Stop Whining and Get Back to Work

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

July is here. That’s great news, isn’t it?  Sure it is! Because now you have a new whine for why your business isn’t where it needs to be: “It must be because it’s July and people are on vacation.”

This replaces the old whines of “It must be because the tax credit is gone”, “It must be because buyers aren’t buying”, and “It must be because sellers aren’t realistic about price.” Must be.  Must be. Must be.

Enough with “must be”!

Let’s talk about “what is”.  Forget about all the excuses you share while chatting around the water cooler.  It’s time to start taking a really good hard look at your plan of action and how effectively you are implementing it.

Yes, this is the week for me to get real with you about WHY your business is not where it needs to be.  Here’s the truth in a nutshell:  It’s because you are not taking the necessary actions to get it to that next level.

When agents complain, the first question I always ask is: “What is disappointing you the most?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is “I don’t have enough money coming in.”

Well, the reason you don’t have enough money coming in is because you don’t have enough closings.  You don’t have enough closings because you don’t have enough clients.  You don’t have enough clients because you don’t have enough leads.  You don’t have enough leads because you don’t do enough lead generation.  You don’t do enough lead generation because either —

You don’t have a great action plan, created to get results


You don’t implement that great plan.

Maybe you don’t know how to create a plan that covers all areas of your business effectively.  Maybe you don’t have the tools to implement the plan.  Or maybe you’ve lost your “mojo”, and truly aren’t working because you’re caught up in all the reasons why you “can’t” success right now.

For example, how are you doing with lead generation?  Look, most people don’t love lead generation.  But it’s the beginning of the domino effect of success.  Without leads, your business is dead.

How’s your follow-up?  If you don’t have enough repeat business, you’re not actively taking care of your past clients.  If you go on listing appointments, but never get the listing, something is wrong – and you need to actively work to improve your listing presentation, and the tools you use with sellers.

Seriously, when you look at your listing presentation, ask yourself: “Would you hire you?” The answer should be yes.  If not, then you have a lot of work to do.

So stop whining, and take action!  Start by looking in the mirror.  If your business is not where you need it to be, do somethingabout it.  Here’s what I suggest:

1. Hire a coach.

If you don’t know what to do, this is a great place to start.  Pay somebody to light a fire under you.  Heck, hire me.  I’ll get you where you need to go.  I promise!

2. Prioritize your areas of disappointment.

Make a list of everything about your business in which you are disappointed.  Rank each one in terms of its importance.  When you take this critical step, you will have a checklist of everything you need to do to get going.

3. Get back to your lead generation.

Lead generation will ALWAYS lead to money.  It is the number one starter activity on which everything else rests.  Do your lead generation consistently without fail and you WILL find business.

4. Follow-up with your past clients.

This ALWAYS leads to referrals.  You’d better be taking care of your clients long after the sale.  It’s not enough to have helped them find a house.  You have to let them know that you have their best interests at heart—months and years after the papers have been signed.

5. Take quality time off.

On the surface, this may seem a strange thing for me to tell you considering I just called you lazy.  But when you think about it, there is no contradiction at all.  If you work hard, then you deserve time off to recharge.  All the top-producing agents I know set aside time to spend doing what they enjoy.  This leads to peace of mind—a necessary requirement for success in real estate.

6. Don’t do what everyone else does.

Most agents are talking about how bad the market is.  Stop having this conversation with them.  There are agents right now who are having their best year EVER—because they’re not paying attention to bad news.  Instead, they’re taking action!

Don’t know where to start?  Send us an email at We’re having a conference call next week on creating successful action plans and I would love for you to be a part of it.

After the call, if you are interested in learning more about how I can help, I’ll GLADLY have a one-on-one chat with you to find out what’s really going on in your business – and I’ll waive my usual $295 per hour consulting fee! I know how to recommend a plan of action for you, no matter where you are in your business. I’ve done it for hundreds of agents.

In fact, I work with agents every day through my EVOLVE! program.  These are agents who were exactly where you are right now.

