Selling the Invisible - Harry Beckwith

Services for Real Estate Pros with Retired Associate RE Broker


Let's face it we are selling the invisible.  The American Dream.  To each of us that is something different.  It is an ideal, each buyer and seller has different hot buttons that will make them react.

If you haven't read Harry Beckwith's book "Selling the Invisible A Field Guide to Modern Marketing" I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy and read it.  My copy was just returned to me and I started to flip through the book this evening before putting it away.  In it he says "Everywhere, people are buying happiness, or the hope of it." 


A light bulb goes off in my head and I know I need to share this here.  Where to start with this book?  Just telling you to pick it up won't be enough for most of you.  In this book there are so many golden nuggets for us to take away and grow our businesses.  Some suggestions that he makes in the book and what I took away from rereading it this evening:

  • Assume your service is bad.  It can't hurt, and it will force you to improve.  Who among us couldn't improve in some aspect of our business?
  • Make technology a key part of every marketing plan.  You are here BLOGGING, you are committed to it already.  How else could you use technology in your business?
  • Say one positive thing, and you will become associated with many.  If you are in doubt of this effect, just take a look at Rich Jacobson as a perfect example of this.  His positive outlook just multiplies here at Active Rain...
  • Ignore your industry's benchmarks, and copy Disney's.  Definitely a leader in customer service and satisfaction.  How can we in Real Estate take that and apply it to our business models?  CREATIVITY!  That is how...
  • Big Mistakes are Big Opportunities.  Had I not made several mistakes along the way I would not have learned to reach out and admit I don't know all the answers...   I also had a golden opportunity to learn different business models and apply that knowledge to my current business plan.
  • Building your Brand doesn't take millions.  It takes imagination.  How can you be different, easy to remember and most importantly memorable. 
  • Act Like a Shark -- Keep moving.  Interesting concept, which leads me to my concept that buyers are in analysis paralysis.  Waiting for the ideal moment could cost you...
  • Create the possible service:don't just create what the market needs or wants - create what it would love.  Examples of companies doing this -- Federal Express and Lexus.  How would you apply their success to working with buyers and sellers?
  • Familiarity breeds business.  Spread your word however you can.  There is a reason there are 8 x 8, 12 and 33 touch plans out there (don't know what they are -- check out the MREA Group here at Active Rain.)  Networking, blogging are also great ways to get yourself known and assist you in spreading the word about your business.
  • Marketing is not a department, it is your business.  This means you can just rely on a marketing piece to get your message out.  You have to be living, breathing it.  It has to be part of every aspect of your business.

I encourage all of you to go out and get this book and read it.  It is full of dozens of other ideas to help you market your business.  





This information is provided by Colleen Kulikowski, Realtor.  Colleen writes about the Florida lifestyle on several locations for the Orlando Avenue Top Team.

Celebration Florida Homes BLOG  Paradise Report Website  Marco Island Homes BLOG

(407) 288-0017



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Deborah Burns ~ Seattle Real Estate Agent
Realty Executives -BRIO - Seattle, WA

Sounds like another great book I need to read...thanks for pointing it out to me/everyone!

Feb 18, 2007 06:40 PM #7
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |
Colleen, thanks for pointing this one out.  I had not heard of it.  It sounds like a keeper.  I'm placing my order for it.
Feb 18, 2007 08:06 PM #8
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Marketing is not a department, it is your business.

Very good advice.  Things don't just happen.  Successful real estate practitioners make things happen.  Building a good real estate business is a never ending job.  Keep going.



Feb 18, 2007 09:25 PM #9
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Another winning post.  Thanks for the guidance Colleen.  You're the sister I never had!

Feb 18, 2007 09:49 PM #10
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

Colleen - thanks for including this book. I second your recommendation - it's a great book with great ideas.

 Kaushik - you need to read it. Colleen just gave you the icing. Go enjoy the cake.

