What If You Started Over?

By: Matt Jones

More Blog, Matt. Blog! Articles

Your Independence Day!
YOUR INDEPENDENCE DAY! Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is the most important national holiday of the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of…

A Great Real Estate Facebook Page
A GREAT REAL ESTATE FACEBOOK PAGE Okay, I’ll admit it... sometimes I’m a Facebook Creeper. This morning I was checking out the page of one of my readers and Facebook friends, Alan…

$1 Billion on Advertising!
$1 BILLION ON ADVERTISING! “So Geico spends $1 billion a year in advertizing. What are your thoughts on that?” That’s what my friend and fellow agent Guy Loft from Madison,…

What If You Started Over?
WHAT IF YOU STARTED OVER? The other day I was talking to a long-time friend over lunch and we were reminiscing about the wild paths we’d taken to get to where we are today. He asked me what…

It’s Like Riding a Bike!
IT'S LIKE RIDING A BIKE! Many of my regular readers know that besides my real estate and technology life, I am very active and love to ride and race bicycles. It’s a good way to stay fit and…

new day 150The other day I was talking to a long-time friend over lunch and we were reminiscing about the wild paths we’d taken to get to where we are today.  He asked me what I might do differently if I were to start over, and that really got me thinking.  The more I pondered it, the more I thought it might make for an interesting read, so here goes.

Before I practiced real estate a single day, I had a business plan.  If I started over, I would still do a plan. However, knowing what I do now, it would be a better plan.  My initial plan was based on some bad information and I would fix it if given a chance for a re-do.   The first bad information I had was about listing.

I was told again and again, “You have to list to last.”  At the time it was a cliche.  I never understood the reasoning and I didn’t question it.  I just did it.  After all, the experts all seemed to agree that I needed to list.  Looking back I understand why they all taught the need to have listings, but at the time I just took it as the gospel.

The reason for taking listings was that in those days, nearly all of your customers were call-ins from yard signs.  Simple:  No yard signs, no customer calls.  Today things are much different with only 8% calling from yard signs.

Take that information along with a 433 average days on market for existing homes in my market, and then factor in that only 55% of listings will ultimately close, and I might want to rethink being a listing agent.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a listing agent, mainly because I could have my weekends off, but I would certainly give it some serious thought if I were starting over.

That brings me to the other change I would make, also based on bad information.  Again, I initially trusted conventional wisdom and not my gut instincts.  In retrospect, my instincts had been right — we all have 20/20 hindsight.  Conventional wisdom said the way to gather new customers was using yard signs, geographic farming, sphere of influence referrals, open houses, and print advertising.

I wasted lots of time and even more money running down those bunny trails.  Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think anyone intentionally misled me, but I think the industry was changing rapidly and my mentors were giving me the best information they had.  It was just wrong.

Had it not been for the fact that I came from the automotive industry that was in the midst of a major change due to the internet, I would have probably missed it and just continued to do what all the experts said until I ran out of money and had to quit.  Fortunately I was able to change directions before it was too late.

As most of you know, it was at this point in my career where I invented my LCM technology because my website was not bringing me any business.  And of course, when I did, that changed everything.  I went from struggling to turning away customers.  In fact, to keep from wasting any business, I decided to build a team and split the commissions with my new teammates.

A lot has changed since then.  In 2002 only about half the business was on the internet.  Today 96% of all homebuyers start their search online, and I would be foolish to waste time and money chasing after the other 4%.  Just not the highest and best use of my time or money.

So to make a long story short, I think the two big changes I would make are thinking long and hard about being a listing agent in a market where the average days on market is 433.  Especially when I already had a great source for generating new inbound customers every day without even thinking about it.

The second thing I would do is that I would completely skip the time and money I wasted pursuing traditional lead generation.  I would skip the mailings, the model homes, the walking neighborhoods, the open houses, and the pestering my friends like a desperate agent.  I would have skipped right to effective online lead generation and save lots of time and money.

Other than that, I don’t think I would change a thing.  I love this business!  And I love getting to help other agents in the process.  So I challenge you to take a few minutes to think about what you might do differently if you were given the chance to start over.  If there are changes you know you still need to make, take the initiative and make them now.  You’ll be glad you did.

Also, if you’re not happy with the amount of today’s online shoppers you are attracting, take a minute to check out my LCM technology.  I think you’ll be amazed at just how simple it is to use and how powerful it is for capturing online business.  The cost is half what it was in 2004 when I started licensing it to other agents and now there is no long-term contract.  It might just be the perfect time.

Take The Test Drive!

Have you ever wondered what the best system for creating new business from the internet looks like? Want to see it in action? Finally, an interactive demo that allows you to sit in the driver's seat and check out the system that has revolutionized single agent lead generation for the real estate industry. Begin the Test Drive

Matt Jones PhotoMatt Jones is the founder and CEO of, nationally syndicated columnist, broker, and best selling author of LCM: The Secret to Success in the New Age of Real Estate, The Ultimate Listing Presentation, Traffic: How to Sell Fast and Net More, Becoming a Mega-Producer, The Science of Online Marketing, 10 Steps to Real Estate Success, 20 Questions: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Real Estate but Were Afraid to Ask, The Virtual Office Model, Max-Bang!, and The NEW Ultimate Listing Presentation. Jones' North Carolina-based company has been profiled by major media outlets as an innovator and a pioneer in the industry, and CNN's Pulse on America claimed is "changing the way real estate is being done in America." This article is syndicated in the following locations: iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio,,,,,, and now Amazon Kindle.


Comments (0)

To view or post comments you must connect to Facebook via the "Connect to Facebook" button.
Connect to Facebook