It’s a troubling fact that many real estate professionals never fulfill their true potential. Why? Because they fail to focus their efforts or leverage their business in order to achieve the success that they’re capable. If they worked by referral, employed the 80:20 principle and stacked their activities as they went, they could gain maximum results and realize their dreams. And making all this happen means following just a few simple rules:

Work hard to make it easy

Author and motivational speaker Les Brown, says, “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. If you do what is hard, your life will be easy.” How true this is.

I believe that you must be relational, not transactional, in your dealings with clients — and that certainly isn’t always easy. Keeping in consistent contact with your most valuable customers, as well as striving to create new client relationships, requires hard work and commitment.

But remember this — if you take a transactional approach, your clients will view you as nothing more than a commodity to be forgotten about once the deal is done. Consequently, every business year will be unpredictable. If you are relational, however, and put your clients’ needs first and foremost, you will enjoy the compounding effect of referral customers. Happy clients will refer you to their friends, family and colleagues year on year, and, by focusing on these A-plus clients, 80 percent of your results will soon come from just 20 percent of your efforts.

Follow the rules of compounding

Infomercials and social media would have us believe that success is instant, but, of course, this isn’t true. There are rules that must be followed, and the first of these is that you reap what you sow. It takes time, effort and hard work to achieve success, but there’s magic at play when you work by referral and employ the stacking effect.

For example, an agent who is new to the working by referral system might need to make 20 contacts to gain one lead. In turn, it might take three leads to close a transaction. This means that, in the beginning, you might need to make 60 contacts to make any money.

But it won’t stay this way. As your skills improve, your contacts become more receptive, and you accumulate more quality clients, the system will begin to work. Soon, it will take just five contacts to get one referral, and it will take only 10 contacts to get paid. The truth of the matter is, you can build a compounding fortune by doing faithful, simple little things every day. Just put the hard work in at the beginning, and it will pay off tenfold at the end.

Be a business owner; don’t be owned by your business

Although the mindset of a salesperson is transactional and focused solely on the deal, the mindset of a business person is relational. As a relational agent, you focus on building your business. You know that by creating genuine relationships with your clients you are creating walking, talking billboards for your company.

The key is creating trust. Listen to your heart and the heart of your client. Don’t be just about the money. Yes, this might sound like a warm and fuzzy method of working, but at its core, it’s a phenomenal principle built on the compounding effect.

You can appreciate your client base at a far greater rate than any real estate holding you will ever own. A healthy rate of appreciation for real estate is generally considered to be about 5 percent. For example, but one customer that turns into two through referral is a 100 percent appreciation rate — and those returns are pretty hard to beat.

So remember — it might not be easy, at least at first, but working by referral is the way to go the distance, create a business of value and live the good life.

Watch this clip from Buffini TV to learn more about the Stacking Effect.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Buffini & Company is the largest real estate coaching and training company in North America. Founded by real estate expert and master motivator Brian Buffini, the company provides a unique and highly effective lead generation system and comprehensive business coaching and training programs that have helped entrepreneurs in 37 countries improve their business, increase net profit and enhance their quality of life. Please visit and like Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription