Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan


A New "Game" Plan for 2010


As it happens every year ‘round this time, New Year's resolutions are being made with a vengeance.

In our world of real estate sales, these resolutions tend to focus on revving up one's prospecting efforts in hopes of having a Great New Year. Promises to more fully commit to a cold-calling or door-knocking campaign, to more aggressively pursue expired listings and FSBO's, to formally choose a farm area or finally figure out what SEO really means.

All well and good. I wish you luck with that!

But in addition to all these Numbers Games, I submit the following plan for your consideration...

Rather than attempting to contact 100 people a day in hopes of catching the attention of a few, how about trying to impress just a few every day, in hopes of making a memorable impression on every single one? If you were to impress two people a day, at the end of a year, that's over 700 people on the planet who think you're really cool - instead simply sort of recognizing your name from your mass-marketing efforts.

Instead of pestering your sphere of influence once a quarter with requests for referrals (which I promise you are not welcomed with open arms), try reconnecting with the people you know as a friend or acquaintance first - a friend or acquaintance who happens to sell real estate.

Instead of focusing all your time, energy and budget on hunting down new prospects, spend at least half of that time being a kick-a$$ real estate agent for those clients who have already honored you with their business.

It is possible to run a perfectly respectable real estate business without doing ANY formal prospecting other than what I describe above. If the people in your world think you're a pretty darn cool person AND a terrific real estate agent, they'll take great care of you throughout your career.

No game-playing required.


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Comment balloon 93 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • December 28 2009 07:34AM



I like the way you think.  Take a personal approach, rather than turning things into an obvious "numbers game," indeed!

Edit:  Flagged for Feature, a la Erica!


Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 10 years ago

Jennifer - Definitely a great post.  So much comes down to attitude and belief in yourself.  I agree instead of doing the mass-marketing why not try to do lunch or coffee with one prospect per week ?  Or even two ?  That is a great way to impress and connect at the same time.  Will also flag for feature as well !  ~ Chris

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 10 years ago

Jennifer - This is a spot on post.  It also follows with your awesome book "Selling with Soul".  I really liked your book so I bought two more copies and gave them to two agents I would really like to see take their business to the next level.  They love your book too.  They are planning their 2010 year in large part from the advise they got from you in the book.

Thanks for sharing. 

Posted by Bob Murphy (Keller Williams Realty Consultants) over 10 years ago

Jennifer I agree.  I keep a "low profile" among my SOI yet they continue to send me referrals.  I don't bug them constantly and remind them I am in the business.  A number of them keep up with my blog so they know what I am up to.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

I *so* much prefer this method to cold calling! I'd much rather go to lunch!!

Posted by Rebecca Fisher over 10 years ago

Jennifer - I'm living proof that your strategy can work as 26% of the homes sold in my market last year area were listed with me and I only started in this business six years ago.  I outgrew my e-mail system and had to switch to Constant Contact to keep up with my 300+ newsletter subscribers.  Give people the information they want and take a personal interest in them.  You want people to seek you out, not avoid you.  I can't imagine pestering my SOI with phone calls about real estate.  In the short run, I'm sure it drums up business, but in the long-run you want the business to come to you.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Points very well taken! unfortunately too many agents read it the other way... mass occasional contacts, and no relationship building...

Posted by J Perrin Cornell, Broker, ABR, VAMRES (Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer.  Nice post.

It is funny the schism between Realtors on this subject.

I obviously like the way you do it...

Thanks for writing,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 10 years ago

It seems so easy, doesn't it?! Thanks for the reminder! Happy New Year!!

Posted by Sue Gabriel over 10 years ago

Love your common-sensical, genuine approach, Jennifer. I'm gearing up to get back to it in the next week or two.  I love the idea that we can do business AND nurture our already-existing relationships within our SOI. All the best to you in 2010! -- Tanya in Montreal

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager (RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. over 10 years ago

Sue - it IS easy. Once you blow out all the brainwashing...

