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A broker’s tips for do-it-yourself real estate success

Letters from the Home Front

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"In real estate, you can't succeed on your own."

I found this terrifying email message staring at me from my inbox. It is an exact quote. (Except for the comma, which I added because I tend to overuse commas -- and because I thought it looked nice there. I also tend to overuse parenthetical statements, by the way.)

"Yikes!" I thought. "Will fail ... must get help ... fast!" Since this epiphany had been delivered unto me at 6 a.m., I was still a couple cups of coffee short of thinking in complete sentences.

The warning shot was fired by a mega-brokerage who, seemingly sensing I was on the brink of financial ruin, wanted to help me help myself.

The help being offered included a large accumulation of like-minded agents already congregating around their company-provided mantra of "loyalty" and "trust." Apparently, they felt that those things might be gaping voids in my current business e...