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5 Things Real Estate Agents Need To Stop Doing Immediately

5 Things Realtors Need To Stop Doing

STOP. ALTO!. Stoj!. Ferma!

Warning. Danger Will Robinson. Rant Ahead. . .


Google. YouTube. Magazines. Postcards. Emails, Seminars, pick one and you are likely to see, hear, read someone in the real estate space TELLING you what you absolutely need to do immediately to grow your real estate business. Sorry, I mean


Call more often, cold call, door knock, send personal notes, get this website, use this software or that one. Seems like everyone is an expert on what YOU need to do to grow your real estate business. Since there are SOOO many experts on what you need to do, I want to talk about what you shouldn’t, and believe me, the list is much longer. And unlike the things YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO, you will likely see results immediately if you simply STOP doing these things immediately.

5 Things Real Estate Agents Need To Stop Doing Immediately

1) Selling. I am a sales guy, always have been, I love sales. I love the process of bringing a real estate agent, lender, loan officer to the realization that I, MY COMPANY, MY PRODUCT is the best for their real estate business. This process is an art form. You know why GOOD sales people are paid so well? Because there are so many ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE ONES! Stop selling. Great, I get it, you are the best, yes, you sell more homes that anyone in your office, great, OK, you have these designations [that I have no clue what they mean] but please, for the love of puppies and unicorns – stop selling! Instead of selling, Ask questions, offer solutions but please stop offering something that is not tangible and is an expectation, [great service!] as a benefit – it’s not. Great service is as expectation. That’s why we consumers get so pissed when we don’t get it. Instead of selling, use the consultative sales approach. Focus on providing value and solving problems. No one cares that you were the Top Producer in 2006 by the way.

2) Spamming. Stop. Life is too short without being bombarded by real estate agents that literally, throw “everything and the kitchen sink” at consumers. It used to be just direct mail and billboards and taxi cabs, then it went hi – tech, to email and now my precious facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Stop Spamming! The definition of SPAM, mine anyway, is someone that sends me something that I did not ask for and do not care about. See # 1. Instead of spamming people, help them find you on the Internet when they actually have a need for your product or service.

3) Glamour Shot. Really? Look at your business card, your postcards, for sale signs, social media profile – is that really you? Yes, I am sure it was you AT SOME POINT IN TIME [for some of you it was a very small point in time] but what about now? Today? I have been in title for 11 years, I have met agents for lunch [with no other way to identify them than their business card] and not realized they were sitting next to me in the lobby. Come on now – that aint you! I took my picture off my business card a long time ago, not because of the way I looked [well, maybe partly because of that] but because it’s NOT ABOUT ME! Quick, name another occupation that has a picture on it other that car sales, or lending or appraising or title. Notice a trend here?

4) Talking about YOU. Stop. Have you ever had a friend that could not help but to tell you how awesome he/she was? You know, that person that can’t help but to point out how many people like them or love them or want to be them? If you did, you probably stopped hanging out with them a long time ago. Why? Because it’s annoying. Not only annoying, it’s a RED FLAG that screams INSECURITY. Talking about how great you are in your personal life is annoying but it is suicide in your professional life. If you are always talking about YOU, then you cannot be talking about ME. Stop focusing on you and start focusing on your ideal client. How can you help them? What are their problems and concerns? What is valuable to them? How can you HELP?

5) Designations. Hey did you know that I am GTU certified? Do you even know what that means? That same reaction you had to my designation, you know that “what the hell is GTU certified?” is the same reaction consumers have to that alphabet soup you have on the end of your business card. You know, the ABR, CRS, GRI, E-PRO, CDPE, CNE etc. I have been in title for a long time and I am amazed by the number of real estate agents that actually believe that a designation means something to the consumer. It does not. Don’t get me wrong, I will be the 1st to tell you that the information you learned while achieving that designation is valuable, possibly even priceless, but the designation means zip, nada, nothing to the consumer. Get rid of the designations and replace that valuable real estate with a strong call to action, tailor made for your ideal client. I made up my GTU certification by the way :-)