Ken - No kidding - I"m hoping for a little dissension on the subject...

Perrin - They can have it - I just can't work that way. To each his or her own, eh?

Gail - Go, you! And thanks for chiming in - you said it perfectly.

Rebecca - Lunch counts!

Cindy - Perfect.

Bob - I'm SO glad your agents enjoyed it!!! Tell them I'm sending them really good wishes for 2010.

Chris - Thank you!

Erica - And Thank you, too!!!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

CharitaI'm looking forward to Selling With Soul in 2010 and I'm shooting for a record year for me.   And on top of that, I'm going to do it by just being me (a soulful seller).

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

Good words....I'd rather go deep with the right folks than to do a blanket shot to everyone!

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 10 years ago

This is definitely a better plan than pestering everyone I know!

I hope you had a great Christmas!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) over 10 years ago

Very real factors to consider but most people are out there chasing those they dont have. What to do??? The grass is always greener on the other side.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 10 years ago


Being non-confrontational and servicing the heck out of your clients, both current and past really pays off well


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) over 10 years ago

Great idea, I have a reconnect going on right now with a customer from three years ago.  I still like to cold call, with soul, of course.  Thanks, Jennifer! 

P.S.   I hope I don't get to see a "Real Estate Farmville", just imagine.    

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 10 years ago

Kevin - please share how you cold-call with soul! Seriously - I'd love to know!

Ty- it's always worked for me.

Loreena - I'm not sure what you mean - can you clarify?

Ann - Indeed - and my Christmas was quiet, just the way I like it. I'm such a scrooge!!

Larry - What a GREAT way to put it!! That's a keeper.

Charita - Is there any other way to do it than just being yourself? Go, you!

Tanya - Common-Sensical - one of my favorite words - I consider it a great compliment, so thank you.


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

I'm recently licensed and don't know a whole lot of people.  On your advice, I've been trying to get involved in more community evvents so that I can develop relationships.  It is kind of difficult waiting for the payoff though.

Posted by Sally Lawrence, Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR® (Advantage Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Sally - I hear ya - but if it makes you feel any better, all prospecting takes time to pay off, whether it's pester-related or not!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, here's my succinct explanation.  After getting past the DNC list, know that you're trying to make a connection to a new customer, all customers have housing needs, most don't need a salesperson at the onset therefore don't try to sell them,  just ask what concerns them about the housing market today and what they want in a home, listen, keep listening, let them know you would like to speak with them again in more detail, get that permission and follow up.  Empathize. If you fail to follow up then there's no soulfulness occurring.  Repeat!  Our Real Estate knowledge can go a long way to better the consumer's understanding of the process.  That's how I do it, subject to interpretation.    

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 10 years ago


Get out of my head!!!

"In our world of real estate sales, these resolutions tend to focus on revving up one's prospecting efforts in hopes of having a Great New Year. Promises to more fully commit to a cold-calling or door-knocking campaign, to more aggressively pursue expired listings and FSBO's, to formally choose a farm area or finally figure out what SEO really means."

I've been having those thoughts every December/January for the past, oh, I dunno, 3 years. At least last year I stuck to the promise of working a geographical farm, so all was not lost!

For me, the most important 'resolution' is to keep my head on straight. To keep my focus. To do something everyday to build my business, no matter how small it may be. The second most important resolution is to get out among the people more this year! I think that should be a fairly easy resolution to keep.

Posted by Lisa Schmitt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell) over 10 years ago

We all need to listen to Jennifer she is so "right on"!!! said BIG DAN enthusiastically from the Smoky Mountains if North Carolina!:) 

Posted by Dan Corsair over 10 years ago

Jennifer - Great advice and a refreshing approach from the same ol', same ol'. Thanks. Happy New Year.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 10 years ago

You're right on with this, Jennifer.  I'm glad June Piper-Brandon re-blogged your post because I had somehow missed it.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 10 years ago

There's a lively debate going on over at Agents Online ( that actually inspired this blog... here's the link if you'd like to follow it:


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

I just signed up for your "teleseminar" for the 16th.  Looking forward to it.  This is so right on the mark.  I have been doing this long enough to know that the market always changes, and we have to change with it to survive. 

