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The 10 Keys of Key

Here are the 10 keys of Key Realty, principles by which we run the company, teach the business and run our lives.


1.     Get a tribe.    

Have a database of everyone you know and put everything you know about them in it, including bad back, dog named Fido, etc.   Additionally, subdivide it into different categories, and pay particular attention to the most important people in your professional life, people that have given you referrals. Know everything you can about the people that make sure you eat.


2.     Grow the tribe

Become intentional, structured and disciplined about adding people to your social sphere of influence, your tribe. 

Join something, get involved in the community, help local entrepreneurs, such as restauranteurs, grow their businesses too..


3.      Know the tribe.    

Stay in touch with a monthly newsletter, no matter what.   This newsletter will start to frame you in their minds as their real estate solution, their  “friend in the real estate business."


These are important people to you.  Act like it.  Take a sincere interest in their lives.


4.      Ask the tribe.   

Ask for referrals and make sure you have a good referral dialogue something that can add specific value to someone’s life. For example,  “I have a challenge maybe you can help me with. We are struggling to find homes to sell in certain price ranges and areas because of the changing market.  Would you happen to know a friend who is interested in selling their home? We could probably get them top dollar for it in a short period of time and help out some of our clients that are looking for homes.”


Always frame and present your referral question as an offer to assist someone and/or their friends. And always ask for seller referrals. (they will give the buyers, don’t worry about it)


5.      Thank the tribe.   

The people who give you referrals are simply stated, important.  


Express your gratitude and appreciation for the critical role they play in your life.  


People love to be valued and appreciated.


Have a “movie tickets” program, an automatic, systematic and preplanned way to acknowledge and honor the most important event in your career, the privilege of receiving a referral.  


Example: when you receive a referral, put two movie tickets in a handwritten note and make sure they receive the tickets the next day.


6.      Focus on Listings.   

Every business has a magic land, a place where it is simply easier and faster to make money.


High-dollar clients, sellers, or some other identifiable area.   In the real estate business, seller-based activity is somewhere between 600% in 1200% more efficient and effective as a dollar-per-hour income-producing activity.


 Always frame yourself as a specialist, 

“I am a luxury homes specialist.” 

“I specialize in selling homes for sellers that is my primary activity as a real estate professional.”


Have your business cards and your personal marketing materials state your specialty, example: “Seller Marketing Specialist."


7.     Have a dialogue.  

The magic moment of the real estate business is when someone says, “I am thinking about buying (or selling) my home."


If you say to them one of the following dialogues, you will get the following results and you will get paid this percentage of the time if they do something in the next 30 days:


       0%      -  “Well if you see something that you think you might like, just give me a call.”

       5%      -  “I am going to email you some houses and call you on Tuesday at 2 o’clock.”

     51%      - “Here’s what I would like to do for you, put together a list of the top 10, the best buying

                      opportunities in the area you described and swing by and drop them off on Tuesday at 2”


If they say yes and you are in their dining room on Tuesday you are going to get paid 51% of the time.


Get the appointment, get the appointment, get the appointment.  


What about the guy who doesn’t want to “do anything for at least a year?”   Here’s where my suggestions might differ from the norm.   I don’t care when someone wants to give me $5000, now or a year from now. 


Plus, in this appointment, I might be able to objectively create urgency, suggest alternatives and have someone move forward more quickly.   Regardless, if I walk out of that appointment as the “family realtor,” I am going to have a client, get paid and maybe get a years worth of referrals in the meantime. :-)))


8.      Do a presentation.  


Professionals use professional tools.   Have a visually-appealing,  attractive and professional presentation.  When you are in a $300,000 listing or buyer agency  professional representation presentation, there is $9000 or more on the table, put your best foot forward with a world-class services proposal that clearly demonstrates your expertise and experience and frames you as the best choice, the right choice.


9.       Add value.

This is perhaps the most philosophical of the 10 Keys. 


Valuable, able to create value, trustworthy, worthy of trust.


Sometimes, adding value to someone is simply listening to a story about their broken heart, an unfortunate and tragic passing or a child who has lost their way.   Make a commitment to add 20 minutes to every appointment to allow people an opportunity to express themselves.   


Listen carefully, be calm and compassionate and emotionally available.  Suit up, show up and be your best self.


Remember,  that they are far more interested in you as a person then they are in your charts and graphs.   


Be patient, tolerant, loving and kind in all your dealings with clients.


It is the foundation and the wellspring of lifelong relationships, world-class friendships and an endless source of referrals.


Don’t tell FSBO how wonderful you are, offer a service, a CMA, free staging service, a free virtual tour, answers to any questions. It works a lot better than asking to come over and tell them how wonderful you are.  They don’t care.  :))


10.      Be an entrepreneur.

 What is the difference between someone who has a job and is self-employed? The name of your boss.

 Who wants to have a boss, even if it’s you? 


I believe that accomplished real estate professionals are not employed or self-employed. 


They are business owners and business owners have:


Business plans, tactics, strategies that are well reasoned, carefully considered and effective

Profit and loss statements. 


Spend less than they make

Save money and have cash reserves


Business owners have a special set of responsibilities, obligations and privileges.  


They do the right things, the right way for the right reasons.


This is a simple list. Success in real estate is actually simple, it is a series of habits.  I did not say it was easy, but it is simple.  There are no new fundamentals, and most wisdom is ancient. 

Tom Hopkins says, "It is not hard to make $100,000 a year in real estate,  the second time. Actually it is easy, because now you expect it  and now you have the habits."


I hear stories that keep me up at night excited, stories that Key agents tell me.


About children going to college, families having health insurance, people who have elevated their lives in ways that were beyond their imagining.


Our profession can provide you with economic stability and financial freedom.   

It can ensure that you get to every one of your children’s baseball games, have money to travel, pursue other interests and have great relationships with your loved ones.


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