Entry by Merv Forney

I have a need to kick you in the marketing rear end (aka: butt)


If you are easily offended, do not read any further. If you value an honest opinion, read on. I'm warning you ... this is not sugar coated.

There are two things that traditional agents are not very good at: technology and marketing.

I am going to give you my honest assessment of your marketing skills. I will reserve my comments about your ability to get into the 21st century with technology for another offensive post.

I have been involved with the consulting concept even before I found Mollie. I've been involved with ACRE since about November of 2006. One of the things I discovered when researching the marketplace in 2004 before I took the ridiculous course on "how to pass the real estate test" was that the entire real estate community looked the same, sounded the same and everyone had the same canned content on their websites (if they even had a Website).

Your collective marketing skills suck! I am referring to the vast majority of "agent profiles" I look at. I would like you to forget everything you know about real estate and put your mindset into that of a consumer that finds you on the Times or your own Website. What on earth is it you can say that would cause a consumer to call you based on what you have presented. Consumers can care less about your picture with your head cutoff, how long you have been in the business, all your pedigrees (you know, all those acronyms behind your name including ACRE). They say so what?

Consumers today are looking for something different. It's about "what can you do for me that no one else can?" What is it? Discounted fees? I hope not. Your life history that shows you are a good person? Maybe but not too compelling. We are all good people. Same old same old.

As a consumer, I want to develop a relationship with someone I can get to know and trust will not screw me over. I also want to know what the value is in working with someone and it is not about the cost. It's about TRUTH ... TRANSPARENCY ... HONESTY ... TRUST.

So, in your "marketing" how do you convey the right messages to at least get your foot in the door? What is it you can say that would cause a complete stranger to call you? That, my friends, is the $64,000 question. I cannot answer it for you but I do know that for close to 100 of you we try to give you the tools that will make you different and more compelling

Then, where in the "marketing" do you ask for the call? Most of you never do. Why? That is the $6,400,000 question. What do you think a call to action is? If you want the business, assert yourself! As in: "I can do this (whatever might be compelling) for you, call me so I can show you how!" And give the number, email or whatever. And, don't wait until the end of the last (and 10th) paragraph.

Internet savvy consumers have about 5 seconds to find a reason to learn more about you. You MUST give it to them up front!

Now STOP giving them your resume and life history. We don't care. Give me "here's what I can do for you and why it is valuable and you need to learn more and you need to call me right away!"

The epistles according to Merv. Be offended or not. Believe it or not. Do it differently or not. I may not even have any credibility saying any of this ... or not.

But, you need a kick in the butt. My hope is it will spark a great debate! I promise not to be offended by your objections.


Wow. It's like you did a Jedi mind trick on us. Your opening line compelled me to read further. "If you are easily offended, do not read any further. If you value an honest opinion, read on. I'm warning you ... this is not sugar coated."

Then you went on to compel us to find ways to create a call to action, after you compelled us to take action and read your post. Well done my friend..........well done.

Oh, one more thing. You say you are an ACRE but where is "how that makes me different?" I don't get it.

How about this:

When you engage a traditional agent for helping you buy or sell real estate do you know how they really earn their compensation? If not, call me. I will show you exactly how I will earn mine! (transparency)


Do you really want to sell into this market? Maybe it is not the right time for you. If you have no other options, I can tell you exactly what you need to do because I have more market research at my finger tips than anyone else. I'll tell what you need to know. Before you make your crucial decision, call me. (truth)


Do you really want to buy into a short sale or foreclosure? It can be done but you will need some stamina because it could be a long, excruciating process. I can help because I know the ropes but you will need some patience! Call me to learn more. (truth, honesty)


Tired of a "one size fits all" approach to commissions? Call me to learn how you have options that could save you some $$$'s and you will know exactly what you get. (transparency)


Tired of being sold to? As a real estate consultant I can help guide you through some difficult decisions without ever (I mean never) pressuring you to do anything. Objective guidance is all you pay for and you will be better served to make a good financial decision! (objective counsel) Let me tell you why...


On and on and on and on.

Too cool MERV!

As many of you know, I'm the most wicked offender in the Universe ;-)

Just got a call from someone who said they were "intriqued" by my method of doing business and wanted to know more.

Left his cell phone# said he had meetings at 12, 2pm and 4pm today but if I could possibly talk to him after 6pm it would be great.

I've got a listing that started with consulting, ended with the transition to commission.

5 short sale condo's I'm doing consulting on.....all this and a broke arm, typing w/one hand (speech recognition is learning my southern drawlfinally, but ignore typo's for a bit)

It's like going on vacation, that is when all HECK breaks loose!

