MOAB -- The Impossible Dream: is AR advice small-business achievable?

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. 13013

M Y    D E N O U E M E N T

I am often at a loss for words and immobilized after reading several of the fine posts here every day.  Why?  Because the accumulated wisdom from everyone overwhelms me to the point of rigor mortis.  

What follows is the first AR M.O.A.B. --The Mother Of All Blogs!!  The collected wisdom of many great AR posters.  Only about 100 listed, but there are many many more in the back pages of the AR listings.  Wisdom and platitude abound, and we all DO benefit.


So here are what I think are some of the best thoughts on AR (in the past few months, in no particular order) and when you are finished reading this I would like to know if it is all humanly possible to execute, especially if you are in a small firm.  I have taken some poetic license here and there...While you digest the following quips, aphorisms, and general principles by which to live and breathe... I give you Frankie boy for background music and more entertainment will follow:

  1. We need to answer an inquiry within 45 minutes or lose a potential client. 
  2. We need to have every aspect of the business running at full speed all the time or else risk losing work due to neglect or a poor running operation.  
  3. We must establish short and long-term goals, starting with a final objective and working back to create a strategy and tactics in order to achieve our goals.
  4. Under promise and over deliver.
  5. Guard your practice and guard your minds.
  6. We should maximize every moment and every opportunity.
  7. Trust is earned when action meets words.
  8. Marketing winners have and continue to be the result of online social media efforts.   
  9. We should never give up.
  10. Be real and skip the phony baloney.  
  11. Be courteous to partner agents and show them respect; expect the same thoughtful treatment back.
  12. Trust is built on consistency.
  13. Investors of rental properties prefer features that include durable floors and fewer systems that break down and need repair.
  14. Follow up on a sale and get feedback.
  15. Personal face to face may be more important than digital dating.  
  16. If we get stale we may wish to 'change gears'.
  17. Do you know what Joseph Whitworth invented? 
  18. Get your home prepared: repaired, painted, and working before the inspector shows up.
  19. Clean and uncluttered houses sell faster.  Watch the landscaping too.
  20. Don't ever stop making sales calls.
  21. Green homes are healthier and more energy efficient.
  22. Be wary of social media sites that rate or critique your services.   
  23. All agents should get their own domain names and tie their email address to them. 
  24. To truly make it big we need to adopt or develop a niche.  
  25. Branding is extremely important in order to keep your name recognizable and niche identifiable at all times.
  26. Too much analysis paralyzes (apropos to theme)
  27. Millennials have a high optimism index: they are motivated to buy.
  28. We should make sure our websites are-- properly designed and built so as to reduce download time, are easily comprehended, that the main selling proposition is out front.  If you don't have one, better develop it right now.   
  29. We should blog often about things that interest our potential clients.  Blogs should have photos, interesting graphics, colorful fonts, etc. 
  30. Using your name in the title of your blog especially -- will get you on Google faster than 600 blogs in 30 days (my call here) 
  31. Our personal description pages should be less about our accomplishments and education but more about our to manage our client's interests.
  32. We should wake up each morning thinking that this is our second chance and we should not waste this opportunity.
  33. We should read regularly how to improve our business skills and attend talks by experts in our field when announced.
  34. We should include long tail descriptions in our blogs, webs, and other social media.   
  35. We can trust Facebook to solve most of our marketing needs.  Really?
  36. We should be on Instagram for sure.  Twitter helps too!
  37. Be yourself, do not put on a facade.  
  38. Work on your WOW rating to keep current clients and please future clients.
  39. Accept the challenge; take the victory lap.
  40. Built better relationships and better ways to communicate by becoming a better listener, especially when it comes to other people's money, their home, and livelihood.
  41. Do the best with your time by beating bad habits/behavior and attitude about time management.
  42. Get a signature every day: listing agreement, a new buyer, price reduction, home inspection negotiations, power of attorney, homeowner warranty, change to a contract, CE signup, ad contracts -- back of commission check.  
  43. Hide traces of animals and all personal effects when showing or staging a house.
  44. Property descriptions should be more compelling.
  45. Negotiate and disagree without conflict to get better results. 
  46. Farm your FSBO's.
  47. Look for opportunity in a SHIFTing market.
