Entry by Lester Langdon

Consumers need to know WHY?


 As the evolution of real estate brokerage changes, consumers will become educated.  Property owners and buyers may choose traditional brokers because they do not know a reason to choose a consultant.  ACREs need to briefly and concisely tell prospective clients two important explanations.

There are two WHY? stories

We need to tell the reasons that the industry is changing.

Also, we need to have a company or personal Why?

1)   WHY? Makes each of us stand out from the crowd . They need to know WHY? the industry is changing and why consumers are opting for consultants instead traditional brokers. Some property owners may choose traditional brokers because they do not know the reasons that alternative compensation models exist. Prospective clients need to know that they have a choice.   Successful marketing does not just tell you features, but also tells you benefits.  Every time you make state a feature about consulting, you should answer the unasked question “So What?”

Advertising should make me stand out from the crowd. It differentiates me from traditional brokers and starts the conversation. I am looking for “like-minded” consumers.  I suspect that many ACREs that meet face-to-face with prospective clients do not open the conversation with a WHY? and then answer the question. Do ACREs have the habit of starting the meeting like a traditional broker?

Do I try first to get the big contingent commission and show the discounted consulting fees as a last option? Does my website look like a traditional broker website. What is the big message of my website?

For ideas to crystallize this communication, you might refer to Glen Freezman’s Blog.

2)   More importantly, prospective clients need to know my personal WHY? They need to know my story about becoming an ACRE. They need to hear why you are an ACRE.  What happened in your life that made you become a consultant? What motivates you to help me? Tell them your story, briefly. My personal story includes general reasons instead mentioning that my wallet was hurting as a traditional agents working on contingency. I point out that last year only one of four clients would pay me when I gave my time away for free. I was not getting paid by 75% of my clients because some listings were over priced because of a changing economy or because the buyers were not committed to making a transaction.

Maybe you should watch this 15 minute video by Simon Senik about “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

WHY? Makes each of us stand out from the crowd


Excellent points Lester! I agree that Glenn's blog gives a lot of good dialog to draw upon and Simon Senik's video is excellent. Why don't we schedule a brainstorm about the WHY? Anyone interested?

Thanks Lester for the nice shout out.

As far a a company goes, I have already spent all the money, we already have the enitre platform, maybe we can consider using Nucazza as "THE COMPANY"?  Thoughts

and it's  free to all acres   we can take the best of the best and creat the story to be told. 

In my opinion each ACRE should have their own personal reason WHY? In my case, such I am the only agent, it is also the company WHY?  Therefore, there are two reasons WHY? One reason pertains to the industry and the other reason is personal. Since Texas is one of eight states with minimum service standards, our options menu of compensation may be effected and it may effect our reason WHY? Basically, I am saying that we can not have a universal ACRE reason Why? It needs to be from the heart, must be personal and may be effected by state law. 

Glenn I spent some time on your site to get a better feel for what Nucazza is offering. I have to say that using a platform in place is better than starting from scratch. And a brainstroming session for the WHY in conjunction with THE COMPANY platform would help to give a clear picture of where we want to point the industry.

Lester, I am in the same boat.  As the only active agent in my company my personal WHY is also the company WHY.  I actually recently posted on my blog about who I am and how I got here.  It was the first blog post I got a comment on albeit from another agent wondering how to pursue FSBO's but it also generated some traffic.  People may not have commented but they at least landed on that page, presumably to read it. 

Consumers are interested in our WHY.  The personal nature of it intrigues them.  I have a previous client that called me yesterday looking to purchase his first investment property.  We're meeting this week and it will be my first presentation of my consulting model to a previous client.  I believe that once he hears my WHY, he won't have any issues with changing the way we've done business. 

Great post Lester :)

As broker/owner of my company (and only one additional agent), my BIG why is also the company's big why.  Currently every brokerage offers the same thing, has nearly the same capabiliites with regard to what an agent offers,  has to offer and can do.

My big why is because we are long overdue #(1) for change and (#2) we are in dire need of solutions that set  us apart from the masses of real estate brokerages and agents.

As ACRE's we can honestly say that we are DIFFERENT from the masses.  We can say it.   We can mean it and most importantly we can show it.

Great points Charita!

