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When I got into the real estate business at the age of 18, there were no computers being used, no internet, no fax machines and no cell phones. Purchase contracts in many states were one page long and there were no standard disclosure statements and no formal physical inspections. Sellers had one point of contact for access to listings and information: real estate agents. Very few interviewed more than one agent, commission rates were rarely questioned…so, in other words, it was heaven!

My how things have changed! If you want to survive and thrive in the rapidly changing landscape of the real estate industry, then you cannot put your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. You must attack the disruption head-on and strive to shine as the wise advisor and clear choice in your community.

Recently I attended an outstanding conference with top agents from across the country and this was one of the key topics discussed by the top agents attending. I took some notes from the powerful discussions, which I want to share with you. I hope you find them helpful and I really hope they reignite your competitive spirit and your determination to conquer your market, and be the luxury agent of choice in your local community.

Tips to Address Disruptors 

  1. You must have a minimum of three solid systems of creating listing opportunities. Once you have your three, add a fourth and a fifth.
  1. Wherever there are people there are leads. Find groups and networks you enjoy and get connected. Once there, open the conversation by asking, “What are your real estate plans for the next 12 months?”
  1. Commit to long-term and aggressive lead follow-up. Today’s consumers begin their searches online and early, and it could take four months-plus and at least six to seven follow-ups to score an appointment. Remember, to spark urgency, you have more power to persuade them to action than you may realize.
  1. Drop a web of connection over your database. Direct mail, call, email, text and connect on social media through community educational and connection events.
  1. Never rest! Keep improving your skills and earning new designations and certifications. There is always a next level of mastery!
  1. Invest in your education, whether it’s by taking courses, hiring a coach or attending an event. Of all of the tools and toys you could buy, you are your own best investment. Invest in your personal and professional growth to stay at the top of your game.
  1. Upgrade everything you do, especially your listing presentation materials. They need to clearly showcase how you will be the champion to protect the value of your client’s home and net them the most money possible with the least amount of inconvenience.
  1. Over-prepare; it’s hard to get to the table and critical that you don’t blow it.
  1. Drill, practice and rehearse your scripts and objection handlers. You know what they will hit you with, so be ready.
  1. You can’t be an island, so find quality groups to network and mastermind with and work to expand your range, reach and influence in your community.
  1. As you meet more people, be sure to “opt them in” to your funnel and market to them consistently to build rapport and earn their future business. Even if they are not prospects, your CRM and automated tools (if used properly) can keep you top of mind so you get that “come list me call” when they’re ready.
  1. Study the competition and study the structure and models of the disruptors so you can professionally sell against them by comparing the services and benefits you offer. Sell against them factually, not by trashing them. In other words, know your enemy.
  1. Good service is no longer enough as consumers are demanding more. Look at what the top luxury agents in your market are offering. Whatever they’re doing, you need to do it better!
  1. Speaking of service, in today’s world, whether clients are delighted with you or not, they won’t just tell a friend; they will go online and tell hundreds about their experience. Make sure you exceed their expectations.
  1. Be fanatical about collecting reviews and testimonials, and gently script your clients to speak to how your experience, expertise and results helped to achieve a sales price beyond their expectations. Use these reviews to further demonstrate why you are worth a higher rate of commission.
  1. Position yourself to win. Ask if they are interviewing, ask who they are interviewing and go last if you can.
  1. If they don’t sign on the spot, follow up, follow up and follow up some more. Have you noticed how you often have to chase them, and chase them aggressively to win them? The sales trainer Zig Ziglar had a saying, “Timid salespeople have skinny kids.” You have to hunt!

I read the other day that the 80/20 rule (20 percent of agents are doing 80 percent of the business) is going to shift to the 90/10 rule. Ten percent will be doing 90 percent of the business. Strive to stay in that top 10 percent.

If you need help, talk to us and we will help you. We have the pleasure of working with some of the brightest and best in the real estate industry across the nation. Go to and book your complimentary session. Good luck!

Debbie De Grote is the founder and owner of Excelleum Coaching and Consulting. The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market.