For Real Estate Sales Professionals

August 13, 2001 E-zine

Jim Gillespie's 
August 13, 2001
Publisher: Jim Gillespie 


Doing what has you become the best real estate
agent in your territory definitely beats all
of your other options.


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1. Why You Should Fire Your Web Designer

2. Schedule Your Listing Appointments "Last"

3. Take a Stand For That Full Commission!

1. Why You Should Fire Your Web Designer

Do you have your own Web site? If not, do you want to have your own Web site? If your answer to either of these questions is, "Yes" then listen to what I'm about to tell you. 

You have to really watch out when you hire a Web designer. Many people out there who are holding themselves out to be Web designers don't know much more than the average computer-literate person on the street does about Web design. And very, very few Web designers know much of anything about how to generate great visitor traffic for your Web site, too. 

My friend Tom Antion told me over a year and a half ago that I had to learn how to do my own Web design and updates. When he told me this I thought he was crazy! Why should I take all the time to learn Web design when I can just pay an expert to do it for me? Isn't my time better-spent focusing my energy on other areas of my business instead? Tom then told me, "One day your Web designer will either disappear, double his or her hourly rates on you almost overnight, or begin taking weeks to complete simple updates and additions to your Web site."

Soon thereafter Tom's prophecy came true. My Web designer began to disappear. He stopped returning my phone calls. He stopped paying his bills, too. My Web site, which was totally under his control, was shut down because he owed people money. I then had to go through a lot of time and difficulty to get him removed as the administrative contact of record on my Domain name so that I could take control and get my Web site up and running again on a different server, billed directly to me this time.

After this experience I then learned how to do my own Web design and updates. I was amazed at how easy it was to do! It takes a little time to learn the software but once you learn how to do it it's almost as simple as using Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. And what's interesting is that many Web designers will charge you $65.00-$150.00 for every new page you add to your Web site after it's up and running. Can you imagine paying someone 65.00-$150.00 for every page of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect that you need done for yourself? I can't either, and this is why I am telling this to you.

Do one of the following:

1. Hire a Web designer to do the initial basic design for your Web site and learn how to do the updates yourself

2. Have your assistant learn how to do Web design

3. Learn how to do Web design yourself

If you don't go for one of these three options the chances are very high that one day you will also get slammed by one of the three scenarios that Tom Antion warned me about with Web designers. By the way, if learning how to improve your speaking skills is something you're interested in, Tom's the best! Visit his Web site at

When either you or your assistant are capable of doing your own Web updates then you can make changes and additions to your Web site at no additional cost to you. Then you don't have to hold off on making great additions to your Web site because you don't want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars with your Web designer every time you do it.

And while we're on the subject, Web designers may be creative at designing a site that looks attractive for you, but how a site looks has very little to do with how much Web traffic it generates. And it's the Web traffic that will make you the money, not how attractive your site looks. Many agents are shocked when they learn that only 3-7 people have visited their Web site in the past 30 days. Ouch! That hurts!

Web designers normally don't know much at all about how to generate visitors for your Web site. Their expertise is in designing how a Web site looks, and generating Web traffic is an entirely different ball game altogether. Thinking that a Web designer will know how to generate Web traffic for you is similar to thinking that the printer who prints your business cards will automatically get them in the hands of your hottest prospects for you. You don't assume this with your printer, and don't assume this with your Web designer either! Web designers may know more than you do about the Internet, but they rarely know how to market your business on the Internet. For this you need to turn to someone who both understands your business and understands how to market your business on the Internet.

When I first began to learn about Internet marketing, not very many people were visiting my Web site. Now on an average day approximately 265 people visit my Web site. 

Once you are working with someone who is an expert at showing you how to attract visitors to your Web site your Web traffic will take off, too!

