You Suck as a Salesman - Agent Advice!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with | The Maxwell House Group 228209

You Suck as a Salesman - New Agent Advice!

What's your story?Sadly, this is a true story!  I can laugh about it now but, when it happened, I went through many sleepless nights!  I shared it on one of Barbara Todaro's posts and she encouraged me to post my own blog about it for more exposure than merely a comment!  Thanks, Barbara!


When I was in real estate school, a friend of friends of ours, contacted me to share that he had lost both of his parents in the past 6 months and had the estate to sell.  He wanted me to be the listing agent.  Of course, I was honored but, I was still in school, hadn't gotten my license yet and, after careful thought, responded, "I'm so sorry but, I haven't even gotten my real estate license yet so, I can't help you."  


He informed me that he would be happy to wait - they had a lot of cleaning out of 50 years of 'stuff' from the house.  My response, "Joe, I'm honored that you thought of me but, you need someone who knows the business to represent you when you're ready.  I am happy to make an introduction for you - I have a great agent in mind for you!"  


You suck!

This gentleman is a salesman and has been for many years.  He said - and I'll NEVER forget this - "You suck as a salesman!  Who BETTER to market my property than someone who works 40 hours a week SOLELY for me?!  I'm waiting for you to get your license and that's that!"


Oh, I was a NERVOUS WRECK for WEEKS!  Shortly thereafter, I sat for my exam and got my license.  As soon as I got through the MLS training, paid all of my fees and got the courage, he was my first 'prospecting' call!  


Mind you, I was a nurse in my former life so, although being told that I 'sucked,' I feel it has served me well.  My first job was to get this family's estate sold by hand-holding, asking my broker TONS of questions and 'taking care' of my very first clients. 


What worked for me then, still works now:

  • I created my own marketing (flyers, business cards and brochures).  *I look back now and my marketing was so pitiful - it would not have been able to 'stand alone,' for sure!  Adding the following to my arsenal got me past my pitiful marketing! -
  1. I went door-to-door in the neighborhood, passing out Just-Listed flyers and introducing myself
  2. Advertised a WEEKEND open house while they wrapped up their final 'cleaning' and landscaping.
  3. Spent an entire weekend at my only listing, meeting neighbors and prospective buyers!
  4. After my Sellers went under Contract, I went back through the neighborhood, sharing the news with the neighbors via another hand-made flyer!  
  5. Finally, the MINUTE I got out of Closing, I FLEW to the office, learned how to change the status in MLS to SOLD, grabbed my JUST SOLD flyers that I had printed before heading to Closing and hit the streets again.


YES!  I sold it!I sold the house in record time - my very first listing was the last to hit the market in that neighborhood and the first to sell!  I got 4 new listings from that one sale!  I never even had to pay a dime for any marketing or advertising other than my paper & print cartridge costs for the first year of business!  Then, of course, I wanted more and began to learn that this was not the only way to generate business and I seriously needed a professional to help me with my marketing!     


I definitely learned a valuable lesson!  Thankfully I was blessed with a fantastic first client, who was brutally honest with me...and I paid him back by working incredibly hard to get his estate home sold.  


I learned SO much with that first transaction but, the learning didn't end there - It's been over a decade in the business and I still consider myself in 'learning mode.'  So, if learning the ropes scares you, that's perfectly normal - surround yourself with a broker who will give you the support that you need.  Find a mentor and don't let go!  IT WORKS!!  


And, you'll never be told, "You suck!" again!

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | | You Suck as a Salesman - Agent Advice!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 08/28/2016 10:52 AM
  2. Patricia Kennedy 12/31/2016 03:52 PM
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April Swenson
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers - Ocean Shores, WA
CRS and Managing Broker - Ocean Shores Real Estate

What a great story! Thank you for sharing. You were blessed with that man not accepting no for an answer.

Aug 30, 2016 02:57 AM #53
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

You are a real go getter!! Thanks for sharing the story.  You worked very hard for this first client and it paid off!

Aug 30, 2016 05:06 AM #54
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Not sure many would actually answer their doors these days but this is a true testament to working hard pays off. 