  48. Load the big rocks first and then you will know how your year looks.
  49. Get in in a state of mind or location where you can be a fierce warrior and achieve positive results.   
  50. Seek referrals but don't push too hard.
  51. Backlinks from reputable webs are good for you.
  52. Write attractive content on other's blogs with backlinks and referrals will come your way.
  53. If you need a recipe for ANYTHING, search on AR.
  54. You'd better have the All-in-One marketing program
  55. Read all the Webinars on AR  
  56. Without cell phones, we would be in a pickle.  (note to self: buy something newer)
  57. We should run print ads.  Don't stop during the holidays as your funnel will be empty while people are actually thinking about purchasing real estate.
  58. We should print and send out postcards when a house is sold.
  59. We should print and send out postcards on a regular basis otherwise to keep in touch with old and potentially new clients.
  60. Our webs need to be SSL compliant.    
  61. Webs with HTTP2 are faster
  62. Before there was biophilic design there was Leonardo da Vinci
  63. Check dead links on your web and eliminate them.  Go to Google Analytics regularly to make sure you are viable: alive! 
  64. We should exercise SEO frequently and be cognizant of the latest techniques in order to be found easily, often, and with few bounces.
  65. Stay away from negative people.
  66. We should plan all meetings with an agenda, have a great time and be informative, even offering up favors in interesting places.
  67. We need to be wary of Z/T and wonder if our interests are being truly represented by our national organization.
  68. We should have a dashboard measuring tool to assist us in planning to let go eventually.
  69. Videos are important and need to be developed routinely with personal touches, great graphics and professional presentation.  Embedding is better than linking.  
  70. We must be cognizant of the latest SE algorithm or our website is doomed to zero hits.
  71. Handwritten thank you notes and holiday greetings work wonders.
  72. We should attend many related social functions and be helpful in our community associations.
  73. We must adapt constantly to changing and fluid market and economic forces.   
  74. We need to think outside of the box.
  75. Keep your name in front of everyone you know at least every 30 days.
  76. We should hit on all eight cylinders.  
  77. Purple paint on fences and gates means NO TRESPASSING or Hunting.
  78. Knowing how Italians invented concrete, terrazzo, or ceramic tile roofs has absolutely no effect on your bottom line.  BUT it's nice to know how things have evolved!
  79. Provide city-specific content on your blog and web and social media connections.
  80. Content is King
  81. A flier with great photographs, detailed information, and an organized look helps market a property in its best light.
  82. Dress and act appropriately, be prompt and courteous  
  83. Stay positive and reject the negative (well, you'd better stop reading at this point)  
  84. We need to cover Continuing Education every year or risk losing our license.
  85. Appeal a low appraisal through the lender to try to make the deal work.   
  86. Avoid an unauthorized practice of the law by drafting or modifying real estate forms and prepare documents or contracts for a fee.  
  87. We should check our blog signatures to make sure they comply with state rules.  Oh, and don't blog on certain days and times because you will NEVER be found...  
  88. Coffee and Keurigs are indispensable.
  89. We need to be available nearly all day and night to be pro-consumer and go the extra mile.
  90. Despite the amount of time needed to do the above, we should build adventures into our lives...   
  91. The cost to build a house boils down to Design, Cost, and Marketability.
  92. Be prepared, competent, and caring.
  93. All potential clients are not all online.  Market your services on several platforms and avenues.  
  94. Your call to action should conjure a sense of urgency.
  95. Your MLS photos should be undoctored and show adequately and honestly the surrounding spaces and condition of the property.
  96. Shift your point of view to understand the other person's interests and motivations as you negotiate or deal with them.
  97. Jump out of your routine and try something you've never thought doing before or dreamed about it and hesitated.
  98. Plenty of consultants and experts are available to assist us in making sure everything specified above is done correctly and timely.   
  99. Growing homemade lemon trees and consuming olive oil... and take lots of photos...well, they're good for you!
  100. We need to exercise regularly or else we cannot hope to achieve most of the items above.
  101. Moreover, we need to follow a Mediterranean diet.
  102. Know the background/education/experience about the "Advisor" before you follow the advice.   
  103. And whatever you do: THINK about what you write and if it is cogent, responsible, uplifting and of use to your potential clients -- only then hit Publish...
  104. Even better: "Don't strive arrogantly to position yourself as THE expert" 


Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you that doing all the above is an Impossible Dream.  It is longer than the 10 Commandments.  I can't remember everything.  It is too much to do.  Or is it??


"We should truly be thankful for what we have" -- and delirious knowing we have no chance of getting everything done that needs to be done. It is overwhelming. But wow, what a checklist you can go over every day you start up with Keurig coffee or tea!


I have not listed the best of the previous 8 or 10 years of things on the 'must do' list to be successful.  Just think about that! I can think of one or two folks here to nominate for the next MOAB!

On top of all the things above, we have to actually run our business the way we were trained or educated.  There are basic functions that must be exercised regularly or we may lose our edge.  

And our family life and interests are in-between the lines somewhere above.  What are the trade-offs?

But, you will say, "You should and could start to attack and follow through with all the above necessary items one by one and slowly reach your maximum potential" 


Now what you have here though is a two or three-page compendium of some great usable information that you can refer to daily.  You really CAN take a stab at the ideas here to see how it works for YOU!  Make it your goal to realistically achieve and keep in practice as many of the great ideas above as possible...  I am with Mulder below.

Meanwhile, I have been so busy posting on AR that I have neglected my own business essentials making this doubly ironic!! 

The meme gif below essentially characterizes my life at this time... and this MOAB post does absolutely nothing to advance my architectural career!!  It will no doubt detract from it.  Who cares? 

It HAD to be done!!


(the burger signifies my departure from the Mediterranean diet.  I hypnotically applaud the insane political situation we are in but watch so much tv that my head explodes  -- but I am still applauding not fully cognizant for what purpose... yet I do applaud the great wisdom here on AR!!)

Comments (70)

Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

John Henry ~ talk about MOAB.... You've done it, my friend! I dub thee "king of MOAB! I don't why you stopped at 104 but I love it. On your 104-list, my percentage was very low... But what's great about that (as you mentioned) I can refer to this post anytime I want to up my average!

Anyway, I could go on and on about your generosity, creativeness, and this MOAB... This post (as I see it) goes down in AR history and is one for the record  

Nov 14, 2018 08:42 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Thanks Jon Kolsky   I am glad you liked the MOAB!!  Thanks for the support and I nominate YOU to do the next MOAB!!!

Feb 01, 2019 12:53 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

As long as we don’t do anything too foolish with the money and we have a good time doing it, we can figure something out to move forward as human beings when ups and downs happen, I believe. :)

Nov 14, 2018 10:52 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  That's a long list of excerpts, dialog, clips and thoughts.  I read them all, seriously!  Happy you mentioned green and healthier homes :)  Definitely saw few lines I recognized from reading blogs, eg mediterranean diet!

Nov 14, 2018 11:22 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Quite the list there, John! I recognize much of the content. 

Nov 14, 2018 11:28 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Wow - The Active Rain Fountain of Knowledge!

I like #30 - I may have seen that blog but I'm trying to figure out how to make it natural

Nov 14, 2018 11:33 AM
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

This is a good one John -- We need to be available nearly all day and night to be pro-consumer and go the extra mile. It is always a neverending battle 

Nov 14, 2018 01:16 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070 Hello Elisa, that one comment vies for the top spot I think and covers many others.  Thanks

Nov 17, 2018 01:52 PM
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

John, I must have Attention Deficit Disorder. All the flashy pictures distracted me so much I could not concentrate on reading this potpourri!

Nov 14, 2018 03:23 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA Yes, Carolyn, I have been seriously considering posting the same information a la Encyclopedia Americana with each comment linked to the person who posted it.  Such a lot of time needed for that.  Thank you very much.

Nov 17, 2018 01:54 PM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Some terrific and some terrible advice. I'm with Liz and Bill Spear on this one.  Too many keyboard experts can sometimes make it difficult to find the wheat amongst the chaff.

Nov 14, 2018 04:33 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Anita Clark Hi Anita, a lot is written daily, weekly, monthly and the experienced can detect truth from fancy.  Thank you.

Nov 17, 2018 01:55 PM
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
South Florida Residential Real Estate

Wow, that must have taken some time to put together with the nostalgic video. Too bad there is no sound.

Nov 14, 2018 05:45 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Janice Hope Zaltman Realtor,LEED AP Hello Janice, please try the video again; it does work on my browser.  It is Frank Sinatra singing The Impossible Dream.  I will have to take a breather from this as yes, it did require a bit of extra time!  Thank you

Nov 17, 2018 01:56 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Henry - How do I love thee.... let me count the ways. Wait! don't stop at 104!!! For this post you deserve more than stars and a feature. Many years ago we had a contest to give out the Oscars. Sadly, that went away. You deserve the Oscar for this one! Between your list, the time it took to pluck out the best, make me laugh, insert hilarious videos and bring them all together for one phenomenal AR post is so much more than anything else I ever received since subscribing to AR.

In this month of being thankful, I am and I remain thankful to you! Thank you for stepping out into the limelight and giving me a better reason to blog. If no other blog post inspires me, I feel confident I will always be inspired by you. 

I am in hopes marti garaughty reads this one. The best of the creative people need to stand united and you two are Masters when it comes to creativity! This one really is the M.O.A.B.!!!

Nov 14, 2018 05:57 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI Ha, ok Patricia, you are Number One Fan now!  Thanks for undeserved fanfare, but I like it, I like it!! For a moment I thought the gifs were a little much but when I finished the main text and looked at 100 things that are highly recommended it just seemed like a really impossible situation, especially for a small firm like I believe most of us run.  I just had to throw in some outrageous comedy because to try to get everything covered day by day seemed equally outrageous at least to me.  I do thank you too for finding this and some of my other posts interesting and useful.  After all, this MOAB is truly the product of the best thinking by others here on AR!  Thanks so so much for writing.