 As for copying Disney, another good read is "Inside the Magic Kingdom" by Tom Connellon, which I read a couple of years ago.


Feb 18, 2007 10:07 PM #11
Stephen Luckett
ExecuHome Realty-LuckNet Real Estate Group - Dundalk Sparrows Point, MD
Colleen-Once again thanks for the recommendation-Great synopsis of the book, I will pick it up today when I am out.  I don't get the time I want to read but I make a few minutes every day.
Feb 18, 2007 10:39 PM #12
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Deborah & Maggie -- I hope you find a few things in there that inspire you!  I know I have. 

Len -- So very true...  I thought this book would really help some of the newer agents out there... 

Chris -- I am not the only one writing great stuff here -- you seem to be on fire as well!

Sharon -- Now I have a book to pick up...   Thanks for confirmation that this is an excellent book... 

Stephen -- that is the beauty of this book.   Small nuggets of advice.


Feb 18, 2007 11:00 PM #13
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC


Thanks for your ambitious post.  I'll be on the lookout for that book.

Feb 18, 2007 11:14 PM #14
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN
Colleen the book does sound very good.  Maybe Jonathan will include it in some of the books he's sending out to Active Rainers.  You do write informative and entertaining posts and I appreciate your talents.
Feb 18, 2007 11:52 PM #15
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Diane -- you are very welcome!

Cynthia -- that would be very cool!  Such a great idea!!!

Feb 19, 2007 12:01 AM #16
Michael Roberts
Real Estate Professionals of Glynn - Saint Simons Island, GA
Great post.  reading the forgotten skill... we all need to do mroe of it...
Feb 19, 2007 12:22 AM #17
Dena Stevens Coriz
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
As ususual, WOW! I'm going to forward this to my whole office.
Feb 19, 2007 12:52 AM #18
Mark Flanders
Consulting - Silverdale, WA
Colleen this is and excellent review and I have added the book to my list of "must reads". Thanks for an excellent synopsis and the intriguing glimpse inside the book. It sounds fascinating.
Feb 19, 2007 01:00 AM #19
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Michael -- stick around here you will be doing a lot of reading, albeit on the computer...

Dena -- WOW what a testimonial...  Hope everyone there enjoys it!

Mark -- It is and it will change how you look at aspects of how you market yourself...

Feb 19, 2007 01:12 AM #20
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Thank you for your post today and the tip.  It's appreciated.


Feb 19, 2007 01:41 AM #21
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

WOW, You are oozing with ideas and wisdom this week! Way to go and another well deserved  featured post!

"Marketing ....., it is your business. ...  You have to be living, breathing it.  It has to be part of every aspect of your business" This is so true. Everywhere we go, we speak, we blog, we email, we share; all of theses actions are  a form of marketing. And while we are marketing, we are learning from and teaching others.

It is more fun marketing/selling the "invisible" American dream aka a house as apposed to other invisibles such as perfumes or insurance.

Feb 19, 2007 05:37 AM #22
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist
Selling the invisible is an amazing book and it fits out business like a glove. 
Feb 19, 2007 06:51 AM #23
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop

Coach K --I would have voted for you as the winner in the contest with this post!

What would Dicky V say? Awwwwweeesssooooome with a capital A baby!


Ok—I love sports! And your blog.

Feb 19, 2007 07:06 AM #24
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Patricia -- I am glad that you enjoyed it.  I enjoy sharing...

Margaret -- Thanks so much!  I am feeling a lot of creativity lately!   Guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I am embrasing my E!

Aziz -- Thanks so much!   I opted not to partake in the contest and assist someone in the editing their post...  

Feb 19, 2007 08:49 AM #25
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Great post. I never really thought about it as selling the invisible. But we truly are selling and marketing happiness or the possiblity of it. I'm gonna look into that book. Thanks!
Feb 19, 2007 12:45 PM #26
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Colleen Irwin

Creative Real Estate Solutions...
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