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

Points well taken! Great advice and this is a refreshing approach to New Years Resolutions! Best Wishes for a wonderful 2010!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, I am going to sign up for your teleseminar and check out, very informative and exciting information, (I hate to cold call and prospect/pester people)

Posted by Christine O'Shea (Christine E O'Shea Broker) over 10 years ago

Truly, Jenn. I'm NOT making resolutions to be more aggresive as far as cold calling. I have almost sworn off that worn out technique. I've got more effective propsecting methods in my bag of tricks now, thanks to AR. January 16th is a Saturday. You so planned that teleseminar with me in mind, Jenn. I am so there...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, your method sounds a lot more appealing too.  I totally agree with you and look forward to a kick a-- 2010.  I'm bookmarking this post so I can check out the link when I have more time.  Right now I have people to impress. (:

Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) over 10 years ago

Great tips!  Something for all of us to keep in mind!  Have a great day!

Posted by Jeff D. Clark, Your Eastern Oregon Real Estate Specialist (Blue Summit Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Amen!  I especially appreciate the point of just being a really good agent to those you are serving - time well spent!!!  Happy New Year Jennifer, and look forward to reading your posts in 2010!

Posted by Colleen Fantini, Northeast Cincinnati Realtor (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) over 10 years ago

Thanks for posting this Jennifer. This is a definate paradigm shift in mindset from most real estate coaching programs. But I totally agree with you. Just think how much more enthused someone will be when they wake up in the morning knowing that they get to actually connect with some people instead of just keeping a talley of the number of contacts.

Great post and perfect timing!

Posted by Bob and Debbie Gibbs (J. Rockcliff Realtors) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, I'm so glad that you wrote this. It seems that all you ever hear as to how to get it done s the same old thing - soi, cold calling, etc. without any room for something that is a better reflection of the person who's actually trying to succeed. Those traditional methods may be tried and true and work for many, but since when was real estate "one size fits all". I'm all for quality over quantity.

Posted by Susan Thompson-Solomons, Southern MD Real Estate-Solomons Specialist (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services McNelis Group Properties) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, I can't tell you how much your approach has meant to me.   I too can't fathom the cold calling or door knocking route.   I firmly believe if I'm the best real estate agents my friends and family know they will reward me for years to come.  I do my best to keep in touch on a regular basis with my SOI and I do it with sincerity.

All the Best in 2010!

Posted by Lonni McDonough, Realtor - Eagle, ID Real Estate; 208-949-3845 (Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group ) over 10 years ago

As always a good post and right to the point.

Posted by Alan Brown, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) over 10 years ago

Jennifer - Great to see this post get featured !  Super discussion.  Will check out that link and discussion on Agents Online as well !

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 10 years ago

Jennifer... hey stranger... long time no chat.  Great post because I know some very good individuals that always believed in going after 100's of people, to get those few....  what I loved about your post is that I have been the opposite, working hard for those few who go out and preach my name, because of the service I have given them, and how happy they have been.  And this has been good to me....  not as many clients at times, but less fall out and good referrals.  Overall, I like this approach and how you worded it... nice job.

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

I'm living proof to what you just said. My last two months of transactions have been from referrels. I have done very little formal marketing. BUT, I do plan to do alot more formal marketing to get some leverage in lead generation.

Posted by Christopher Watters, Austin Realtor (512-829-8000) (Watters International Realty) over 10 years ago

I've tried the "make a business plan" but unfortunately after 14 yrs in this business.. just can't do it. I'm not that type of person to be so disciplined all the time.With the way things are now...most business plans fail. Most goals are hard to reach ...I'd rather look at the end of the year at my results and then make a determination.

