Stop Making Excuses - Start Marketing Yourself Today

Real Estate Agent with PREA Signature Realty -

 Now, as some of you may know, I often will use a private conversation with my current and former colleagues - both inside and outside my brokerage - as a source of inspiration for my blog posts.  I use a variety of devices to protect the innocent such as waiting several weeks or even months before commenting on a particular discussion or series of discussions. 


So I was engaged in a discussion regarding the reasons "why" we procrastinate and avoid doing personal marketing, networking, prospecting and business development activities.  Here are the top excuses actually uttered by real estate sales professionals as to why they do not like to engage in business development and personal marketing activities:

•  "I am booked with showings and just don't have enough time in the day."  It isn't always about now.  You have to build a pipeline and keep it stocked so you don't have those dry spells.

•  "It's a bad market.  Why waste my time and money with client development when the listings won't sell anyway?"  There are good and bad markets.  In bad markets, people are still selling and purchasing homes.  Get back to the basics; stop living in 2005; and roll up those sleeves and get to work.

•  "I don't get paid to do this."  Really?  I bet that isn't really true.  Let me explain the sales cycle.  It goes something like this:  marketing generates customers; customers generate sales; sales generate commissions. 

•  "It isn't a good use of my time.  I'm in sales.  Now, I'm supposed to be your marketing department too?"  I love that entrepreneurial spirit.  I know there are a lot of brokerages that provide extensive marketing support, but the only person who is looking to get you more business is - well - you.

•  "I'm a worker bee, not a rainmaker.  Sales is just a numbers game.  My broker should be sending me leads."  You can stick by the telephone and wait for it to ring.  However, personally, I would rather have my own customers and my own book of business because, that way, I control my own destiny.

•  "Networking doesn't work.  Jim sells 2 homes a month and he doesn't do that."  Or "When I worked for ABC brokerage, I didn't have to do that."  How do I address this one?  Maybe Jim is a better salesperson.  Maybe Jim won't admit that he does networking - but just not in a formal way.  Maybe you should go back to ABC brokerage.  When your competitor isn't doing it, it may be a sign that you should be doing it.  Think out of the box and dare to be different.

•  "I don't want to sound like a used car sales person.  If I market to people, they will get the impression that I just want business."  Well, business development isn't about hawking yourself.  The most effective business development strategy is often just getting out there and talking to people.

•  "I am afraid to talk to people.  I really don't like selling.  I let the property sell itself."  I hear the museum has an opening for tour guides.  Personal marketing is about keeping in constant or regular contact with potential customers.  Sometimes, it is as simple as the old adage "Out of sight, out of mind."

•  "I tried that once and it didn't work."  I know it didn't work - you only did it once.  Marketing requires multiple contacts in multiple mediums to multiple audiences.  I know that advertising works - but I just don't know which advertisement will work or even when it will work. 


Sometimes, you have to find success you need to take a different direction.  Now that the excuses are out of the way, let's make a commitment that we will break the cycle of excuses and start developing new business today.  Here are some suggestions:

•  Respect the Effort.  Business development requires a substantial investment of your time, money, energy and effort.  It is extremely important that you understand that business development takes time to produce results.  It will not happen immediately or overnight.  Your activities today may not produce new business for 12 or more months. 

•  Develop an On-Going Strategy.  As you proceed, give your initiatives time to develop.  There will be false starts.  The answer is not simply to stop.  You must make adjustments and explore other avenues.  Always evaluate your progress and ask "why" something didn't work before you abandon it completely.

•  Ask for Assistance.  When you do anything for the first time, there is a certain fear of failure.  There is often a learning curve.  Don't let the fear of failure stop you from succeeding.  There are some remarkable real estate professionals out there.  I have yet to meet a single person who said "no" when I asked for assistance.  Asking for assistance is not (and should not be considered) a weakness.  If you don't have a mentor locally, then consider the thousands of people on ActiveRain as your mentors.

Now stop reading and start developing new business.  The best time to start is TODAY!  If you are still procrastinating, fess up and post a comment stating the excuse that you have most recently used or heard.

Note:  The opinions and statements contained herein represent my personal opinions and observations.  These blog entries are not reviewed, endorsed or approved for publication by Gilded Age, L.L.C., Gilded Age Sales, L.L.C. or Preservation Real Estate Advisors, L.L.C

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PREA Signature Realty is a full service brokerage located at 1709 Park Avenue in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of the City of St. Louis.  PREA Signature proudly serves the following city neighborhoods:  Lafayette Square, Soulard, Benton Park, Benton Park West, Downtown Loft District, Forest Park Southwest, Central West End, Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South, Compton Heights, Shaw, The Hill, Dogtown, Carondelet, Holly Hills, St. Louis Hills, Dutchtown, and the Other Historic Neighborhoods of the City of Saint Louis, Missouri. 

The opinions expressed herein represent the opinions of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of PREA Signature Realty.  All photos and written content were produced by PREA Signature Realty.  All Rights Reserved - PREA Signature Realty (2009).  This content may not be reproduced or reprinted, except for Active Rain re-blogging, without express written permission of PREA Signature Realty.

For more information, visit our website at or contact Ryan Shaughnessy at 314-971-4381 or send an email to


Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

What a great motivational post!  I think you are correct that some of the marketing we do is not realized until much later...probably why many quit doing it too early.  They are not persistent or consistent.

Nov 04, 2008 03:32 AM #41
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Tim:  Thanks.  Got to push forward or remain stuck in the mud.

Marcia:  Post it.  Share it.  Sometimes associates need to hear it from someone else.  Often, I will post comments at our sales meetings to hammer home a point.

Alexsandra:  "Respect the Effort" is important.  We live in an instant gratification world.  When it doesn't produce immediately, it becomes a chore - especially true with newer agents who may not understand the time and effort that it takes to develop business.  Good things sometimes take time to develop.

Tracy:  I absolutely agree with you.  I need to say "I'm going to spend X% of the time developing new business" and I then track it.  Some of agents use a point type system to track their work.  It really hammers home the point and helps them to focus on where there business comes from. 

Diane:  Agreed.  Negative outlook only slows us down.

Hope:  I love your "yes I can" philosophy.

Nov 04, 2008 09:27 AM #42
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

We can all come up with excuses or solutions and have to decide which will it be. Now is the time as you say because when it breaks I want to be ready for it.

Nov 04, 2008 11:01 AM #43
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Marty:  I absolutely agree - either evolve and market yourself or perish waiting for the phone to ring.

Neal:  There is a ton of business out there.  We just need to figure out how to position ourselves to go after it.

Kathy:  Excuses - sometimes it is so easy to blame the market or some other factor when it really is that we just need to roll up our sleaves and get to work.

Shobha:  We all need a little push now or then.

Norma:  Thanks for stopping bye.

Michael:  Producers see opportunities; non-producers make excuses.

Nov 04, 2008 03:45 PM #44
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Sandy:  Thanks.  It's a tough time - but that means work harder.

Paul:  Read a similar article in a mortgage broker magazine - suggests 75% on marketing with dedicated times.  Good idea for all real estate professionals.

Barb:  It is a revolving door.  Lured by easy money they come.  The ones that stay get the point and understand what it takes to be successful.

Cindy:  I agree - to some extent you are only as good as your last sale.

Brandon:  I agree - genuine relationships will always work to create business - sometimes a little prodding and reminder is necessary.

Lori:  I would love to be your mentor.  You definitely get IT.  However, I have to admit - I would learn more from you than vice versa.  Love your energy and aggressive marketing plan.

Rick:  Thanks for stopping bye.

Barb:  We all have great ideas.  Some have great plans.  And a few actually execute the plan.  It takes time and effort to develop a plan.  But, the rewards are so sweet when the plan comes together and works.

Nov 04, 2008 03:57 PM #45
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Ryan:  Marketing can seem like a mountain.  In reality, it is a molehole.  As you said, put one foot in front of the other and sooner or later you get to the destination.

Todd:  Agreed.  If you don't have that "warrior" spirit, you should be in another business.  Sales isn't for everyone.

Bob:  Without marketing, I don't know how you can survive.  There are different ways to do it.  No right way - but you have to do something.

James:  Back to basics - and yet some still don't see the light.

Yvette:  Glad I could give you a little kick.  We all need reminders now and then.

