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San Diego Sales Agents Can't Offer What They Do Not Possess

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

You Can't Offer What You Do Not Possess
It's about serving not selling.

Red Carpet Service

  • You can't offer full service, if you're a discount broker: it doesn't pencil out.
  • You can't offer true experience if you're in this industry less than 10 years ( because anyone in 2024 with less than 10 years experience was never a real estate agent in a market like today's market). It doesn't mean you can't be a good agent, it just means there are those of us that have been here before, and you have not.
  • You can't offer creative solutions if you've never had to save an escrow from imploding or get two bickering parties, back to playing off the same sheet of music. Many avoid perceived conflict these days, when in in fact it's merely negotiating and haggling. I see it all the time and shake my head at their lack of care for their clients.
  • You can't offer proven results if you are not selling multiple homes per year.
  • You can't offer updated and cutting edge skills and tools if you never pay for over and above training and coaching. I'm not talking required classes. I'm speaking of above and beyond classes, seminars, retreats, coaching, technology, masterminds groups, etc.

These skills and talents as well as so many more only comes from thousands of hours at kitchen tables, sitting in cars, touring and selling properties, phone hours, research hours, classroom hours, rolling up our sleeves and working the problem to find solutions hours, etc.

One of the most common questions I get asked is "Why should I hire you?" Sometimes its a challenge question, but most of the time, it's because they really want to know. They have not ever hired a San Diego REALTOR® before or it's been years since they did (and a lot has changed in the San Diego Market since then).

This is the moment when an experienced agent enjoys sharing their USP and a new agent or a seasoned "bad" agent either panics or gets defensive. Their tone, demeaner and response will tell you a lot about them in that moment.

So, what is a USP? It's their Unique Selling Proposition and if they are smart, they figure out your needs first before they offer it. Because experienced agents like me have more than one! And not all are going to matter to you. My challenge is to understand which "arrow in my quiver" will serve you best, because it's about serving your needs not showing off my experience.

For example it may not matter to you I offer Rebates to my San Diego Veterans, if you're not a Veteran or Active Duty in our Military. You might not care that I donate to San Diego Classrooms from my closed deals to support local teachers in need of books, art supplies and other basics if you are not a teacher. It may not apply to you that I offer discounts and rebates to First Responders if you're an engineer or an HR manager.

It may not matter to you that I'm professionally coached by the #1 Real Estate Coaching Company in the world since 1999 to assure you that I have the skills to help you enjoy the thrills of homeownership or getting your home sold properly for more money.

I'll ask you several questions first to determine which of my USP's will both matter to you and benefit you as a San Diego home buyer or seller.

So actually one of my many USP's is the fact that I put my client's needs ahead of my own and find out how to serve them uniquely, since no one likes to be served by a cookie cutter style service. Is the agent you're interviewing right for you? Consider this:

  • Do you feel heard or do you feel talked at?
  • Ask your agent if they are full-time? These days this is a full-time career. You'd be surprised how many think they can work a full-time job elsewhere and then side-hustle real estate. 
  • Does this agent have a buyers plan or a sellers plan. Can they articulate how they will help you from A to Z buy or sell?
  • Does this agent serve you personally or pawn you off on a team member once you've been onboarded?
  • Does the agent ask you questions about you or brag about themselves?
  • Does it feel like a consultation or a sales pitch?
  • Are your questions being answered intelligently?
  • Does this agent have years of experience in markets like this one?
  • Does this agent sell homes regularly.
  • Does this agent offer referrals to the other professionals you may need like a mortgage lender he/she trusts, an attorney, a CPA, inspectors, etc.
  • And then ask any question that has you still wondering. Because if these questions do not resolve your decision making, you may have a unique question we may not realize, but if it is a concern of yours -you should ask it.
  • The only dumb questions are the ones you never ask. You're not bugging a true professional - ask us!
  • Do they have a fair amount of positive reviews online - are they even presence online and what image does that present?

The REALTOR® you choose should make you feel cared for; you should have a good sense of their confidence and character. It helps to like them, but it's more important to respect and trust them having your best interest at heart. Sales Agents Can't Offer What They Do Not Have.

"Small Enough To Care, Big Enough To Deliver!​"

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR®, Working By Referral since 1999
Veteran Specialist, CDPE, Certified Residential Specialist, RCS-Divorce, Author
DRE# 01261476  Vision Drive Realty, Inc.
Brokered by Big Block Realty DRE# 01885775

Mobile: 858-232-8722

red carpet Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
red carpet 2 Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

service Image by kalhh from Pixabay

stars Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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(858) 232-8722
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (14)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing some of your personal practices and advice.

Have a productive week.

Feb 25, 2024 08:27 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you Roy Kelley for visiting my post!

Feb 25, 2024 08:32 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

You don’t really know what you’re not getting until you don’t get it  !  ( chew on that ) lol 

Feb 25, 2024 11:14 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Yes. sometimes that's the frustration Michael J. Perry - the client moves on, has a bad experience, discovering it was better to work with too late to matter to all. Jackass agent gets paid, good agent does not and client often gets screwed on some level.

