Are You Seizing Hiding-in-Plain-Sight Opportunities?
“It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on our door and we say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ~ Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Have you ever searched high, low, and sideways for your missing reading glasses, only to realize you were wearing them?
Have you ever scampered up and down the stairs, searching and mumbling about your lost car keys, only to discover they’ve been in your right pocket all along?
Gah! Don’t you want to slap yourself in the forehead when this happens🤦🏽♀️
Okay, I’m going to share another daily forehead-slapping situation. This happens to real estate agents, usually more than once a day. Here it is . . .
PROFITABLE LISTING AND BUYER OPPORTUNITIES HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT🔍
Scads of time and money is burned chasing strangers and scampering after suspects and fool’s-gold leads.
We chase high, low, and sideways for listing and selling opportunities. All the while, a parade of friends who know us, like us, and trust us—the kind of friends that would happily choose and recommend us—are standing right in front of us✨
But, like our allegedly lost eyewear and car keys, we don’t see them. These golden opportunities are hiding in plain sight and occur when our friends ask…
“HOW’S THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?”
Let me ask you: How many times a day are you asked some variation of the question, “How’s the real estate market?”
I posed this very question in a recent sales meeting. Our PRO-In-The-Know team members reported being asked this question, on average, twice a day.
What’s your average? If you’re new to the business, your number may be less; if you’ve been around awhile, maybe it’s higher. Either way, opportunities present themselves every time this question is asked.
Let’s say you’re asked this question twice a day, five times a week, fifty weeks a year. That’d be five hundred times a year someone asks you about your business or the real estate market.
Answering this common question uncommonly could be your most profitable free golden opportunity. All you have to do to seize this opportunity is be yourself and say the right things, at the right time, in the right way💡
Let me show you why this is important and how to do it. Beginning with a little detour into what I call The Three-People Principle.
THE MYSTERIOUS MAGIC OF THREE
What comes in threes?
• Genie Wishes
• Goldilocks’ Bears
• Alexander Dumas’ Musketeers
• Blind Mice
• Jack’s (as in Beanstalk) Magic Beans
• A complicated love affair — the French call it ménage à trois
• Mind, body, spirit
• Lights, camera, action
• Of the people, by the people, for the people
• Blood, sweat, and tears
• Shake, rattle, and roll
• Add your own here___________________________
The list goes on and on and on.
It’s Not Scientifically Proven, but. . .
It is evident. Magical energy dances with things in threes. The magical number tjree dances with real estate agents too. Do you have a pair of comfortable shoes? Slip them on and let’s move to the dance floor.
WHAT IS THE THREE-PEOPLE-PRINCIPLE?
It’s that most everyone you know, knows three people who will move in the next twelve months.
Now, do this and see The Three-People-Principle in action?
Walk to your car. Get in. Fasten your seat belt. Start your car. Drive to your bank. Withdraw three crisp Franklins.
Drive to your nearest Starbucks. Lock your car. Walk inside. Approach anyone. Pull out your three crisp $100 bills. Smile. Say, “I will give you $100 for the name of each person you personally know who sold or bought a house in the last twelve months. It can be a coworker, friend or neighbor, someone from church, Bunco, yoga…anyone you know by name.”
Smile, listen, and hand over the moola.
Odds are, you’ll leave Starbucks with a latte, an empty wallet, and an Ah-Ha belief in The Three-People-Principle.
So let me ask you, do you believe that most people know three people who have moved in the last twelve months? If you do, then like Jack’s three magic brans, let’s turn The Three-People-Principle into a sky-climbing money vine and crowds of new clients.
Here’s the deal. We’ve talked about this before. Most agents wrongly focus their prospecting energy primarily on the question, “Who in my sphere/network/tribe/niche is going to buy or sell soon?” This approach is like stepping over dollar bills to pick up dimes. It’s the wrong mindset, and has limited opportunity for positive returns.
HERE’S WHY. . .
Statistically, people move every seven to twelve years. Out of 100 people, on average, maybe seven to ten of these 100 folks will make a move during the year.
Let’s assume you’re doing a good job and the 100 fine folks you know like you and trust you. Let’s also assume you touch base consistently, meaning you have routine On-Purpose and In-Person conversations with most of them. Of the possible movers, how many of them can you reasonably expect to choose you to list and sell? Five out of eight would be fantastic; probably fewer is realistic, right?
So, if you know 100 people, with luck, skill, and strategy, you might be hired three to five times in a year. You can’t survive, let alone thrive, on that number, can you? And for those of you with fewer than 100 people in your network — well, the number of opportunities is Olive Oyl skinny, right?
However, by refocusing your mind’s eye and your good intentions on The Three-People-Principle, you will comfortably and dramatically grow your profit possibilities, because your 100 know 300 who will make a move in the next twelve months. Even better, if you’re having In-Person, On-Purpose contacts and conversations with 200 people, they know 600 others. If you know 300, they know 900, and so on. Holy mackerel!
Thought Experiment Alert!!
Before we move on, let’s make this real. Let’s take a look at what your personal golden opportunity is by completing this next exercise.
Fill in the blanks below. Don’t overthink it, simply use the SWAG (Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess) Method. It doesn’t have to be exact, I just want you to get a feel for your total opportunity.
OPPORTUNITY FORMULA WORKSHEET
Fill in the number of people in each category who live in your market area and would know who you are if you called them and said “hello.”
_____ Relatives You Still Speak to
_______ Your Sphere of Influence (When you pick up the phone, dial their
number and say, “Hi, friend’s name, this is your name-calling.”, they
would know who you are. They wouldn’t ask “Who are you?” or hang
_______ People You Know Through Your Significant Others (spouse,
lovers, partners, kids, relatives, etc.)
_______ Past Clients
_______ Current Prospects, Suspects and the Curious
_______ Enter the Total Here
________ Enter Your Total X 3 Here.
_________ Number of people moving in the next 365 days.
This represents the number of people you have both direct and indirect contact with, who will move in the next twelve months.
What Number Of Listing and Selling Opportunities Do You Have?
Can you see how there’s a Fort Knox of opportunity associated with people you know directly?
Let me pause here and say this. When I share this exercise in a workshop session, there are always agents who worry that their number of opportunities is limited because their network is skinny. I encourage them, as I do you if you feel this way — No Worries. The primary point is that going forward you understand and use The Three-People-Principle to build a successful business.
In future and past videos I share dozens of individual activities and actions that will add droves of new friends, prospects, suspects, and clients to your network. Relax, no worries. Read on and reap.
But before you move forward and begin to put these ideas and strategies to work, here are a few pointers.
Don’t drop friendly, good people to chase strangers.
Do stay in On-Purpose and In-Person close touch with everyone you know. Even when you know that your friendly, good people* won’t move in this century, remember that they will know three people who are likely to move. Build trust, create Top of Mind Awareness, and earn the opportunity to politely, professionally, and consistently ask for referrals. They’ll gladly give them to you, if you ask.
Note: I mention friendly, good people because I see too many agents accepting mental and verbal beatings from rude, mean, and unappreciative people. It’s important to draw your boundaries around how you will and how you refuse to be treated.
When someone you’re working with won’t respect you, you should fire them and move on. I know the fear of lost opportunity is a powerful thing, but in the long run, even when you win the battle, you lose the war, along with your self-respect.
By using the ideas and strategies in these videos I’m sharing you will be able to attract and discover so many opportunities, you’ll be sitting in the catbird seat and can pick and choose whom to work with. Won’t it be nice to work exclusively with nice people? Let’s continue…
Don’t randomly ask people in your sphere/network/tribe/niche when they are going to move. This is awkward for you and supremely annoying to them. All you need to do is relax and treat your relationships like important relationships, not like transactions.
Because you’re engaged in frequent, relevant, In-Person contact and conversations, and you’re going to put some of these new strategies you’re reading about into action, you’ll discover and attract these opportunities naturally.
It’s that simple.