Christine:  I know the feeling - when you are busy, marketing can be the first thing to go.  But, stocking the pipeline is so important - especially now when the deals don't come quite as easy as before.

Russel:  I enjoy your posts.  It sounds like you have a well-thought out plan.

Rich:  Some people come by sales naturally.  They have an easy gift of gab.  Others like me are more introverted and need a plan to guide me through it all.

Nov 04, 2008 04:07 PM #46
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Sharon:  I agree - the comments are often better and more enlightening than the posts.  AR is a great forum - with different levels of education, experience, specialties, etc.  It is great to bounce something off of someone who has no experience as well as someone who has 20 years of experience.

Sonja:  There is an Edison quote.  Don't have it with me - but it goes something like this "Many have quit when they were only minutes from success."

Joyce:  I agree - we are positioning ourselves now for what may happen 6, 12 or even 18 months down the road.

Nov 04, 2008 04:12 PM #47
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team - Atlanta, GA
Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Ryan -- Very nice post.  Even in this market, I still feel optimistic and I know you can fail or succeed based on your attitude.  I will say that my wallet has tightened a bit and I have to loosen it up and bit and spend those marketing dollars! 

BTW -- my favorite excuse is "I don't want to sound like a used car salemen". 

Nov 06, 2008 04:47 AM #48

Great post Ryan.  Thanks for sharing. 

Nov 06, 2008 05:59 AM #49
Coach Patti Kouri
Accelerated Performance Coaching - Chatsworth, CA

Great reminder post. 

Nov 06, 2008 06:02 AM #50
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Kerry:  That one is my second favorite.  My favorite is "You want me to be your marketing department too."  Thanks for visiting.

Coach Patti:  Thanks for stopping bye.

Nov 06, 2008 07:53 AM #51
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Ryan, great post. I enjoy all your articles. Need to implement now! Congrats on being featured. ~Pat

Nov 07, 2008 01:33 AM #52
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Pat:  Always appreciate your comments.  Thanks for reading.

Nov 07, 2008 03:01 AM #53
Rich Rogala
Consistent Clients - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Marketing Coach

Great post! Excuses just keep you from the success you could have, if you weren't busy coming up with reasons why something won't work.

Nov 07, 2008 05:30 AM #54
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor


This is an excellent post. Congratulations on the feature. "It's not my job" is a favorite excuse of mine to go right along with the ones you offered. :)


Nov 07, 2008 06:13 AM #55
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Rich:  Sometimes you have to fail to succeed.  But you at least have to try...

Steve:  Thanks for the comments.  "It's not my job" is a big one that I hear.  Heck, as a small business owner for more than 10 years, there isn't much that wasn't my job.  When we really think about, most real estate professionals are their own company or brand.  If you don't promote it, then your personal business won't grow.

Nov 07, 2008 01:09 PM #56
Renee Eubanks
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Prescott, AZ
Selling Real Estate One Home At A Time.


I was a successful agent a couple years back,  I moved here a couple years ago and am having trouble.  I have done all the things, like a website, I'm on every site like linkin etc.  I'm having trouble moving outside of my comfort zone.  I get all the expired listings ready to call and then I get distracted and fail to make the calls.  It was something I enjoyed doing when I lived in a community for years and was well known.  I have got my old cd's from Tommy Hopkins, Rodger Butcher out am listening to them.  What's the worst thing that could happen.  They say no. 


Dec 02, 2008 08:58 AM #57
Marjorie Taylor
Riverside Homes - Saint Augustine, FL
New Homes in St. Augustine Florida

Ask for help -- YES!  Sites like AR are such a valuable resource - AND IT'S FREE - you got to love that now a days!  

Thank for the post and the tips.

Dec 02, 2008 09:04 AM #58
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Reading your post today was perfect timing for me -- I'm pumping up the marketing and it was nice to get an unexpected boost of encouragement.

Apr 19, 2010 01:10 AM #59
Wendy Swanson

Terrific! I personally love the line, "The only person who is looking to get you more business is - well - you." I don't think it could be said any better. I currently work as a Real Estate Virtual Assistant to Mike Russer of Online Dominance ( and found this information both motivational and timely.

Wendy Swanson

May 12, 2010 08:47 AM #60
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