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Editor’s Note: “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income: The exact systems and technology to sell 100+ homes, every year—no matter the market,” is a new book by leading real estate industry executives Alan Shafran and Rick Bengson that outlines how to build your business as well as make more money, please more customers and improve your overall quality of life, whether you are a novice or climbing the ladder in the real estate business. For the next 10 weeks, RISMedia will be running portions of each chapter every Wednesday, highlighting the in-depth information and invaluable resources the authors have compiled in this exciting, new publication.

Chapter 1: The Cardinal Rules of Real Estate
We’re starting with the basics to give you a lay of the land – whether you’re an experienced REALTOR® or relatively new to the real estate business. Either way, the priority for any agent or broker will be getting to know the critical marketing, communications and technology insights that enable you to sell houses faster and at the highest prices.

Markets go up and markets go down. That’s why it’s important to have a system that you can build for a long career in the business, providing you an abundance of business no matter the market. We rode an extremely hot market in most areas of the country from 2000-2007 and now we have new economic challenges, as we have faced an economic downturn that is the worse we have seen in 80 years.

It has widely been referred to as this generation’s Great Depression. Economic fears were embedded in all buyers and sellers, which equates to a particularly difficult time for real estate agents. Hence, the great need for a system that works, whatever the condition of the economy; it’s imperative to your long term success.

Knowing the Market
We, as agents, don’t work on a nation-wide, state or regional basis. We work in our local markets where we service our clients. Although it’s useful to know the real estate economic news on a more global basis, it is most important that you are well versed in your own market. Many markets, even through the recent crisis, did not experience a downturn, while others were devastated with as much as 60% depreciation.

Knowing your market may mean knowing that advertising in the local paper is a great bang for your buck, but in another market you could be burning hundred-dollar bills and need a different marketing avenue. Focus your business to meet the needs of your specific market. That may mean switching from representing a majority of buyers to representing ‘short sale’ sellers; it’s always pretty obvious where the business is, and you need to adapt accordingly.

In down markets, the number of sales per agent quickly drops, until sales increase and/or agents drop out of the market. And, of course, as the number of sales drop so do housing prices due to the additional inventory this creates. Since we are mainly paid upon a percentage of the sales price of the homes that we sell; lower home prices mean lower commissions for agents like us. However, this also necessitates selling more homes in order to maintain our total compensation.

You may decide 50 is your magic comfort number or some may even build a team doing over 200 deals a year. Though, if you set a goal like 100 Deals per year in your mindset, this could be the answer to your quest for a steady revenue stream, where your company can truly flourish into a year-after-year business that you can count on.

Disaster or Opportunity?
For those who see the opportunities in life’s twists and turns, a bad economy can lead to creating wealth – if you know what to do. Back during the Great Depression, there were savvy entrepreneurs and business people who made fortunes, simply by investing in real estate and waiting for boom times.

Those buyers are still out there, as well as those who will always want a home in which to raise their families. That’s just the nature of life. And this is why now is a golden time of opportunity.

Still, in slow markets buyers are scarce and you must act with precision. Therefore, as your competition runs scattered and confused in the face of a changing landscape; you have the chance to make the right moves that will enable you to own your market for years to come – literally investing in your future.

Define Yourself by Success
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

This is an ongoing tide of change, as we can never be 100% certain of market conditions, which is precisely why we need a system that isn’t reliant on any particular economic landscape. Thus, throughout the economic highs and lows of tomorrow, there are ultimately only two options: Stagnate or Grow.

It’s a no-brainer that if you are stagnating, you are no longer developing or progressing in your field; whereas, by growing, you are increasing in size and productivity. What makes better sense to you? Brokers can throw up their hands when faced with challenging external forces, or they can take action to maximize results – and profits.

Also in this chapter: Maximizing your business to attract clients and add value, and the top 5 benefits of technology under our Blueprint for 100 Deals system.

To learn more about or purchase “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit:

Rick Bengson is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShowingSuite, Inc. a leading real estate productivity software company, and Co-Creator of Alan Shafran is the owner of The Alan Shafran Group, selling up to 175 homes per year. Contact him at To learn more about “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit: