Was Jake Lucky?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul




In my last blog, I left you with the question posed to me by Loreena Yeo about Jake's success:

"Is Jake running on a stream of good luck? Say, he started in the mid-90s and had his 5 years into early 2001? I do not deny that Jake probably worked very hard. But do you feel that a good momentum for an agent also depends on timing of when he enters into real estate? Would you say that in a down market, that it is probably harder to get the gears rolling? Even for an experienced agent, getting 25 transactions is not easy. What say you?"

Bless your heart, Loreena, you touched a lot of people with your question...

Here is my response:

  • The market is certainly different now compared to 1996. Perhaps SELLING 25 homes will be difficult in a world where mortgages are harder to get and far too many homeowners are upside down in their mortgages to price their homes competitively. In Denver in 1996, homes appreciated 15% - 20% a year and any home with a pulse could sell with multiple offers.

    However, I distinctly remember rookie agents complaining loudly about how hard it was for newbies to break into the business because all we could get were buyers and there was nothing to sell them. Old fogies, remember those times? Where you checked the MLS hourly to stay on top of the new listings and then fought like hell to get an offer accepted? That wasn't fun either (although it sure kept us busy)!

    Also, remember that in 1996 we didn't have 100% loans, FHA was king and buyers didn't qualify for nearly the loan they could qualify for later. Investors typically had to put 20% down, too. Back then, you actually had to be able to afford a home before you could buy it! 

    Anyway, I digress from my point which was that it MAY be harder to SELL 25 homes in one's first year simply because homes aren't moving. But you should be able to drum up enough business from your SOI to at least put you in the position of potentially making those sales! In other words, you should be able to find 25 motivated sellers and serious buyers to work with. Actually making it to closing might be more difficult (although I'm not convinced - it was tough back then too, for different reasons).

  • If not SOI, then what? Are there other methods that you believe will produce a more consistent, reliable stream of business? As you are choosing your prospecting strategies and building a foundation for your future success, do you think that you'll do better with strangers? Whether you sell 10 houses your rookie year or 70, what prospecting techniques FEEL RIGHT to you? 

    It's not a matter of SOI being a luxury for a strong market. It's a strategy that works, period. 

Will you, as a rookie, sell 25 homes this year? Probably not. Remember, Jake was the Rookie of the Year with 25 sales, in a stronger market. So don't fret over that number. 

Will an SOI strategy assure every agent who uses it success? Nope. The question is... is it right for you?

I'll answer that next time.



copyright Jennifer Allan 2007


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Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA
Excellent point ... is SOI right for you.  THose of you that entered this market on the up swing have a chance to work that SOI that was developed over the last boom ... it is never to late to start.
Sep 26, 2007 04:06 PM #1
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Hey AW! Are you agreeing with me or arguing with me - I can't tell! Either way is fine... ;-}

Sep 26, 2007 11:37 PM #2
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

I do not doubt that SOI is clearly a model that works in a great or not-so-great market such as this. There is nothing more consistent in endorsements by someone you know or someone whom is referred to you. SOI model works with agents who value relationships. Trust me, I've seen too much who says they do but never does a good job in following up.

It's getting the ball rolling to the first 25 transactions is the hardest...... Even for a seasoned agent.

So, if you asked me to answer the question, "Was Jake lucky?"

My answer is "most likely". But I certainly do not want to discount the fact that I know alot of hardwork is put into getting the 25 transactions though. But I may be wrong. The timing, the people and the cosmic forces all have to work together.

Sep 27, 2007 02:18 PM #3
Marcia Kirtonx
EXIT All Seasons Realty - Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn, NY - EXIT Realty
I for one have neglected to prospect my SOI, until I met Jake. Today I made 10 SOI contacts. I plan to continue prospecting strangers, but step up my game with my SOI as well.
Sep 27, 2007 04:40 PM #4
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I'm working on an SOI "boot camp" of sorts that helps agents get in to the rhythm and HABIT of SOI'ing. Once you get the hang of it, it comes so naturally you don't even realize you're doing it.

In my 5th year of real estate, I was interviewed by the Re/Max newsletter people and asked for the  "secret of my success." When I read back on what I said, it makes me laugh. I said something like "Well, of course, I don't have to prospect any more since I've been doing this long enough to have a strong referral business..." I said that 100% sincerely because I assumed every real estate agent stopped prospecting after their first few years. I had no idea that SOI wasn't everyone's main source of business.

I was asked all the time where my business came from. I never had a good answer. "I dunno, it just comes. The phone rings, I answer it, and I have a new client," was about the most intelligent response I could come up with. And it was true.

Beautiful, beautiful thing. If I was lucky, then so be it!

Frankly, my problem was never (okay, rarely) a lack of customers. When I was feeling poor, it was because my listings weren't selling or my buyers weren't buying. That's what I lost sleep over. They say what you focus on, you get more of. So, if you're focusing on a LACK of customers, that's what you'll get more of. So they say.

Sep 28, 2007 12:16 AM #5
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene
I sat here for 5 whole minutes trying to figure out what SOI was. lol! I get it, sphere of influence. Obviously not something on the front of my brain or I would have gotten it right away. I'm waiting on your book to come in the mail. Maybe it will help me. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Sep 28, 2007 04:50 AM #6
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor
I am looking forward to your SOI boot camp, you make something that becomes "canned" fresh again!  Staying ahead of the crowd but more importantly being memorable.
Oct 02, 2007 10:38 AM #7
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Michele - I'll keep you posted. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Oct 03, 2007 01:07 AM #8
Kevin Andrews
WCG - Denver, CO


Allen Wright recommended that I read your blog and the Jake series  ... great posts.

Oct 05, 2007 08:46 AM #9
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

I just found the link to Jake's your story from your email today. :) Awesome story and I'm going to really look at taking better care of my SOIs. You should write a book! :) hehe

Oct 22, 2009 03:32 AM #10
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