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Boards and associations across the nation are keeping a watchful eye on the news in the wake of the secret, three-plus year buyer discrimination investigation in New York.

While teaching ethics and law is a vital training component for all associations and companies, it’s also critically important to teach practical concepts and the listing and sales skills that will help sales professionals not only be compliant with the laws, but also cultivate a powerful book of business for themselves and raise the integrity bar for our industry.

That said, I’m not an ethics teacher or compliance expert. I teach agents how to generate more listings and transact business from a position of serving, not selling—and coaching, not closing. That position is a differentiator, because it shifts the perspective from focusing on the agent to focusing on the client, which encourages them to be more mindful in their interactions. That mindfulness inherently leads to a better connection and more fair practices.

In considering how to help agents cultivate more equitable practices when dealing with buyers, I immediately thought of the “shiny penny” concept that I teach audiences across the nation. Here’s how it works: For every price range that you work, find the one or two “best buys for the buck”—those homes that stand out from the rest like shiny pennies. Visualize having a hundred pennies, but only two of them are brand-new, hot off the mint, perfect and shiny. Imagine how they just pop out of the pile among all the old pennies. They all have the same value, but those two are really special.

The same is true of real estate. Not all houses in a price range “pop out,” but a few will. Those are the houses you commit to selling.

What gets agents in trouble is treating buyers differently based on their location, the number of houses they show, school district, etc. When using the shiny penny concept, we ignore all that—the style of house, location, school district—and we put listings into price categories. Take the price range of $320,000-$325,000, for example. There might be 30 homes in that price range, but, only two or three really stand out as special. Those are your shiny pennies.

Next, take a look at your buyers and toss out all the home factors (bedrooms, baths, school district) except for price. Buyers, by nature, rarely buy what they say they want. They tend to buy the best house they can find in their price range.

Work the houses, not the buyers. Show every buyer the shiny pennies in your market that match their price range. It’s as simple as that.

I’ll leave you with one last secret motto that has helped our power agents make six figures when working with buyers and have way less stress: “Less stress, income higher, work the house, not the buyer!”

Create a shiny penny list for the homes for sale in your market and work the houses, not the buyers. You’ll save time, energy and stress, and it will help you steer clear of those fair housing stumbles.

Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit