Mastery – Become Great or Go!

5 minute read

Why developing your skill-set and offering value is paramount in a tough market.

I love a tough market in the Real Estate game. This might sound harsh and insensitive but let me tell you why I feel this way. A tough market sweeps through the industry like a giant broom sweeping away the deadwood agents who give the good agents a bad name.

The reason for this is simple, in a good market there is a shortage of stock and an abundance of home buyers. That scarcity certainly means that agents will compete more strongly for listings in a good market, however, when the going’s good most listings sell within a single listing period.

In a good market, home buyers are frightened of missing out so they follow up the agents and diligently comb the paper and internet in an effort to “find” the right property. When they find the right property they pounce. This is basic psychology “fear of loss and desire of gain”. They fear the thought of “loosing” the right property and, they feel if they miss out they will not “gain” a good foothold in a rising market.

In a good market, agents don’t have to be GREAT at follow up, they don’t have to be EXPERTS at effective pricing and marketing strategies, as the nature of the market takes care of these elements for them. Don’t get me wrong here, it certainly helps to have these skill sets, no matter what the market is. It’s just more that in a good market these skills are an added advantage, in tough market they’re essential for an agent’s survival.

In a tough market homes often take 90 to 120 days to sell – often times being sold by a secondary agent not the original listing agent. Why does this happen? Why do home sellers often fire their original agent only to hire another and sell for a price the original agent may have quoted them? Simple, in today’s tough market, agents need to see themselves as educators, they need to provide service and value, they need to become GREAT at follow up, they need to master the art of persuasion and they have to become experts in conveying the benefits of setting a realistic and achievable market price.

The problem is a lot of agents who have only worked in a good market don’t change their game plan when the going gets tough. The skill sets I refer to above aren’t taught at all (or if they are, not in any great detail) in the various Real Estate licensing courses these same agents attended when studying to become a salesperson.

If you are an agent in today’s tough market – ask yourself this question? Am I prepared to put in the effort to study and train until I am a MASTER of real estate sales? Become a Master in your chosen field and then combine that mastery with MASSIVE ACTION and you will create a recession proof income – especially in a tough market! As the world renowned author, speaker and success mentor Brian Tracy says:

”If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

So you’ve decided to become recession proof. What’s the next step? The next step is your commitment to you – a commitment to become a lifelong student of success and a commitment to mastering the skills necessary to succeed in Real Estate.

I would recommend you start with reading some books by the Masters in your chosen field. In fact, to quote Brian Tracy again:

”Learn from the experts you’ll never live long enough to learn it all by yourself.”

The library is full of books and there is a wealth of information available on the internet. Look for books by authors such as: Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, Frank Rambuskas, Ivan Misner, Brian Tracy, Tom Ferry, Debbie Allen, Tony Allesandra, and Kevin Carroll (notice I didn’t name the books just the authors – that’s because these authors have written multiple books and I want to inspire you to begin along the road of lifelong learning). In other words I want you to be inspired enough to do a little homework.

Many of the world’s top trainers and motivators offer free gifts and products simply for joining their e-newsletters. A good example of this would be both the Tom and the Mike Ferry organisations, both of which have loads of free downloads available for real estate professionals. You can visit their sites here: or here:

I sincerely hope that if you’re a real estate agent and you’re reading this article, you’ll make a commitment today to become all you can be by beginning (or continuing) upon a quest to become a Master of Real Estate. In so doing, you will gain immense personal satisfaction and fulfilment. What’s more you will offer genuine value that comes from a space of authenticity and integrity to your clients.

Kylie Baumann

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  • Peter Ricci
    Posted February 7, 2009 at 9:52 am 0Likes

    Welcome to Business2 Kylie, I hope you personal development articles resonate throughout the community.

  • Chris Hinds
    Posted February 7, 2009 at 10:22 am 0Likes

    Great article Kylie! Very true indeed.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:33 am 0Likes


    You make some great points together with timely reminders where we all can benefit. I look forward to reading more contributions from you.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 11:35 am 0Likes

    Great post Kylie and I really enjoyed your article.

  • snoop
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 1:12 pm 0Likes

    dead right
    This is a year or two old but clearly signals Agency principals find staff training their biggest challenge.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm 0Likes

    Hi Kylie,
    I’m interested in what other agents think about these points?

    You say that,
    1. in a tough market homes often take 90 to 120 days to sell
    Q: Robert et al might like to question those numbers. We’re already seeing some 6mths plus thus far with quality homes.

    2. – often times being sold by a secondary agent not the original listing agent. Why does this happen? Why do home sellers often fire their original agent only to hire another and sell for a price the original agent may have quoted them?
    Q: Does this suggest that if I get a listing I should be more prepared to share it with another agent (like a Multi-listing? Tho, I would like to handle it a bit differently where I control who gets their hands on it sell it) so I can at least keep it for as long as possible?
    (Note: until now I haven’t been a fan of Multi-list).

