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We recently had the opportunity to chat with Brandon Cohen from Compass in Manhattan, where he explained how he thinks about growing his business, winning listings, pricing, and even shares some of the best advice he ever heard.

What are the three most effective things you do every day to grow your business?

1. Check in with current clients to make sure they’re up-to-date on the latest listings or aspects of their deal.

2. Meet new people.

3. Strategize on how to make sales go through. Sales create exposure. Exposure creates leads. Leads create listings.

What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listings presentations?

The best way to gain referrals is from word of mouth. I make it a point to say to each and every client that my business works on referrals. I work my tail off to make sure I get a good deal for them, that way they want to talk about me to everyone they know.

For listing presentations, it’s all about establishing a good rapport right off the bat. I do bring an impressive listing presentation with me, but I typically leave that for the seller to go through after I’ve left. I will typically spend a better part of a presentation asking questions and actually listening to the answer, instead of having my next question loaded.

How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?

Compass has an amazing tool called “Valuation,” which allows us to quickly and efficiently look up comps (comparable sales) and organize them into a spreadsheet.

Another thing I’ve always said to potential sellers is that I can have the best marketing in the industry, but if the home is grossly overpriced it will not sell. Proper pricing is the best marketing we have. We live and work in a very transparent world where any buyer can look up recorded sales. If your home fits the comps but the price is out of touch with reality, the buyer won’t waste time seeing it.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?

Every person in New York City knows between four and 8 real estate agents. Make sure your name is the first one they mention.

If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?

Trying to be someone you’re not! I see many agents acting or presenting themselves in a certain way which can come off as disingenuous. It could certainly be the product of reality TV.

Being yourself — open and honest does go a long way, and my clients appreciate that. A lot of money is on the line, so trust is an absolute necessity. If your client doesn’t feel you’re honest, it’s too easy to move on to the next person.


Want to connect with Brandon? You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also contact Brandon at his office address:

Compass, 90 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10011

Email Matthew Shadbolt

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