I’ve never really done things in a conventional way.
Before I got into real estate, I owned a lawn care business. Believe it or not, I really like cutting grass. It’s great to be outside and to take a look at the yard once you are done.
I was working at another lawn care company when I decided to go out on my own. I had a $99 push mower from Wal-Mart that I would put in the back of my Dodge Colt. My wife called it the Grass-Mobile since it had grass clippings everywhere. It smelled like gasoline too. I would see my past co-workers around town. They all had a good laugh at my expense because I am sure I did look pretty silly driving around town with a mower hanging out the hatch of my car.
I did a great job and showed up on time. I didn’t cuss or smoke and customers felt good about communicating with me. My single female customers were not afraid of me. The threshold for success was low in that business.
Before long, I was able to buy better equipment. I also got a truck, then added a trailer.
I would see the same former co-workers around town and instead of laughing at me, they would ask me questions on how I did it. I was always happy to tell them. My attitude was that all I needed to be in business was a customer and to do a good job. Rinse, wash, repeat. I stepped out with not much and it grew organically. They would look at me like I was crazy and say that they would need to start out where I was at that time. I wished them luck and went on to my next yard.
Flash forward a bit to 2005. I’ve just gotten my real estate license. I joined the biggest firm at that time. I was told I needed to do things like send people football schedules, flower seeds, and let them know when the time changes would be. I’ve never understood why the realtor community bears the responsibility of letting the world know when to change their clocks forward of backwards?
I told them that I didn’t want to lick stamps all day. I got into real estate to DO real estate, not to try to drum up work. They thought I was crazy.
They said I needed to remind people I was a realtor. I told them that if I had to remind people to use me again, I must not have done anything worth remembering and didn’t deserve to be used again.
So, slowly I built my real estate business based on word of mouth. The only advertising I have ever done has been to promote two blog posts on Facebook. I’ve spent $20. That is why you’ve never seen me on the shopping carts at Kroger or seen my face as you drive around New Circle Road. I had a client who referred his mother to me several years ago, a lady I have enjoyed becoming friends with, she said to me “Jimmy tells me you are a top realtor in town. I’ve never heard of you.”
My proudest accomplishment is that 75% of my work is from past clients and referrals from past clients and friends. That is the way I want it. I want to do such a good job that people remember me and send their friends and family to me.
Over the years, I have had several agents approach me about how I did it. I have always been happy to tell them. My attitude was that all I needed to be in this business was a client and to do a good job. Rinse, wash, repeat. I stepped out with not much and grew this organically. They too look at me like I am crazy and want to be where I am overnight. I usually wish them luck and move on.