You ain't got a thing if you don't have that...

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

a.) Marketing

b.) Niche

c.) Bling

d.) Consistency


One can argue that almost all of the above is necessary to run a successful business.  Being successful means that you are doing something right.  Being in business means you are getting new clients and getting repeat business.  You cannot last long with the former alone.  My thesis here is that consistency is the most important attribute of your business.

You can start with bling, a niche, and great marketing.  But if you are not consistent, these three will not support you for long.

I started thinking about this as I was downing a triple burger at Steak 'n Shake.  I pondered: why do I keep coming back here?  Why do I keep going to the same dentist, auto repair shop, bank, etc.?
The reason is that I can expect the same level of service from each and through the process of elimination over time, I will keep going to the same places, services, and buy the same products.  The food tastes as good or better than last time, the auto repair fix works and lasts, the pain goes away and the dentist made some great jokes, the legal problem is solved as last time, etc.

There are a few aspects of why we habitually buy or engage the same products and services.

1.  You can depend on them

2.  The quality is consistent

3.  The service is consistent

4.  The cost is reasonable, or worth it

Advertisers realize that we grow up using the same things over and over until someone can show that their product or service is superior in some way.

New businesses cannot just show up in a clean outfit and snappy car with an attractive business card and brochure.  As a start-up in a new market especially, or if you are developing or changing your niche, you have to promise something of extraordinary value to make people change their minds and try your service or product.

In many cases, this may mean you must:

1.  Promise superior service, and execute.

2.  Repeat the service or product in a consistent manner.

3.  Keep your costs at or below the existing service or product supplier

4.  Maintain quality that is superior to the existing relationship with a client's vendors, suppliers, professional service providers.

By doing the above, you will create a dependency in your favor.

I was smitten by the style of Jaguars several years ago.  I bought two or three.  The older ones are gorgeous.  They had BLING!  But... they had a huge slew of electrical issues and rust.  The company offered bling but no quality, spotty service, and the resale went down until an Asian manufacturer propped them up again and I am now looking once more.  This was my ice blue convertible from a few years back:


I love analogies and then I hate analogies.  Nothing is quite the same.  I have tried to compare architectural services to physicians, attorneys, real estate agents, etc.  We have a very difficult goal: find a new client over and over again.  If you make them very satisfied, they will be happy in their homes and will not typically need your services again for a very long time.  Of course, referrals are appreciated.

Doctors have a stream of patients; attorneys are sought for a variety of services repeatedly; automobile repair shops know that your car will break down over and over and you will come back, etc.

With great communications, proven repeatable results, following up and keeping up, you will retain your clients.  You will secure a successful business.

So I was watching some pay per view movies for the last two evenings.  TBS has all the Bond flicks on Thursday nights.  The first two or three with Sean Connery were terrific.  The plots seemed well worked out, the acting was very good for the time, special effects on par, and the music was unforgettable.

Then something happened.  With Diamonds are Forever -- one of the worst plots I think --and Connery aging a bit, this movie must have disappointed a lot of fans.  Roger Moore was introduced next and things got a little campy for quite a few of the releases into the late 80s and early 90s.  The fans were let down a bit but the die-hards kept coming back.

Small moral to this story: In business, you may get away with a lot of under par service if you have done great things at the beginning and can mend loose ends at the end.

The franchise was losing its edge.  This was a niche movie production company with Broccoli at the helm.  Secret agent movies were becoming passe. Dozens were being churned out with more realistic plots, acting, and believable social and political issues woven in. The times were a-changin'.

I mentioned 'pay per view'.  Have you noticed how many movies are not distributed nationally?  Why don't they click with a wider audience, why were they relegated to ppv?  The answer is simple...

1. Poor plots (unbelievable, terrible storylines and surprises to make them actually work out)

2. Weak acting (action, dialogue, cast)

3. Subpar special effects (directing, cinematography, editing, wardrobe, etc.)

I think the movies that stay in our minds the longest are the ones that satisfy our expectations.  If the plot makes no sense or disappoints at the end, it is forgettable.  Only a dog and a Mustang are at the heart of the John Wick series.  The plot is secondary to the action.  We know the why.  We are there for the amazing fight sequences and watch one of the most expressionless faces in Hollywood: Kenu Reeves.

Some very special movies have little or no special effects, but they must have a strong cast and a great plot.  We will go to the second, third, and endless iterations of the basic plots and cast if they consistently satisfy our expectations.  


This is analogous to having a principal and support staff that are exemplary, that your focus is clear, that your work is consistent, and that by satisfying your client you will be assured that they will come back and refer you to others.

Huge blunders have been made in movie making and business by:

1. taking advantage of the niche, resting on laurels, and not delivering the goods.

 [in business: promising more than you can deliver consistently on a promoted premise]

2. overspending on the bling -- special digital effects that are simply eye candy and do not contribute to the essential story or are completely distracting from the plot.

 [in business: marketing materials - brochures, website, stationery, etc. that amplify the       service or product but do not really support it well or may be deceptive even.]

3.  taking out the key actor and substituting another who is rather incompetent or uncharismatic in the role.