Aug 30, 2016 05:38 AM #55
Rebecca Gaujot, the Go To Realtor®
RE/MAX Vision Quest - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Debe, loved reading this post. Your first client did you a big favor... and look at you now.

Aug 30, 2016 10:45 AM #56
Nancy Robinson Ranked #111 by Real Trends/Wall Street Journal
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#7 Century21 Realtor in the US, #10 in the World

That is such a great story.  It backs up what it truly believe, we are hired when we are likable and  trustworthy.   Competence is not a prerequisite for real estate success at least at not initially.

Aug 31, 2016 12:25 PM #57
Vera Gonzalez
RE/MAX Suburban, Inc. - Sterling Heights, MI
Gonzo For Real Estate

What a great story. So glad you shared this with us. Just goes to show a little push and our own power from the inside will shine through. 

Aug 31, 2016 10:59 PM #58
John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,SFR,PSA

Debe, what a motivational post you shared with us.

New Agents should take note that others may think more highly of yourselves than you do.

Experienced agents should take note that to be good at the job still takes work.

Thanks for a great share.

Sep 01, 2016 02:17 AM #59
Janice Hope Zaltman LEED AP
Keller Williams Partners - Hollywood, FL

Debe, thank you for sharing your great story. Someone who believed in you before you believed in yourself. That is truly a gift and awesome first experience. 

Sep 01, 2016 11:10 AM #60
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Hi, Debe!  This post is included in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

Sep 04, 2016 12:38 AM #61
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I've been a salesman my entire life (funny, I wrote on this subject today too) and it makes no difference what the product is. It's the same skills of helping someone find the right situation and moving on it. A smart person can learn the mechanics, as your client knew about you. 

Sep 04, 2016 03:45 AM #62
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I am glad Barbara encouraged you to tell your story.  We would never have guessed it by the very professional posts you are known for writing, and the eloquest words you use to describe your listings.  You have learned well!

Sep 04, 2016 05:01 AM #63
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ Subsidiary of NRT, LLC - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Good morning Debe Maxwell,

I just caught our post on Patricia Kennedy's post on her favorites of the week! I'm so glad Barbara Todaro encouraged you to tell your story! What a beginning in real estate with your first've come a long way baby!!

Sep 04, 2016 09:30 PM #64
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Patricia chose to high light your post this week!  Great stuff!~

Sep 04, 2016 11:50 PM #65
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I would colist with another senior agent and follow her steps.  In our area now most properties have two listing agents or a team, its purpose each has a role to play. The 90 hours of class room training is not adequate to prepare for a the worst vultures out there.  I am happy you made it through flawlessly.

Sep 06, 2016 12:37 AM #66
Derrick Guevremont
Counselor Realty of Rochester - Rochester, MN
Rochester MN Homes for Sale

That was very fortunate for you that he knew your career needed his business and trust and insisted on getting through to you.  I'll bet you were less likely to turn down business after you proved to yourself you could handle it!

Sep 06, 2016 08:30 AM #67
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Thank your for sharing your insight . . . . and telling it like it is.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Sep 22, 2016 11:49 AM #68
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on a well desired feature on an outstanding post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig


Sep 22, 2016 11:51 AM #69
Richard and Beth Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 - Massapequa, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer

Debe... What a stupendous story...  When I saw the title I was... well that sucks... as I read on and on I got to see that "You Suck" was a great gift and you took real good care of it... Happy Day 

Oct 03, 2016 06:53 AM #70
June Piper-Brandon
Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

What a great story.  Mine is not that dissimilar and I think I need to get back to where I was when I started in this business, back to basics. 

Dec 31, 2016 04:08 PM #71
Les & Sarah Oswald
Eastvale Team Realty & Property Mgmt - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

What a beautiful way to start your career. It proves that you are not a saleswoman, but a caring individual that works toward fulfilling one's client's goals. You are a giver. Wishing you a wonderful New Year filled with bountiful clients.

Dec 31, 2016 04:10 PM #72
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