My plan is when I wake up I hope my two feet hit the ground when I get out of bed. Seriously...I just try to go with the flow and take it day by day. I never believed in those motivational speeches that people spend thousands of dollars on. Making 300 cold calls a day...the bottom line is those programs are for people who have lots of time on their hands and if you cannot do it every single day you will never keep up with it...there are very few people who can just be like a robot. People want to spend time with their families...people want to go on vacation...people want to have fun. If anyone wants to learn how to cold call or knock on a door....I'll teach them and at half the price. I have nothing against people that want to teach others to be motivated but I always wondered why these people do not sell much Real Estate. Why can't they employ what they teach to know why? Because that's how they make a living ...selling this secret...its not a secret....everyone with half a brain will tell you that if you don't motivate your self to do something..then you'll never do it...some people have to pay another person to get them off their keester but after a while it wears off and you relax and things go back to the way it was. Maybe if I tried hard to keep with the program...i'd make a few more deals but I guess I have other things I want to do with my time...there isn't anything wrong with it...we are what we eat..

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

I like the post today, thanks for getting it out to us.

Happy New Year.....2010!!


Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

Get. Out. Of. My. Head.

I've spent the last couple of weeks refining some strategies for capitalizing on all of the 'drive by' leads that I get but that never seem to go anywhere. 

I'm not a big SOI kinda person...but I'm working on it.

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, I like your idea about making good impressions on people. It is sometimes hard to see that we need to get out of the office and interact with our friends.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, My problem is I'm a recluse in real life. I don't want to talk to people at all. Sometimes I wonder how I ever manage to get business.

  • I live outside my market.
  • I don't socialize.
  • I go to Church in a different town.
  • I belong to no clubs.
  • I rarely leave my house.

I have to say that after all these years my business still comes from my stunning good looks. :)

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

I really like your points here. It's the approach I like to think I take, but have fallen down a bit recently.

Posted by Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 512-845-4204, My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

I'm not sure if I like your blog post or not.  Some of your ideas are fine.  I'm just not into someone telling others which of the 1001 ways to make it work in this business.  I comes down to prospecting and making it a game can actually make it fun.  It's a numbers game no matter how you slice it.

Posted by Frank Castaldini, Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco (Compass) over 10 years ago

I am a big SOI person carefully scrubbing my database this week for my top 100 to market to; I am a big fan of the 33 Touch philosophy from Keller Williams, however not 33...more like 24 or so.  I do use email newsletters that I write, but more importantly use client appreciation events and Send Out Cards to personally touch my past clients. 

I think you have to have multiple buckets to pull transactions from and while cold calling is not one of mine; it might be for someone else.  We are all individuals and what works for one, may not work for another.  I know someone that still door knocks and gets to the closing table with people she meets.  Not my cup of tea but I applaud her for doing it.

I don't think my database thinks I'm pestering them, it is all about giving value and not just asking for the referral.

Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 over 10 years ago

Great post

Posted by Krystal Lee Whaley, Broker (Whaley Realty & Whaley Realty CRL) over 10 years ago

Your are totally right.  I try my hardest to stay in contact with past clients....Facebook makes it super easy!

Posted by Trisha P Realty Group, "Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home" (Realty Executives) over 10 years ago

Since you are an ambassador of active rain, maybe you could help me.  I put a new picture on and cannot seem to delete it and post another.  I cannot seem to get anyone from active rain to help me.  The way the picture is posted, I look horrible.  Could you help me or point me in the right direction to get this corrected?  I have been avoiding using active rain because I cannot stand how this looks.

Phyllis Katz, Weichert Realtors, Marlboro, NJ

Posted by Phyllis Katz (Weichert Realtors) over 10 years ago

Love it!  I absolutely HATE pestering my SOI.

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) over 10 years ago

I agree 100%

I have a mixed bag of tricks, and I use them ALL.

