A Real Estate Writer's Simple Secret to Real Estate Agent Success

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I had an interesting conversation last week with a gentleman who wanted to pick my brain about how I transitioned from a full-time real estate career to a full-time writing and training career. He was thinking maybe he'd like to do the same. 

So, we chatted. I regaled him with my story of going deeply into debt (read more here) and then to lighten things up a bit, I shared what I believe to be the SECRET of success in such an endeavor, at least in my experience. 

Wanna know what it is?

"Nah, not really, I have no desire to be a real estate writer!" 

Keep reading! 

I told him that I believe the Simple secret to my success as a real estate writer and trainer is my mailing list. To put it bluntly, the bigger my mailing list, the more money I make. So that's what I focus on - building my mailing list AND nurturing that mailing list. If I do those two Simple things, I have found that everything else falls into place.

I encouraged my aspiring writer/trainer friend to do the same. To focus on building his fan base, not by "buying" loyal followers with expensive advertising, but rather by offering his potential audience something they want, thus inspiring them to WANT to hear more from him. Thus, inspiring them to sign up for his mailing list. And most importantly, to STAY on his mailing list because they have found value there. 

Hold that thought. 

As I was espousing this nugget of brilliance, it occurred to me that it's exactly the same in a real estate business.  

While there are many approaches to building a successful real estate business, nearly everyone agrees that having a supportive Sphere of Influence is among the very best. And, in a manner of speaking, Sphere of Influence = Mailing List, right? 

So, with that in mind, what if, instead of focusing your time, energy and marketing dollars on finding buyers and sellers who MUST BUY/SELL NOW, howzabout you focus that time, energy and $$$ on building a supportive Sphere of Influence (without regard to whether or not anyone you know needs a real estate agent at this very moment)? 

Get out there and make friends. Get out there and make acquaintances. Behave in ways that will inspire those new friends and acquaintances to want to hear from you again. And when they do hear from you, be sure that what they're "hearing" is something they will enjoy and want more of. 

It Really Is That Simple :-)


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Comments (32)

Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great ideas!!!

Get out there and make friends. and acquaintances. Inspire those new friends and acquaintances to want to hear from you again. be sure what they're "hearing" is something they will enjoy and want more of!!!

Dec 28, 2015 07:58 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, the best leads are those that come from people who think we are great at what we do. Building that list of people is key.

Dec 28, 2015 08:02 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thank you, Active Rain, for the feature and to all who commented! 

It really IS as Simple as "The more people who Know you, Like you and Trust you, so that they Care About what you do for a living, the more successful you will be." And you can't buy the Like, Trust or Care About with advertising. I think that's where a lot of agents go wrong- they focus hard on the "Know" and then try to market to their new "friends" before those friends Care much About them! 

Dec 28, 2015 08:03 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn ,

So glad to see this post featured! I too discovered this simple secret and have been growing my mailing list. My success has come from people knowing and trusting me. My sphere of Influence looks forward to hearing from me because I give them something of value and I am Top of Mind when it comes to real estate. I track every sale I make or home I list. 99% of my business is from past clients, referrals from them, my market area or others in my Sphere of Influence. It works for me..I know where my advertising money needs to be spent

Dec 28, 2015 08:38 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

You just answered a question I was pondering regarding the excess money I have been paying to Zi...w.  Time for a shift! Thanks!

Dec 28, 2015 08:58 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Keep it simple and they will come. In fact, they wont stop coming

Dec 28, 2015 09:54 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I just experienced a perfect example of doing it "wrong!" Someone added me as a friend on Facebook and immediately started marketing to me. So they jumped from the "Know" straight to the Marketing To... and guess what? 

Dec 28, 2015 10:04 PM
Gerhard Ade

You, at least, marked them as "want to see less from xyz" 

Dec 29, 2015 02:37 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

What a timely post!  We all need to build a pipeline, mailing list, sphere of influence or whatever you want to call it.  They key is to nurture it with quality communication and useful information.

Dec 28, 2015 10:31 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Great advice. My first article of yours, but I'll have to keep an eye out for more pearls from you. 

Dec 28, 2015 11:09 PM
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Jennifer, like many here I too am working on my mailing list, I actually ran into a few acquaintances (even a couple former clients) while Christmas shopping this year, and they all asked me what I was doing for work these days. OUCH! Apparently I have not been in touch for a while with many of my SOI

Dec 28, 2015 11:13 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Excellent reminder to keep this list up-to-date.  It is a daily activity that can make a huge difference in your business.

Dec 29, 2015 12:20 AM
Hamilton Landon Real Estate - Apple Valley, CA
...Marketing your home like no one else will.

Jennifer has a great approach for all of us reluctant prospectors.  If you don't follow her or aren't on her mailing list jump on board.

Dec 29, 2015 01:03 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Building a following by providing a service that is needed, complete, timely. Grass roots a few at a time beats throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks.

Dec 29, 2015 01:51 AM
Gerhard Ade
eXp Realty - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.

Agreed Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn. My mailing list of about 425 people is the source of all of my business, directly or indirectly. There is no need for a sophisticated CRM software either; spreadsheets will do the job just fine. Creating and maintaining them gives me new ideas for marketing to different people on the list.    

Dec 29, 2015 02:46 AM
David Alan Baker | Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

I do have a list, but myself do email or electronic communication, mostly newsletter and stuff.

Dec 29, 2015 04:13 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Sphere of influence is so important for future growth. As adding to my mailing list. 

Dec 29, 2015 10:00 PM
Ed Rybczynski
Integrity Real Estate - Havre de Grace, MD
Your Source for Local Real Estate

Great advice, Jennifer.  I live in a small town where volunteerism is highly regarded.  Over the past several years, I've spent a great of deal of time giving back to my community with time and effort.  While it can be a real pain at times, the rewards, both personally and professionaly, have been amazing.

Thanks for the post!


Dec 30, 2015 01:43 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Focusing on the people that already know you, like you and trust you will not result in an immediate paycheck.  But providing real VALUE to those people...that will inspire them to refer you to their friends and family that are in need of real estate assistance.  And the more that you stay in the FLOW with them and TOUCH them, the more TOP OF MIND you will become.  That really is the simple key to the real estate business.  We are in the relationship business first!  Have a happy new year!

Dec 30, 2015 03:52 AM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

This is good advice - though "getting out there and making friends" doesn't come naturally to me.  Also with my particular market it is a bit of a challenge, since the majority of my clientele do not live here - they live out of state.  But one thing I plan on doing this year is to regularly visit the local coffee shop, deli, etc. and try to "be there" and engage with people somehow.  I happened to meet folks one time in the wine shop who noticed my  name badge and they wanted to look at their neighbor's home that was for sale. Problem is they later canceled the appointment and changed their minds.  LOL. But...my name badge did strike up the conversation.  I was only there to buy wine but I *COULD* have sold a home.  LOL

Jan 05, 2016 06:24 PM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn Great advice, that is exactly my goal is this year. I'm currently updating my apartment investor clients(now over 500) and mailing them.

Cheers. have a fun and successful year in 2016

Feb 16, 2016 12:09 AM