6) Not communicating. We are coming out of an REO market that made some real estate agents rock stars and others paupers. Some made a lot of money and others made very little.  If you are a listing agent, please, start answering your phone. Respond to your email, text messages, tweets etc. Offers on your listings, excuse me - your sellers homes – are date and time stamped, you are holding the livelihood of many real estate agents in your hands, in your email I mean, would it kill you to communicate?  You put your pants on one leg at a time like I do and like other real estate agents do. Professional courtesy needs to come back to the real estate industry. There is a reason why Lack Of Communication is the #1 complaint in the real estate space. We can all change that. In the end, your not communicating is only hurting yourself. If there is one thing I have learned it is this: Real estate agents are like elephants – they never forget.


These are just 5 things, I bet I could come up with more if I took a day or so. Real estate marketing has changed. It is not so much about YOU anymore as it is the Property or the INFORMATION you can provide. If you are always talking about you are costing yourself business. Instead of talking about how awesome you are, be different, talk about your ideal client and the challenges they face.

Consumer behavior shifted to the Internet. This is where many consumers will find their next real estate agent. They will not find him/her by searching for an ABR or CRS real estate agent but by gathering information on a subdivision or area of interest, short sale process or investment strategy. Create the content that your ideal client would look for when they have a need and your business will grow. Focus your efforts on the needs of the consumer, not yourself.

Are you a Phoenix Real estate Agent? Presenting a valuable message is only part of the equation, you still need to put it where consumers would look for it, so it can be “found” that means the Internet – where over 94% of consumers start their home search. From WordPress to Video I help real estate professionals get found online. I can help you too. Please fill out the form below.

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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Deborah Powers

    Awesome Stephen! #6 NOT communicating is one of pet peeves!!!
    Communication is and always  will be the key to being successful in not only Real
    Estate but in life! Communicating happens to be one of my strong attributes!
    Thanks Stephen for hammering this topic home!

    • Stephen Garner

      You are very good at communication Deb, we never have a problem getting a hold of you and your follow through is impeccable. Consumers should realize, that agent that did not answer the phone when you called the 1st time, probably won’t the 2nd either.  

  • Allen Henderson

    Stephen: great post! Next post should be “what agents need to do in this market.” Communication should be at the top of the list. With the inventory down and multiple offeres coming in many agents are not communicating with other agents with regard to the current status of the listing. It is frustrating and depressing to buyers who make multiple offers and don’t get a response form the listing agent. Common courtesy goes a long way in any market. We have actually started door knocking subdivisions where our buyers want to buy to get the listings before they go in the Multiple Listing Service. Buyers are very pleased when they can make an offer, negotiate a purchase and be protected from the rat race that buying a home has become.

    • Stephen Garner

      Thank for stopping  by Allen, It is rather unfortunate that you, your clients and both of your aspirations depend on another party. It sucks. I think all consumers reading this post should think about this one thing: how does my agent communicate? Not just with me but the other real estate agents that will likely be selling my house? Choose wisely because I can tell you in no uncertain terms that all agents are not created equally. While I do not necessarily encourage door knocking, I can see why it would work in this market. You are the kind of agent that I would want to work with in this market – no excuses, you just do what you need to do to get it done.  Now that is fiduciary :-)

      • Allen Henderson

        Door knocking is not one of my favorite tasks but it works and it provides the service serious buyers need in this market.

        Allen Henderson

        The Ahwatukee Broker


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  • Mike Conway

    I love number 3… do you know how many title marketing reps have their 1995 glamor shots photo on their business cards still – ha, it’s great and makes me laugh everytime!

    • Stephen Garner

      So maybe I should write a “5 things title reps need to stop doing immediately” post next Mike? I think I am a little too close to this one, can you give me a few ideas that I could use in that post? I bet you could .. . ROFL Think about ALL of the appointments you had with title reps in the valley and see if you can get me started…

      • Mike Conway

        I think I even have some of their cards too!

  • Matteo Pantalone

    Can add one more thing to stop: Advertising yourself on the side of garbage bins! Do you really want people to think of garbage when they see you?