Real Estate's Most Popular Success Community


Not a Member? Join Now!

Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!

Flip video camera

Could you use this cool Video Camcorder in Your Business?
Share Your Best STUFF!

Real estate can be a tough, lonely business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your best stuff with our community, everyone wins!

AND…remember, each month we hold a drawing to award one amazing FLIP video camcorder to an agent who submits an idea we use. So submit your best prospecting, marketing, horror story, or other real estate idea that makes you more successful, and you'll automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW FLIP video camcorder. Be sure to include an example if you have one! Click Here

How to Get Business NOW – Spending Nearly $0.00

Would you like to use a marketing system that costs you nearly $0.00 and will bring you a steady flow of quality, motivated buyers and sellers – even during a deep recession?

Then keep reading, because this will be one of the most valuable and powerful marketing strategies you'll ever use in your practice. I'm very serious. Keep reading, you won't regret it...

I've seen booms and busts in real estate over the past three decades of my career. And regardless of the market I've never stopped looking for proven ways to make my marketing dollars stretch as far as possible.

Today's market requires you to stretch like never before.

Most businesses (and agents) cut marketing programs during slow times and, in the process, lose tremendous market share and revenue. What they also don't realize is a recession is an opportunity (actually a mandate if you want to survive) to gain an increasing share of a declining market.

It's in times when everyone else is cutting back that you need to market MORE not less.

Question is, how do you market more frequently AND
more effectively while spending LESS money??

Here's how: First, your selection of the right "market" is at least 80% of your success. And the most valuable market (and business asset) you own is your House List, or what some agents call your Sphere of Influence.

They include your past clients, quality leads, friends, family and acquaintances who know you or know OF you. These are the people most likely to welcome and respond to your message (especially if it's value-oriented – more in a minute).

They're also the highest quality people you'll ever work with in your practice. They qualify and close at the highest rates.

Don't have a "house list"?

Then start one. One of our agents started adding just 2 people a day to her database (past clients, family, friends, common associations such as church, community organizations, etc.), and in her first year alone made over $122,000 in commissions from the group.

And she keeps making a growing $6-Figures each year from them. Not bad in my book.

OK, now, the way you "market" to your House List is to do something radically different from what other agents are doing...something that will set you APART from other agents, bring great VALUE, bond a deeper RELATIONSHIP, AND give people specific REASONS to communicate with you and use your services.

Your communication needs to have 3 purposes: 1) converting leads to clients, 2) generating new clients, and 3) motivating referrals and repeat business.

I'm talking about creating a very, very different, but simple-as-pie EMAIL Marketing Program.

But remember, you don't want to be sending "pitch" emails to folks – that will just make them angry. Instead, you want to send them something that will be welcomed and valued on it's own merit.

And here's how you do it – step by step...

STEP #1: Find "The Right" Kind of Contact to Send – Something That WORKS.

This is going to sound like a pitch, but read on because it's important.

I want you to go to, and scroll down BELOW the input form, and click on the "order" button.

Or you can call my office and speak with Michele or Karen at (800) 622-2540 (land line: 520-546-1349) – they're terrific people. Be sure to ask them for the special limited-time "Agent Inner Circle Member Deal" (don't forget, OK?).

Why do this?

Because for just $67 a month you can get a ready-to-use newsletter that is written FOR you, engineered with ALL the elements you need to make it "work": 1) High Readership Content, 2) 7 proven "Bonding Elements" to build the relationship, and 3) 14 Specific "Offers" to convert leads and generate referrals, word of mouth and repeat business.

You could spend 15 to 20 hours a month researching, writing, editing, rewriting, etc. your own (and still not get it right) or you can let me do it for you. Be smart – you practice real estate, I'll write your marketing communication. Seriously, just do it – you won't regret it.

OK, now that you've done that, here's the "radically different" part: You're going to convert your newsletter to a simple .pdf document and EMAIL it out.

Why do it this way?

People will welcome your .pdf document because it's PERSONAL and DIFFERENT and will stand out, and can be read on-screen or printed out (by the way 99% of all computers have Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed, so nearly every human soul can read it just by clicking on the attached file). AND...they can very easily forward it to family and friends on their email list – free viral marketing for you.

Plus, there's another use for your pdf newsletter and I'll share it with you at the end of this article – let's keep going...

