If you’ve seen AMC’s hit series, “The Walking Dead,” in your mind you can muster the image of a zombie and the undead. They slink around, off-balance — no light in their eyes — moaning with outstretched arms, searching for, pursuing their next human meal. When I think about real estate, the industry as a whole, there’s a painful parallel.

  • Certain methods of prospecting can seemingly kill one's soul and create a zombie-like agent.
  • Most networking groups focus on handing out business cards and giving elevator speeches. Start your own group, and focus on deeper discussion and ideas.
  • Launching a podcast is a great way to create local business relationships.

If you’ve seen AMC’s hit series, “The Walking Dead,” in your mind you can muster the image of zombies and the undead. They slink around, off-balance — no light in their eyes — moaning with outstretched arms, searching for — pursuing — their next human meal.

When I think about real estate and the industry as a whole, there’s a painful parallel.

Ask real estate agents if they got into the profession to be a telemarketer, a door-knocker or a person who incessantly begs family and friends for referrals — they will say, emphatically, “no.” And yet, their actions defy that answer.

Day after day, they’re performing the activities of a beggar. Activities that, in time, take a toll on one’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Being rejected is not fun. It’s not pleasurable. Playing the numbers game has led our industry to appear a bit like the undead.

Agents are just going through the motions. Another door-knock. Another cold-call. Outstretched arms, searching for their next human meal.

Agents put on a happy face, but inside, they’re rotting. They got into this industry to help people. But now, at the hands of their trainers, they are conditioned to be beggars and telemarketers. A character trait and label that violates the core of their character.

It’s easy to understand how agents, once full of life, are now defeated, deflated versions of their former selves.

As an industry, if we wish to escape being “The Walking Dead,” we must stop doing things just to grow our business that defy, violate and demean the core of our character.

Here are three alternatives:

1. Found a local mastermind

Let’s be honest. Most networking groups are painful. They mostly consist of people more interested in begging for referrals than becoming skilled.

And, when you’re an entrepreneur fascinated with marketing, storytelling, copywriting and business models, being around beggars is enough to kill your spirit, not to mention, drive you insane.

So start your own group, and focus on ideas and discussion as opposed to handing out business cards and giving elevator speeches.

2. Launch a podcast

I launched the Agent Marketing Syndicate Podcast in September 2014. Eighteen months in, it’s turned out to be the best business decision I’ve ever made.

Since then, I’ve pushed dozens of others to start theirs. Having a podcast gives you leverage.

For example, I got this note just yesterday, from an agent friend of mine who recently launched his podcast: “I’ve had some amazingly positive responses from local business owners I’ve emailed to be on my show. So far, I got a free float session, free skin care products and free personal training boot camp because people want me to really understand their businesses before doing the interviews.”

And see, that is the key: “before doing the interviews.” Because each of those interviews represents a conversation — or should I say, the start of a new business relationship. Then comes, as Gary Vaynerchuk talks about, business development.

3. Fight for a cause

In my book, “Defeat Mega Agents,” I share the story of Cheryl Gordon, an agent based out of Ontario, Canada. She wanted to be something more than just a real estate agent. Her heart is huge. She wanted to make a difference; she wanted to make an impact.

To fulfill this mission, we created the event, “Outdoor Movie Night For Hunger.” This past year in September, 3,500 people from her community attended. More than 11,000 pounds of food were collected for hungry kids and families.

Almost overnight, by telling the right story, she became a media darling. Not to mention, 50 to 70 community partners, sponsors and local business owners joined her in her fight to collect food for hungry children. I ask, standing in front of 3,500 people, fighting for a worthy cause — could there be a better way to make a strong first impression?

The fact is, how agents are coached to succeed in this industry is soul-destroying. Just playing the numbers games is no different than the undead zombie with outstretched arms in search of his next human meal.

If we wish to escape the world of the undead, where agents lifelessly go through the motions, we must cease doing the activities that position us like beggars, pests and telemarketers.

Ryan Fletcher is the voice of reason at Agent Marketing Syndicate. You can follow him on Facebook or on his podcast on iTunes.

Email Ryan Fletcher.

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