Posted by BethAnn Long, Realtor, CRS, e-PRO, Spokane Wa Real Estate (RE/MAX Inland Empire) over 10 years ago

Jennifer  Lots of great advice and it makes a lot of sense.  It cetainly is being a professional with soul!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 10 years ago

I've been reorganizing my entire database in an attempt to do some "marketing" without having to go elsewhere.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago

While I appreciate your post, I do not agree with the premise.  How are you going to impress 2-3 new people per day without cold calling, contacting expireds/fsbo's, or door knocking?  I have a huge database of people who receive my automated emails, and I find I usually get non motivated buyers who call me.  Yes, i did 3 -4 transactions in 09 from these people, but that huge database will keep you average forever, in my opinion.  I say get inspired and start calling people.  Have  a picture of your kids in front of you and ask if hounding people for their expired listing is worth feeding your kids.  Nevermind someone is going to take that listing and sell it, why not you.  No disrespect to the 95% who agree with you.  It would be really hard to make it if everyone called expireds etc.  I also know very successful agents who never call expireds etc. 

Posted by Nate Secor (Netpro Realty) over 10 years ago

Nice Jennifer!! I like your style!!  Thanks for posting!!  I am soooooo ready to tackle 2010!! 

Posted by Stephen Arnold, CRS, GRI, SFR (HomeSmart Elite Group) over 10 years ago

If I'm reading your post correctly, being more intentional in who and how we make contacts is the goal. Thanks for the food for thought. Happy New Year!

Posted by Deena Cottingham, Home Stager & Photographer (GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography) over 10 years ago



The KEY is to realize that in order to be successful you have to plan to succeed!  Therefore...saying  you will knock on someones door isn't gonna get it.  What will is your decision to absolutely cut off from any other possibilty but to succeed and to do what EVER it takes to get there!  Happy 2010 to you!

Posted by Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor/Broker Associate, Getting you to your next with a zero failure rate! (Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor) over 10 years ago

Thank you to all who enjoyed this post! And I'm glad I was able to inspire some to consider a nontraditional way to build a real estate business. In a nut, all I'm trying to say is that it IS possible to sell a lot of real estate by being Very Good at what you do, and treating people as if they're special instead of just a number.

Nate - when I say to try to "impress" two people a day, I don't mean by cold-calling them. I mean that as you're out and about in the world, either working or playing, you make an effort to leave a great impression on the people you meet (whether friends or strangers). It can be by doing something simple like leaving a big tip for a waitress, or something bigger like offering to watch your neighbor's cat when he goes on vacation. How about remembering to call your friend after his job interview to see how it went? Stuff like that. When you make impressing people a part of your daily routine, you'll be much more memorable to them than simply that real estate agent who sends me postcards every month. I guess you sort of made my point when you said you have a huge database that doesn't really deliver for you, even though they get automated emails from you.

Phyllis - I'm actually not an ambassador - but for some reason, I have that fancy badge on my photo! Sorry - I don't know much about the inner workings of AR, but now I'm scared to try to switch my own photo out! Can anyone else help?

Erica - that's great! We rock!! Keep up the good work.

Cindy - I'm actually not criticizing cold-calling or door-knocking, if the person enjoys it and it works for them. It would NEVER work for me, partly because I wouldn't DO it, but also because I would absolutely suck at it. I just want to encourage the majority of agents who don't want to cold-call, door-knock, etc, that they don't have to.

Frank - thanks for your comments - we can agree to disagree ;-] I will NEVER think of traditional prospecting as fun!

BB - Now, you know I'm a recluse too, don't you!? So, yeah, it must be the looks.

Neal - I think I agree with you ;-] I never did much business planning - I just did what felt right that day - what I was in the mood to do, and since I'm a workaholic, what I did usually helped my business. Nothing wrong with that approach at all.

Jeff - Where the heck have you been? I was just wondering about you the other day...