2. Scheduling Your Listing Appointments "Last"

There is much power in being able to schedule your listing appointments last. By this I am referring to doing whatever you can to make sure you are the last agent owners meet with before they decide who they will list their property with. If you are an agent that the owners truly consider to be a bona fide candidate to list with, there are a few solid reasons why you want to make sure that you are the final agent the owners meet with before they move forward and list their property. First of all, if you're willing to do a little homework that will increase your probability of landing the listing, you can ask the owners specifics about what they've liked best about the other agents' listing presentations before you make yours. Ideally you want to be able to get this feedback one or more days before you make your listing presentation. You can then make sure you incorporate some or all of these same things in YOUR listing presentation, too. You may also want to ask the owners what, if anything, has not been addressed to their satisfaction in the listing presentations by the other agents. This then gives you an opportunity to handle these lingering concerns in a way that will show the owners that you truly do understand what's important to them.

What you're doing here is getting feedback to utilize in your upcoming listing presentation to help you beat the competition. If you have the choice between not knowing what your competition has already presented and finding this out ahead of time and adjusting your presentation accordingly, which approach do you feel will most likely produce the desired result for you?

Lastly, a big reason you want to be the last listing appointment for the owners is because when all the listing appointments are complete the owners now want to move forward, list the property, and sell it. However, the owners can't do this until they meet with all the agents they agreed to meet with. If you're the last agent they meet with and they like your presentation, you just might walk out of the meeting with a signed listing agreement! However, all the agents who made presentations before you don't have this option. They have to wait until all the other agents make their presentations and then follow-up again with the owners afterwards.

Many times there is great relief for owners in making a decision, signing a listing agreement, and moving forward with selling or leasing their property as soon as they are in a position to do so. Knowing that this is true, why not schedule your listing appointment at the first moment when the owners have both the desire and the ability to move forward and sign a listing agreement? Now that you know this don't let another agent take this golden opportunity away from you!

3. Take a Stand For That Full Commission!

You are definitely going to have times in your career when owners will tell you they want you to reduce your commission. However, most agents cave in almost immediately and reduce their commission when faced with a situation like this. The truth is if you learn how to stand firm for your commission and negotiate appropriately for it you will walk away with your full commission intact most of the time. 

Think about this for a moment:

The difference in going from a 5% commission to a 6% commission on the same transaction means 20% more income in your pocket! For doing the exact same amount of work!

You work hard for your money! Don't let your clients take your hard-earned money away from you simply because they want to see if they can save a few bucks at your expense! If you stand firm and have prepared in advance for this commission-squeezing session by rehearsing all the reasons you should be paid a full commission, you will be rewarded by walking away with a full commission most of the time. So always be prepared for this in advance!!!

Whenever your owners are about to sign a listing agreement, purchase agreement, or a lease, there is a certain amount of momentum present causing the owners to really want to sign the documents and move forward. Oftentimes the owners will ask you to reduce your commission at the last second just to see if you'll do it and save them some money. However, many times they want to move forward with the listing or the transaction much more than they want you to reduce your commission. Utilize this momentum to your advantage and stand firm, reiterating the reasons you've already rehearsed about why your full commission is appropriate. You want to be firm yet professional while you are doing this, fully utilizing your interpersonal skills. If the owners then make it very clear that they will not sign the agreement unless you reduce your commission, then you have to make a judgment call about what's best for you and everyone involved. You certainly don't want to lose a deal if the commission they are offering you is still a fair commission. If the commission they are offering you is an insult, though, stand-up for your integrity as an agent. You need to be congruent in walking your talk and part of this is taking a stand for what you know you're worth as a real estate professional. You simply can't let people walk all over you.

When property owners approach you about reducing your commission remember that this is not only an uncomfortable situation for you, it's uncomfortable for them also. Use the silent moments in the discussion to your advantage. When you make a statement about the amount of commission you're holding firm on, shut your mouth immediately afterward! The silence may feel uncomfortable to you, but I assure you it is very uncomfortable for the owners, also. They will sense your strength in your ability to be completely quiet, confident, and (apparently) relaxed. The more they sense this about you, the more they will want to make a concession to you to eliminate the tension of the moment. When this happens, you'll either receive exactly what you're looking for or you'll receive a better offer than the last one they made you.


Use the silent, tense moments to your advantage in this situation. The person who speaks first after a prolonged silence is almost always the person who makes a concession to the other!


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