For Real Estate Sales Professionals

September 10, 2001 E-zine

Jim Gillespie's 
September 10, 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. Becoming the Best Agent You Can Be

2. Kick-Start Your Canvassing

3. Power Socialize With Your Clients

1. Becoming the Best Agent You Can Be

There are many different skills for you to master which will have you become the best real estate salesperson you can possibly be. Among these, canvassing prospects by phone, in-person, and by mail are all great ways for you to dig-up opportunities to both list and sell properties in your territory. Many old-school, highly-successful managers and agents will tell you that canvassing is the life blood of success in real estate sales. And the truth about this is that they are right-on when they say this to you.

However, there is another element in being the most successful agent you can possibly be that gets ignored for the most part when people talk about how to become highly successful in real estate sales. And that element is what you actually do with your prospects once you find them and begin working with them.

Anyone can dig-up prospects through canvassing. You just have to do the canvassing. However, what you do with your prospects after you've located them is crucial in influencing whether your prospects work with you or another agent when the time is now for them to list, buy, or lease property. Knowing this it is so important for you as an agent to continually work on improving your sales skills, your real estate presentations, and your interpersonal skills. Your ability to be outstanding in these areas is what will determine whether your prospects select you as the agent they will work with, or select one of your competitors instead.

So what do you do? In a nutshell you become an expert at building rapport with people. People want to do business with people who they feel are just like themselves. When people feel that you are very similar to them and also truly care about their best interests, you can write your ticket with them as far as having them want to work with you.

There was a very interesting study done by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Birdwhistle initiated a study to determine how we as human beings communicate with each other. At the end of his study Dr. Birdwhistle and his researchers concluded that only 7% of communication between people has to do with the actual content of the words that are being said. The remaining 93% of our communication comes from everything else we are doing while we are saying the words. "Everything else" here refers to the tempo, pitch, volume, and timbre of our voice, as well as our communication through our body language.

When people are getting to know you as their potential real estate agent, they are sizing-up everything they observe you doing to determine if they want you to be their agent. While you may feel that you have great presentation skills, it's the opinions of your clients and prospects that are the ones that really count in terms of you improving your real estate business. So if you're making the exact same presentation with the exact same vocal delivery and body language to all of your prospects, you're missing out on a lot of business! While some people may love your presentation, others will find that they love another agent's presentation better. That's because the other agent talks more like the prospect talks, moves their body similar to how the prospect does, and gives the prospect a good gut-level feeling that they are, in fact, very similar to who the prospect is as a person.

Think about this for a moment. Haven't you had a salesperson make a presentation to you either on the phone or in-person where you literally cringed at the person's sales presentation? That's because the person was completely out of rapport with you. Had they spoken like you do and/or moved their body like you do you would have felt much more in rapport with them--even if the content of what they were actually saying wasn't the greatest.

If you're digging-up a lot of great prospects in your real estate business but find that they often decide to do business with other agents instead of you, it may be time to begin working on your rapport skills. Your prospects are about to make decisions that may be some of the most important financial decisions they will ever make in their entire lives. In deciding which agent to work with they need to know that this person is just like they are, and that this person is someone who they can trust.

The better that you can convey this message to your prospects and adapt your in-person presentations and phone conversations specifically to each individual prospect, the more successful you will be as a real estate agent.

2. Kick-Start Your Canvassing

As I mentioned above, canvassing is the life blood of the real estate sales business. The problem is that so many agents simply don't like to do it. And as a result many scheduled canvassing sessions get canceled, and many other canvassing sessions involve a lot of agents wasting precious canvassing time.

Here's a real simple solution I've found that may help you when you're doing your telephone canvassing:

Before you begin your phone canvassing, write down the names and phone numbers of everyone you're going to call during that canvassing session before you pick-up the phone and begin calling anyone. This way you know exactly what your goal is and it's measured by your results, not by the amount of time that passes. Sometimes agents will schedule 2-3 hours of phone canvassing and continue to take other incoming phone calls during this time, talk with other agents in the office, and visit the water cooler several times, too. So by the time the 2-3 hours are up they haven't really completed much canvassing at all!

When you have a list of names and phone numbers to call written down right in front of you, it also saves you wasting time thinking and wondering who your next canvassing call will be each and every time you put down the phone.

So make a list of the names and phone numbers of the people you will call first, then begin dialing for dollars!

3. Power Socialize With Your Clients

While having excellent presentation skills with your clients and prospects in business situations will carry you very far in your real estate sales career, nothing will solidify your long-term relationships with your clients more than regularly schmoozing with them in social situations. When you only know your clients and prospects as "a real estate agent," there is not much differentiating you from the other top agents in your territory other than your reputation and personal presentation skills. When your clients and prospects get to know you much better in social situations outside of business, you then fall into a completely different category in their minds as far as who you now are in their lives. You then become a friend to them instead of just a real estate agent. And one thing is for certain--people are very committed to doing business with quality people who they feel are their friends.

A friend of mine named Elliot is a top insurance salesperson. He is also great at socializing with his clients and prospects. I was asking him his strategy for building close, long-term relationships with his clients and prospects and he told me the following story:

"Jim, I love to socialize and entertain in my home. I also love classical music. Something I began to do several years ago and still do now is hold parties in my home with incredible food and a concert pianist playing sonatas on the piano. Whenever I hold these parties I always invite all my good friends and my business clients, too. I also tell them that they're welcome to bring any of their friends to the party.

Very soon after I began hosting these parties something interesting began to happen. The friends that my clients had brought to the party would ask them how they know me. My clients would then tell them that I'm their insurance agent. Their response would then be something like, 'Wow, my insurance agent never invites me to incredible parties like this! In fact, he never even calls me anymore!'

Soon after each party several of the guests of my clients would then call me to discuss transferring their insurance business over to me. And the funny thing is that I never began hosting these parties as a way to generate more clients. I began hosting them because I love entertaining guests and I love classical music!"

Now as far as your own real estate business is concerned you don't have to throw parties in your home with concert pianists, but you can begin to see how the power of socializing can dramatically improve your business. Elliot loves classical music and entertaining. You, on the other hand, might love playing tennis, golf, or joining an association that revolves around something you are strongly interested in. The point is to pick something you love and get involved with other people who love it also. When you begin to bond with people who share the same passion and interest for something that you do outside of work, these people will become very interested in doing business with you.

So now my question for you is...where can you socialize and get involved with people who are prime prospects for your real estate business and also do something you enjoy on a regular basis? 

For you it might be a cause that you believe in, it could be an association that fights to make the neighborhood a better place, or it could be a business association that focuses on an industry or on ideas and subjects that you have an interest in. The point is to get involved somewhere where your prospects are involved and where you also share an interest with them.

Pat, a real estate agent and a client of mine, is a member of an extremely powerful social and business networking organization. However, he realized that he wasn't utilizing his membership in the organization as best as he could to generate business for himself. In working together with Pat we designed a system for him to become more proactive in approaching the other members of his organization for business. The system that we designed for this approach was both simple and very powerful. 

After working with Pat for only six weeks as his coach he called me and told me that he had already generated over $200,000.00 in additional income for himself by implementing this new system with the people he had been socializing with!

Which brings me to the following:

There is a ton of new business waiting for you out there as long as you're willing to do what will have you claim it for yourself. And, people definitely love to do business with others that they socialize with on a regular basis. Increase the amount of socializing that you do with your prospects and watch your real estate sales begin to take off!


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