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, did what you felt like doing that day...the key is you did what you wanted...not what someone was trying to instill in your head to do. If you wake up one morning and your's very hard to sit down with someone and have them convince you to do something you're not in the mood to matter how you slice it...that's just the way it is for the majority. And if by chance they can somehow convince you to do will only last as long as they are standing there watching over you. That's not the type of way I can do business. I've tried but I can't..I do try to write down tasks that I need or want to complete for the day but I only do it when I know the list will be at least 3 things. It makes no sense to me just to write a list about things to do that really aren't counter productive just to say I made a list of things and did them if they aren't important...that's just me a maverick...going against the grain. I'm a big baseball fan...I've played the game and I've observed how managers go about their strategies..some go completely by the book and some go totally against the grain...and you know what? Both could still come out successful.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Neal - yep - you and I are EXACTLY alike on this topic. And it's always worked for me. I will say, however, that I think the process of creating a business plan is good for the soul. Even if you never look at the plan you created again, simply spending the time once a year to put one together will force you to evaluate, analyze and fine-tune. Maybe even brainstorm. Off-topic - but I'm the same way about listing presentations - I don't think a formal presentation is an effective approach, but I believe every agent should have one, just so that they're forced to figure out what they offer, etc.

I actually am a fan of a big to-do list, but that's because I love to multi-task and get tremendous personal joy out of crossing things OFF the list.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

I love the way you think Jennifer!! You touched on some things I was struggling with just yesterday and I think you have (almost) inspired me to go ahead and post the babbling I was typing out yesterday. It started as an email to a friend, then I considered posting it on here, then I felt awkward and self-conscious and it is still sititng in my Draft box. LOL I might just go "live" with it today and see what happens. I think one thing I can add to my list of to-do's is finding your book and giving it a read!!

Posted by Dawn Nuzzi ('Til Dawn Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Great suggestions Jennifer. As most business advisors will tell you, in any business, not just real estate, the best source of new business is your already existing client base - the people who already know you and believe in you.

Posted by Rick Hendershot (BlogEasy for Real Estate Agents) over 10 years ago

i like week i have to meet with my team lead about goals and leads and all that business stuff...I am using your thoughts....forget calling 30 expireds at 7 happy and it will come

thanks danad

Posted by Dana Devine (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Always enjoy reading your blogs and the information is very useful and creative as well.

Posted by Deborah Grimaldi, (401) 837-9633 (Albert Realtors) over 10 years ago

I hate cold calling and I also never want my SOI to feel like I am "selling" them. Nice post and great points!

Posted by Vanessa Stalets, REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

I hear what you are saying about impressing people.  I guess my questions would be is it "an in order to"  Do you impress people in order to get more business?  Is that why you are watching the cat?  My style would be to find out more about who I am (myself), and be that.  If what you are is total generosity, then be that just because it is who you are.  If who you are is a total stand for clients getting perfect service and powerful advice, just be that.  If who you are is love and compassion for people, just be that.  Don't be that to get business, just be that because it is who you are.  Who I am is Love and contribution for my clients and I cannot risk anyone I know listing their home with someone else.  It is too important for me to tell them it is OK for them to do that. 

Posted by Nate Secor (Netpro Realty) over 10 years ago

Nate - good thoughts. I'm not an overly generous or even friendly person, and if I weren't self-employed, I'd be inclined to hibernate in my own house, only going out (and reaching out) when necessary. However, it was quite a blessing to somewhat accidently discover that if you do go out and reach out, not only do you make friends, but you also generate business. Do I do nice things for people "in order to" get business from them? Not really. I do it to be memorable to them. Someone they think of fondly as a human being, who happens to sell real estate. I've freely admitted to taking a mercenary approach to my social life - not because I'm manipulative or conniving, but because I'm naturally introverted. I need that extra motivation to GET OUT THERE and an unexpected benefit is that I now have a fairly robust social network of people I like and who like me, too. Whether or not business results from it.

And, as we all know, all things being equal - people do business with people they like. All things not being equal, people still do business with people they like!



Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

2009 was a bad year.  I am concerned about 2010 but at the same time I really look forward to it.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Hi Jennifer, loved this post. Thanks for confirming what I know in my gut.