Reminder: Your mortgage friend knows three, your all-smiles title rep knows three, your grass-stained landscape artist knows three, your sweaty and stern personal trainer knows three, your I-can-fix-anything repair women and men know three, your home stager knows three, your pro photographer knows three, your how-can-I-make-you-shine administrative manager (you don’t call them an assistant do you?) also knows three. You get the picture, right?
So, back to the reason why I introduced The Three-People-Principle to you here in the Seizing Hiding-in-Plain-Sight Opportunities chapter. Everyone who asks you, “How’s the real estate market?” all know three people who will move within the next twelve months. Maybe one of their friends will hire a real estate agent this week or next. Wouldn’t you like to know about that opportunity? Read on to learn how the mediocre miss these opportunities and why you won’t.
TURNING BLUE SKY OPPORTUNITY INTO REAL-LIFE REALITY. . .
The mediocre-crowd miss these opportunities because they blurt Blah-Blah and cheese-ball common responses to the question, “HOW’S THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?”
I think this mostly happens for two reasons. . .
1. They don’t understand the opportunity🤷🏽♂️
2. And/or, they’ve never paused long enough to think it through and create an interesting, evocative, or productive answer.
Let’s break it down and turn it around. . .
How Does Cheese-Ball Happen, and What Does It Sound Like?
Forgettable and cheese-ball happens when the answer to the question, “HOW/S THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?” is unplanned, unrehearsed, and flaccid.
HERE ARE FIVE QUICK EXAMPLES OF WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. .
Q: How’s the real estate market?
A1: Business is great!” [Yawn. American cheese-ball]
A2: “I’m really busy.” [Boooorrrriinnngggg! Velveeta cheese-ball ]
A3: “The market’s picking up.” [Sure it is. Roquefort cheese-ball .]
A4: “Unbelievable.” [Whatever. Cheeze-Whiz cheese-ball.]
A4: “It’s slow.” [Loser. Goat cheese-ball]
After any mundane exchange like those above, absolutely nothing good happens for anyone. If you’re hyper-rushed, these puny sound bites might be all you can Munster. Any other time, they’re lame. Sorry. Don’t hate, I’m shootin’ straight and sharing solutions.
WILL YOU Work to Become Memorable, Profitable and Cheese-Free?
Memorable happens when our answer to “How’s the real estate market?” is artfully crafted, interesting, and unexpected. Memorable happens when we know what we’re going to say before we say it. Memorable also leads to Top of Mind Awareness, which, in turn, leads to being chosen and getting referred.
So let’s get memorable and turn those Three-People Principle possibilities into a bonfire of real listing and selling opportunities. Which means we have to create a new habit of answering this question with an engaging, super-duper-fast short story — instead of cheese ball common.
Super-Duper-Fast and Hyper-Tiny Storytelling
I see you scratching your head, thinking, When someone asks a simple question, I don’t have time to tell a story, even if it’s tiny one.
But hear me out. I’m talking hyper-tiny and fast.
There’s even a formula for it. Using this formula allows us to tap into natural human desires to help others.
With an artfully delivered answer to “How’s the real estate market?”, we can engage the attention of our listeners, naturally and comfortably uncover listing and selling opportunities, and make ourselves uniquely choosable in the process.
HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE . .
Engaging Super-Fast and Hyper-Tiny Stories Have Three Parts
First I’ll share what the three parts are, then I’ll share three examples. Aren’t you just loving the number three by now, by the way?
1. Problems and Benefits engage the interest of the listener. People like to help their friends. Whether you ask for it or not, doesn’t everyone want to give you advice when you share a problem?
Plus, good people like to share beneficial stuff with their friends as well. It’s what we call word-of-mouth; we all do it when we tell our friends about an epic movie, an awesome restaurant experience, and cool stuff, people, or places we’ve discovered.
2. Details and Information add context and believability to a story. If you share a fuzzy problem or a fact-free benefit, the story sounds suspiciously fiction and BS salesy. To sharpen credibility, your story needs to include specific and vivid details and facts like names, dates, and addresses.
