Archive for May, 2009

Realtors Coming Out of the Closet

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Realtor Closet

A few short years ago when I was doing my original research for (when I first became enraged with I found something very interesting.  There was a site (a rather stupid looking site with an even more stupid, long and impossible to remember URL) hosted on AOL that was beyond critical of  That site is no longer up (and I have since removed shaftingrealtors, when NAR politely asked me to).  What was interesting was that it was impossible for me to find the person who had put up that site on AOL.  Their name showed up nowhere on the site – or anywhere else.  They were afraid of reprisals from NAR.

As recently as fall of 2006 I  had numerous people writing to me, telling me I was "very brave" to openly speak out against NAR’s handling of

My my, how the playing field has changed.  No one writes stuff like that to me, anymore.  Seems the only thing stopping anyone from saying anything these days is they are busy trying to make a living (that thing NAR is supposed to actually help us with).  Thanks to Jim Duncan for unearthing these gems from

For nearly a decade, has helped REALTORS® thrive in the Internet age. was created to be an Internet site that would always be owned and controlled by REALTORS®

Protected members against business models intended to disintermediate them or force unfriendly tariff models upon the industry

No “For Sale by Owner” properties may ever appear on

It would be wonderful if the four quotes above were actually true.  Unfortunately, they are not correct statements.  But it doesn’t have to stay that way.  I believe NAR is populated by nice people who will wind up doing the right thing.  Even if it takes a while.  I also believe I have a lot of company now.  So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Secret to Becoming a Top Listing Agent

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Only the mediocre 

Here are some factual statements:

Most people who enter the real estate business are gone in just a few years.  Most real estate agents, who stay in the business, are not very successful.  To be in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. would require about 50 – 60 sales a year.  Most agents, who are successful, (50 – 60 sales per year) do not really know why they are successful.  They think they know but they are usually wrong.

Only about 25% – 30% of the top 1% of all agents actually know why they are successful and most of those don’t know it very well.  So success can seem mysterious or elusive.  It needn’t be.  If one were to apply the same exactness to the subject of real estate sales that any well trained engineer would apply to his discipline it wouldn’t seem mysterious at all.

But applying that exactness would mean – really – looking, not listening.  Look at what people do.  Look at how they do it.  Exactly.  Look at what results they get from doing it.  It makes little to no difference what they think is causing their stats to rise.  What is causing their stats to rise?  Anyone who says he (or she) knows why they are successful would be able to teach it – and teach it in such a simple manner that the other person could apply what was being taught and get a similar result.  There would be no special cases, no exceptions.  Not if a scientific approach was being used.  Anyone who knew why they were successful would be able to increase their level of success.  If they could not do that one thing then what they are thinking is the "reason" isn’t the real reason for the success they have had.  That last one is so obvious it is usually missed.  Is there really any "highly successful" person who left real estate sales so they could teach it?  Even one?

There are few subjects on earth (possible exceptions are mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. – and the other so-called "exact sciences" – that don’t just reek with false data.  The subjects of sales and marketing (those are two different subjects, by the way) have so much asinine, stupid and unworkable gibberish being pawned off as "the way to do things" that it is a minor miracle anyone who actually studies either of those subjects ever succeeds at all.  Just as an example, about 20 years ago it was validated that, in some fields, women who were trained by male sales managers did not do nearly as well as women salespeople who had no sales training of any kind.  Amazing.  The "sales training" had an actual negative value.  This is just one example.  So the thing to do is: LOOK, DON’T LISTEN.  I don’t care what someone says they are doing to bring about sales results (and highly successful real estate sales people will sometimes actually invent things to tell others because it "sounds better" than what they are actually doing).

There was a scale developed many years ago (originator is uncertain) that has been altered (for the worse, in my opinion) from what I learned in 1971.

From the bottom up, the original scale went:

1.  Unconsciously incompetent.  Doesn’t know and doesn’t know he doesn’t know.

2.  Consciously incompetent.  Knows he doesn’t know.  (note that NOT knowing is a step UP!)

3.  Unconsciously competent.  Knows how to do it, but doesn’t really know why it works.

4.  Consciously Competent.  Knows how to do it and knows why it works, so can increase it and validly teach it.

cat in mirror

The secret to becoming a top listing agent?  First become a really crappy listing agent.  Become a really crappy one, then a bit less crappy, and so on.  That is the actual path.  There is no substitute for "stage time".  None.  Fail.  Fail more and go right on doing it.  Having the right attitude is probably more important than any other factor.  A complete willingness to do whatever is necessary and to have the viewpoint that you are going to persist until you have arrived.  Sort of like it mattered.

Mike Orr and The Cromford Report

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Mike Orr Cromford Report

Here is a professional quality video of Mike Orr of The Cromford Report giving a talk at a Mastermind meeting I attend every month.  It is about an hour long and the specific stats won’t apply if you are not in the Phoenix area.  His interesting and unique methods for tracking and predicting short-term price movement will apply.  If there is something better available I’ve not seen it.  Click here for the link to the video.

NAR – Welcome to the Waffle House

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009


Just as a gentle reminder to all of what the actual purpose of the National Association of Realtors is supposed to be:

"The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful."  You can see that here.

Prior to reading this post – which most internet-savvy Realtors have now read – I didn’t know what "indexing" was and didn’t care.  That was something I only learned in the comments section of that post.  So I now ask, Is it possible that Paula was wrong to allow search engines to find all of those listings on her site and for Google to index them?  Is it possible?  Really, isn’t it possible?  Well it must be possible, some people at NAR already thought it was wrong and Paula’s local association leaders also seemed to think it was wrong.  Do I personally think that a "no indexing rule" would be such a horrible bad thing?  If no one, no company could index listings?

It would be alright with me if wasn’t allowed to do it.  But is allowed to do it.  And they are also allowed to use terms like "MLS" in their meta words.  All of the listings on can be found by Google and indexed.  Because some people at NAR (who couldn’t see around corners, even a little bit) originally gave away the name, "" to a for-profit company instead of making it a member benefit we now have LOADS of other places that have our listings out there to be indexed.  Trulia, Zillow (and a growing list of other sites with MLS feeds) are all allowed to have the listings available for indexing.  These are all companies that would not even exist if it weren’t  for NAR’s original mishandling of  Is NAR going to stop them?  Could NAR stop them?  Is NAR going to stop from allowing listings to be indexed?

This past week in Washington D.C. it looked for a brief moment like sanity would prevail.  In the end it didn’t.  Can anyone (elected or paid staff) at NAR, on any committee or in any position explain how this makes even a little bit of sense?  Or are you going to try to ignore this issue by justifying it with, "It will be taken up by the committee in November"?

Why would it be okay with you for public – for profit companies – to have the right to freely do something that Realtors are then prevented from doing?  What twisted, tortured logic is used to justify that?