Desiree, let us know how the investor client responds to your WHY. I suspect, like you, that once he hears your why, he won't have any issues about the change, and in fact, will celebrate it.

Lester, I totally agree with you that each ACRE needs to have their own WHY. For consulting to work, the WHY must come from your heart. You can no more borrow someone else's why than you can borrow their fee schedule. But once you identify your personal WHY, it can open the door and bring in the light, a light that clients will respond to.

Billy, the Nucazza platform is fantastic. Just keep in mind that Nucazza is devoted primarily to buyers, however it's a great starting point for presenting consulting to all consumers, whether they are buying, selling, both, or neither.

Lester, you are absolutely right. The eighteen minutes I spent watching the video you suggested we all should watch of Simon Sinek about "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is the best 18 minutes I could have spent to start my day. 

I took away quiet a bit from the video. But what struck me the most wasn't so much the WHY! For me it was more getting people to BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE!  Think about it! I've heard it many times in the comments here by most ACREs that compensation on a contingent bases is no longer viable. At least not totally. So we don't believe what traditionally has been the norm.

Suffice it to say based on my conversation with the average buyer and seller, they don't believe what we believe. 

In other words our WHYs don't match up. The WHY for us (I'm referring to real estate professionals) isn't the same WHY for our clients. If we changed the mission from designing the proper fee structure to designing better services for our clients and explaining the benefit of those services--only then will we match up are WHYs. Match up are WHYs with our clients WHYs will keep us relevant. Therefore if we are relevant then we have value and people will pay for what they value.

I could not agree more about the importance of WHY.  In my past corporate life as a trust officer, as long as I could explain to my clients why certain things were necessary or the reason a change was taking place, they understood and accepted it.  Absent the why, they became unhappy.  

I had a perfect illustration of the "why" for ACRE today.  I had lunch with the woman who had been my CPA for several years when I had my interior design business.  In the course of our discussion, she talked about not being sure if she wanted to stay in her current home or move to a villa.  Later, I was telling her about ACRE, and I used her dilemma as a case in point.  If I give her advice on her dilemma when I am compensated only if she sells, even if selling is the right thing for her, she will always have that nagging voice wondering if I was being objective.  But if she is paying me to analyze her situation and help her make the right choice, my answer will be objective.  She got it right away.


“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”    ~John F. Kennedy

Many of us go about our business – and our lives – not knowing the answer to one of the most fundamental questions we can ask:


As an individual “brand” (and yes, you are a brand), you need to know your “why.” It will make you far more powerful, appealing – and effective in business. Why do you get out of bed in the morning to do what you do? If you don’t have a compelling reason, you may need to consider a different direction. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Follow your passion. It’s never been a better, more empowering time to do so.

As an organization, identifying your “why” is imperative to success, as it  will help you stand out in this “world-of-mouth economy.”

The REAL TRUTH about social media is that to succeed, you need to win hearts.

Features and benefits win minds.     Your “why” wins hearts.

Here’s why: the average consumer/reader/viewer has no compelling reason to follow a company on Twitter or Facebook. Why would they? To be sold? To be marketed to? They are inundated with “interruption marketing” ad nauseum; social media was created as a very refuge away from one-way corporate marketing. They want to be inspired, informed, entertained. They want to be part of something special.

That said, the brands that are achieving momentous success in social media are “why-driven.”

They convey the “why” of their companies, and in doing so, inspire customers not merely to follow them – but to become vocal evangelists of their brands. That is the holy grail of marketing.

I like to say that the magic isn’t in the tweet (that has a linear impact). It’s in the retweet (exponential effect).

If you put out inspiring, informative “why-driven” content, people will share it with their trusting communities–and you are on your way.

When you win someone’s heart, they are naturally, madly, passoinately compelled to get behind you.

Take 18 minutes to watch this poignant, profound video; it likely shift the way you think about marketing in this new economy, in which people are seeking (demanding) authentic connections with the brands to whom they give their hard-earned money.

Give people a reason to follow your brand. Win their hearts. Remember: the average social media participant is a one-person print and broadcast media outlet now. Connect and engage with them around why you do what you do – and they will roll up like a juggernaut and drive your company forward in ways you cannot imagine.


Eric Harr is the Founder & President of Resonate Social Media

This page contains a single entry by Lester Langdon published on September 25, 2011 11:11 AM.

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