Step #2: Here's how to send your newsletter:

1: Customize your newsletter as usual as if it were written by "you" (another very important reason to use Service For Life!), updating it with your contact information, phone, email and web sites – just like you do every time you send it. It's very easy.

2: Convert your documents to an Adobe Acrobat File (.pdf). If you don't have Adobe Acrobat full version on your computer you can get a free .pdf converter online by either going to or, or you can search Google or Yahoo, etc. for a "Free PDF Converter". It's Free, Easy and very Fast.

3: 3: Send your .pdf newsletter out by email attachment. When your issue is ready to go you can email it to your database of contacts one of three ways:

  • Send using your existing email software since it's free and takes just seconds (Outlook for Windows, or "Mail" for Macs). Just create your message (see below), enter your recipients from your address book, attach the document, and "BAM!" you're done. This is best if your list is smaller than 100 people.

  • If your list is bigger than 100, you can send your direct-response newsletter using an "email send" software. You can also customize your message using a merge function. Investigate these programs I've used with success: or These simple programs will allow you to store your contacts in a simple database, and send right off your computer (no, I'm not an affiliate trying to sell you email software – I've used these myself).

  • If your list is really large (5,000+), or you want a more powerful list server, send using an online-based list server. Companies I have used include:,, or

Here's the message I want you to use in your email:

Subject Line: [[FirstName]], Your Current Issue is Here

Dear [[Firstname]],

I hope you are doing well. In order to save paper, I have attached this month's issue of my Service For Life! free consumer newsletter to this email. It's loaded with useful consumer and health tips, wild trivia, funny jokes, entertainment, quotes and more. I hope you enjoy it!

It's in an adobe acrobat (.pdf) format, which nearly every computer has installed. But if you cannot open my newsletter, you can quickly and easily install a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader at

Enjoy today's issue, and I'll see you soon!

Best regards,
[[Your Name, phone, email, web site]]

Again, merging the first name is optional, but I like to do it because it's more personal. Don't forget to ATTACH your newsletter to your message. And please don't spam folks – it angers them and is horribly ineffective as a marketing strategy.

OK, that's it. Easy, don't you think? And get this: It will take you about 20-30 minutes a month to do this – TOPS.

Listen...I mean this...please don't be like the "mediocre masses" who cower and whimper in the face of challenges. This is what separates the "players" from the "posers."

You can do this. All it takes is a small commitment and a few minutes of your time – that's it. I've seen it work wonders for a lots of agents now. Just try it and see for yourself. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

OH...and I almost forgot: Don't forget you can also add your .pdf newsletter to your website! Search engines love .pdf's, so you're getting more bang for your buck. AND...having a new issue on your site each month motivates people to return.

So don't wait. Do it now – it's dirt cheap, amazingly effective, and "may" be the ONE thing you do to survive and prosper during this crazy market.

Look Who's Now the Proud Owner of a
Brand New FLIP Video Camera!!

Flip video camera winners

Why is Kellie Fitzgerald smiling these days? Because she just won a brand new FLIP video camcorder! You can see her idea, “Two Snakes and A Gila Monster Later...” in issue 1142. Congratulations Kellie!

Want to get your very own FLIP camera? It's easy. Just submit your very best marketing or success strategy (or QuickTip or Horror Story) by Clicking Here. Then, about every month we select the ideas we used in the last few issues and throw'em into a hat where the winner is selected randomly. The better your idea (examples help!), the more likely we'll use it, and the greater your chances of winning – just like Kellie here.

These Signs Make Your Phone Ring With Buyers

Everyone is hearing about "short sales" today but most don't understand all the details involved. Here's a simple yet effective way to grab people's attention and maximize your marketing efforts.

With listings, agent Bob Collard puts up the typical for sale yard sign and then puts a separate sign that attracts attention... a sign that says "SHORT SALE" in easy-to-read letters (you can see the picture below). This helps motivate calls on your main sign.

When I followed up with Bob about this idea he said that very day he was helping a cash buyer look for a similar deal who first contacted him by seeing this Short Sale display. He informed the person that the property was sold in less then two weeks since he put out the sign.

He said his signs are eight inches high and twenty-four inches long on white corrugated plastic (they easily fit wire frames that way). And he uses 4" red letters with all caps.

