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February 9, 2012


Find Your Message

by mark mclean

If you’ve read my blog before you probably know that I spend a lot of time writing about ways for agents to really rock their business. I’ve written about the seven steps to this, the four essentials of that, and the five tips to this AND that. I get lots of great feedback from my posts from people across the country. But today I want to talk about a guy named Ben Kinney. I met him in New York at the latest Inman Conference. Ben is the top agent in Bellingham, Washington. I have never heard of Bellingham before so I looked it up. Here is what I now know. Bellingham  is the twelfth-largest city in the state, with 80,885 residents and is acclaimed for its small-city flavor, easy access to outdoor opportunities in the San Juan Islands and North Cascades Mountains as well as proximity to the cosmopolitan cities of Vancouver and Seattle. Bellingham is also the home of Hilary Swank. (Thank you Wikipedia).  His market is the polar opposite of our market in Toronto, yet Ben has achieved monstrous success. If you ever have the chance to meet Ben, you are instantly aware that he is a guy who tells it like it is. He knows that his team is the best team in town and he isn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth is.  He runs radio ads where he tells the audience to interview another agent before calling him and he will give you $500. Gutsy.

Ben has turned real estate sales into a half science/half art form business.   He has buyer agents, but because he can’t keep up with the calls from people who want him to list their houses, he has seller agents too. When he hires people he looks for particular personality traits. He has a person on his team that does nothing but update Craigslist ads and another that manages his 700+ websites. His scavenger hunt, called  “The Amazing Home Race” recently had 400 potential home buyers tour through his 30 listed homes. The winner won $10,000, enough for a deposit on a house! Check out the video here.  

Kenny is the type of guy who leaves nothing to chance. Every move is well thought out and executed. On top of everything else, you get the sense that he is also extremely nice. He was invited to Inman Connect because he is willing to share the secrets to his success. Actually, he would be the first to tell you there is no secret. He sums up his success very simply; Find your message, say it often, say it loud, and say it to a lot of people. Sounds easy don’t you think?

So, step one; Take some time to craft your message. It should be short and to the point. Try and keep it under ten words.  It should not only define who you are, but what you do and how you do it.

Have a great week.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 15 2012


    It’s great to read about how different agents are rocking out their markets. I love to see these creative — and even gutsy — ideas. Mediocre agents will just look in awe and think “I wish I did something like that” while successful agents will think “That’s great! How can I do something even better in my market?”

    • Feb 15 2012

      Yes! Of course, different markets, call for different ideas and what works in sudbury may not work in Toronto. I think the key is to understand your market. Steve Jobs said he never came up with his own ideas, he just took other people’s ideas and made them better.

  2. Feb 22 2012

    Love your philosophy and the way you think. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff! I work in a rural market specializing in Alberta farm land sales, but real estate is real estate, and ideas can be adapted, like you commented above!

    • Feb 23 2012

      Ha, finally being recognized for my brains rather than my looks. LOL. Just kidding. I appreciate your comments. Thanks so much for sharing. All the best. Mark


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