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Be original instead of following the flock

Key Takeaways

  • Brokerages create flocks of cookie-cutter agents who all use the same prospecting and marketing tactics.
  • This results in a local sales force who basically all offer the same services.
  • Break away from the routine by being original, being first, embracing the fear, and solving problems for your clients.


There is a false sense of safety in following others. If things seem to be going well for others — if they’re making good money and improving their business — it seems logical to do whatever they’re doing, right?

Here’s the problem: When you follow the flock, you have blinders on. You don’t see the dangers ahead. You might be late to the party, and there is no guarantee that what worked for others in the past will still be effective for you.

There are more than a million real estate agents in the United States. Some brokerages have hundreds of agents operating out of one office — so how do they train and deploy that sales force into the market when there are so many agents? They use an assembly line method. Real estate agents are shown how to use the same methods and tactics that everyone else is using.

This is a major problem when it comes to marketing yourself, prospecting for new clients, or building your sphere. If there were only a few agents in a community, they could all go out and use the same method and system for obtaining leads, and it would work fine for all of them.

But if brokers or real estate trainers are sending out hundreds of agents into the same community to follow the same system (hounding expired listings and for-sale-by-owners, canvassing neighborhoods, etc.)  there will be lots of overlap. The consumer is going to get the same sales pitch from multiple people who are offering basically the same services.

Break away from the flock

Now that we’ve covered the risks of becoming a sheep, how do you break away from the flock?

Be Original – Do something that is unique to the consumer. Don’t focus on being different in the eyes of other agents. Find what makes you stand out as unique and interesting to potential clients. I’m not talking about a fancier business card either.  How is your service different or unique to clients?

Be First – Do you want to try a new idea or strategy? A system from a new coach or guru? That’s fine, as long as you’re the first to do it in your market. Of course, being first isn’t everything. I don’t want to be the first one to implement a really bad idea (been there, done that). But being first is a powerful mantra you may want to adopt in your life. If you try it, I guarantee you that others will notice the difference in you.

Embrace the Fear – Breaking away from the herd is scary. There’s safety in numbers. When you go out on your own and try something new or different in your business, there’s often no one you can talk to about it. Unless you’re in an environment where you can bounce ideas off others before deploying your new plans, you’re going it alone.

It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it if you can get past your fears. Start by asking yourself what specifically you’re afraid of. If you write a newsletter to your clients, you may fear what others will think of the quality of your writing. I’m going to tell you right now that if you are authentic, real, honest, humble, and open about your fears, your failures, your dreams, and you use stories to help illustrate your point, you don’t need to be a good writer.

If there’s something new you’re excited about but nervous to try in your business, there’s a good chance you’re onto something good and on the right path. Embrace it.

Solve a Problem – If you’re comfortable going rogue from the pack, focus on solving a problem for the consumer. Make sure you’re solving a problem that really exists for them. Be a solution.

To get yourself thinking, put yourself in your clients’ shoes and finish the following statements the way they might:

When I moved to town, I wish I had known . . .
I wish someone could help me do . . .
I can’t seem to find any information about . . .