We’re launching our 2011 EVOLVE! program soon.  If this is something you would be interested in, then I would love to talk to you.

EVOLVE! agents don’t whine. They work!

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI

Q: "Denise, how do you stay motivated?"

A: Accountability.  It’s perfectly normal and human to lose motivation from time to time. Things happen that can knock us for a loop.

The best way to keep motivation up is to surround yourself with a great team of other motivated people. They lift you up when they’re down, and vice versa. There is nothing more powerful for motivation than having the right people on your side.


The Lones Group, Inc.

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Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

But Denise, Realtors make the best whine!

I often walk into offices where someone will take 20 minutes telling me the phones are not ringing while they are playing solitare on the computer... I then remind them that the phone is a two way device and part of their job is to make it ring!

Jul 23, 2010 05:54 AM #1
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Realty South - Tumwater, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

I love reading your posts, Denise! You're a master at getting the point across!! Thanks for the kick in the .... well, you know!

Jul 25, 2010 06:11 PM #2
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA

Denise, when is your conference call, did I miss it?  Now that Realty Station is on somewhat of an even keel again, I need to boost business and know that you can help us in some way.

Jul 26, 2010 08:31 PM #3
Denise Lones
The Lones Group, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding

Glad you liked the post Robert!  Your comment made me laugh.  I can just see the solitaire screen in the background, as the agent talks about the "slow market".

I've got lots of strong opinions about real estate, and I'm never afraid to share them.  If you'd like to hear more I offer a free weekly newsletter called "The Zebra Report".  You'll find it filled with business-building ideas, as well as the occasional rant or rave.  If you're interested in signing up, just click here:  

Thanks again for your comments!


Jul 29, 2010 05:01 AM #4
Denise Lones
The Lones Group, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding

Glad you liked the post Gabrielle!  I think you've been getting my Zebra Report for years, so you know I've got a lot to say! 

Thanks again for your comments!


Jul 29, 2010 07:32 AM #5
Jeff Petsche-951-316-6400
Pacific Real Estate - Corona, CA
Pacific Real Estate


Enjoyed your post and I can't agree more.

As a Sales Manager/Broker Associate for a 40 agent Coldwell Banker office in CA, the most frustrating thing in my position is getting agents into action/activities. I have a great group of seasoned agents who have a good book of business from years in the industry, but what is lacking is new blood and a true LEAD GENERATION activity based environment, which I take ownership of.

Prior to my management days, I was a successful sales agent with Keller Williams and was Rookie of the Year and Top Selling Agent in 2004. I went on to be a mentor, Team Leader and Productivity Coach from 2006-2008. When I went from selling full-time to management/leadership, I EXPECTED that all my agents did the daily activities, which generates success in this business...WOW was I wrong and it was an eye opener.

I learned real quick that not all agents have the DAILY DISCIPLINE to generate a consistent and predictable stream of income and that LEAD GENERATION is the #1 thing agents DON'T DO, and yet it's the #1 thing THEY SHOULD DO....

Much like you I feel I'm a straight shooter and call a spade a spade, but at the end of the day it's the desire of the agent that is going to make the difference.

I struggle daily to get my current agents into dollar productive activities that will make a difference in their business, and it's hard for me to sit back and watch very talented agents not reaching their true potential. I start to take it personal and beat myself up when agents don't produce or engage in activities.

I have a Focus Friday session from 10:30am-11:30am each week and I get a steady 5-6 agents each session, but really want to grow this group because we share best practices and remind everyone of the daily activities that make a difference. I want my agents to be the exception to the rule out there and not place blame on anything but themselves for not hitting the numbers they should.

Any suggestions and I intend on signing up for the free newsletter.

I truly do care about the success of my agents, but I sometimes wonder if I care more than they do?

I remember Jack Canfield once said, "Stop laying awake at night worrying about those who don't lay awake at night worrying about themselves".....

Hope to hear from you soon.

Jeff Petsche


Mar 20, 2011 05:45 PM #6
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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