Nov 17, 2018 02:01 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

John, I fell down the rabbit hole of blogging when I should have been prospecting in additional ways - until my broker did a little intervention!  This place is totally addictive.  

Nov 14, 2018 07:23 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Patricia Kennedy Hi Patricia, this blogging stuff can take you far far away from pressing daily tasks.  No doubt addictive.  And moreso as so many like yourself post back and get a dialogue going~! Thanks much.

Nov 17, 2018 02:02 PM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I almost died and went to, well, I didn't but I was glad there was an ending finally. Great post.

Nov 15, 2018 12:32 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Kimo Jarrett Hi Kimo, I hope the journey down was entertaining at least.  You guys get all the credit.  I am just a documentary amalgamator...  Thanks!

Nov 17, 2018 02:03 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning John.  This one monster list of great tips and advice.  Thanks.

Nov 15, 2018 05:21 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Gabe Sanders Hi Gabe, the monster finally reared its head and like Don Quixote, I had to take out the sword and bite-size with fun.  Thanks.

Nov 17, 2018 02:05 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I like #15 (made you look!). Definitely face to face is best but not always as easy when clients live 90 miles away.


Great post.


Nov 15, 2018 06:19 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Anne Corbin Hello Anne, yes we have to keep in touch with people and can't meet them always face to face no doubt.  Thanks for your comment.

Nov 17, 2018 02:07 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

I would imagine that any of these 100 tips would be great to apply to day to day business.  Great list.  

Nov 15, 2018 10:42 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Kevin Mackessy Thank you Kevin, I think even 'minor' thoughts or ways to deal with our businesses can be tools to keep in our belt.  I missed a lot of other great ideas here that should have been mentioned.

Nov 17, 2018 02:10 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

while not an agent, there are good lessons for every single business here. Thanks

Nov 17, 2018 04:50 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector Hi Scott, I agree.  And that is why I sift through all the posts that I can as most actually apply to many other businesses.  Thank you.


Nov 17, 2018 02:11 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Susan Haughton    Susan, thrilled you liked this and in the future I will have more of the Rock for you gals to keep your attention...

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland  Hi Margaret, really enjoyed our chat before taking off to see the grandkids! I like that quote a lot and it makes sense more in classical architecture paired with classical music as there is repetition, form, and continuity.  Thank you for contacting me and hope to talk more in the future.  Enjoy your blogs always.

Don Baker Hi Don, have been blogging for about seven months and have tried to retain many of the points that seemed important -- to me.  But I had to go back and research much more until I realized there was about 10 years more to go through.  And I really just skimmed the surface of the 'best' of the last few months!  Thank you.

Anthony Kirlew Hi Anthony, I tried to be 'inclusive' here and James Dray  just brightens everyone's day with his ubiquitous historical personalities!!


Nov 17, 2018 01:40 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Jon Kolsky Hey Jon, so many of you have made my 'month' of late that I cannot say how happy I am to receive such positive feedback.  I stuck out my neck here and a few are not thrilled.  Yes, some of this seems to be anathema in terms of formatting, etc. but in trying to keep folks from getting the glazed stare and posting a drive-by comment I think this has been successful on some level.  Oh boy...  I am thinking of Son of MOAB now...  Thanks very very much for sounding out.

Laura Cerrano Laura, are you multitasking?  Thanks for dropping by!

Jan Green Hi Jan, Green is good!! Soylent even better!! ha.  Well, glad you liked this and hope all of us retain one or two good thoughts.  I tried to get the best of everybody in here and am sorry if I missed a few of you!  Thanks as always for your great contributions on your blogs Jan!  And you admitted you actually read ALL 104!!  I am impressed.

Olga Simoncelli Hello Olga, glad you recognized some of your fellow AR folks! Thank you.

Margaret Goss Hi Margaret, lots to chew on here.  But always good to be reminded of some of our collective high points.  The only reason I am sure of number 30 is because someone mentioned me in the blog title a few months ago and when I googled my name, it was the first post from AR to show up.  Albeit on page 6 of the returns!!

Nov 17, 2018 01:47 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

AR is an amazing will continually be amazed in who you meet and sometimes in the "real life" experiences you have with interaction.

Nov 18, 2018 05:48 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Sally K. & David L. Hanson Yes, thank you.  I look forward to meeting many of ARs great members.

Nov 19, 2018 02:25 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think there is a chance that as we get more diverse and the people that we attract with the blog, things become more achievable.

Nov 18, 2018 10:55 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Laura Cerrano The more people who blog their own valuable experiences, the more we will all learn.  Thank you

Nov 19, 2018 02:26 AM

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