have too.” No, we don’t have to go to work if we don’t want to. We do, however, have to accept the consequences that come from not working. If we elect not to work, then we won’t receive a pay check. It’s just that simple. Which do we want more? We are a people of choice in that we decide for ourselves our wants, our desires, and our needs. Life is filled with choices we have to make and each decision results in a consequence; whether good or bad. We simply must evaluate each situation prior to making a decision and determine which consequence is best, or most desirable to us.

One of the most common complaints that arises in my sales training classes are, “I didn’t do my assignment because I ran out of time.” My reply to them is, “Whose fault is that?” It certainly isn’t mine. Time management is a problem that every sales person has to work on every day. It’s like a cancer. If we don’t manage our time very closely, our time will be eaten up and we won’t accomplish the things that might be most important to us. [Read more…]

The 3-Foot Rule

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Given where I live you might jump to the conclusion that I’m referring to alligator hunting or something so I will clarify the topic quickly. The 3-foot rule is specifically for real estate sales people. It simply means that you should talk real estate to every person that comes within three-foot of you. I have also been teaching this technique to people in sales of other industries for many years, and I might say with great results. When it comes to sales, with any industry, sales people are always looking for some magic. They want to learn a technique or a method that produces huge results with little to no effort on their part. There is no such magic! However, the three-foot rule comes the closest.

There is such an enormous misunderstanding about real estate sales. There are no hidden secrets to selling real estate. Product knowledge is very helpful. It is even necessary to protect your client’s best financial interests but the most ignorant person can sell real estate. Whoa! Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Experience and education is of most importance to the consumer when closing a sale but not when making a sale. You see, a house sells itself. A prospective buyer either likes a home and wants to own it of they don’t. It’s just that simple. If they don’t like it, the best of sales person in the world couldn’t sell it to them. The most difficult task a sales person has is marketing the property. That is finding someone to buy a property you have listed. [Read more…]

More Alabama CE Requirements for 2014

Manage Your Risk–Know the Law

It has been less than two weeks since our CE deadline for 2012 and I’m already looking forward to 2014? Yes I am but for different reasons than you think. Real estate agents are the worst procrastinators I’ve seen in all the industries I work with. Alabama law requires only 15-hours of continuing education for each licensee in order to renew a two-year license of which the licensee can complete any time between Oct. 1 of odd year and Sept. 30, of even year; two years later. Agents have a full 24 months to complete their CE requirements but they wait until the last 4-6 months to take their CE and some don’t even meet that deadline. Some have their license placed inactive until they can complete their CE and then pay a fine to re-activate their license. Of the 15-hours required, only 3-hours of Risk Management have been mandatory up until now. All other 12-hours are elective courses; this means the agent selects their courses of choice. Some agents will select courses that are very easy to complete quickly and they may not have any legal or beneficial content at all. For that reason, we now have three separate 3-hour Risk Management classes to fulfill the needs for both sales people and brokers; both of which are required to take a minimum of 6 hours CE in Risk Management.  I will break these down and explain them individually. [Read more…]

The Hardest Nut to Crack

Are You Committed like He Is?

If you are a real estate sales person, the hardest nut to crack in your career is that of self-discipline. Since you are an independent contractor and own your own business, your days are filled with making decisions that affect the success of your entire business. Your ultimate goal is to perform tasks that produce income and to not let non-productive things hinder you from doing the productive things.

A typical day in real estate, in offices across the nation, licensed agents go to their office and drink real estate coffee, make copies on a real estate printer, have real estate conversations, speak the real estate language, and virtually accomplish very few productive things during a day. Unfortunately one can look and act like a real estate agent but that doesn’t make them successful. The vast majority of real estate agencies don’t have in-house trainers to teach agents the proper way to do the business so they can become productive. So many new agents learn from other agents in the office by hanging around the break room and copier. Learning bad habits from other agents is a poor way to learn how to list and sell real estate but this is not our topic for today.

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The Way We Dress Tells A Lot About Who We Are


A sales person must always put their best foot forward. That is they must be on top of their game at all times. It is not only expected, it is mandated by the consumer. Just exactly what does the consumer expect from a sales person? They expect the best services that can be provided at absolutely no cost to them. Let’s put it in layman’s terms as it relates to real estate sales.

They expect to see a professionally dressed sales person.

When I began selling real estate, salesmen wore three-piece suits; year around. It got mighty hot during the summer months but I quickly learned that it paid large dividends compared to casual dress. The image for true professionals is still a suit but has been modernized to leave off the vest. Since I work in a resort area, I see many sales people dressing very casual; too casual to be considered professional attire. It is so refreshing to see an upper-class sales person wearing a suit or dress, depending on the gender. I think a good guide to use is to out dress the competition.  For men, dress slacks and a long sleeve white shirt will fit the bill in most cases. Just make sure you have a tie and sport coat in the car in case you go into a place of business. For women, dress slacks and a blouse with a sport coat or jacket works nicely. Albeit a skirt and blouse or better yet a dress is all so impressive.  [Read more…]

Coping with Anger in A Sales Transaction

Does Anger Affect Your Attitude?

Anger is expressed in many ways. I wish I could tell you when it is formed and the exact cause of it but I  can’t. It seems that anger is stirred by the minutest things these days. Is it possible that modern TV programs and movies promote anger to be expressed rather than kindness and humility? I know from experience that the older I get, the less patience I have and the quicker I am to state my feelings of frustration. Sometimes my expressions are less than desirable, because I speak before I think. Everything we say and do has consequences but at the time, the consequences weren’t important. I consider this type anger to be trivial. It’s not like I pulled a gun and shot somebody between the eyes. However, being a sales person, the result may be just as consequential to my financial well being. Showing dissatisfaction with a sharp tongue may cause a person to not want to do business with me.

Think how often anger interrupts your personality. [Read more…]

Establishing Relationships

Relationships--A Pleasant Experience

People buy retail items from total strangers without giving it a second thought.

Generally the sales person is only collecting money for goods they have. It requires a minimum amount of trust. With very expensive items such as cars and jewelry, buyers are a little more skeptical and even distrusting. People buying real estate are in many cases, making the largest financial investment in their life. They need help from someone who possesses knowledge of real estate values and can guide them through the process of buying. They want to deal with professional people with integrity, which they can trust.  They buy through people they have established a relationship with.

There are many ways to create a first step to a relationship…

but they all begin with us giving of ourselves. We pass up opportunities every day of our life to begin a relationship with people. It’s either because we don’t want to have a relationship with them, or we fear possible failure in making that first move. We need to understand that the initial move toward a relationship beginning is a simple action. It might be as simple as opening a door for someone, or asking someone for directions to a particular place.

Relationships begin with an introduction.

[Read more…]

Why Salespeople Should Smile


In my training classes I teach people the importance of smiling and I’m always interested in the facial expressions of my students during my presentation. Much of the time most students will have a blank look on their face; which tells me they don’t believe what I’m saying. When I entered the sales field in 1969, my brother told me something I’ll never forget; “Look like a professional, dress like a professional, and act like a professional and you will become a professional.” I didn’t appreciate what he was telling me at the time, but as I began maturing, I began to understand the message he was sharing. I can attest that he was right. I have shared the same sentiments with thousands of sales people in hopes they too would learn the real meaning behind the words.

When you think of a salesperson, what do you see? What is their appearance like? What type of personality do they have? How do they act around other people? What is their demeanor?  All of us have met people that we somehow knew they were in sales before we were formerly introduced.  They were well dressed, spoke proper grammar, and had such an outgoing personality; they had to be in sales. We have all heard the preverbal phrase, “A natural born salesperson.”  In reality there is no such birth. [Read more…]



This is a question everyone should ask themselves every day. For those in sales, especially those whose income in totally commission based, it is essential to address this question many times a day! I am currently a personal coach to many real estate agents, to help them reach their desired financial goals. When they first contact me, inquiring about coaching possibilities, I ask that question. Most of them will immediately tell me how many transactions they are currently moving toward closing. Some will say, “I advertise through yard signs on listings, business cards, fliers, farming a particular area, and etc.” At this point I know, without a question of doubt, that I can help them increase their income.

Before a commission based sales person can determine what they can do to improve their business, they must first determine [Read more…]