The Rules of Real Estate

The Rules of Real Estate

Walter Sanford

This is a simple title that was created by years of tears.

In the last thirty-five years, I have been mentored by the best or I have mentored the best. Violate the following rules at your own risk! You can think up some reasons why these rules don’t apply, but over time, ignoring them will pay you back in the future. Some agents pay me thousands of dollars to cure problems that probably wouldn’t have occurred had they followed “the rules.”

1. Be careful in implementing rules learned from mentors who are not where you want to be in net worth, happiness, family, fun, and peace. You won’t know – so ask a lot of questions!

2. At a meeting, spend more time learning a client’s motivation than anything else. Unless you can verbally restate what it takes to achieve a client’s clear goals and the clients agree that their goals are in sight, you will have pain.

3. When you are being sold an expensive or time-consuming solution for a small real estate business problem, just say “NO!”

4. Proactive seller lead generation for two hours every day is the only way an individual agent will excel to the head of the class.

5. Most average agents are great in great markets. Only great agents are great in rotten markets.

6. Occupancy prior to close is a mistake you’ll only make once.

7. Huge deposits cure most closing problems.

8. The client remembers the close, not the price.

9. Hey, teams – net is more important than gross. That goes for everyone else, too!

10. CE credits are a government agenda and may not teach you how to sell more, make more, and have happier clients. Don’t choose your training based on CE needs.

11. Spend very little time or money generating buyer leads in any market. Spend it on generating seller leads.

12. Be loyal to one affiliate and ask them to be part of your team with responsibilities.

13. Remember, you are in sales. You can’t help anyone until you understand the client’s needs, offer solutions, ask for their business, and overcome objections – in one sitting!

14. Hanging out with real estate agents in your town will make you little money.

15. Trust a lender to whom you give most of your business.

16. You need to talk to the “right” database twice a year.

17. Technology makes great business systems faster and cheaper. If you are purchasing it for any other reason, understand the cost.

18. All great agents run out of energy. Invest well.

19. You work for free until closing so write contracts that close as quickly as possible with clients who have reasons to close.

20. Having Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within you allows you to do many miraculous things!

Annual Routine – Home Maintenance Plan

Summer has come and gone. We are at the start of a new season. Here is a checklist that you can use and incorporate into your routine home maintenance plan for your house. They are broken up into seasons.


Hire a home inspector to perform a home maintenance inspection at part of your routine home maintenance plan. Contact me at (832) 378-7622 or email me at

In the Spring:

• Check for damage to your roof

• Check all the fascia and trim for deterioration

• Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer

• Check your water heater

• Replace all extension cords that have become brittle, worn or damaged

• Check your fire extinguishers

• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter

• Review your fire escape plan with your family

• Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks to help provide a level walking surface

• Check the shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture to make sure they function

• Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer

• Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

In the Summer:

• Check kids playing equipment

• Check your wood deck or concrete patio for deterioration

• Check the nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

• Check exterior siding

• Check all window and door locks

• Check your home for water leaks

• Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles

In the Fall:

• Check your home for water leaks

• Have a heating professional check your heating system every year Home Maintenance Checklist for the Seasons

• Protect your home from frozen pipes

• Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone

• Test your emergency generator

• Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

• Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

• Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

• Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss

• Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

In the Winter:

• Clean the gutters and downspouts

• Confirm firewood at least 20 feet away from your home

• Remove screens from windows and install storm windows

• Familiarize responsible family members with the gas main valve and other appliance valves

• Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer

• Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections

• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter

• Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles

• Check your water heater

• Test all AFCI and GFCI devices

5 Closing Questions You Must Be Asking

5 Closing Questions You Must Be Asking

Mike Brooks

I get a lot of ezine topic requests each week, and the majority of them are requests for different questioning techniques to use during the qualification stage. I’m glad to see these requests because it means people understand the importance of identifying and then spending time with buyers.

I’ve written many articles over the years that address these kinds of questions, and if you’ve missed any of them I encourage you to visit my blog here.

Recently, however, I got a request for questions that could be used during the close or presentation stage. That was a good question, and I’m going to cover 5 of my favorites right now. These questions will vary from taking a prospect’s pulse to see if they are with you, to finding out if a benefit you just listed would work for them, all the way to a trial close.

All of these questions are crucial to ask during the close, and after you read them I encourage you to put these into your closing scripts and outlines. They will give you the feedback you’ll need (and don’t get because you’re not in front of your prospect) to close the sale. To get the most benefit from them, begin using them today:

#1 After giving any part of your presentation, you should ask, “Are you with me so far?” You can vary this with, “How does that sound?” Or, “Do you see what I mean?” and, “Does that make sense?”

Always listen carefully to not only what they say, but to how they say it. And always allow a few seconds after they respond to give them time to add something else.

#2 Any time you give a benefit, ask, “How would you use that?” or, “Could you use that?” Or, “Would that work for you?” Or, “Would that be of benefit in your situation?”

Again, LISTEN to what and how they respond…

#3 Another good question to ask throughout your presentation is, “Do you have any questions so far?”

This is one of the best questions to ask, and it’s also one of the least used. You’d be amazed by the kinds of questions you’ll get, and each one reveals what your prospect is thinking. You must use this question often!

#4 Trial closes are always good – “Does this seem to be the kind of solution you are looking for?” or, “How is this sounding so far?” or, with a smile in your voice, “Am I getting close to having a new client yet?”

Even though that sounds cheesy, you’d be amazed by how it will often break the ice and get your prospect to lower his/her guard.

#5 When you’re done with your presentation, always ask, “What haven’t I covered yet that is important to you?”

This is a great way to end your presentation, because if they tell you they don’t have any questions, then you get to ask for the order! If they do have questions, you answer them and then ask for the order!

The bottom line is that asking questions — and then shutting up and listening — is still one of the most important things you can do either during the qualification stage or during the close. Use the above questions during your next presentation and watch your closes get stronger and your income get bigger!