Solid Real Estate Advice from Kenny Rogers

You might think you have nothing to learn from this old song, but I’m here to tell you otherwise. It turns out this tune is chock full of solid advice that you can use to get ahead and be successful in real estate. Here are some of the brightest pearls of wisdom:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em / Know when to fold ’em

I like to think of this one as “know when to be their agent and know when to refer them”. Remember that when you give a listing presentation, you are not the only one interviewing for a job. Ask the sellers questions to make sure their strategies and personalities are a good fit with yours. If they are already arguing with you about how much their home is worth, I say, “fold ‘em”.

Know when to walk away and know when to run

Have you ever had that sinking feeling in your gut that a seller is going to drive you to the edge of insanity? “But I might make a good commission,” you say. That’s true. You might make a great deal of money to pay for your padded room at the asylum. Lynn Madison always says to only choose motivated sellers and qualified buyers as clients. No pre-qualification letter? Call me when you have one. You think your house is updated because you put new handles on your dark oak 1960’s kitchen and the lime-green laminate countertops are in style now? You want to list it $100K over my recommendation just to “see if you can get it”? RUN!!!

You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table / There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done

Raise your hand if you’ve ever engaged in what I like to call “chicken counting”. You know…you figure out how much commission you would get on that new listing of yours or how much you’d get when your buyer closes. Don’t get me wrong now…chicken counting can be exciting. Unfortunately, sometimes deals fall apart along with our dreams of what we would do with that money. You’ve seen this sad saga unfold many times – the inspection went south, your buyer lost their job, the sellers don’t need to move after all. I’ve learned it is better to “count your money” when the closing’s done.

‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser

Some agents whine about not getting any good listings or buyers. What they don’t realize is that every hand can be a winner. If you price a junky house right, it will sell quickly. Those renters you “wasted your time with” might buy a nice house using you next year. Treating customers and clients (and the general public) with respect and kindness goes a long way.

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowin’ what to keep

Never forget the biggest priorities in your life: your integrity, your family, your legacy. Knowing to throw away time wasters and focus on relationships and making good memories will help you survive and thrive.

Joy Axelson, 2015

Axelson Realty LLC, Northbrook, IL