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I need to set the record straight, because I recommended this book in another of my reviews, and have since changed my mind about it. Chalk my previous thoughts up to newbie ignorance, I guess. Also, in the interest of full disclosure: I am no longer in real estate, after spending two years trying in earnest, but ultimately giving up (having burned through all of my savings and maximized my personal debt). Do I blame this book for my failure? Of course not! It's not that simple (Note that the reviewer who said this didn't attack my arguments, but merely impugned my character).
All that having been said, this book is worthless, for a number of reasons.
First off, he repeats the tired maxim that it takes 99 "No's" to get to one "Yes." So, the key to success, then, is that you've got to resign yourself to simply slogging through those 99 No's in some fashion. Ferry's primary recommendation is "cold doors," meaning walking a neighborhood, knocking on people's doors and asking them if they are planning on selling their home any time soon. He's serious about this! I took him up on his recommendation... in August... in Phoenix... it was not fun. All I got for my 100 "No's" was a lot of sweaty clothing.
A moment's critical thought will expose one aspect of the sheer idiocy of this recommendation: Assuming the 99/1 ratio is absolute gospel, how long do you think it will take you to knock on enough doors to speak with 100 people (if no one answers it doesn't count toward the ratio)? Best case, I found, was 8 hours. In that same period of time you could use the phone and speak to several times more people. Shouldn't efficiency count for something when you're "running a business"? (I agree with the other reviewer who said that this book describes making a "job" for yourself.)
So, what about "cold calling," then? Ferry doesn't endorse cold calling 100%, because it's not "face to face", but he doesn't discount it, really, either. He grudgingly admits that his readers are going to prefer it over cold doors. Unfortunately, with the new telemarketing laws, any realtor making cold calls is playing with fire. But even if we were to take his advice at the time it was given, it's absurd. Do you really think it's reasonable to believe that 1 out of 100 strangers you call is going to say to you "Yes, I'm glad you called! I'm planning on selling my house in the next month or two. Come on over!" I don't, either! (Don't think I didn't try this, however, because I did! "Skeptical" is not the same thing as "close-minded") But that's what Mike Ferry wants you to believe. Mike Ferry seems to want you to forget that real estate is a business about _relationships_.
Let's assume for a moment that you're the world's greatest salesperson. People just can't say "no" to your flawless pitch and your irresistible charm. Okay, Ferry advises us that roughly 3 to 4 hours of our days as Realtors needs to be spent prospecting for new business--cold doors or cold calls. Think about that for a minute: You're making 6 figures a year (according to the title of this book), which means that, at minimum, your hourly wage is $48. Do you know _any_ telemarketers who make that kind of money? Obviously it would make a lot more sense for you to hire a high school kid part time and pay him or her $10/hour to do it for you (with a little training from you, the master salesperson, of course). Does Ferry recommend this? No. The fact that he doesn't point out something so obvious is cause for concern, in my view.
So, Ferry recommends, in effect, that you spend the equivalent of $960+ per week (the value of your time) making cold calls. Why is it that he doesn't simply recommend setting up an aggressive advertising campaign with that roughly $4000/month? Not only would that be one massive campaign, but it would free up your time for other things. AND, people will call YOU (or your assistant) instead of you calling them--people who are actually interested in buying or selling real estate! Imagine that!*
Did you get into real estate to make cold calls for 3 hours a day (in the evenings, no less, since that's when people are home. UGH!), to harass and manipulate hostile FSBOs and expired listings, or to have free time and low stress?
Ferry also recommends against a geographic "farm" area, suggesting instead that you create a "people farm". I suppose there's nothing inherently wrong with this, except that farming a particular area has a number of distinct advantages: 1) You can become an expert on the area's trends and values; 2) You won't have to resign yourself to driving all over town to chase down that next listing; 3) It's much easier to set up targeted advertising, to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising dollar. None of those things are discussed in his book.
Another item conspicuous by its absence is any discussion of how to best determine the necessary size of your farm based on your goal income. It's a simple formula; something that any new realtor would find extremely educational and useful... nowhere to be found in the book. (Hint: You need to determine average home values for the neighborhood, yearly average turnover rates, your likely market share...)
Yet another of this book's oversights is any discussion of the indispensable referral network that all realtors must cultivate--that "relationship" thing again. Without exception, every realtor I spoke with who had been around for 5+ years told me that the bulk of their business volume came from referrals and repeat customers. Mike Ferry barely touches on this subject--probably because he knows his target audience is newbie realtors who won't have a referral base, yet. Nonetheless, I don't think that excuses leaving the subject out--especially given the title of the book!
What you do get a lot of in this book--aside from the bogus platitudes--is sleazy, manipulative sales tactics that would make your neighborhood used car salesman blush. I am sorry that I ever recommended this book.
Oh, one last thing--I want to speak to Donald Mitchell's asinine review above. His statements "Once you have a lot of sales/listings... etc." remind me of an old Steve Martin joke: "You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes! ... First, get a million dollars..." Hilarious, but certainly not helpful advice.
*Hint: a well-designed advertising campaign that focuses on your "positioning" [see the book by the same name] and doesn't turn you into a commodity--like those awful "Homes" magazine ads do--is probably the "best" way to grow a successful real estate business. I encourage you to do a Google search for "personal marketing".