Entry by Jennifer Allan

From the New Chief Bottle Washer...


As you probably know by now, our wonderful Mollie Wasserman will be stepping down as the leader of ACRE® and passing the baton over to me. I'm honored beyond belief... but as you can imagine, a little nervous as well, so I truly appreciate the enthusiastic response we've received so far to our announcement of the change in management.  

Many of you have asked what the transition in leadership and management will mean to ACRE®. Well, I don't have a solid answer for you yet, although I will tell you I have pages of lists of ideas and projects and considerations; some administrative, of course, but also many that will directly affect current ACRE® members and those who join us in the future.

So, um, Jennifer... like what? WHAT changes will you be making at ACRE® that will directly affect me?

All good stuff, I promise. Or at least, be assured that everything we do will be done with the best intentions to enhance the ACRE® experience and attract more quality real estate professionals to our community so we can spread the word that there IS a better way.

And this seems as good a time as any to talk about one of the areas in which Mollie and I have historically had differing perspectives... and that is the subject of changing the real estate industry.

I accepted a long time ago that I will never change the real estate industry. Frankly, I have no real desire to change it - while it frustrates the heck out of me on a regular basis, I like my life the way it is and don't have any fantasies about running around the country lobbying for change! Mollie, however, had grander visions, and was often terribly frustrated at the push-back she received from the industry to her oh-so-logical and reasonable assertions that offering the consumer CHOICE was a good thing to do.

Anyway, my point is that my ultimate goal in creating the SWS community (which will now include ACRE®) has never been to persuade NAR, CREA or any other industry association to see things our way and demand that the industry change to a SWS/ACRE® way of doing business. No, my goal has always been to create a safe place for real estate professionals who envision a different sort of real estate career - one where the client is treated competently and respectfully and the agent is compensated fairly. And in this safe place, like-minded real estate professionals will connect, network, share ideas and solutions, and find the tools they need to run a successful, profitable, respectful, PROFESSIONAL business. If, at some point, the Powers that Be recognize that we may just be onto something, they can come looking for us. I won't be going to them.

Okay, so I realize this is all a little vague and philosophical, but please be patient with us and know that good stuff cometh! 


One of the most important criteria in my hand-picking you Jennifer is that you lead by example. Hitting my head against the wall of the powers that be has given me a lot of bumps and headaches to boot. I like your approach much better as in (as they say in the movie) "build it and they will come." And if they don't, their loss.

Wow! Very well said Jennifer! You are truly, truly on the right track with SWS/ACRE. "What Matters Most" (the title of a great book by Hyrum W. Smith of FranklinCovey) is for all of us to FOCUS on how we can continue to work together, as a professional organization, to let all consumers know there IS a better for them to be helped with their real estate needs. Jennifer, I believe.."the powers that be" will eventually come around, to OUR way of doing real estate. Keep sharing with us, we are ALL with you!

 After 17 years with Mama Coldwell Banker, I decided that I do not like working on contingency. ( 10 years with residential SALES and 7 were commercial SALES).

I left Coldwell Banker in July of 2011 and business is good. Last year I had $15 million of expired listings that went to other brokers.

One year ago I met my brother’s broker who charges $250 per hour for commercial real estate help and it is the only method of compensation to the broker for the last 15 years.

 Unfortunately, the emphasis has been toward residential homes real estate agents and I prefer commercial properties.  There is probably MORE need for consultants in commercial real estate. The problems to solve are more diverse and challenging.  Business owners and investors are more apt to hire consultants.

The idea of an association of consultants appeals to me. It would offer a networking opportunity for consultants to learn how to publicly market their expertise. Please notice that I mentioned marketing and not selling.  Prefer Not to learn words that sell. We should speak from the heart and tell “WHY”.  I want to learn how and where to position and market.  I want clients to find me.  Clients who want unbiased help.

Hopefully I have some ideas to offer. Association with other consultants offers affirmative feedback and also helps use to digest, memorize and ingrain the mindset of Non-contingent consulting.  Traditional brokerage habits are hard to break.

There are 12 states with require minumim standards of service and fiduciary responsibility and Texas is one of them.  This increases the tasks that I must perform for each listing property seller and buyer rep agreement. It increases the revenue from each client and decreases the client needs to choose from a menu of tasks.

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to learn from other ACREs and learn from each other.  What is working for you?  ACRE Glen Freezman has been a good example of this attitude. In the near future, I am going to set up a video chat or telephone conference with ACREs in Texas. Each state has a different bureaucracy and economy.

I am concerned that “The Consulting Times .com” will be a conduit to SELL other public speakers.

We need an association platform to affirm and learn from each other as the industry changes.  It is likely that the real estate brokerage industry will mirror other industries by segmenting into niches. Go to the grocery store and see the number of different types of laundry detergents and toothpaste.

I agree with Jennifer Allan that we can not make the industry change, however it will change regardless and we can be positioned to benefit from it and help those clients who believe like we do. 

How do they find us?

Lester- I'm very much looking forward to your ideas and experiences. I, personally, have zero experience with commercial real estate, but if there are other ACREs (current and future) would like to connect and create a sub-community within ACRE - I'd support that 100%.

I'm not sure what you're referring to when you worry that TCT .com will be a conduit to sell public speakers...? What are you referring to?

Why don't we create a tab called Marketplace, where members can offer training and other services they have developed. 

Good idea, William. Noted!

Lester, a great sells professional once told me, "People do not buy they are sold."  Selling is a process that we all engage in on a daily basis. 

Here is a tip I received from a sales trainer. If someone makes the statement that you are just trying to sell them you should handle it head on. Tell them, Yes!  you are trying to sell them, but only because you believe so highly of your product and service and if you don't sell them, you feel you have cheated them out of an opportunity and it would be no different then cheating them out of money.

Let it be known that when we sell people they are buying more than a product or service. In reality they are buying you and reassurance. 

By the way, the above sells tactic is called Red October. Does anyone know why?

This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Allan published on November 14, 2011 9:11 AM.

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