Re: ‘The Rookie Realtor‘ (March 1)

Dear Rookie,

I suspect your training taught you to come across as a bit too eager. People I’ve met say they find that a turnoff. My own methods were based on my tendency toward shyness, but they worked fairly well, so here goes.

Aside from taking floor time and doing occasional Sunday opens for other agents (or with them), my first real prospecting consisted of the following: I wrote a newsletter, quite short, printed and mailed it myself. I focused on things that would be useful to homeowners and kept it simple but not “stupid-sounding.” In other words, I made sure I wasn’t insulting anyone’s intelligence.

I followed up by walking my farm. When an adult answered the door, I introduced myself, handed them my card and asked if they had received my newsletter. Also asked if they had any comments on what was useful and what else they’d like to see. (If they looked like they would be willing to talk for a minute.) I always smiled but always kept it low-key. If they obviously wanted me to go away, I just handed them my card and asked if they got the newsletter, then smiled, thanked them for the chance to meet them, and left.

I should note that I’m female and was about 53 when I started this. My first listing was from a young fellow with a big dog; he called me, he said, because I wasn’t afraid of his dog and I was nice to him.

Louisa Reesor
Prudential California Realty
El Cerrito, Calif.

Dear Rookie,

You sound like a disgruntled employee instead of a person who has an opportunity to earn an incredible income. After 25 years in this business I have finally figured it out (I knew this 20 years ago but was too dumb to not listen to the so-called experts). Build your client base every day in every way and stay in contact with them frequently and don’t forget to ask for the referral. After you have a handle on that then you can experiment, or find a coach that’s been there and let them mentor you. Other than a coach, this is relatively inexpensive and a good income can be obtained in a short period of time.

Don Gurney

Dear Rookie,

Find another line of work. Good luck; I hear McDonald’s is hiring. You are obviously in the wrong business. I started selling real estate in Phoenix and sold my first house in two weeks to someone I didn’t know. I generated the lead myself. I had no family or friends to suck business from. I continued from there.

Three years later I moved to Spokane. Same thing–no family or friends to rely on–I had never even been to Spokane before. I sold my first house in three weeks (I was really starting to worry by then), and sold 26 houses in my first six months, all to and for people I had never met before. I didn’t even know the neighborhoods.

“Where’s the South Hill? I have someone who wants to buy a house there?” I would ask my broker. He’d show me on the map, and I’d take it from there. I’ve never knocked on anyone’s door.

Six months you haven’t sold a house? Get a clue! Either you got it or you don’t, and you obviously don’t.

Lee Anderson
Century 21 Premier Service
Spokane, Wash.


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