Listen, You Don't Need that Stuff!

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Listen, You Don't Need that Stuff!

There isn't a week that goes by that I am not asked about my opinion about a new bright shiny tool, CRM program, app, system or new lead generation that promises to revolutionize the way an agent does business. There are promises of increased income and solutions to every pain point an agent might have.

Although the one pain point that may be temporarily resolved is the pain an agent feels when they are in a desperate state and then think they have found their solution, the problem is that RARELY do these bright shiny options actually solve anything. They do provide a fabulous distraction and they are incredibly effective at draining your bank account, but they rarely solve the problem long-term.

Take a look at your email inbox. In a given day, how many emails do you receive that promise that a CRM can do everything from "drip on" potential clients, a program that can produce emails that get sent to your database and you don't have to do anything, a service that can generate new leads from "pre-qualified" buyers, or even an app that you can use at an open house to capture information and provide stats from your tablet?

I want you to remember something as you wade through your email between now and the new year:

"You don't need that stuff"

The agents who do the best in this business are the agents who operate their business with a plan and with blinders. They have a client connection plan and don't get distracted by the thrill of the new and "improved." They know that real estate is a business of connections. Connections take time - your time. When the substitute for your time is money to buy a generic solution, it just isn't impactful enough to build those long-term relationships. The bottom line is you need to go back to doing the few things that really work and stop relying on gadgets and false promises.

So, what works in today's highly competitive real estate market? A simple annual plan that works well for your personality type and those of your clients. Get to know your clients and design a contact and communication plan that suits them. If they like a high level of personal connection, then make sure to write them personal notes and pick up the phone to connect occasionally. If they like data then prepare a custom report that is relevant to their home, their area or their situation. Stop relying on instant mass-produced email campaigns or bad generic mailers to build connections.

When I sold real estate, I relied on a four-tiered campaign that worked brilliantly to attract my past clients' attention and kept them coming back to me for real estate advice:

  • Personal Touches: Phone calls, handwritten cards, personal gifts, anniversary of their home purchase
  • Real Estate Information: Custom newsletters, monthly mailers, quarterly reports
  • Custom Reports: Annual Client Reviews or a custom report on their area
  • Data Charts and Graphs: Annual Predictions on the market, charts and graphs showing historical price growth, inventory graphs, days on market information

Think about it: If you make it too easy to substitute your time with an easy and generic solution, you make it easy to be substituted.

Not sure how to implement a system like this? I would suggest finding ten of your past clients and creating a custom connection plan for them in 2020. Figure out how you would implement it and do it for four months. Then come April, reassess and add another ten people. I think you will be amazed at how effective this personal connecting is. That personal connection is not something a $29 app can buy. Remember, you don't need that!


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Denise- it's so easy to be enticed by the shiny new app or program, isn't it?  And there are some apps that can help with the process you have that takes you from listing to closing and beyond. But you're the above and do it consistently and do it well. 

Dec 14, 2019 02:51 PM #1
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Good morning Denise, It is easy to get distracted with everything out there.  I do agree with the personal touches and staying in touch with all your clients.  I trained the Buffini way and use that in my day to day business.  I also add in a few shiny objects....I cannot lie!

Dec 15, 2019 04:57 AM #2
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

There are an abundance of tools out there that only serve to distract us and use up time we could be listing or showing property Denise Lones 

Dec 15, 2019 05:43 AM #3
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Denise Lones - I agree with you.  Chasing the shiny new object is not subsitute for a good business plan with SMART goals.

Dec 15, 2019 06:03 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Denise... exactly my philosophy: If you make it too easy to substitute your time with an easy and generic solution, you make it easy to be substitute

I'm all about always thinking about that point of differentiation and adding value... generic solutions/contacts do not add value.

Dec 15, 2019 06:16 AM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I often lament that I spent the first half of my life collecting stuff, and now I'm spending the second half trying to get rid of it.

Dec 15, 2019 06:28 AM #6
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Denise Lones yes yes YES!  I've long been a propoent of doing what you know works and keeping it simple and personal.  Every week I get a boring video from a lender of which I quit watching a year or so ago. It's all about him and he talks to agents like they don't know much. That's just stupid!!  It shows they don't know their audience, nor do they care. Nope!

Dec 15, 2019 10:16 AM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Denise Lones,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week. Such sensible what you know, keep in contact with past clients and keep the connection going with simple and personal touches.

Dec 15, 2019 10:26 AM #8
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Oh my, I definitely agree with Myrl Jeffcoat's comments. So true for me as well.

Dec 15, 2019 04:32 PM #9
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well I can certainly relate to that line about not needing stuff. I have to remind people of this all the time.  Of course I'm at the other end...telling them what they already have, rather than what they are considering not something they need.

Dec 16, 2019 01:38 PM #10
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What a great post! When I first started in business, I was drawn to the "shiny objects" that were going to make everything bigger and better. Now I delete anything and everything that even hints at making my job easier. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 16, 2019 09:21 PM #11
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

We are certainly inundated with emails and calls about ways to improve our business, effortlessly. And when I go to conventions, I generally steer away from the expos.

Dec 17, 2019 07:14 AM #12
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I do think it's important to add social media to the mix of advertising/promotion as it's expected these days.  But keeping up with clients in a personal way is also critical

Dec 19, 2019 09:57 AM #13
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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