Posts Tagged ‘Dorky’

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Okay, so if you’ve been around SWS any time at all, you know how we feel about Referral-Begging. Don’t do it. Ever. Just don’t. Ever.

But, but, but…

Yeah, I’ve heard all the but but buts. No need to reiterate them here. (But feel free to search the Referral-Begging tag cloud over there on the right.)

Here’s the thing. If you aren’t enjoying a referral-based business, I promise you, I swear to you, I give you my solemn oath on a stack of Sell with Souls that it is NOT because you aren’t asking for them.

So, um, Ms. Smarty Pantz JAH, why is it so, then? WHY am I not getting the referrals I so fervently desire?

I dunno.

(Real helpful, right?)

No seriously, I don’t know why YOU aren’t getting the referrals you want, but here are some far more likely reasons a real estate agent might not get a steady stream of referrals than a lack of asking for them:

1. He doesn’t know enough people to generate enough referrals to live on (shoot for at least 200);

2. She doesn’t stay in touch with the people she does know on a reasonably regular basis (and rest assured that doesn’t mean every 35 seconds);

3. His stay-in-touch materials are cheesy, predictable, unmemorable and/or boring (aka Dorky)

4. She doesn’t provide refer-worthy service, but rather focuses on prospecting for new clients;

5. His friends know him primarily as a party animal, career-switcher or just a generally likeable but flaky guy;

6.She pesters her friends constantly with reminders to send her referrals which a) annoys them thus inspiring them to avoid her and b) makes them wonder why she’s so desperate.

Of course there are those who protest, saying “But I’ve always asked for referrals and I’ve always gotten them!” And if that’s the case, keep it up if you choose.

But I will challenge you to consider this: How many MORE referrals might you get if you do NOT ask for them? Because I’ll bet you that the referrals you’ve gotten you’d have gotten anyway, without asking for them… but maybe, just maybe your Referral-Begging strategy has pushed people away who otherwise would have been happy to refer…?



posted by on Especially for Rookies, Jennifer's Best

Please, please, please! Can we do away, once and for all, with the dorky new agent announcement card, letter or whatever else that agents use to announce their exciting venture into real estate??!!

Here’s a typical letter:
“Dear Friend, I’m pleased to announce…blah, blah, blah…my company is great…blah, blah, blah…I promise to provide the highest level of service…blah, blah, blah…please send me referrals. Love, Me”

Nice, but so what?

First, if you are new in the business, I strongly urge you not to announce this fact to the world. Sending out an announcement that you JUST got your real estate license and are looking for business won’t give anyone much motivation to call you. Okay, well, maybe your mother and your Aunt Lou, but no one else.

I’d rather you approach your “announcement” a little more casually. Just slide into “being in real estate.”  Don’t make a big deal that you Just Got Your Real Estate License and are Looking for Business. No, simply start communicating with people you know and “reminding” them that you’re in real estate. Most of those on your SOI list haven’t been keeping track of your every movement (sorry), so if you’re suddenly in real estate, they won’t think twice about it, probably. They might even think they forgot that you were a real estate agent! And that’s fine.

So instead of sending out a formal announcement, here are some other ideas for getting the word out:

√  Send out an e-mail offering your friends some promotional item or service. Don’t mention that you just got your license; pretend that you’ve been selling real estate for a while now and “Gee, I’ve been so busy I’ve lost touch. Let’s get together soon!”

√  If it’s holiday time, send out holiday cards with your business card enclosed. Write a “personal” note in each “What a great year it’s been! Looking forward to even more prosperous 2007 for all of us” or something like that.

√ Send out a “Happy New Year” (any time of year) family newsletter with all the happenings in your life, including your venture into real estate. Don’t be specific as to when your career started–just that it did start and you love it! Be sure to include your business card.

