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As the real estate industry evolves, technology advances and everything moves at lightning speed, it’s important to remember that while tactics change, principles don’t. The basic principles of creating a successful business are as relevant today as they were several decades ago. Here are a few timeless, universal principles I’ve learned over my 25-plus years in sales and marketing.

Focus in on Your Clients’ Needs
“What’s in it for me?” is the primary question your clients are asking, whether they verbalize it or not. Take a moment and put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what their goals, fears and pain points are. Then, determine how you can meet—and exceed—their expectations before, during and after a transaction.

If you’re able to identify your clients’ needs, articulate the unique value you offer and then follow through for them, you’ll appeal to their emotions and create walking, talking billboards for your business. Since many agents move on to the next lead or client once the transaction has closed, by developing a lasting relationship with your clients, you’ll stand out from the competition and turn quality leads into more leads.

Facts Tell, Stories Sell
While hard numbers and stats are important, if you really want to compel someone to action, put a face on your facts. Great examples of this are Buffini & Company’s “It’s a Good Life” client story videos. While we could share the fact that our clients earn 11 times the national average, we’d rather introduce you to clients who are experiencing success in their businesses, like Ben Andrews of Portland, Ore., who went from having $300 in the bank and a baby on the way to closing over 50 transactions and $22.7 million in sales volume.*

Ben and his wife, Heidi, were well on their way to building a successful business, but when Heidi became pregnant with their son, her role shifted and they began to lose momentum. Ben enrolled in our Peak Producers® training program and learned to nurture and lean into his relationships with his clients. The combination of continuous development and coaching allowed him to create balance in his life and business. Check out the full story at

Stories demonstrate who you are and what you do better than you could ever communicate by just sharing cold facts. Studies show that we buy emotionally and justify our decision logically, and your clients are no different.** By appealing to their emotional side with stories, you’ll connect with them on a deeper level and build trust.

Authenticity Wins the Day
More than ever, people crave authenticity; they want personal service and specific messaging—they don’t want to be treated like strangers. Brian Buffini—founder of Buffini & Company—often says, “Just being you is good enough to be great.” So, be you. Be real and connect with your clients on a personal level. See what your clients are passionate about and what they spend their time doing, then find common ground to build rapport. This is relationship-based marketing, and it’s what we believe to be the most effective and most enjoyable way to build your business.

While marketing tactics may change rapidly, core principles always stay the same. Focus on your clients’ needs, tell a good story and be authentic. Do these things, and I assure you that your business will benefit.

* Buffini & Company
** Achar, Chethana, et al., “What we feel and why we buy: the influence of emotions on consumer decision making.” Current Opinion in Psychology 2016, 10: 166-170.

King_Terri_60x60Terri King is chief marketing officer (CMO) of Buffini & Company. For more information, please visit

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