As a newer agent (licensed since March '08) I am bombarded by "higher ups" to make calls and knock on doors. This just doesn't sit well with me.

First of all, I know my audience - my group of contacts are my contemporaries, and they won't respond well to those tactics.  I have been sending out emails, not too many be annoying, but enough to remind people I am out here, and deliver to them good, usable information.  I have received overwhelmingly positive response about these emails.  I am going to blog, and keep up my presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I have also made the resolution this year to have lunch at least one time a week with someone I want to network with, just to touch base--I love that idea, so thanks for it.

And, above all, my mantra is "Do one thing every day to move my business forward." Then I can go to sleep each night at peace, knowing I am doing what I need to do to build the business I aspire to have.

Thanks for your consistently inspiring blogs and emails!


Best, Stephanie

Posted by Stephanie Hofman over 10 years ago

Nate, read Jennifer's book, Sell with Soul.  Then you'll get it for sure.

I'm still working on getting rid of the brainwashing.  People are still trying to brainwash me.  ICK!

Posted by Lois Kubota, DRE#01865028 (Keller Williams, Walnut Creek, California, DRE#01865028) over 10 years ago

Thanks Jennifer for your continued insight into your approach to this business. For those of you haven't read JA's book Sell With Soul yet, you need to.  It's full of these same kinds of ideas.

Posted by Rick Schwartz (William Raveis Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Well, thank you Rick & Lois!!!

I just had a thought - might turn into a blog, but I'll test drive it here...

There are two definitions of a "Numbers Game." The first is what most of us consider the traditional Game - where you try to touch as many people with your name and number as efficiently as you can in hopes of snagging a small percentage of them. The "fun" of this game is that according to accepted ratios, the more people you contact, the better chance you have of catching one right at the time he or she is thinking about hiring a real estate agent.

However, there's another definition that suits me better. The more people in the world who know you and like you, the more often your name will come up in conversations about real estate. So, yes, you do need to be out there in the world talking to people, interacting with people, impressing people, charming people, helping people - and the more of this you do, the more chances you'll have of catching someone who needs a real estate agent. But here's the cooler thing - if someone knows you and likes you, they'll REMEMBER you - not only the day you talk to them, but the next day, and the next ... and the next week and the next month. And even cooler yet - they'll remember you when someone they know needs a real estate agent.

No way that's gonna happen if you simply attempt to contact as many people as you possibly can with the intent of NEXTING them if they aren't interested in what you're selling.

So, to play the Numbers Game JA's way... make it a goal to have as many people as possible in the world know you and like you...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, in addition to growing your business via SOI, did you find that you started attracting business through simple name recognition in your community? My community has hundreds of agents, but there are only a handful whose name the average guy on the street could easily recognize, largely because these agents have tons of listings, therefore tons of signs in yards.

Posted by Lisa Schmitt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell) over 10 years ago


All good advice!  But my sphere is over 3 hrs away( my LOCAL sphere is pretty much all REALTORS!) and my prospects are AT LEAST that far away!  I still rely on emails, phone calls and hand written notes to keep my friendships active!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 10 years ago


All good advice!  But my sphere is over 3 hrs away( my LOCAL sphere is pretty much all REALTORS!) and my prospects are AT LEAST that far away!  I still rely on emails, phone calls and hand written notes to keep my friendships active!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, good post with a different perspective instead of the same ole' bang out those goal and contact 50 people a day - ready, set, GO!

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

I really enjoyed reading EVERYONE'S comments about this post.

Personally, I had already made a committment to myself to concentrate on doing ALL that I can do within my means to market the Listings that I currently have and in turn, hopefully that will become a window for me to reach new sellers and buyers alike.

The main thing is to be "persistent" in our Brand and Name Recognition.  To the newbies, it does take time, but eventually, you'll have more business than you have time to attend to!

Best of luck to all for 2010! 

Please keep sending your ideas that are "working"!!  I do like to read what what works for others!!