    Sal 🙂

  • Kylie Baumann
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm 0Likes

    Hi Sal,

    Firstly, thank you for your comments on my article “Mastery – Become Great or Go”. In response to your two points:

    1. In a tough market homes often take 90 to 120 days to sell
    Q: Robert et al might like to question those numbers. We

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 8:05 pm 0Likes

    Thx Kylie,

    However, my question still remains for the blogosphere to comment on, viz: Is it possible that to combat the churn that Kylie is alluding to in tight times, a type of referral system might be beneficial. I figure that I can still keep a listing if I share it with other selected agents.


    Sal 🙂

  • snoop
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 7:07 am 0Likes

    MLS has merit in a downturn.
    I beleive it has merit all round but greed is the problem.
    Agents guard their listings ferociously often disadvatnaging vendors in the process.
    NZ seems to have a better culture of doing deals with each other if someone else has a buyer.
    Perhaps thats becuase in the main NZ agents do not get a retainer so are more motivated to keep the dealflow going.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm 0Likes


    Times aren’t nearly as hard as they’re going to get and that’s when the face of greed will begin to look different. Instead of jealously guarding every listing (and its buyers), agents will start to just wonder how they can get enquiry and so become greedy for any sort of prospective buyer. In which case they will look to share to make a sale.
    Perhaps then in addition, if it was a system that enabled more control by the listing agent of the other agents able to work on the property? e.g. Then you would have the option of either just whacking it everywhere (with as many agents as possible) to gain as much marketing exposure as possible and sharing the fee with the introducer or otherwise selecting those agents you were prepared to work with. (?)


  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm 0Likes

    It is only early days however the IT savvy agents are identifying to prospective vendors how strong their SEO is with the relevant seach engines which obviously brings more leads and enquiries. Agencies and agents should Google their respective suburbs to see where theyactually come up, who is in front of them etc etc.

    Mosman has on approximately 145 houses listed for sale and just 20 were actually advertised in Saturday Domain last weekend which is a record low for print. SEO has never before been as important as it is today.

  • Blake
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm 0Likes

    This article is a timely reminder.

    You can call it

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:11 am 0Likes

    Thx guys,

    I’m still thinking around getting as much action as possible on a property and this generally means increased exposure / market coverage. If sharing some commish does the trick in having other agents acting as if one of our listings is one of theirs (to the extent that they can brand our property in conjunction with their brand on their website and then provide qualified enquiry) and we happen to gain a sale, isn’t that worthwhile?

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 5:50 am 0Likes

    Hi Sal,

    I wouldn’t go looking for other agents to help you sell your listings for you, they’ve all got some listings of their own that they can’t sell.

    Have you tried any of the Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc? I’ve seen a lot of agents listings starting to appear on these sites now.

    Also, I’d try Split Testing Long Copy v’s Short Copy.

    This is the concept of providing lots & lots of information on some of your listings (Long Copy) & a bit less information on your other listings (Short Copy) when uploading them onto the web.

    Short Copy can get the phones ringing for basic questions from buyers & you may be able to use your sales skills to convert a few over from there, but Short Copy can also have an adverse effect with buyers too.

    This is because when there isn’t much information featured on a listing over the internet, browsers will often glance over the listing & look for something better.

    Plus, buyers are often scared of dealing with real estate agents & would much prefer to do most of their research online first & then call the agency to simply arrange an inspection time.

    My preference would be to leverage your time more effectively by providing Long Copy, which means lots more photos ( eg. property images are the number one thing that buyers look for & I believe the major portals will take up to 20 images per listing now) PLUS include more property features & benefits within the text & perhaps a property video, etc… with you featured in the video too.

    Warning with video Sal: Please don’t do some of the silly stuff in the video that I’ve seen some agents do like riding off into the sunset on a horse. The majority of people don’t relate to that. Most will think the agent is a w#@ker. Just be yourself in your real estate videos & keep it professional.

    Anyway, back to Long Copy v’s Short Copy. Having Long Copy may mean less enquiry asking you the basic questions like block sizes, etc, but it will make your listings a bit more sticky & encourage people to spend more time looking at your listings compared to your competitors listings.

    Also, it enables you to have higher level conversations with buyers, rather than answering basic questions that often don’t lead to a sale & will give you more time to sharpen your axe like Kylie has suggested.

    Or provide you with more time to expand your marketing into other segments of online marketing like blogging, social media, weekly newsletter marketing (like Robert does), SEO, Pay Per Click, RSS Feeds, etc, etc, etc to help you generate more enquiry.

    Sal, first up I’d try Split Test the Long Copy v’s Short Copy marketing by trying the 2 different styles on a few of your listings over the next few weeks & see which way helps you to encourage more buyers & which one helps you to become more dollar productive with your marketing. I hope this helps. 🙂

    BTW: Great article Kylie. 🙂

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm 0Likes

    Thx Greg, p’raps some of those other agents with listings they can’t sell might like my thoughts as well.
    i.e. P’raps I might attract a buyer to another agent’s listing from my website and pass on the lead to the other agent. If and when the purchase is made I should receive a fee/commish share, and vice versa for listings I own. And if I sell to my own leads I don’t share – simple, isn’t it?

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