 [in business: moving your key producer/player into a different project and not paying attention to the quality, delivery, and followup.]


It is possible to make a very good movie with little or no special effects (Marathon Man) but you must have great acting and a good plot.  You will always remember a good movie.

It is possible to run a business successfully with a modicum of means (promotion and bling) but the methods (delivery as promised, great service, follow-through, follow-up) have to be very very good.  Clients will always remember you when you have delivered on time, showed a high degree of professionalism, kept them informed along the way, and followed up to make sure everything was done per expectation (contract and hype).  Repeating this process successfully means you have retained them for the long term.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 09/14/2019 03:34 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
consistency in business most important attribute

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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Well thought out, indeed! I know that's why I always go back to the same people for services.

Sep 14, 2019 07:19 PM #7
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-507-7510

marketing, niche, bling, consistency.  The take-away summary right there.  And fascinating analogy to the movie industry.  Great post, John.

Sep 14, 2019 09:38 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John.

There are several restaurants I go to on a consistent basis, because I know the food will be great, the quality and the taste is always good.  Just like where I shop, the motel I'll be going to next week, the list goes on.  I get it, congrats on the feature

Sep 15, 2019 01:10 AM #9
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Applause Applause...niches are riches!

Sep 15, 2019 04:01 AM #10
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello John - Spffiness or the Spotiness.  Jaguar or James Bond.  Analogies or Allegories.  Compare versus Conflate?  Comparing can be confusing if not downright mind-boggling at times.  And conflating...

Sep 15, 2019 05:08 AM #11
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

I know there's much argument about the best bond, but personally I've loved Daniel Craig as Bond.  Returns more to the ruthless version of Bond that existed in the books.  And yes, I know what to expect with John Wick, rented all 3 this weekend so Liz could see the first 2 that she missed and I can see "3" that I wanted to see in the theater, but just could never make happen.

Sep 15, 2019 05:21 AM #12
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I think it’s very important in our over crowded real estate community to be a Meaningful Specific !!!

Sep 15, 2019 05:50 AM #13
Stephen Turner
Gemcraft Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

some very good points and take-a-ways. Thanks for sharing these insights or principals which we should guide our businesses by. 

Sep 15, 2019 08:40 AM #14
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great post, thanks for sharing!

Being successful means that you are doing something right.  Being in business means you are getting new clients and getting repeat business.  You cannot last long with the former alone.  My thesis here is that consistency is the most important attribute of your business.

Sep 15, 2019 08:59 AM #15
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

You are spot on! Without consistency you have nothing. Always striving to do your best will for sure keep you in business.

Sep 15, 2019 02:20 PM #16
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Hey John Henry that was a fun post to read! I feel like you took us on a Sunday drive and first went one direction, then shifted to another direction and somehow brought it all back together. Very cool!

Sep 15, 2019 02:29 PM #17
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great article with great points!  We go back when we get great service and feel valued!

Sep 15, 2019 04:09 PM #18
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

John Henry 
Yes - those are the four road posts, aren't they?

a.) Marketing

b.) Niche

c.) Bling

d.) Consistency

BTW - I ask myself the same question about Steak 'n Shake.  I pondered: why do I keep coming back here? 

The Steak and Shake answer is
a.) Marketing
always lots of coupons whether they are worth anything or not

b.) Niche the 24 hour thing

c.) Bling
lots and lots of new changing combos and new shakes

d.) Consistency
YES -- here is the key --- always slow service and cold food!

Hmm - maybe I will drive there and get a burger now...



Sep 15, 2019 06:19 PM #19
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Fantastic analogies and what a wonderful ride you took your readers on, stopping at each of the points on the way to your destination, John!

I'm totally with you on Steak 'n Shake and like you, used to have a 'thing' for the Jag and after hearing many reports and hearing experiences from friends who had them, I decided not to buy one when I was seriously considering one. I wound up buying an Infinity FX35 and was so thankful I had heeded the advice of my friends!

Sep 15, 2019 11:27 PM #20
L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

John Henry great post!  I see that consistency and follow through are key!  Sharing this with my team!



Sep 16, 2019 12:19 PM #21
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Loved this post and all the points you made, especially about consistency. Glad to see the feature - it was well deserved.


Sep 16, 2019 01:17 PM #22
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear John,

Indeed. Sounds like a good formula. Great dance photo!

Sep 16, 2019 07:21 PM #23
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I totally agree with you. We have to consistently provide excellent service and care to keep people coming back (and to tell their friends who to call). I keep going back to the same places also - once I find one I like, I'm there until they stop providing excellent service/products.

Sep 17, 2019 06:23 AM #24
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Henry - I'm all about customer loyalty. When I'm treated right, I feel comfortable and I want to keep getting the best services from people I know, like and trust. Plus, I refer them to others. But if given a reason why I can't trust, I am gone and I don't look back. I believe in Kaizen! It's a feeling that is mutual and respectful. 

Sep 17, 2019 02:01 PM #25
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning John Henry - this all wraped up in what is called "the experience".  When we create a great expereince we create a bond and only we can break that bond by not being consistent.

Sep 19, 2019 07:56 AM #26
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Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design
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