HEAR-HEAR MERV! HE tells it like it is, and I like that.

Having said that, due to medical circumstances, I still don't have my profile done either, couldn't find myself when I searched, but tomorrow is another Day ;-)

Thanks for a great kick in the butt post Merv! It is time to run with the big dawgs or stay on the porch ;-)

Paula Bean
aka BrokeBackArmInOrland.com

Did anyone notice that I never mentioned ACRE once (except why you call yourself one).

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

ACRE is not an end unto itself. It's just a different way to do business. You incorporate the concepts and processes without having to call it anything.

God speed to more business though innovative change and thinking differently.

Weeellll... yeah you did, but who's counting ;-)
Your post still makes very good sense and that is the point that people need to get.


And most of all, if it is a Win-Win for both parties. Only THEN can it be a great end for all.

Since my broken arm/back issues began, I've become adept at getting listings via consulting without seeing the house or meeting the seller. Why? Because I cared about the Client, was honest and truthful with them about the circumstances, and they trusted me.

In the long run, it is all about what ACRE espouses. Try it, and like Merv said, if you are easily offended, don't read further. ACRE is all about what WORKS, what people NEED to hear, not what they WANT to hear - and if it is a Win-Win for both sides.

Play with it- you'll be glad you did!

I just got several deals, one being a subdivision in the Panhandle using Consulting, so be adventurous and see where the path leads you.

Having said that, my profile still stinks ;-) but I have that brokeArmBack syndrome to blame it on, as well as having to send my pc to the HP hospital.......so, since I'm out of biz for 3 weeks, I'm thinking a vacation in the Carribbean Cruise, no cell phone access, awesome food, great drinks, making tons of money on the slots and pool-side fun sounds good!

Paula Bean
Orlando, FL


I, for one, really appreciate your examples.

Everyone needs a kick in the rear at one time or another. But a kick in the rear is a wasted effort by the kicker if it is administered without clear direction.

Your examples drove the point of your boot home for me!

Thank you, Merve...


WOW let's go back to 1996 - That is when my consulting really began full strength. I was bedridden for 3 months. Took 126 listings and negotiated 32 transactions.

How? Clients wanted my help (consultation). They took their own digitals with my camera, measured their own homes, we looked at options, discussed what was needed to get the property ready for sale, action was taken, seller listed and put up their own signs...never minced about the fees.

What it all boils down to is that when you have something of value, folks will feel compelled to want it. They "I have to have it" syndrome.

Be confident in yourself. BTW:I am now charging $195 up front, non refundable to take a listing or go under contract with a buyer. This is not considered part of a commission either.

I have gotten more than a standard commission by dividing fee for service from "Do it yourselfers". WE never had it so good.

Mollie, Merv and all thanks, thanks and more thanks for the opportunity for such a great sharing experience.

Micihigan Wynne

Thank YOU Wynne for your astute comments.

And what the devil are you doing up so early? And why am I up so early?



I took 6 listings yesterday, never met the people, never saw the house. Why? Because I can give them something nobody else can.

We should really have a webinar about this, it is just TOO easy!

I had one guy who wanted to physically meet with me, and due to my medical issues that was not possible. I borrowed Margaret Rome's 'waiting list' approach with him, and I thought he would fall out of his chair, lol!

He said he'd never heard of an agent having a waiting list.

I said I offer a unique, concierge service, and I can only take on so many clients and deliver what I promise. If you want to list with just anyone, then that is your option; however if you want to get your house SOLD then you can do it now, or go on my waiting list.

This is what consulting is all about, options...on both ends I might add. Just because you want to work with ME doesn't mean I want to work with you.

  • Confidence
  • knowledge
  • Expertise
  • options
  • choices
  • Transparency. . . and the ability to say No, that is not a win-win for both of us.

    THAT, imho, is what defines an ACRE. With my training, once I get agents to wrap their head around that, they too can take 6-10 listings a day in less time and not see the house, or meet the seller.

    I was forced into doing this because I couldn't drive, so it was a test, but it works!

    Paula Bean in Orlando

    ps - can I pay anyone to finish up my profile? Still typing with one hand, speech recognition is ok, but miles to go before that is something that works well.

    Happy 4th to all!

  • Paula, I think a webinar about that would be great. You had also mentioned your short sale process in an earlier post and maybe having a call or webinar to go over it. (Don't remember which one) Anyway, I'm interested in how you're doing it!


    Paula, I love the way you "borrowed Margaret Rome's 'waiting list' approach" Can you see me smiling?

    I am also using the concepts without the mention of ACRE.

    This page contains a single entry by Merv Forney published on June 27, 2008 2:41 PM.

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