What I Wish I Would Have Learned Earlier In My Career…

its not you its meRemember this great line from George in the Seinfeld series when he was breaking up with his girlfriend?

So what does this have to do with one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned? I can sum up the answer in just one word – MARKETING.

Yes one of my biggest lessons I wish I would have learned sooner is that to be a successful agent, especially now in the age of the internet, has a lot more to do with effective marketing, and much less to do with your sales ability.

First let’s be clear about what marketing is vs selling. Simply put marketing is everything you do to get people to contact you. Selling is what you do once you are on the phone or face to face with them.

Your potential clients all bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages every day and breaking through all that ‘noise’ to be noticed is incredibly challenging. In my opinion it is much more challenging than ‘selling’ real estate will ever be!

And that’s where I part company with the vast majority of so-called real estate sales gurus and trainers. Even to this day they are still teaching the same old stuff I was learning as a new agent back in the early 80’s. You know the kind of training I’m talking about… “Learn 101 clever, sure-fire closes to get your clients to buy a home” “Awesome razzle-dazzle scripts for overcoming objections”  etc.

I believe selling real estate is one of the easiest things you could ever sell.  Before selling homes I’ve sold other things like frozen food door to door in the middle of a Toronto blizzard with minus 30 degree Celsius temperatures. And believe me that’s a tough sell! (but how to effectively sell homes without being ‘salesy’ is a whole other subject for another time)

Before I understood the importance of effective marketing I really struggled to make a decent, consistent income. But as soon as I started to study and learn effective marketing concepts and apply them to real estate – BAM! All of a sudden my career turned around and now all these years later I sell multi-million dollar luxury homes to the rich and famous on the French Riviera.

Your 3 main goals in marketing should be;

1. break through all the clutter and get their attention

2. compel them to begin a conversation with you

3. and finally – establish a relationship with them so they can come to know, like and trust you

That’s it. Period. So what’s the best way to achieve this you ask?

It’s a very deep and involved topic and there are effective trainings on the subject but in brief; the most effective marketing strategies are all based on addressing the target audience’s biggest challenge, fear or desire, and offering a compelling solution via your product or service.

Sounds simple but believe me there’s a lot of skill that goes into this mix to get it right. The good news is once you do get it right you will have more high quality leads and prospects than you ever thought possible. Even if you are a new agent!

And that my friends brings us back to… “it’s not you, it’s me”.  The only effective way to get people’s attention and compel them to contact you is by focusing ALL of your marketing/advertising messaging on them. Not us. Them.

However as agents we are all guilty at one time or another of focusing the attention on ourselves. I’ve been totally guilty of this as well! So we put out ads that literally scream – hey look it’s all about ME!

Example; “Joe Blow  #1 Agent 4 Years In A Row”  ” Sally Jones – Everything I touch Turns To Sold!” ” Peter Parker Sells Homes!”  blah blah blah…

The sooner we as agents figure out that people could care less about us and only care about themselvestheir concerns, their challenges and their desires, the sooner we can start speaking ‘their language.’ And that is what will attract them to us versus our competitiors.

So what does all this look like when applied in my business in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera? By asking my clients “what is your biggest frustration when seeking a holiday home in France?” The answer was always something along the lines of  “getting dragged around by agents showing us homes that did not match our criteria and then flying back home dissapointed and frustrated”

So armed with this information my tag-line is: “I’ll find your dream home in France in just one trip!” With just this one line I’m saying I can help them avoid their biggest fear and achieve their number one desire.

The results? Almost immediately after making the switch I started getting more leads which lead to more showings and resulted in a sale of a $2.4M condo and a commission of over $60k within a month of changing my marketing message.

I now apply this principle in everything I do in my business. For example I totally overhauled my listing presentation and rather than talking about me, the broker etc, I focus on them and delivering the results they want. Once again, my conversion ratio for ‘presentation/listings’ has improved significantly.

By not understanding this principle earlier in my career I’ve no doubt missed out on a lot of sales opportunities. But as they say… better late than never.

So if you aren’t getting all the leads and opportunities you want. If you aren’t making all the money you want. Try looking at your marketing messaging and remember… “it’s about them, not you.” 

by William McIntosh

William McIntosh is a top performing luxury agent on the French Riviera. As well as being an active agent in the business he is passionate about helping other agents succeed and willingly shares his successes and failures.

He is author of the book Top Agent Pro – How To Quickly Become A Top Selling Agent in 10 Easy Steps

If you would like to receive a FREE copy of William’s ‘ready-made listing presentation’ which you can edit and adapt to your business then simply click this link now.

This is the very same listing presentation that he recently used to win a $50,000,000 listing in St-Tropez!

Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to see more posts like this? Please let me know by sharing this post and leaving a comment below! Thanks.  And remember… live large & love fully!


  1. Susan Glass

    Wonderful information! Thank you so much! Waiting for your presentation to arrive!

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