Laser-Focused Prospecting is Overrated

Education & Training with Sell with Soul


Most prospecting training is focused on... FOCUSING. Laser-focused prospecting. Doing "it" for three hours a day, whatever "it" is, no interruptions, no excuses. Do "it" until you reach your goal of so many contacts, so many appointments, whatever. Lather, rinse, repeat. Every day.

And eventually, you might even enjoy "it." You might start to see relationships between how much of "it" you do and how many houses you sell. The more of "it," the more of the other.

Whatever your "it" of choice is - FSBO's, expireds, cold-calling, door-knocking, farming, blogging, advertising, SOI'ing, open-housing, lunch-dating - just remember the Good Old Numbers Game and do "it" more.

Fair enough.

But it occurs to me that my business never worked that way. I, frankly, didn't have any sort of formal system for prospecting and my business came from dozens of different sources.

I got business from my best friends, my good friends, and my acquaintances. I got business from open houses, sign calls and floor time. I got business from my lawn guy, my graphics gal and my insurance agent. I got business from my broker, other agents and lenders. I got business from street fairs, coffee shops and happy hours. I got business from current clients, current prospects and past clients. I got business from my website, from blogging and even one House Values lead.

See where I'm going with this?

Just because you met your last client at the coffee shop - does that mean you should only prospect at the coffee shop from now on? Or just because you listed a FSBO last week, does that mean you should only seek out FSBO's? Of course not - I hope that's obvious.

Real estate business is everywhere; it's all around us. Good prospects cross our paths every day, from a wide variety of sources.  Sometimes they cross our paths in the course of doing business, like when we hit it off with an open house visitor or have a great conversation with a walk-in. Other times, it seems much more serendipitous, like when we meet a new-home builder at a friend's wedding or share an elevator with a man who was just transferred. And even if these particular encounters don't result in immediate business, you never know who THEY know who might need someone just like you.

Keeping your antenna up and a smile on your face as you go about your day really IS a tremendous prospecting strategy!

Happy New Year - Love y'all!

If You're Not Having Fun 



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Dawn & Charlie Tetro
PalmerHouse Properties & associates - Johns Creek, GA
Real Service Real Results

Hi Jennifer, i never considered myself to be in the prospect gathering business.  Ninty percent of my business comes from people I know and it is the very best business! I feel cold calling is rude, disrespectful and an intrusion!  Best wishes to you for a fabulous 2010!

Dec 31, 2009 01:20 AM #9
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


I have recently subscribed to your newsletter...I find it to be motivating  and refreshing.  I love your approach and am learning tons...

Dec 31, 2009 01:22 AM #10
Jay Brown


Congratulations on the book!!! After talking with you, it seems the focus should be on establishing new relationships and maintaining the "old" ones. Change your focus / perspective, change your results. If we are focusing on building quality relationships, not the prospecting aspect, the leads will flow.

You are full of wisdom!! I hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

Dec 31, 2009 02:56 AM #11
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


I think doing what you love to do with those you enjoy being with is one of the main keys to success. Great book title.  Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!


Dec 31, 2009 02:59 AM #12
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I just got through meeting with my broker regarding my goals for next year.......and how I should be prospecting a certain way.  Hmmmm.......

Happy New Year!


Dec 31, 2009 03:02 AM #13
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado - Montrose, CO
29 Years of Real Estate Experience .

You have to love what you do if you are going to be successful, otherwise find something that is fun.

Happy New Year

Dec 31, 2009 03:10 AM #14
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

So, Ann, what did you come up with?

And to you, Dorie! Thank you!

Aw, shucks, Jay... you're just biased!

Thank you Lori - I'm so glad you're enjoying the message.

Dawn - You and me both!!!

Brenda- Wonderful ! I hope this little bloglet will continue to help you sleep better at night cause you're not fretting about your "routine."

Ken - I, too, paused for a moment at the words "always be prospecting" because it does sound a little obnoxious (Stay with me, Cindy!). Obviously if someone is constantly in sales-pitch mode when in public, that's not cool, but the idea that you are "always prospecting" when outside of your own four walls IS a viable approach to business. I think you know what I mean...

Dec 31, 2009 03:10 AM #15
Ricky Khamis
Amerifirst Financial, Inc. - Mesa, AZ
NMLS 173141 | CADOC 173141 - 480-339-1565

That is very insightful Jennifer. When somone is selling a Laser Focused Idea and someone is buying it usually the one buying it dieing on the vine looking for that next "it" to help with their business.  Sometimes having that Laser Focused time on the "it" creates the chance encounter in the elevator, or the friend at the wedding... Great Post

Dec 31, 2009 03:52 AM #16
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

My business has come from a multitude of sources.  My problem is there is not enough of it.

