Not In My Market

It’s one of the biggest excuses Realtors use when a new idea, product or business suggestion is introduced. It might be said different ways, but the concept is the same.

That wouldn’t work in our market,” says the pessimist.

Our MLS doesn’t have that functionality,” blurts out the tech-phobic agent who only knows how to use the MLS to search for houses.

That sounds like too much work,” sighs the agent who is set in his/her way

We all know that change is difficult because it usually forces people outside of their comfort zone but that’s why change can be so good. The only way to grow is to go beyond your current “belief boundary” and expose yourself to different things. As the saying goes, “the only constant is change.”

“You Can’t Do That”

I’m sure there are many people who consider themselves experts in the food service or restaurant business who feel that you can’t truly succeed if you don’t have a great dinner menu. I’m glad that the owners of First Watch didn’t think that was true.

Some may say you will never be able to succeed if you don’t serve alcohol at your restaurants. I don’t see that stopping people from visiting Cracker Barrel or Bob Evan’s.

A restaurant could never succeed if they weren’t open on Sundays, right? Well, Chick-Fil-A seems to be doing okay. 

In a world of fast food hamburgers, Taco Bell taught people to “think outside the bun” while Subway is helping diners “eat fresh.”

In a crowded space like alcoholic beverages, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is focusing on their “difference” and creating some good buzz with their crazy commercials this summer.

And can anyone forget the awesome marketing campaign Apple used to get people to “Think Different“?

It Worked So Well We Quit Doing It

A large majority of the membership of NAR has been licensed for more than 10 years. They probably learned to build their business in a variety of ways such as building relationships with their sphere of influence, contacting For Sale By Owners, holding open houses and even reaching out to Sellers who’s listing contract had expired without a successful sale.

These business development activities worked and we all became busy. This “busyness” was harnessed to one of the greatest bull markets the real estate world had ever seen and before you knew it, there were home buyers and home sellers coming at us like insects against a windshield. We didn’t have to rely on those old “tactics” to get business. We just waited for them to come to us.

Sadly, many people now refuse to go “back to the basics” because they either lost the skills through lack of practice or they justify that today’s consumers are different and those old ways of generating business just won’t work today. Instead of reaching out for help to learn how to engage an entire new group of customers as well as reconnect with many of their old clients and connections, they want to argue that social networks have no ROI and no one really gets business off of Facebook or Twitter.

At least…”not in my market.”

Quit Making Excuses

It’s time to take control of your business and make something happen. Let’s all stop looking at reasons why something won’t work and instead figure how it can work. Every day between now and the end of the year someone will buy a house and someone will sell a house. It’s time to make sure that you are the one who will help them make that happen.

It’s a pretty simple formula; Build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

What you need to start saying to yourself is…

 “excuses will work…just not in my market!”

4 Responses to Not In My Market
  1. Matthew Ferrara
    May 29, 2012 | 7:22 pm

    Excellent points; of course “Not in My Market” is not unique to the real estate industry. It’s like an allergic reaction to ideas, challengers or outsiders; that’s why most industries are organized into “us/them” camps and create “traditions” that insulate people against the future. Trust me: I’ve spent 20 years working against “Not In My Market” in the four corners of the globe. To me, the more interesting people are the ones who take a chance to say, “What if, in my market, this occurred…” as you point out with some of your innovators in your article. Keep up the good writing!

    • Sean
      May 29, 2012 | 7:53 pm

      Matthew – I appreciate your comments and agree 100%. This is not a real estate problem, this is a human race problem. “Not in my market” might change to “not in my country” or “not in my neighborhood” or “not in my church,” but either way, it is a wall people put up instead of try to knock down.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Ken Montville
    May 30, 2012 | 1:18 am

    OK. I’ll bite. This post confused me.

    Think different but get back to the basics of pre-2000. Engage the 20sometings who text and use mobile but be sure to build relationships. Learn the new fangled world of social media and get out there and knock on some doors and hold those Open Houses.

    Here’s my take. Everything will work and anything will work if you can find the niche that appreciates it and responds to it (whatever it is).

    There are so many different people (dare I say GooRoos) that claim there was is the way that will produce the best ROI, whether it’s the QR code or the thoughtful gift on a client’s birthday.

    Oh, and some markets are harder to survive in than others. The outliers will succeed and maybe thrive regardless. Sure.

    • Sean
      May 30, 2012 | 1:24 pm


      Greetings and thanks for commenting. Many agents need to “think differently” by stopping doing what they are now and get back to what worked for them in the past. By texting and using mobile to engage the 20 something crowd, you would certainly be building a relationship…the way they want it to be built. If you’re not on social, stop saying it “won’t work” and the same thing with open houses.

      Your second paragraph is right on the money. Everything will work for the right person in the right circumstance. So to brush it off and say it ‘won’t work” is what frustrates me.

      To paraphrase Yoda, we need more doing and less trying…and certainly less sitting back with folded arms saying things won’t work no matter what I do or how hard I try.

      Thanks again for chiming in. I appreciate the viewpoint and feedback.