3. Request for Advice or Help is how you conclude your super-duper-fast and hyper-tiny story. After sharing details and factual information about the problems or benefits swirling inside your story, you give the listener a chance to do what comes naturally — the desire to help. To do this, we simply ask the listener for help and advice about how to solve our problem, or who they might know who would benefit from our benefits.
Sounds weird and uncommon, doesn’t it? It’s certainly different from bleating forgettable. And that, my friends, is the sharp point of this chapter.
Let me share a few example answers to the question, “How’s the real estate market?”
QUESTION: HOW’S THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?
Example Answer #1: Thankfully I’m super-busy, but also frustrated. I’m working with the nicest couple from San Diego, Marty and Sarah; she’s a chemical engineer with Anadarko, here in The Woodlands.
Anyway, I’ve shown them twenty-seven houses and they’ve fallen in love with the Clover Park neighborhood, over in The Village of Panther Creek.
The problem is, there are only four homes for sale and none of them has the three-car garage and greenbelt lot they want. I’m going to have to knock on some doors and see if anyone is thinking of selling.
You wouldn’t happen to know of anyone who lives in Clover Park, and is thinking of selling would you? Marty and Sarah are prequalified, and super motivated.
Example Answer #2: I feel like I’m running around with my hair on fire, but it’s a good thing. I’m holding an open house this Sunday at a pretty cool house on a cul-de-sac, with a giant lush back yard and a 20,000 gallon salt-water swimming pool.
I’m running around, sending out invitations, coordinating Open House promotions, and stuff like that.
If you or anyone you know plans to be in the Clover Park on Sunday, between 2 and 4, stop in, and say Hi. I’ll e-mail you an invitation.
Example Answer #3: Things are great, thanks for asking. Last Tuesday I had the most pleasant closing; they really know what they’re doing at Texas American Title.
I was working with the nicest couple from San Diego, Marty and Sarah. We looked at twenty-seven properties and I thought we’d never find their dream home.
Then I was asking around, and a friend — do you know Theresa Wilson? She’s one of the yoga instructors at Villa Sport, she teaches the 5:30 afternoon class on Tuesdays and Thursdays?
Well, last month Theresa referred me to a friend she knew who lived in the Clover Park neighborhood and was thinking of selling. Just like that, we showed their home over on Clover Park, they fell in love, wrote a contract, and moved last Tuesday afternoon.
Now that they’re taken care of, I’m focused on generating some new business. If you know anyone who is thinking of trading Up or Down, keep me in mind.
As you can see in these three examples, telling a hyper-tiny, super-fast story isn’t difficult. The trick to it isn’t a trick at all. The key is knowing what you’re going to say before you say it.
Because you know you’re going to be asked this question every day, have your answers ready before it’s asked. If you know what you’re going to say, you’ll answer the question conversationally and confidently. As a result, you attract and discover listing and selling opportunities that were previously hiding in plain sight. Plus, you’ll sound remarkably more interesting than all those mediocre agents bleating forgettable.
To help expand your thinking about what hyper-short stories you might share, here are some common situations that you can use for your own super-fast storytelling.
Your new listing
Your recent closing
Your upcoming open house
A stunning new listing, viewed on property tour
What other situations with a built-in problem that needs solving, or unique benefits that need sharing, would make an interesting story answer? Choose one or three from the list above or make-up you own and perfect-practice your new answers to the question “How’s the real estate market?”
Give it a whirl; only good things can happen.
GETTING REAL – IF IT WAS EASY, EVERYONE WOULD DO IT
Psychologists tell us that creating new habits takes twenty-one repetitions.
Be prepared to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you begin to replace your comfortable and formerly forgettable answers with new and engaging opportunity generators. Uncomfortable feelings are the natural consequences of shoving yourself beyond the fringes of your old comfort zone. Embrace and conquer this discomfort by doing what admired storytellers do: put your stories in writing, perfect practice your delivery, then share it—over and over.
Good luck, grace, and speed. Rise up.
If I can be helpful, let me hear from you📲 . Ken Brand | 832-797-1779