It doesn't matter how good you are, you still have to tell people

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

It doesn't matter how good you are,
you still have to tell people

There was a plumber, Mr. P, who had worked for Mr. A's Plumbing Company for 25 years in a small city of 50,000 people. Mr. P was widely recognized as the best plumber in the city and was very well liked. Mr. A knew it, and had always made a great effort to keep Mr. P happy and working for Mr. A's Plumbing Company, so Mr. A decided to throw Mr. P the city's largest party to recognize Mr. P's 25 years of service.

It was the biggest celebration the city had ever seen. Stores closed, banks closed, the post office closed. Everyone came to the party and congratulated Mr. P on his 25 years.

That night, Mr. P was upset that all he got for his 25 years of service to Mr. A was a party, so Mr. P decided to open his own plumbing business, and he did. He knew that people would come to him for all their plumbing needs.

Although Mr. P was a great plumber, he was not a great business person. Mr. P did not understand that it doesn't matter how good you are, you still have to tell people. Mr. P sat back resting on his laurels
and waited for people to come to him. He neglected to do any marketing,
relying on his reputation.

Unfortunately for Mr. P, when people called Mr. A's Plumbing Company and asked for Mr. P, Mr. A simply said that Mr. P didn't work there anymore and offered to send his new plumber, and at a lower rate. In a couple of cases, Mr. A even went to do the work himself, also at a lower rate.

Six months later, Mr. P was back working for Mr. A.

You might think you're the best in the business, and you might be, but if you don't tell people, and don't give them good contact information, you'll be sitting there all day telling yourself how good you are and wondering why your competition is getting all the business.


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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Russel, self promotion and getting the word out and working your referrals is the key to keeping business going and getting it in the first place.

Aug 18, 2010 01:51 PM #1
Al Raymondi
Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida - Ormond Beach, FL
Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales a

Great article Russel,  we have all seen businesses fail because the owners thought they would succeed by just hanging out their shingle.

Aug 18, 2010 03:06 PM #2
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Excellent point Russel, Brain Buffini tells a simlar story in his presentations, don;t be afraid to tell people that you are always looking for new clients

Aug 18, 2010 03:49 PM #3
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Russel, great post.  If people don't know you are there - in their mind you don't exist.  Thanks for stressing the fundamentals.

Aug 18, 2010 03:59 PM #4
Rosalinda Morgan
Brookville, NY
"The Rose Lady"

Russel - Great post.  Extensive marketing and social networking is the key to business success.  Waiting for the phone to ring will never bring any business.

Aug 18, 2010 04:34 PM #6
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine

Russel, are you telling us until the market changes we need to become plumbers?

Great story. I had not heard that before.

Aug 18, 2010 04:53 PM #7
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Russel ~  This is a very illustrative story.  I was amazed that some of my past clients forgot the name of my company.. It is important to stay top of mind.  We cannot assume that people who like us will remember our name or our company's name when life happens.  It is important to remind them all the time.

Aug 18, 2010 05:03 PM #8
Anna Banana Kruchten
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Russel this is an excellent point for agents. So many have no idea how to 'open a business' and don't even realize that is what they're doing as an independent contractor. They act more like employees. I was just talking about this very subject with a fellow broker this morning.  She loves teaching people how to be an entrepreneur.

Featured in BananaTude!


Aug 18, 2010 06:40 PM #9
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin
PK Real Estate Utah, St. George, UT 84770 - Saint George, UT
Your Preferred St. George Area Real Estate Agent.

Russel, You have to 'put' yourself in front of clients constantly to remind them why they hired you the first time! Great post!

Aug 18, 2010 10:09 PM #10
Carra Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Denver, CO

Russel ~ You are so right. This is a great post for any agent to read. Sometimes we need to be reminded to put ourselves out there and show people how good we are!

Aug 18, 2010 10:34 PM #11
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Keller Williams Legacy - Woods Cross, UT
The C Team

Russel, another great post!  Sometimes we let our own modesty get in the way of properly promoting ourselves.

Aug 19, 2010 01:14 AM #12
Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS
Keller Williams Greater Worcester - Worcester, MA
"Your Full Service Professionals"


Great story! Networking and promoting is the key to success!

Aug 19, 2010 06:21 AM #13
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

the very BEST thing is when everyone else tells everyone else how wonderful we/you/they are....ahhh...referrals !

Aug 19, 2010 06:32 AM #14
Diane Osowiecki
Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Greater Nashville Real Estate


Great post.  It is very important that we keep telling people what we do, how well we do it.  But the best is when our customers tell others what we do and how well we do it.


Aug 19, 2010 08:26 AM #15
Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender -
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 37 yrs experience

Very wise words ... from you and Mr. Iacocca, Russel.  The story gets the message through loud and clear ...


Aug 19, 2010 09:12 AM #16
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hi Russel, good story.  Unfortunately the first thing many firms are doing these days to save money is to cut out or cut back on the advertizing.  I wonder how it is affecting the admen in New York.

Aug 21, 2010 04:34 PM #17
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