Rather than critiquing Margaret's book - after I read it - I can't imagine anyone doing so any better than Russel Ray! It is really wonderful! ;-)
Book Review: Real Estate the Right Rome Way, by ActiveRain's own Margaret Rome
Need a great book for the Realtor in your life? Are you the Realtor in your life that you need a great book for? How about a great Christmas present for that Realtor in your life?
Occasionally a book makes its way into my library that is a joy to read — it speaks to me, it is written well, I don't have to read 100 pages before getting something out of the book. Such is the case with Real Estate the Right Rome Way. I had just turned the cover when I found some words that spoke directly to me:
Okay. So maybe that doesn't count, but it should!
If I don't count the first five pages — Acknowledgments, Preface, and Contents — the eighth line of the book hit me with the title of this post:
"Don't let unimportant people or unimportant things become important."
If only I would have had that sentence in the first 38 years of my life, and without knowing it, I have had to practice that every couple of years with certain home inspectors who like to try to make themselves important to my life or my business. Not gonna let it happen.
Although this book has only 189 numbered pages, the main text is 174 pages, but they are 174 of the most informational pages I've read in many a year. There might be two or three pages that don't now have yellow highlighting on them.
One thought that I really liked, and which too few people in any business believe, is that they don't need the business. As Margaret says,
"When you're ready to meet with the sellers, go in to the appointment knowing that you can afford not to get the listing. No matter how big the listing, no matter how important the sellers could be to your career, you do not need the listing. Be ready to walk away without hesitation. That attitude gives you incredible power, and it shows. It's not arrogance, it's just the calm confidence that people want to be associated with."
In many cases, the more you try to get business, the less business you get. It's kind of like when you were young and wanted to find a girlfriend/boyfriend or get married. The harder you looked, the worse the prospects. As soon as you quit, there s/he was.
Margaret brought up a very valid point if you're a smaller company, a newbie, trying to compete against the large, well-established company that often thrives on volume. Quite often a deal that falls through is of no consequence to that large company. It's just a cost of doing business. To you, the smaller company, the newbie, the loner, that deal falling through is, indeed, a consequence. That encourages you to look for non-traditional, unique ways to get the deal done.
Of course, there has to be something "wrong" with the book, right? Well, what left me a little perplexed was the question of being flexible. Margaret tells the story of an advertising firm that wouldn't work with her, her way. They wanted things in their format, just so, and that wasted her time, so she pulled her ads. Interestingly, though, she goes on to say, "I've always felt that they lost more by being inflexible than I did by not having those advertising outlets." While that may be true, it's a two-way street. The cost of that advertising firm working Margaret's way might have been too expensive, so they felt that she lost more by being inflexible than they did by having a set format for all their customers. Now I know Margaret is not inflexible, because just a few pages later, in a different story, she says, "By being flexible and adjusting to his needs and the opportunity, we both came out ahead." Obviously it comes down to what's important in the overall scheme of things.
Twelve other things that I learned from the book or knew but think they are well worth sharing, and this could easily have been a list of 100 or more:
- WIN - "What's important now?" I've practiced this for many decades with my Top 10 list, but the acronym WIN is so much more powerful. Next time I have to make an important decision, I know I will WIN.
- I'm a Type E Manager. You'll have to read the book.
- "The Four E's" — A get by giving philosophy based on Educating, Enlightening, Encouraging, and Empowering. Hmmm. I might have to send this book to some of our politicians.
- A very powerful thought for discussing commissions [I've modified it for discussing commissions with anyone]: "You tell me what you want, your bottom line. If I can get that for you, what difference does it make how much my commission is?" Yep, confidence.
- Turbulence — You'll have to read the book. I'm such a tease, aren't I?
- "Working solo does not mean working alone." Too many people think that just because they are a one-person company, they have to do everything themselves. That is so far from the truth. Think Power Partners and 1099 employees. They can be on your team.
- When leaving a voice mail, start off with your name and phone number and end with your name and phone number. That way no one has to listen to the whole message again. Remember to speak slowly.
- "There are things someone else can do that will be different but not different enough to make a difference in your overall success." Ah, yes, how we all want everyone to do things our way. It's just not necessary.
- 944 — I'm still teasing.
- Every day ask yourself, "What can I do for someone today?"
- "Do every single thing with the hope of getting a thank-you note." You'll find that the more thank-you notes you get, the higher the balance in your bank account becomes.
- "When you update your tech tools, do it because you'll improve efficiency or customer service, not just because there's something new on the market." Hmmm. I still have a phone that just makes and receives phone calls. Imagine that. Are you spending so much money buying, and learning, new technology that you forget to go out and get business?
Perhaps the one thing I liked best, though, is the way Margaret uses stories. I've never been a fan of people telling me how to do something, but I'm a huge fan of people who use stories about how they did it, what happened to them, what almost happened to them, what happened to friends of theirs. Those stories create a personal relationship between me and the teller, and I love personal relationships.
This is one of those books that was good in 2008 when it was published, was good in 2009, and will be good in 2010, 2011, 2012, and beyond. With this book on your library shelf, and reading through it occasionally, the future will be so bright that you'll have to wear shades!
"How is real estate like poker?"
Feel free to leave a guess in your comment, or just see page 146 in Real Estate the Right Rome Way.
You, too, can have a royal flush! Contact Margaret Rome for your own copy of Real Estate the Right Rome Way. If you're nice, she might even autograph it for you!
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