It's All About the Basics

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Avalon 0789718

"I believe the real difference between success and failure in a corporation can be very often traced to the question of how well the organization brings out the great energies and talents of its people."

— Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

A Business and its Beliefs (1963)


I was fortunate to begin my career in real estate under the guidance of an amazing office manager.  She embodied the quote above as her main focus was to enable us to be successful agents and provide us with the tools to do so.


Her objective was to have each agent start with the basics and be organized and ready when a seller or buyer requested a meeting.  As a new agent, you focus on cold calling or contacting your sphere of influence but neglect to be prepared if you have success with a prospect.  Most offices have “packets” of information in folders ready to go, but if you don’t personalize that packet and make it your own, you may stumble during the appointment.


For example, if you are preparing a day of showings to a buyer, don’t just print the MLS info sheets.  Include any associated documents the listing agent added to the system.  Prepare your dialog for the CIS discussion.  Include a blank sales contract so the buyer is prepared for the offer process.  Provide an agenda with the schedule of showings, listing each property with sales price, tax info and size.  Gather local town information with a calendar of events and perhaps a street map.  I also include water bottles and hard candy.


As a new agent, your first listing presentation may be the toughest part of this business.  My manager scheduled practice “pitch” sessions and encouraged all agents to know the numbers but to sell ourselves.  Many agents get the listing, put a sign out and hope for the best.  She suggested the focus should be on the value we, as new agents, would provide through energy, enthusiasm and education.  Remember, as a new agent, you bring a fresh approach and an expectation of success and if you communicate that effectively, you will gain clients and a loyal following.


I have been a Realtor® for almost 10 years and I still follow many of the tips and tricks as well as adding a few of my own.  Don’t forget the basic fact this is a business and if you treat it as such, you will be a success. 



Comments (11)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Excellent post and so true,  I have a pre listing guide and seller guide and a listing guide.  All three are worth it to my clients.

Oct 01, 2015 11:13 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Suggestion:  Use your blog settings to create an automatic signature for your blogs. Readers want to see your contact information.

Oct 02, 2015 03:35 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you Roy Kelley!

Oct 02, 2015 03:37 AM
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential



Your post is so true. You were blessed to have a great mentor at your start in the industry. Even those of us that have been around a long time to do well to review and polish our use of the basics.

Oct 02, 2015 06:12 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Marilyn- it seems to me that you had a very wise office manager!  You've given some excellent advice about working hard at your listing presentation.

Oct 02, 2015 12:44 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Marilyn O'Donoghue 

This was what TJ Watson Jr preached along with 7 believes.  Actually all 7 can apply in any business including RE.

Thanks for your write up.

Have a nice weekend.

Oct 02, 2015 01:38 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Marilyn, there is something just wonderful about new agent energy, and all too often, but the time a former newbie reaches the point of being competent, they've lost that great edge.  And I love your quote.

Oct 02, 2015 02:03 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Wonderful advice for Newbies and more experienced agents.  As you pointed out, this is a business and needs to be treated as a business.

Oct 23, 2015 01:00 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Marylin,

Great post!  The quote is spot on.  If the company I used to work for had that attitude I would never have started my career in Real Estate.

Jan 21, 2016 06:14 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Hi Marilyn O'Donoghue!

Thanks for a great post about the "Basics"!

We like your writing style!

We wish you great success with your blog posts and networking with other members of Active Rain!

We clicked the “Follow” button on your profile so that we will be alerted to your future blog posts and can read and comment on them, and we invite you to "follow us" - should you be interested. There is no requirement or obligation for you to do so, but we would be honored if you choose to do so!

Aug 21, 2016 02:30 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Tony and Suzanne Marriott Thank you for your kind comments and follow. I would love to follow you as well. This Active Rain is a great community for us.

Aug 21, 2016 04:46 AM