Dec 31, 2009 04:37 AM #17
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

What I really like about your approach, Jennifer, is that it encourages us to be more social beings.  By being social -- whether it's talking to people we might not normally strike up a conversation with at a party, or taking a friend to lunch -- we're doing something that's good for our soul and potentially good for business too. It's a win-win.  Happy New Year to you! -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 31, 2009 06:13 AM #18
Sally Lawrence
Advantage Real Estate - Tehachapi, CA
Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR®

Happy new year, Jennifer!

I had not really thought of myself as a terribly "poitive" person (you know the type?), but as a reult of readding your blog and attending a few webinars, my reputation at the MLS Board office is, "the most positive person I know!"

I believe that this happenned because I now always strive to be positive and upbeat with everyone I meet.  Even if the person or situation is one that would have previously caused me to respond sharply.  It's kind of amazing to me to see the diffference in the way people respond.


Dec 31, 2009 06:50 AM #19
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I love your book and your approach. I am devoted to SWS. I happen to be one of those people who does not mind cold calling. I have had the pleasure of meeting many nice people in my former sales career by cold calling. I turned lots of them into profitable customers. Do you have a problem with those of us who like cold calling, mixing in a little of it with the rest of your plan. Thanks!

Dec 31, 2009 07:03 AM #20
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tom - Hmmmmm.... Do I have a problem with those of you who like cold calling? Well, first, far be it for me to tell you how to run your business, especially if what you're doing is working for you. My main message when I criticize cold-calling is to assure agents who don't want to do it that they don't have to.

But it's also hard for me to imagine that anyone appreciates being cold-called, regardless of whether or not the cold-caller enjoys doing it. That said, every once in awhile (very rarely), I'm cold-called myself by someone who is really really really good at it and I actually enjoy the conversation. But I tell ya- it is very rare. Just last week someone called me to sell me airtime on a radio show and spent half an hour buttering me up, which, of course, I initially responded to. But then I realized he was leading up to a sales pitch and I shut down. Oh, I was polite, maybe even pleasant, but I didn't come away from the experience thinking highly of this person.

Most of the proponents of cold-calling (and such) "defend" it saying that they do it because it "works" and if it annoys people, well, so be it. The end justifies the means. And I just can't warm up to that.

So, Tom - I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on the matter - I say that sincerely!

Dec 31, 2009 07:16 AM #21
Christopher Watters
Watters International Realty - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor (512-829-8000)

"IT" - Lol, I wish my g.f understood that terminology. She doesn't understand "it". I never do cold calling. Would rather do door knocking before I did cold calling. There are so many things you can do out there that are more personal and I think get a better response rate w/ your time. But thats just my .02 - Happy New Years Jennifer!

Dec 31, 2009 08:44 AM #22
Bob Murphy
Keller Williams Realty Consultants - New Albany, IN

Jennifer - You are right.  If your not having fun your not doing it right.  But that applies to most things in life, right?  Have a Happy New Year.

Dec 31, 2009 11:03 AM #23
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Hey Jennifer, I love the basic premise of "keeping your antenna up".  I am amazed at how many Realtors do not attend our local Chamber of Commerce luncheons! That's just one example.  There are so many networking opportunities & yet we need to keep in mind that we should ask for the business & follow up! All my best in 2010!

Jan 01, 2010 06:31 AM #24
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent


Great Post.  Sometimes we get tunnel vision when it comes to prospecting, thanks for helping open my eyes to the other possibilities.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Jan 01, 2010 10:36 AM #25
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

HI Jennifer - I wholeheartedly agree.  It doesn't mean I will never make calls or farm or send out cards, as I do all of these things.  But I am kept pretty busy from referrals and folks who have been reading my blogs, open house leads and people who call on my signs on listings.  I enjoy working, but hated it when I took a course that tried to make me cold call for a couple of hours every day.  That just isn't comfortable for me, exhausted me, and it didn't seem all that productive.

Jan 01, 2010 02:24 PM #26
Ken Tracy
Keller Williams Realty Infinity - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hi Jennifer.  I do know what you are saying...

Happy New Years!


Jan 02, 2010 02:56 AM #27
Joanne Crum
Rhodes & Co Real Estate - Southern Pines, NC
Your Ft. Bragg Connection

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks to some very good advice from your book and prospecting program, I am really enjoying my job again. I was working so hard at trying to find new business through ways that weren't working, I wasn't giving the attention to my SOI that I should have. That is by far the most rewarding and fun way of doing business. Now the lead generation part of my business plan includes the lunches and get togethers that I couldn't seem to find time for previously. I love what I do and the people that I get to do it with! Can't wait to read the new book!

Have a great New Year!


Jan 02, 2010 02:10 PM #28
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