7 'Be-Attitudes' to Suck-Proof Your Real Estate Business

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

The following article is Part 3 from a series entitled "Social Media Won't Help If You Suck" that I presented at the recent Seattle RainCamp.

You can find Part One at "Social Media Won't Help If You Suck" - 7 Ways to Suck-Proof Your Business, and Part Two at 5 Common Misconceptions about Social Media.

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7 Be-Attitudes to Suck-Proof Your Real Estate Business

Differentiation - is the process of distinguishing a product or offering from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. The objective of differentiation is to develop a position that potential customers see as unique and where one creates a greater sense of value.

Never before, in the history of our industry, has there been a better time and opportunity for us as real estate professionals to differentiate ourselves from the masses of under-achieving, under-performing agents/brokers. 

If we were to analyze the overall level of customer service being offered in our industry today, would you agree that mediocre would be a reasonable assessment?

Let's be honest, for the most part, we're surrounded by a sea of mediocrity or normal at best. The overwhelming majority of agents/brokers in our business offer a lackluster level of performance. 

So the Million Dollar question is this, How do we become 'remarkable' in today's challenging market? How can we set ourselves apart?

Here's a recent video from Portland OR real estate agent, Mike Rohrig, that helps to illustrate that point: 

With the growing reliance upon social media for much of our business marketing, many of us have had the tendency to ignore or abandon the time-tested traditional marketing methods and practices we used to employ - the ones that made us successful before social media came along. 

What we're finding is that social media and effective Internet marketing have come full circle. We're seeing a renewed focus on the core basic, fundamental strategies, principles, and practices that produce what Seth Godin calls 'remarkable' products and services. This is also the emphasis that Gary Vaynerchuk makes in his new book, The Thank You Economy.

So, without any further ado, here is the first 'Be-Attitude' to Suck-Proof Your Business:

Be-Attitude #1 - Be There

1. Be There (Just Show Up!)

Though a big part of your Internet marketing strategy should be to show up on the 1st page of Google and to rank well on the search engines, the realities are that 80% of our success comes from simply showing up, period.

What happens when you don't show up?Just SHow Up!

I want to share with you an email I received recently from one of my Seller clients:

"Rich, we had a call for a showing today. We received the call last night for a 12:30pm showing today.  The Realtor called as a courtesy this morning and said her client's flight was delayed and that the time would shift to 2:30, no problem.

We were out of the house until 3:30 and no one had arrived.  My wife called the Realtor and reached her husband as she had made arrangements from home.  He said he would call her and return our call. By 4:00, no call, so my wife called again. The husband claims he left her a voice message.  At 4:20, the agent called and said it would be 10 min. before they were at the house.  

We left and saw that they arrived at 4:40 and left about 15 min. later...

Now, this is my rant: 
We have a house for sale and expect some inconveniences and don't want to do anything to hamper a sale, however, this is just common courtesy that these Realtors need to understand.  EVERYONE has a phone... use it and call the scheduled appointments with an updated time for showings... don't show up 2 hrs after a scheduled appointment and expect to walk in!   If the schedule shifts, or if the clients don't want to see the property, CALL... simple really!

If you have an industry forum, please feel free to share my rant, it is giving the local industry a bad name!"

I sent this broker a follow-up email, suggesting that a phone call of apology would probably be a good move on her part. And her response was "I'll think about what you suggest, but honestly I felt like we did our very best under the circumstances."

Well, guess what? Many times what we think is 'our best' just isn't good enough! And what's a sad testament to our industry is that consumer expectations are exceptionally low as a result of such behavior. 

So how can you 'Suck-Proof' your business? How can you differentiate yourself from the poor-performing masses? 

Well, to begin with, Just Show Up!


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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.comSoundBiteBLog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: kitsapagent@gmail.com

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


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  1. Lisa M. Jackson 07/28/2011 08:00 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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social media versus old school marketing

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Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Rich...all great awesome work....suck-proof....love it. My new word for sure!

Jul 27, 2011 12:32 PM #1
Rebekah Radice
Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency - Burbank, CA
Social Media Marketing, Coaching & Training

Rich - I love what you said here "Let's be honest, for the most part, we're surrounded by a sea of mediocrity"

This is so true and gives those of us trying to rise above "the noise" a huge leg up.  Great post and suggested!!

Jul 27, 2011 01:14 PM #2
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Jeanean:  Thanks for stopping by! It's always nice to see your face pop-up!


Jul 27, 2011 01:55 PM #3
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Rebekah:  It's sad, but unfortunately all too true of our industry. And you're exactly right, it provides a great opportunity for us to 'shine' all the more!

Jul 27, 2011 01:56 PM #4
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

A little common courtesy goes a long way. What a complete lack of professionalism!

Jul 27, 2011 03:54 PM #5
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Rich - Okay, so I like you.  None the less, that aside, there are many hints of common brilliance in this series.  Well played, Sir!

Jul 27, 2011 05:23 PM #6
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

The sea of mediocrity it is.  Unfortunately, I see that all the time and so identify with your "ranter".  Do onto others, etc... :)

Jul 28, 2011 05:00 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad


Such a simple concept that so many fail to understand and follow. Given the level of service we often see, it's not too hard to impress by doing just a half-baked job. Mediocrity is not hard to surpass.


Jul 28, 2011 11:00 AM #8
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Rich, ouch.  It's unfortunate that some in our industry seem to forget that we are dealing with peoples lives, and homes.  We just had this happen to one of our sellers.  I called the showing agent that never bothered to show up, never bothered to cancel, never bothered to pick up dial my number on the phone I'm sure that was in his hand.  And I politely advised him that he was very inconsiderate.  He got mad at me.  Go figure...
We are in a service business. Period.  Find a way of becoming remarkably HUMAN - somehow, or get out of the business.

Jul 31, 2011 03:53 PM #9
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


I am glad to see you are blogging about this.  I sure enjoyed listening to you are Rain Camp.  I sure am going to miss Rain Camp... :(

Aug 03, 2011 02:40 AM #10
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | eXp Realty, LLC. - Roanoke, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

HI Rich, I must have missed this post, more great tips to share....just showing up.....going forward, it's all about implementation....quit trying to be perfect, get started...just show up.

Sep 01, 2011 02:24 PM #11
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