Too New to have SPC's (satisfied past clients)? That's Okay, Just Be an RCHB (reasonably competent human being)!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I recently wrote a blog called "Hang in There, Rookies! It Gets Easier, I promise! which was about how once you get a few SPC's (satisfied past clients) under your belt, this job really does hangget easier - the bringing-in-business part of it anyway. SPC's are by far the best source of business in our business and if you have enough of them... who know where to find you... you can pretty much be set for life. It's a beautiful thing.

However, in the meantime, while you're searching for those soon-to-to-be SPC's, you need to come across as a Reasonably Competent Human Being (RCHB) to everyone you know and everyone you meet. An RCHB is someone who is reliable, intelligent, organized, ethical and knowledgeable and can be trusted to show up and work hard. Whether they sell real estate or take your order at the Village Inn - you can just TELL if someone is an RCHB, can't you?

If you're new, but are perceived as an RCHB in your social circles, it will go a long way toward generating business and referrals from the people you know. Perhaps even more than being friendly, although being friendly will help a lot, too.

So, how can you demonstrate to the world that you're an RCHB?

  1. Be on time
  2. Return phone calls promptly
  3. Strive for 100% error-free written material
  4. Watch your language
  5. Be emotionally mature
  6. Do what you say you're going to do

Be on Time is self-explanatory. Don't be late. Not for business appointments, social engagements or your massage. Every single person you come in contact with has the potential to be your biggest fan. Don't blow it by disrespecting their precious time or looking too unorganized or flustered to show up when promised.

Return phone calls promptly. Ditto. Return all calls as soon as you can, not just business ones. Call even if you don't have an answer yet. Call even if you don't want to.

Strive for 100% error-free written material. Obviously, this includes any promotional material you create (personal brochures, newsletters, website, etc.) but also any personal communication between you and your SOI. Your announcement or reconnection letter, and even your emails should be pretty darn clean. Not everyone is a terrific speller or grammar-phile, but please make the effort. I'd hate to see you run off even one referral because you can't find the spell-check button or figure out how to capitalize the first word in a sentence.curse

Watch your language.  I hope the following doesn't offend you. If you want to demonstrate your professionalism to the people you know, you need to cut down on the four-letter words. It's a habit many of us have, but unfortunately is a habit that can cost you business. I have a friend who is an insurance agent, but her language is so rough I wouldn't dream of referring anyone to her. I'm sure she wonders why. Does she behave that way with her clients? I don't know, but I'm not willing to take the chance with my precious referral business. 

Be emotionally mature? Huh? This is another potentially touchy subject. And, females, it's mostly directed at us. Some of our friends have seen us at our most pathetic, haven't they? And we've seen them at theirs. But, as someone who is hoping to project a professional persona to her friends, you might have to tone that down, or at least be very particular to whom you... um... "talk" to. It may be difficult for your sob-sister to see you as a competent professional. I've had a few girlfriends in my life whose personal lives were such a mess I truly couldn't imagine they could perform professionally in a work environment. I'm sure they did, but, as much as I loved them, I simply wasn't confident in their professional abilities.

Do what say you're going to do.  Strive to never let anyone down. Don't cancel at the last minute or simply not show up. Learn to love a to-do list if you don't already. If you tell someone you'll call, call. If you RSVP to a party, go. If you promise to put a check in the mail, do it NOW!  If you owe someone money, pay it promptly. If you borrow a book, return it in a reasonable amount of time

Notice that none of these items are specifically about being a good real estate agent. That's because if a friend or acquaintance has never used you as a real estate agent, there's no way to prove to them that you're a good one until they do. And, of course, it's not effective to simply tell someone how great you are - you have to show them, which you can't do until they hire you. But if you come across as a generally reliable, responsive, intelligent, competent person, most people will assume that you're a good real estate agent, too.

And then... you're on your way to having some SPC's!!!





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  1. Annette Thompson 08/12/2008 01:06 PM
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Michael Sahlman - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

Sounds like good advice and good common sense for all realtors not just rookies.

Aug 12, 2008 12:02 AM #5
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jennifer, this is a good reminder for rookies of all ages!  And all of the items on this list are important - I was going to especially this or that, but they all matter, al lot.

Aug 12, 2008 12:18 AM #6
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jennifer, your common sense tips always stand out to me. It's not so common for many though.