What if you don't have a short sale listing? Use this idea with other words that catch attention such as one with owner financing as Bob describes below.

Here's Bob's description and the exact sign he uses...

"I am a simple guy and I like to use simple tools. We all know that signs work, but do we take full advantage of them? I started using "SHORT SALE" signs on a separate pole. My phone started to ring again even in this slow market. Some callers just want to know what a Short Sale is.

I had two offers in two weeks and one is on way to closing. Another sign I use is "OWNER FINAN, WITH 5 K DWN" on two lines. Same results on my phone. Offers coming in this very day. I don't use overworked signs like, "Motivated" or "Reduced" as they are everywhere in my area."

Short Sale

QuickTip: Marketing One-Two Punch

“We use the old one two punch of marketing... 1) personal referral data base of 50 to 100 clients and maintain monthly contact by personal notes, phone, mail, visits; AND 2) online marketing with a site that creates predictable streams of leads!”

Getting Business from Builders Today

This idea submitted by agent David Jurewicz explains how he set up a trade-in program with builders to profit during a previous slow market.

Home trade-ins are in a way like trading in your used car for a new one. Home owners buy a new home from a new home builder, who agrees to buy the old home. Some builders are using these programs today to help increase sales and it can mean opportunity for you. What builders in YOUR area could you help implement a program like this and receive listings in the process?

Here he is in his own words...

"I had success in the down market of the 1990's helping a local builder develop a trade-in program for their subdivisions. Since it would take about 3 months to build a home, I would use this time to market the trade-in home. It usually sold before the new home was built.

The builder dramatically increased traffic at their subdivision, sold it completely out in a slow market, and I got to market great trade-in properties. The interesting part is that the builder only had to take in two trade-in homes and I got to sell them! I'm making an effort to do that again."

Horror Story: Agent Loses Commission With This Common Mistake

"THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY!! This could be a "Horror Story" of sorts. This is even one I hate to admit to, but if it saves even one other Realtor a commission this story will serve it's purpose. I was helping a fellow Realtor with the selling of her sister's home. We were going to share the commission.

Her sister purchased her home four years earlier for $223,000. She had added a substantial amount of improvements, i.e., heat pump, 2" wood blinds throughout, plantation shutters, sprinkler system, water softener, custom draperies, etc. Now her sister, my client went through the listing presentation, but clearly decided she wanted to re-coop some of those expenses, and even though the cumulative market analysis showed home prices that sold (and in a short period) were listed at $219,000. My client decided to price her home at $229.000.

While I disagreed I did get in writing after 45 days the price would be lowered by $5,000. Even though I was proud of myself for remembering this and implementing the procedure, I failed to make the price reduction every 30-45 day the home sat on the market. (FIRST MISTAKE). I held open houses three out of four weekends, and had a lot of interested lookers who went down the street and purchased the same home at $219,000, or lower.

While I held my clients home open there was one customer in particular who kept coming through. This couple was selling their home in the same subdivision, and had informed me when their home sold, they would purchase this one. Their home was a 2-story and was priced a little high, but their agent was lowering the price every 20 days or so. (They really needed a 1-story because of his disability of getting up and down stairs).

After a six month listing agreement, my client decided she was going to lease her home and was going to have her son-in-law do it for her. So we were kindly told our services were no longer needed. So I did the right thing of picking up my sign and lockbox, and sending them a Thank You letter for allowing me to market their home. BIG MISTAKE - I did not count on the son-in-law hiring another agent and in less than a month had my clients not only under contract, but closing in less than a month. It was not that the other agent was so great and wonderful, it was the customer who had come into my listing 3 other times and told me of his intentions!!

The customer who had his home on the market and was allowing his agent to lower the price, received his offer and after the option period walked right over and put in the contract to make my clients home his. Now my big mistake was not asking and getting my client to agree and sign the form saying if this gentleman (who also signed the sign-in book all three times) comes back to purchase the home, I would be compensated for it. You must always think outside the box and protect yourself in this business. I even knew better, and that is what is so embarrassing.

The new agent received the commission I work for on three different occasions. I should have protected myself after the agreement ended. I just hope whoever reads this, remembers when one of their listing is ending they take the time and fill out the form for their own protection. Even though the client may not agree and sign the form, what if they do? You will earn the commission that is rightfully yours!"

Issue #1145