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For many real estate professionals, the dream is to be the best there is by becoming the No. 1 agent in their specific market. Why is it that some agents achieve this goal, but most don’t? It comes down to knowing the correct path to the goal.

Marketing and branding your name, team and reputation are at the heart of achieving that goal:

  1. Create your message.
  2. Create the content.
  3. Polish it.
  4. Get it in front of the public through drip campaigns, websites, traditional advertising (TV, radio and billboards) or social media promotion.

The challenge is balancing your budget among what really works and will help you do the job at hand.

It’s easy to waste time and money on worthless products, promotions and sales pitches. My phone rings at least five times a day with somebody pitching a product or website that they claim is exactly what I need to get me to the top. I’m embarrassed to admit that for the first four or five years in business, I actually believed the person calling and bought their pitch.

I’m here to tell you I’ve spent a lot of money on junk. Learn from my experiences so you can save your hard-earned money.

  1. Never buy anything from somebody calling to say their company has the latest and greatest “fill in the blank” product. Understand that they may have a good product, but don’t blindly buy the sales pitch and expect results without doing your research.
  1. If the sales pitch seems realistic, get some basic information about the product and contact information for the salesperson so you can follow up if you have questions.
  1. If you have a coach, your next call is to him/her. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my coaching clients have come to me with questions about a technology tool they just heard about. By discussing a decision like this with your coach, you can have an objective third party help determine if you really need the product. Not only will this prevent you from buying tools that aren’t what the sales pitch says they are, but it will keep you from buying tools you don’t need.

If you don’t have a coach, take advantage of various social media groups to connect with professionals who can help you determine if the product you’re interested in really works. Let the experiences of others help guide your decisions on tech tools by joining Facebook groups or the online ActiveRain community.

The key to getting to the top is maximizing profits by only spending money on things that work. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of real estate agents around the country who are willing to tell you the good and bad about a product you’re interested in. Don’t be fooled by a polished sales pitch, demonstration or glowing endorsement from hand-picked (by the company doing the pitching) agents. There’s no credibility unless you get independent verification of the product working from five or more people in the industry. A coach or social media group is your first step to making sure the money you’re spending won’t end up in the garbage can. It’s also the first step to achieving No. 1 status in your community.

Bob Sokoler is the owner of The Sokoler Medley Team at RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, Ky., which has ranked No. 1 in the city for sales volume six years in a row. His team sold more than 404 homes in 2016, and more than 340 properties in 2015. Contact him at

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