Aug 12, 2008 01:30 AM #7
Ken Tracy
Coldwell Banker Residential - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hi Jennifer.  Good advice.  RCHB.  We should all strive for it!


Aug 12, 2008 01:56 AM #8
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Good Morning Jennifer... Right on point as always!  Common sense always rules in business and it doesn't take much more than doing the job right, UP FRONT!  This is a service business, we need to shine in everything we do... I know I need more work on #3... after all I am a numbers guy, if it were not for spell check I would be lost!!!  not to mention my writing style has always been defined as 'stream of conscience' (I prefer to call it "mental vomit"!)  We all cant be writers like you!

Aug 12, 2008 02:04 AM #9
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

You brought back the memories with this post Jennifer.  During my first year I had 7 referrals from my very first few months of clients.  It was unbelievable.  All of them said something like "She said to call you because you treat people right!"

I hope I still live up to that expectation.



Aug 12, 2008 02:08 AM #10
Matt Thomson
Fathom Realty Colorado - Littleton, CO
Helping you find success through real estate

i cant stand reading yur @*$% stuff anymore.  Im like totally professional and you just wont giv me the credit i deserv.   i dont have any repeat bizness yet, but i will.  you wate and see.


Aug 12, 2008 03:16 AM #11
Emily Richard
Progressive Mortgage & Associates - Lake Charles, LA

Matt - That was supremely funny.

Jennifer - Thank you for the post, well thought out and insightful.

How much business has been lost for a referral by a bad impression? (totally rhetorical)

Aug 12, 2008 03:35 AM #12
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Very good advice for professionals. I think all of your points are equally important.  Many people don't think about how their behavior is directly related to whether or not they get referrals from their SOI.

Aug 12, 2008 05:42 AM #13
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Excellent advice for newbies and long-timers, alike!  (Or as a I saw in a post recently, the "new bees.")

Aug 12, 2008 07:49 AM #14
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR


     Great list!  I like to work opposite of RCHB as they are always motivated to get the deal done.  I have also worked opposite VULA(Very Uncompetent Lazy Agents) and they are the worst.  There is nothing worse than a lazy agent on the other side of the transaction.  You know the type, their phone don't work, voicemail is full or not set up, can't seem to get a brokers signature on anything, forgets to get you earnest money, etc. etc.  This classification isn't just for new agents either.  I actually find more lazy "experienced" agents, than young new agents.  We all know the reason, new agents want that paycheck, lol.  So needless to say, bring on the RCHB's!

Aug 12, 2008 09:17 AM #15
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

JYR  (Jennifer, You Rock)

Aug 12, 2008 09:33 AM #16
Emily Cressey
The River Rock Group, LLC - Shoreline, WA


As a brand new agent (about to take my real estate licensing test at the end of the month) I was really happy to come across this post of encouragement for total rookies like me.

I think there is a lot of "room" in this industry and on this site to help people who are new agents, especially commercial agents.

Thank you for your insight!


Aug 12, 2008 10:35 AM #17
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Oooo, I definitely want to be a RCHB!

Aug 12, 2008 12:22 PM #18
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Jennifer, great points !  It really is not a difficult... is great for new agents and a super reminder for those agents that need a shot of redbull !!!  Excellent !

Philadelphia Real Estate

Aug 12, 2008 03:04 PM #19
Aaron Cullen
Brokers Inc. Residential Real estate - Folsom, CA
Folsom, El Dorado Hills & Sacramento Real Estate &

Great advice, but not just for Realtors...  I wish more agents would follow these simple rules! Keep up the good work, Aaorn

Aug 12, 2008 03:48 PM #20
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Ah, acronyms. I love them.

Just be PPP&P and you'll get P. That is, be Pleasant, Positive, Personable, and Professional, and you'll get Profit.

Aug 12, 2008 06:53 PM #21
Andy Laughlin - Bellingham, WA

Thanks for the tips...Can't wait until I get there!!

Andy Laughlin

Aug 12, 2008 06:57 PM #22
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

Ah, more TLAs and LFLAs ("Three Letter Acronyms" and "Longer Four Letter Acronyms").  Just like my parallel world (technology).

Aug 13, 2008 03:29 AM #23
Great lkoniog office! I love the black & white theme. Best of luck with the Miami real estate!
Feb 10, 2012 09:16 AM #24
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