√ Put together a mini-newsletter with a description of special services you offer, as a local real estate professional. If you have a digital camera, you could offer to take pictures of your clients’ rental properties for their online marketing. Or before-and-after shots for clients who are doing extensive remodeling. Maybe you could offer to take photos of your friends’ belongings for insurance purposes. I offer my graphic design services to friends for garage sales, rental property flyers, etc. Very few people ever take me up on these services, but it gives me something of value to offer.

√  Send thank you cards every day…to anyone who helped you out that day. Some sales trainers advise sending out five thank you cards every single day, and it’s not a bad idea. Not only does this practice put you in a grateful frame of mind, it also gets your business card out there in the hands of the public.

Open your mind…can you think of anything you could mail out to your SOI that would have value to them, yet give you the opportunity to push your business card at them? You don’t have to send the same thing out to everyone–if you belong to a special interest group, maybe you can clip a relevant magazine article and send out copies (along with your card and a short note). Brainstorm ideas, write them down.

Or, send out the dorky announcement. It’s okay if you do that, it’s just not special and it makes it kind of obvious that you’re fresh off the turnip truck, so to speak.

posted by on Especially for Rookies

A while back, I wrote a blog about The Dorky Announcement Letter (the DAL). In that blog I tried to explain why the typical rookie announcement of his or her venture into real estate is pretty much a wasted effort because the DAL’s are SO boring and SO impersonal and… well… SO dorky!

Most DAL’s read something like this:

Dear Mary,

I am pleased to announce that I have recently fulfilled a lifelong dream and have become a licensed real estate professional! Blah blah blah

I decided to join ABC Company due to their excellent reputation and training program. Blah blah blah

I would like to be your real estate consultant for life. Please think of me if you or anyone you know could use the services of a real estate professional.



BORING. Does anything in this letter motivate you to pick up the phone or bang out an email?

Okay, so this morning, I’m reading through Active Rain profiles. Why? Because I try to send everyone who joins one of my groups (Selling Soulfully and Introverts are (Sales)People, too a little welcome note. After all, I’m really honored when someone wants to hang out with me and I do take it personally (in a good way)!

But I hate the idea of just sending out a canned copy & pasted note to everyone, so I review each profile to try to get to know this person a little better.

I tell ya… it’s tough to do. I read the profile and there’s rarely a real person there, not that I can find anyway.

Where are YOU?????

It’s okay to show some personality in your online persona. Give people a reason to like you, other than the fact that you’re a great real estate agent, home stager, or mortgage broker. We KNOW you want our business, give us a reason to form an opinion about you as a real person.

The vast majority of Active Rain profiles are boring. Sorry, they just are. Now, I KNOW you guys have personality – I see it in your blogs every day. Some of you are hilarious! So, why, oh why do you hide all that charm when telling the world about YOU?

To give you an idea of some profiles WITH personality (IMHO), check out the links below: – Sue Gabriel – Susan Haughton (Yeah, that’s me – gotta practice what I preach) – TLW – Jeff Olsen

Can you think of other profiles that make you want to know more? Please share (yes, even if it’s YOURS. It’s okay to be proud of yourself.)

copyright Jennifer Allan 2007


posted by on Prospecting & SOI

DORKY: A style of writing, primarily used in self-promotion, which is predictable, boring, boilerplate or just plain blah. See also The Dorky Announcement Letter, The Dorky Business Card and the Dorky Online Profile.Christmas Card

I really really really wanted to post this blog about nine months ago. A quick look at the calendar would tell you that nine months ago was right around the 2009 holiday season. But smarter heads prevailed, and advised that I hold off until a more “neutral” time of year – e.g. the middle or end of summer. Wise heads, my friends have.

Why wait? Because what I’m about to say probably would have hurt a lot of feelings had I posted it during the heat of the season — because it would have applied to just everyone who read it. Which means, of course, that everyone who reads it today may still be a little hurt, but at least it’s not as, um, timely. You’ll see what I mean shortly.

Starting around Thanksgiving, the e-greetings start coming out. You know what an e-greeting is, don’t you? Basically a seasonal greeting card that is delivered to your email inbox instead of your snail-mail box. Nothing wrong with that.

