Family and Cat ourside their homeBy Richard Robbins

Real estate transactions are stressful. They’re a big deal. They might not seem that way to you, but for your clients, the sale of their home and the purchase of a new home is a central occurrence in their lives often fraught with moments of anxiety and angst. Thankfully, they have you to guide them through the hurdles and alleviate their fears.

Each time you work with a client you are doing far more than executing a transaction; you’re being given the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

I invite you to stop seeing yourself as someone who closes deals and to begin seeing yourself as someone who makes a difference. Stop thinking about making a sale and start thinking about making the process of buying and selling better.

One of the consequences of the stress that clients feel during the process is that they stop doing what’s best. They get focused on the wrong thing. They buy the wrong home. They sell at the wrong price. They pay too much. They ask too little. They ask for too much. They sell for too little. They forget what’s important, what fits and what they truly want and need.

The secret to better serve, protect and support your clients, is to take time to get to know them. Understand their needs and what it is they want to accomplish. You can make the biggest difference in their lives if you understand exactly what’s important to them, what their weaknesses are and where their strengths lie.

Part of your job, strangely enough, is to protect your clients from themselves. You can only do this if you know them well.

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Build a reputation based on what you know, not simply on what you sell: As information shifts from scarcity to abundance, real estate professionals can no longer rely on being the gatekeeper. Most of the information buyers and sellers think they need is now just a few clicks away.  It’s time to shift our focus from delivering information to delivering something new: insight.

Insight is information with value added to it. That value might be your years of experience or it might be important details that only you have access to. It could be your ability to take something complex and make it more easily understood.  Insight is information that they didn’t know, they didn’t know.

Here are three strategies to help you shift your focus from information to insight.

Add interpretation: Put the information in context for the consumer. What’s a sales-to-listing ratio? What does that mean to the price I put on my home? What’s happening with mortgage rates and what does that mean? What strategies do I need for a buyer’s market? How about a seller’s market? Think about what you can add to the information that will make it more useful to your clients.

Bring scarce information: There’s still lots of information out there that’s hard to find, protected, not easily compiled or that requires relationships to access. This includes future development projects, economic development plans and prospects for a community, trends in school planning and school quality and upcoming changes in zoning, highways and infrastructure.

What new, scarce, hidden or ‘insider’ information can you bring to the table?

Add advice: Now more than ever, you’re going to have to tell clients what you think. You need to give your clients all the information and insight possible to help them make an informed decision but when they ask your opinion, you need to put your expertise and reputation on the line. You’ve got the training, the experience and the market knowledge. Tell your clients what you’d do if it were your home.

Richard Robbins webOver the coming decade, whoever has the strongest ability to create insight from information will be the dominant force in a market. They’ll make the best deals, get the most referrals and build the strongest personal brand. Master this key differentiator now.

Richard Robbins is CEO/founder of Richard Robbins International (RRi), a Canadian-based organization providing world-class real estate conferences and one-on-one coaching. For information about upcoming conferences, booking Richard to speak or coaching programs, visit or call 1-800-298-9587.



  1. Great article Richard!! As we discussed at your great Secrets of the Master conference last month, the consumers have more information than at any other time in our recent history, so it important to create value and to differentiate yourself. I hope any Realtors that want to be in the business in a few years from now read your article. I hope also these same Realtors also come to the realization that they do provide value and giving any their commission dollars hurts not only them, but also the longterm viability of our industry. You earn your commission and you deserve your commission!

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