The Power of Invitation – Monday Morning Coffee

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Pareto Realty TN #251071

My great Uncle Boyd was a Dentist.

I was an invincible and VERY rough and tumble youth. My Grand Parents and Great Uncle lived in 2 side-by-side houses on a beautiful 4 acre property on one of Nashville’s premier streets. The family had owned those properties “forever”, and my Great Aunt and Grand Mother were both born and raised in the older of the 2 houses. I remember stories of surviving the great depression by raising Chickens and “living off the land” with a magnificent garden. I was most amazed by the asparagus growing along the fence row. I loved going to Sunday lunch EVERY Sunday and was amazed by their “clicker” (TV remote control) . . . and that day when I visited, and they showed me their new COLOR TV (The first in the neighborhood. (Yes! I AM “that OLD”)

One day, while playing there, I fell and dislodged a tooth. Luckily, it was a “baby tooth”. In those days, any day that I didn’t bleed or hurt myself wasn’t a good day . . . I just picked myself up and kept playing. On this day, my great Uncle witnessed my fall and approached me. He was a very gentle, soft spoken man, and he simply said: “Barry – I’d like to invite you to my “office” to take a look at that tooth.” Well now . . . an invitation I couldn’t refuse because I had never been in his office. Turns out, (of course) he had a Dentist’s chair in his office. I hopped into that chair and opened WIDE, so he could take a look.

30 seconds later, that tooth left my mouth with ZERO pain.

I could have declined his invitation, but I didn’t even think of that possibility much less the fact that a DENTIST was about to mess with my teeth . . . I’ll never forget that “honor” he bestowed upon me by offering an easy solution to my pain.

This is the power of invitation . . . Every invitation honors the recipient with choice.

That was nearly 50 years ago, and I’ve never told this story to anyone.

Why did this story surface now?

We are all just on the other side of 2 very awkward weeks each “split” by Christmas then New Year Day . . . not optimal conditions for “productivity”, so I had lots of time to think about how to “tackle” all of the fantastic “initiatives” I have planned to implement throughout the year.

My excitement for my decision to shift some focus towards “real estate sales” is palpable. For the past several years, working with Home Buyers and Sellers was a rarity for me because I was of the mind that I would need to focus 100% of my “business time and energy” at Building Pareto Realty and coaching the Vital Few Paretozoans. My mindset shift was a “product” of wanting to keep myself “relevant” in the subtle shifts of the market that only an active Real Estate Sales Professional can sense

There’s one part of this that I dreaded. In “sales”, the conventional wisdom is that we sales people must “Lead Generate” – “CAPTURE Leads – “CONVERT Leads” – “SERVICE Leads” – “CLOSE leads” . . . and we Principal Brokers must “RECRUIT” agents to join our firms in the the same way as our Sales Lead Generation.

This bothered me – Our “Prospects” aren’t wild animals whom we must capture and domesticate.

Instead . . . when we sense that there’s someone in our sphere of influence experiencing some “pain” (my tooth) requiring them to make a significant change (Move to another house or Agent moving to another company) . . . Let’s “INVITE” them for a conversation to learn if we can be of service to help them work through to resolution.

Inviting requires more “emotional investment” than lead generating or recruiting because we’re not likely to extend an invitation to someone we don’t think will be a “good fit” for our “party”.

Give it a try – Invite more and recruit less, and I’m betting your batting average of working with the “right people” will increase precipitously.

You’re hereby invited to connect with me to explore the issues and opportunities around whatever impending change(s) you may be facing that may require a move of residence or Real Estate Firm.

Uncle Boyd, thank you for your wisdom (Even though I didn’t “get it” til 50 years later)

Published by Barry Owen 

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love 

Posted by

Barry Owen

Principal Broker
Pareto Realty
Nashville, TN

Call me: 615-568-2123
email me:




Simply & BOLDLY Living the FourFold Way in Open Space!

Quintessentially connected to the real estate industry to offer the ultimate experience for Home Buyers and Sellers in Middle Tennessee . . . Inquire within!

Comments (25)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Invitations are received in a totally different way than recruiting messages. 

Thanks for sharing your story - you must have had quite an active childhood!

Jan 11, 2020 05:48 AM
Barry Owen

Yes Kat Palmiotti  . . . a VERY active childhood. If I was awake, I was outside playing or working (Lawnmowing etc)

Jan 12, 2020 04:10 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Barry - while your experience with your uncle, that baby tooth and the opportunity to accept the power of invitation --- I was thinking of color television sets.  I remember when my aunt and uncle bought their first color set I fortunately received their old black/white Sylvania set(a HUGE blond behemoth).  It's interesting what prompts memories.  Although, I think your memory provided an interesting lesson, I remember thinking that big old television set made me feel pretty grown up as a child.  

Jan 11, 2020 05:53 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

What a wonderful shift in perspective. I love the idea of an invitation - subtle and powerful difference. 

Jan 11, 2020 08:16 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Such a wise uncle you had. And look how he influenced you all these years later. Don't you wish you could sit and talk with him now?


Jan 11, 2020 02:52 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Hmm... Could you use the invitation approach with prospecting? Maybe so.

Jan 11, 2020 03:09 PM
Barry Owen

Yes Marte Cliff  . . . I also do "Agent Recruiting" with invitation  . . . We don't use that word "Recruit" anymore :-)

Jan 12, 2020 04:14 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing, wonderful memories. They are so precious indeed. 

A great topic to speak about as well. Invite, invitation, invitations.

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Jan 14, 2020 06:49 AM


Jan 14, 2020 06:49 AM
Kathy Akers, ABR, CRS, GRI, PSA
Fathom Realty NC LLC - Rocky Mount, NC
Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor

Barry, thank you for sharing this story. I am also having trouble with finding that right tone for lead generation and recruiting. I have always preferred the emotional connection with clients and I find it hard to do that with recruiting. Now I have a new way to view that aspect of making connections with other agents.

Jan 14, 2020 08:16 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great analogy.  Your upbringing must now seem like an old movie. It's hard to believe that the next generation won't exeience what we did.

Jan 23, 2020 01:54 PM