But the messages in these e-greetings are… well… predictable. Pithy. Sappy, yet meaningless. Boring. DORKY.

Here’s an example of a well-intended message I received last year:

May the spirit of the holiday fill your heart with warmth and love.  Enjoy this wonderful time with your family and loved ones.  It is with gratitude that we say thank you for our friends, our health and another year in our lives.

May you have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2010.

It’s only one of several dozen I got just like it; I’m sure you did, too. And don’t get me wrong – I appreciate being on so many distribution lists and there’s nothing WRONG with sending out a Dorky message, but here’s the thing.

It’s not memorable.

No matter how beautifully written, no matter how grammatically correct, no matter how gracefully your words flow, those words are forgettable. And therefore (sorry), your well-intentioned greeting will be forgotten.

And we definitely don’t want to be forgotten! After all, isn’t that the reason we send these greetings out? To be remembered?

How ‘bout something different this year? Something from the heart – YOUR heart that is – something that actually says something you mean; something you might actually say out loud if you were wishing someone you cared about a Happy Holiday.

Here’s an example of a e-greeting card I got from one of my readers. I laughed out loud as I read it. I got a clear picture of my reader friend in my mind, and thought of him fondly. It’s his voice, his personality. Might not be YOUR voice or YOUR personality and that’s fine. But find YOUR voice… and USE that voice with this year’s holiday wishes!

I know the standards of writing I’ve set in the past are causing you right now to eagerly anticipate sage pearls of wisdom from me; carefully selected words expressed in such an articulate, heartfelt fashion with a message so touching and meaningful as to make you pause, look into the deepest recesses of your heart and reflect on the things you should be thankful for in spite of the troubled times we live in.  Sentences so eloquently constructed they’ll render mental and emotional images that will make you cry (just a little). You’ll vividly and fondly remember all the joyful Thanksgivings of years past and look forward with hope and eager anticipation to all the Thanksgivings yet to come.


Sorry to tell you – I got nothing!

Just enjoy your time off with family and friends and don’t eat too much stuffing.



So, open your mind to a new way to say Happy Holidays to the people you care about. YOUR way

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of having coffee with one of my readers. We talked about this and that… and that and this… and then he casually mentioned that he had created a “mock” business card that he “wished he could use in real life.” When he showed it to me, I was floored – I think it’s GREAT and that he should definitely use it in “real life!” He has the personality to pull it off and it definitely stands out from the crowd…

He’s not convinced, so I said I’d ask my friends at Active Rain… What say y’all?


posted by on Prospecting & SOI

DORKY: A style of writing, primarily used in self-promotion, which is predictable, boring, boilerplate or just plain blah. See also The Dorky Announcement Letter, The Dorky Business Card and the Dorky Online Profile.

The following is excerpted from a cool collection of blogging advice compiled by our very own Ricardo Bueno. To get a copy of the entire collection, just click here!

I know you aren’t DORKY. I’ll bet if I asked a dozen of your friends if you’re an interesting, personable, caring, creative kinda guy or gal, they’d confirm that you are. So, why is it that those in our profession insist on creating written promotional material that screams “I’M BORING AS DIRT AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING INTERESTING TO nerdSAY!”

You know what I’m talking about. The corporate-inspired announcement letters we send to our friends and family when we go into real estate. Our business cards with sappy, meaningless tag lines. Our online profiles that might put the reader to sleep if they actually get past the first paragraph. Where did all that personality go? Where are YOU?

When you blog, don’t be DORKY, be YOU. If you’re sappy, blog sappy. If you’re sarcastic, blog sarcastic. If you’re funny, blog funny. If you wake up one morning frustrated as heck about something or other, blog about it. Conversely, if you’re tickled pink by a recent encounter at the health food store, write about that. If you have a brilliant AHA moment standing in line at the post office, there’s a blog in there somewhere!

(Oh, one caveat. If you’re a sloppy writer, don’t blog sloppy! Use your spell check, capitalize appropriately and be sure to use your <enter> key on a regular basis.)

Don’t try to write about topics you couldn’t care less about. Not a political type? Don’t try to write about local political issues. Don’t know much about the economy? Leave the economic outlook blogs to someone who does. Not into cultural events? Don’t bother trying to write intelligently about the new opera in town. Me? Among other things, I love dogs, sushi, rollerblading and old houses. That’s what I write about.

But don’t worry too much about speaking to any particular audience. YOU do the talking and the right audience will find you. And you know what? If your blogs come from YOUR voice, you’ll stand a much better chance of enjoying the process enough to keep it up.

Blogging for dollars is a long-term prospecting project, so enthusiasm is critical if you want to see your efforts pay off. Once your audience discovers YOU and starts to tell you how awesome YOU are (how insightful, how funny, how creative, etc.), well, that’ll be some serious inspiration to keep at it! But blog with someone else’s voice and eh… you’ll probably throw in the towel within the month.

To summarize, to avoid being a DORKY blogger:

•       Write from YOUR voice, that real person who has a terrific personality

•       Write about topics of interest to YOU

•       Proof-read, proof-read, proof-read

Now, go get ‘em you UNDORKY blogger, you!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

I'm having fun today. I'm entering the contact information I got off of all the business cards I collected at thebcard NAR convention. (Now, if YOU gave me a card, don't worry, I promise not to call you during dinner or otherwise pester you without your permission!)

Are you asking yourself why on earth I'd claim that data-entry is fun? Well, yeah, I agree, THAT part isn't as much fun as, say, taking a nap. But what I'm enjoying is checking out the hundreds of styles, designs and content of these business cards from all over the country. Some are fantastic, some are… not so. Of course, we all have our opinions on what makes a business card "good" but since this is my blog, I'll tell you what I think. Feel free to chime in with your differing opinions!

Okay, first, I must mention that what has jumped out at me is how many agents use their company's email ISP as their email address, for example  This is crazy (unless Ms. Peterson owns APCRealty). Never, ever use your company's phone or email systems when providing contact information to friends, strangers, clients, prospects or even other real estate agents! If you leave the company (and chances are you will), you're throwing away future business and referral dollars by the fistful. I still get calls and emails from people who have my Re/Max business card (which is at least five years old). I GET the calls because my contact information didn't change when I left Re/Max.

Second, I must say that the award for the most BORING business card design is shared by Coldwell Banker and Prudential.  You all know what I'm talking about. I must have dozens of CB and Pru cards and they all look exactly alike. Unless the person you gave the card to really, really likes you, there's no way they're going to find a special place for that card.

In my opinion, you should strive to create a business card that, if it were found lying in the bananas at the Piggly Wiggly, someone would pick it up and consider keeping it because it's so attractive, appealing, funny or otherwise eye-catching. Some will argue that by saying that we should strive for a professional (boring) business card because that's what doctors, lawyers and accountants do… but… NEWSFLASH! We aren't doctors or lawyers or accountants, much as we long to be. We're in a much more people-oriented business and yeah, we have to stand out!

Third, many of the cards have stuff on the back – tip charts, additional contact information, referral hearts & "Oh, by the ways…" even a few mission statements. Eh… it's up to you, but I think the real estate on the back of my business card is way too valuable to fill up with this stuff. THIS is perfect space to write on when you want to provide information to someone else – such as – your "personal" cell phone number, the name and number of your favorite painter or dog-sitter, an interesting website address, whatever! In the hundreds of business cards I collected, I've yet to see something printed on the back of one that was worth the loss of that valuable space.

And last, many of the cards include what seems like dozens of contact phone numbers and/or website addresses. C'mon, are these folks really so hard to find that they need 14 different phone numbers? Do they really WANT someone calling all those numbers (and leaving 14 messages) trying to track them down?

Of the hundreds of cards I went through, here are my three favorites. No real reason; they're just the ones that caught my eye. What do you think?










Yes, our very own Joeann! Isn't she CUTE?