Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : "I will never ask you to buy a house..."

"I will never ask you to buy a house..."

"I will never ask you to buy a house," I said to a young couple the other day.  They were my new buyers looking for a condo in Lincoln Park, Chicago...

I received a confused stare followed by a look of calm understanding...

This is the reaction I get from most of my buyers. 

I will never ask you to buy a house.

I won't.

I love saying that to my buyers.  It puts them at ease...

Keller Williams

My sales training came from some of the top salesman in the world.  Stockbrokers...

We weren't the down on the floor waving your arm type.  No.  We were in an office.  Suit and tie.  Real professional looking...

But all we were doing was dialing the phone.  One number after the other.  8 hours a day...

Cold calling.  The coldest kind...

Quite ridiculous actually.

We would ask until our prospects hung up.  At least the good ones did...

It really seems crazy.  Almost like we were dealing crack...

You would be surprised how many people in the early 90's would send $10,000 to a total stranger over the phone.  They even gave us their social security numbers.  Pre identity theft, obviously...

Looking back, I honestly am ashamed of the business I was part of.

We wanted to make our customers money.  Most of us were good people.  Young.  Cocky.  Excited.  Aggressive...

But invariably, all of our clients ended up losing money...

It was the system.  If you have to sell something THAT hard, it ain't worth buying...

Keller Williams

I will never ask you to buy a house.  It really works quite well for me...

Client's like it.  Happy clients are good clients...

The way I figure it:

The bad salesman asks once...

The OK salesman asks twice...

The good salesman asks at least 3 times...

The elite salesman never needs to ask...



Comment balloon 15 commentsKen Tracy • February 11 2010 11:07PM


Great advice.  Did you sell any homes to your former stock clients?

Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) over 8 years ago

Ken, Stocks are a tough racket. Spent some time at Dean Witter. Love real estate!

Posted by Douglas Lovitt (CENTURY 21 North Homes Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago


It makes sense.

Loved the cold calling connection. I am so trying to be through with it.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 8 years ago

Hi William, Douglas, and Geoff.  Thanks so much for reading.

No.  No former clients are current clients.  Most were out of state.

I love real estate too.  We all do!

William, be real.  Don't be some script...

Honestly, I am hoping my story inspires.

I have been through the grinder (read old posts) but I am making it through...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 8 years ago

Good approach Ken. My first sales job was copier sales. Talk about cold calling.

Posted by Roy Paeth, Just a regular guy helping real people! (Keller Williams Inspire) over 8 years ago

Hi Roy.  I got a buddy that hated that.

I don't think anyone should do anything they hate.

Thanks for reading,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 8 years ago

I love it when they ask me if they can buy it.  I take a similar approach, everything has to be right and when it is, you don't have to ask.  I used to sell cars and found out there you could do a similar thing.

Posted by Dan Tabit (Northstone Real Estate Inc.) over 8 years ago

I too like the "soft", more professional approach.  I never want to be compared to the proverbial "aluminum siding salesman".

Posted by Tom Boos, Providing the very best of service to Sellers and (Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living) over 8 years ago

Hi Dan and Tom.  Thanks for reading.

It is easier and more fun.  More effective for me, too!

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 8 years ago

It's a fine line from being over bearing "pushy" to being to timid.  i don't liked to be pushed either.  I remember getting those calls years ago, never sen them any money because I didn't have any.

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Ken:  What a fantastic piece!  The message of this article resonated so well with me ... your philosophy matches so close to mine.  In fact, I posted an article in somewhat the same vein just last week!  Almost ironic ...  I am sure your clients appreciate your approach and you ultimately benefit from that greatly.



Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 8 years ago

Hi Gene and John.  Thanks so much for reading.

Gene, you are right.  My clients do seem to like it so why change?  Happy clients stick with you...

John, I might call you and give you my old sales pitch!:)

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 8 years ago

Ken - show don't tell ... or ask .... If you show them what they really want and can afford they will not have to be asked they will buy it.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago

I hope you are feeling better soon Ken! And I hope no one else in your family gets sick either! No fun for sure. Try not to work to hard in the process of getting better, it is hard,, but at least try.

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) about 8 years ago

I never ask either, you just have to find out what they love, and find something they will fall in love with.

Posted by Carrie Ann Higgs (Branson House Realty) about 8 years ago

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