Feb 25, 2024 01:24 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Those are excellent questions for a potential client to ask themselves when interviewing an agent. After the experience questions, everything comes down to how do we make them feel? Listened to? Full of trust? Will their needs be fulfilled?

Carol Williams - suggestion for your Saturday Second Chances.

Feb 26, 2024 05:22 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Wow Kat Palmiotti thank you. I appreciate your comments and recommendation to Carol.

Feb 26, 2024 05:55 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

These really are good questions. These days there are so many alleged agents running around with little to no actual training, it would be fun to watch a client ask them these questions!  

Feb 27, 2024 12:02 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - many years before real estate, I was introduced to the concept of tanstaafl.  There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.  I learned it in a junior high school Humanities class - so long ago they now call it middle school.   

Thinking back, it was also one of my first introductions to the amazing world of acronyms.  As well as when slang has its place.  🙃

Feb 27, 2024 04:12 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

This is a good read.  Thanks for sharing.


Feb 27, 2024 10:11 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Very well done though I might take umbrage with the 10+ years. I have 7 plus have been in sales for over 5 decades.  I have established relationships with other agents who have been in longer than 10 years and though I learn from them, they have learned from me.

Feb 27, 2024 10:23 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Leanne Smith I understand, and I knew that would ruffle some feathers, but I truly believe the lessons we learned in the almost 6 years of grinding out the The Crash, were priceless and hopefully will never need to be experienced again, but were super valuable for dealing with markets like 2020 and 2022 as well as the shifts of  2022 & 2023.

When you've beaten cancer, the common cold no longer seems so bad. That is what the Crash did for me, put the last 12 years into perspective and I honestly never felt the struggles or challenges weighing on me the way others were, because through experience, The Crash was worse. I got through that so I can get through anything!

Feb 28, 2024 11:21 AM
Leanne Smith

In the corporate world during the 1980's many businesses felt the effects of the oil embargo as well as significant inflation. Business continues to be a cycle of ups and down regardless of industry.

Feb 28, 2024 02:58 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Indeed. Change is the only we can count on beyond death and taxes 😂

Feb 28, 2024 03:34 PM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Equity Advisors

Nice post Thomas! it is hard for experienced lenders to watch clients make choices based on bad information or advice from a non-professional. It is even more frustrating to provide a solution with your experiance and have it taken somewhere else.

Feb 27, 2024 12:42 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Oh Matt Brady seeing what my friend Jason E. Gordon goes through weekly, I don't think I'd ever survive being a lender. You guys have it way worse than us when it comes to being commoditized. It's amazing how ignorant the public is about true value and stepping over a dollar to pick up a shiny penny.

Feb 28, 2024 11:15 AM
Jason E. Gordon

Haha, I used to work with Matt Brady…solid guy, and veteran of the mortgage game (in the always-cutthroat builder market). Suffice to say, we know how it feels to be commoditized like swap meet vendors. Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets, excellent read. For those of us who know you well, every word of this post is 100% factual. Very well articulated 

Feb 29, 2024 08:43 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Oh wow that's amazing. Thanks Jason E. Gordon for the kind words too!

Feb 29, 2024 05:12 PM
Mercedes E. Santana
Santana Property Group - New York, NY
Investment Properties

Well done Thomas! So much of what you wrote hits home.  I learned years ago, to eat, sleep and breathe Real Estate so I can offer the best  possible service to my clients.

A client should feel they have your undivided attention, and that you are well informed about the current market.  Trust in your agent is everything!

Feb 27, 2024 02:10 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you for your comments and kind words Mercedes E. Santana 

Feb 28, 2024 11:13 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Fabulous seasoned advice!!!  Carries over into many other service professional fields.  Thank you.  I like the Why question...

Feb 27, 2024 06:22 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you John Henry, Florida Architect 

Feb 28, 2024 11:12 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Thomas,

So glad to see this post featured! Trust in your agent is key and you have provided some excellent questions for a seller to ask agents. As an agent you must know your USP. If you've been in the business for a while this should be evident through your marketing and reputation, however it's always good to make a point of making sure the clients understands what it is and that you are passionate about it.

Feb 28, 2024 06:50 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

You made some great points in your comment Dorie Dillard Austin TX I'm glad they're attached to my post!

Feb 28, 2024 11:12 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

This is a really good post, thank you for sharing it and being so honest as well. I love that you mention how we serve, we are not here to sell, but serve. I have always felt that and put clients before my own needs. Thank you for articulating all of this so well.

Feb 28, 2024 12:59 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea, but I work hard and I'm honest so, I put it out there. So glad you connected with the post Nick, thank you!

Feb 28, 2024 03:33 PM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets 

Such great points, in a NUT SHELL, you hit all the right spots🙂

Feb 29, 2024 03:00 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you! 😁

Feb 29, 2024 05:11 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Great post, Thomas. Anyone reading about what you have to offer in the San Diego real estate market should choose you as their REALTOR.

Mar 02, 2024 04:46 PM