One constant truth of real estate sales is a simple one: The sale is made once the relationship is built.

But the question is, how do you build these relationships? I can’t give you the grit or perseverance to succeed. But what I can share are some simple formulas I’ve designed that can help you succeed.

Teaching = Trust = Speed

There is a strong, direct relationship between speed and trust. If your transactions are going slowly, if a home buyer is hesitant to sign a buyer’s agreement or if you just can’t get over the hump, what’s really going on is that you haven’t convinced them to trust you yet. This lack of trust slows the relationship down. And if you can’t build trust, you’ll never close the deal.

Trust buys speed in relationships. Think of going to the airport: When you buy the TSA PreCheck, what you’re really buying is trust. You’re saying the government can trust you, and that lets you move faster through the security checkpoint.

So how do you convince your buyers to trust you? It’s not just about being buddies and friends with them — it’s in teaching. People trust who they learn things from. So know your stuff, and teach them important information so they view you as an authority in their lives. Teach them about their local market. Maybe a new commercial property is going up a couple of miles down the road, and you can offer an estimation of the rise in property values after a few years.

Commitment + Consistency = Community

In my last article, I detailed the importance of using commitment and consistency to build strong individual relationships. But this can also build community relationships as well.

A friend of mine is a part-time pilot and aviation enthusiast in his home state of Minnesota, and he builds his relationships through his affinity group. His brand is solid — he is “The Pilot,” and he builds relationships with clients by taking them on flights and making amazing videos to post on social media. His Facebook group has thousands of members, and most of that content isn’t even real estate-related. But he does use this as a platform to gain an unfair competitive advantage — and that’s not a bad thing! With the trust he’s earned, he has a built-in community that will go to him first for their real estate needs.

The No. 1 complaint I hear about real estate agents is that they’re “too salesy” or “only interested in a quick buck.” Instead of approaching them just for the transaction, build a trusting relationship and ground it in a community.


In real estate, your emotional intelligence, or EQ, will always be more important than your IQ.

What the wealthiest real estate professionals all have in common is their ability to move relationships from transactional to relational. They do this by asking people about the things most important to them, on the days most important to them. It’s not just about bombarding them with sales questions. Reach out on holidays or on important days to build that human relationship. We aren’t just selling assets or investments, but homes and neighborhoods where people will raise their families and join communities.

One of my clients once sent a simple message to her leads that ended up as a huge success. Around the office, we call it the legendary $60,000 text message. It goes like this:

“What’s your favorite dish for Thanksgiving dinner, (contact name)? Warm wishes to a joyous Thanksgiving.”

Based on that text alone, she was able to close multiple deals totaling $60,000. It would never have worked if she had just sent a generic message like, “Are you looking to buy a house today?”

That’s why the emotional connection with people is so important. You’ve got to actually be interested in their lives. And if you’re not getting to where you need to be, it’s not because of “bad leads” — it’s because you haven’t been able to connect with clients.

OPM = The New Hustle

One thing I always strive to teach real estate agents is to learn to use OPM, a.k.a. other people’s manpower. You could spend all your time and energy hustling, working hard, or you could take advantage of tools and data that other people have made.

In this high-tech world, it’s so easy to want to automate everything, but don’t forget to be high-touch. This might sound crazy coming from a technology founder, but you can’t just trust computers to do everything. Your customers want a human connection.

But you can’t do everything alone, either. This is where technology comes in handy. Founders like me have spent years building infrastructure to help real estate agents automate some processes to scale, but still with a human touch. That manpower allows you to leverage your time wisely.

Knowing Your Numbers = Seeing In The Crystal Ball

Digital marketing is about the closest thing we have to a crystal ball. You have all the data right at your fingertips. It can tell you what works and what doesn’t, so you can allocate time, focus and energy to important things while ignoring unimportant things.

Always know your numbers. Evaluate how you spend your time and money. What I’ve learned from running a tech company is how to use data to make decisions and properly use resources. Some of these things aren’t taught when getting your real estate license.

With real estate marketing, you should always be asking these three questions: How much does it cost to get a lead? How much does it cost to get an appointment? How much does it cost to get a client?

Look into your crystal ball, and find out exactly how much that is. Only then will you be able to figure out how to best use your resources and grow your business.

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