Several years ago I began sharing my listing presentation with agents across the world. For those of you who don’t know, I developed a listing presentation that allowed me to list over a hundred individual homes in a single year, all at an 8% commission in a market that typically listed for 6% or less. I later wrote a book titled The Ultimate Listing Presentation, that showed other agents a step-by-step process of how they could list at a premium as well. But while I love selling my books, I also believe in “giving back” so I also released it in eBook format and as a seminar by email, both for free.
Well, within a few weeks of releasing the free eBook and seminar, I received a call from a very prominent national real estate coach and author. First, she was very complimentary of my listing approach and told me it was the best she had ever heard in her twenty-plus years in the business. I was very flattered, having only been in the business three short years at the time. Then she went on to tell me that she thought it was a bad idea to give it away for free. She said that if agents didn’t have to pay for it, it would be of no value to them.
Shortly after that, I was at the NAR Annual Conference in San Francisco. As I was walking through the vendor hall, I ran into one of the top real estate trainers in the country. He saw me at a distance and shouted my name. I walked up to his huge booth and began talking to him. I was stunned that he recognized me — I was/am a “nobody” in the industry, and he was perhaps the single largest name among industry trainers. As we talked, he began telling me that I needed to hit the training circuit, filling rooms with hungry agents, and selling them $200 worth of my material after a quick overview presentation deliberately delivered too fast to absorb. He was sincerely trying to help me “make it” in the world of training agents, and he was sharing with me the “keys to the kingdom”.
Afterward, I began reflecting on those two similar experiences. I began to wonder if I had it wrong. Maybe they were right — after all, they are both very successful agent coaches/trainers who have made great careers in teaching agents, and no doubt make much more money at it than I do. I was still a relatively new agent, and I still vividly remembered nearly quitting the business because I couldn’t seem to get out of the gate. And when I did finally figure it out, I wanted to help the other agents who were in the same place I had been.
I don’t know about you, but I hate the “medicine show” culture of today’s real estate training, where so-called experts (many of whom hadn’t been in actual real estate for decades) gather sheep into a room, only to sell them their latest rehash of an old idea. I remembered being a new agent, and not having any money to spare, and I remember feeling really ripped off going to a “training” event or reading a “training” article, only to realize it was no more than a sales pitch. So I want to pose a question.
Where are our mentors? You know, the front-line mentors? Not the national super-stars, but the local managing brokers? Or even the trainers from the national franchises that we are paying to be one step ahead of the industry? It seems that our industry is lost, and those who should be showing the way are, for the most part, lost themselves. The blind are leading the blind. Those who should know the way, have either fallen asleep and don’t have a clue, or worse, are just marking time and simply allowing the national training industry to fill the void.
I’ll close with a solution. (Mama always said that I should never point out a problem unless I was willing to offer a solution.) What if we simply gave back? Many of us have been very fortunate in this industry. What if we each helped another agent or two to become successful? We could find the time, and we could do it. And I think we should do it. It wouldn’t be a huge investment, and the result would be a much better industry, and the satisfaction of knowing we did the right thing. Come on. Let’s try it! Let’s see if we can’t make a difference in this industry we love!