Posted by Kimberly Gaffney over 10 years ago

Lisa - that's correct - name recognition is best achieved by being successful in the neighborhood. I personally don't believe it's a good use of funds to try to achieve name recognition with advertising or mailings unless/until you have an organic presence with your FOR SALE signs. Once I was selling a lot of real estate, I did get business from strangers just because they saw my name around, but until that point, there are better places to focus. It doesn't mean you can't try to build a following in a particular area, but you would do that by meeting people and making friends, not by advertising.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

Inspiring ... I WILL try and put it into action for 2010!

Happy New Year!

Liz Gallagher, Montreal Home Stager

Posted by Liz Gallagher, Montreal Quebec RESA member (LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers ) over 10 years ago

One of the better posts, Jennifer - thanks a lot. I already signed-up for your show on Jan 16th!

Posted by Debbie Sagorin, Marketing Irvine to the Highest Level (Coldwell Banker Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Great advice as always.  I'll be taking more folks to lunch in 2010 for sure.

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) over 10 years ago

I like your plan, and maybe that what I'm already doing and don't even know it!  Cold calling and door knocking is just not me.  Best wishes for your new year.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 10 years ago

Jennifer, great article! We all need to "change" the way we're currently doing business, and continue to as technology changes, if we want to survive.

Have a Happy New Year!


Posted by Cindy Keil, CEO Cindy Keil Coaching (Cindy Keil Coaching) over 10 years ago

With absolutely no dispespect meant for those who cold call, those who LIKE to cold call and those who are GOOD at cold calling, here is my take: I would NEVER buy something from someone who solicted me on the phone, or even at my front door. (okay, I HAVE bought a magazine subscription from a kid who showed up on the front porch, but the $20 cost wasn't a big deal!)

When I'm in the market to puchase goods or services I do my own research which includes the internet and/or advice from friends/family. Sellers pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for our services. I don't know a lot of people who would be willing to commit to spending that much money with someone who just called them on the phone. Of course I realize that the intial call (or the 5th or the 8th) is merely to get the appointment and at the appointment the seller can make their final decision after interviewing the agent. I am just naturally annoyed as well as suspicious of someone calling me to sell me something. If I want it or need it I will find it on my own, when I'm ready.

Posted by Lisa Schmitt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell) over 10 years ago

Lisa - Just yesterday I had a conversation about that with a new agent - and we came to the conclusion that anytime you implement these disruption-oriented tactics (cold-prospecting to strangers), you're going to be perceived as desperate. If someone comes knocking at my door to sell me something, I'm sure not going to assume he's successful - after all, if he were, what's he doing knocking at my door? He should be too busy for such nonsense! If someone calls me on the phone to sell me something, I'm always going to assume that the product isn't a quality product; otherwise, why would it be necessary to call me and push me to buy it? Perhaps those aren't perfectly rational assumptions, but that's how my mind works...

Great comment!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 10 years ago

I think in those rare cases of some agents who do have a large & sold business  can maybe work to their advantage: from the stand point of "look, his signs are everywhere and he isn't above coming to our neighborhood in his Mercedes to press the flesh!"

BUT....I don't think most people think too much about things like that. Most are wondering who the heck showed up during dinner without calling first!

Posted by Lisa Schmitt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell) over 10 years ago


I do agree its a good idea to write something down even if its never least it shows your mind is working and you're making some sort of effort as well as being aware of the fact that you want some sort of direction. I do try to make a to do list when I know its going to be a long one and I've actually made myself finish the list before the day is out. This way I know I've accomplished the things I wanted to do...I really use it more for a way for me to keep my mind on the business and not the other distractions we have that makes us just forget.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Good plan I will keep it in mind.

Posted by Dolores "Dee" Mauriello, Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ (Keller Willaims ) over 10 years ago

I like your plan Jennifer. Thanks for the inspiration and focus.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 10 years ago

Great plan Jennifer...and the personal touch really does work...

Posted by Sonja Adams (Samson Proprties) over 10 years ago
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