Questions from Mike Ferry’s Production Retreat – Part 1

I have a confession to make … to all the wonderful people who attended the Production Retreat about six weeks ago in Las Vegas … We collected several hundred questions the audience prepared for me. I put them in one of my three briefcases, put it next to my desk … and forgot to look at it. So this morning I pulled out that briefcase looking for something else, and I found the questions. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be answering some of the more common questions I think apply to almost everybody in Real Estate today. I’ll answer six questions today, six questions next week, six questions the following week, and then six more. Hopefully, they’ll be enlightening to help you list and sell more homes.

First, remember, we’re at the end of the first week in March. The market is improving nationwide. There are a lot of reasons why the market’s improving. If you’re not doing as well as you want, let’s get your head back on straight, let’s get your activities where they belong and get you back to work.

  1. 1. What are the top two or three things I can do to keep thinking bigger in terms of my business and my production?

Thinking big is a learned process. Some people, maybe one of you here in attendance, were born thinking at a really big, high scale. Most of us were not; we have to learn how to think big. It’s a learned process … It’s like being creative is a learned process. You can learn to be creative just as you can learn to be thinking big. You can learn to be enthusiastic, energetic, disciplined. To be committed!

These are all learned things. And I think a lot of people, understandably so, may not have any experience in these. You may think this is some kind of a magical, you know, tap me on the head and I’m going to become a big thinker. So the first thing I recommend all the time to good people who want to think big, is you have to understand the importance of reading and studying people in all phases of life who have done more than you’re doing

For example, to help myself think bigger as a younger man, I would go to the library and virtually every week I would select two or three books – which, you can now get audio books as well as obviously books to read, you can get books on your iPad … So there’s many, many ways of getting good information. Now I picked two or three books, in many cases people I hadn’t heard of but I was intrigued by the title, and the title would then cause me to buy the book … I’d read the book about somebody, whether it be in sports or in business or in medicine, any area where they were doing something extraordinary … I would read about them. I would study them to see how their story would apply to me. So number one is to read these kinds of books.

Second, if you want to be a big-thinking person, you have to take the time to go outside of your comfort zone and start meeting people who are doing something more than you’re doing.

I took a class when I was 21 years old and the first week of class the instructor said we had to go meet somebody who was very successful in the community and we had to come back after interviewing and talking to that person and share what we learned. It was an incredibly difficult thing for me to do because I was so incredibly shy at age 21.

As a result of the assignment, I met probably the most successful man in Orange County, California, at the time. It took me virtually days of calling and calling before I got an appointment. He finally granted me 15 minutes. I got there … I had some questions prepared to ask … He spent several hours with me. His name was Walter Knott, of Knott’s Berry Farm. So here’s what I want you to think about: Exposure to people who do something different from what you do causes you to think bigger. Get out of the confinement of your own life … Get out of the confinement of how you think.

2. What do you see as the most common hang ups or obstacles in agents who want to increase, say, from 25 to 30 deals a year to 70 to 80?

The first question I would ask this person, if they were sitting in front of me, is: “Where does your business come from? Is that listings sold or buyer-controlled sales?” Because to move from, say, 30 to 40 deals to 70 to 80, working with buyers only is an enormous challenge in terms of the time you take. However, to move from 30 to 40 to 70 or 80 as a strong listing agent, where 75%-80% of your business comes from listings sold, is a much easier path to follow. So the first thing is to determine where your business came from.

Second question you need to answer: Determine the size of your database. Third, determine how much business comes out of your database and how excited you get working inside your database. And then fourth, of course, is to ask yourself, “What other methods of meeting people can I put into effect and into play? Am I really working my database? Calling For Sale By Owners? Knocking on doors around my listings?”

The only way to get through the hang up or obstacle is to put yourself in front of people who could potentially do something. Anybody here could take 50-plus listings a year … I’m convinced of that. However, it’s your exposure to people and exposure to ideas that makes that happen.

3. Of the 18 steps I can take to get a home sold, should I read it to the Seller before or after the presentation?

If you’re using a sales plan or using a marketing plan for your Seller to follow, which is nothing more than your commitment to the Seller on how to get the home sold, you should have a copy of that plan in your pre-listing package. Now, if you take the scripts we offer you — and hopefully you’ve downloaded them to practice and rehearse, committing them to memory … If you’ve really studied the listing presentation, probably 90% of the time, if you’re doing it with energy, enthusiasm, intensity, and you’re looking them in the eye and you’re asking questions and you’re answering their questions and you’re paying attention to what they say, 90 percent of the time you’re not going to even get to the plan of action because they’re going to list with you because of the questions you’ve asked prior to getting to the plan of action.

So if the plan of action is ever used, it’s used generally toward the end of the presentation when a seller will come up with this kind of a question … “You know, Mike, we like everything you’ve said so far … it makes a lot of sense. However, we have a question. What exactly are you going to do to get the home sold? We like the fact that you’re so enthusiastic and energetic. But what are you going to do?”

Well, if they ask that question, something has gone wrong in the presentation. Still, take out your plan of action and start reading through this step-by-step process you follow. We offer a plan of action to use … Many of you use it. Most of you, of course, are rightfully going to take that plan of action and take out the steps you’re not comfortable with or don’t want to do, and then add the steps you’re going to do.

4. If I were to rate myself on a scale from 1 to 10 on each of the 21 steps in the Mike Ferry Sales System, what should take priority and what should be done first: improve on the lower scores or work to make the higher scores even higher?

Okay here’s the answer: neither … Of what you just said, of what you just asked me, if you score yourself on the 21-point plan of action, the first 10 steps are production based, the last 11 steps are transactional based, which help you understand how to develop and grow your transactions.

Step one is, of course, time management … two, working, prospecting … three, working your database … four, lead follow up … five, prequalifying, etc. … All right, what I want you to do is rate yourself on the first 10 steps because they’re the ones that create transactions. They’re the ones that create listings, create sales and create income. Once you’ve rated yourself on the first 10, then say to yourself, “Okay, is my listing presentation strong enough to get me a 70% closing ratio? Is my time management strong enough to get me the number of presentations I need to achieve my targets each week and each month?”

Once you’ve established and rated yourself on points one through 10, then honestly evaluate whether in this particular area you’re strong enough to get you to your overall goal. And if it’s not, then work on that step. Simple enough.

5. In today’s society, it’s almost impossible not to meet people who have language patterns very different from my own. How can I learn to communicate better when our language patterns are so different?

Well, I travel to to Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami Beach, Washington, D.C., New York City, almost any major city … One of the wonderful things about North America is the wonderful groupings of people who have come from abroad, and we have them everywhere … Now we’re going to be listing and selling homes for them. So obviously the answer to the question, in my opinion, is we can’t learn 27 languages, we can’t learn 27 accents. What we can do is ask better questions.

Ask them very slowly. And then very intently listen to answers. And feel comfortable sitting with the Seller and saying, “Help me understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Help me understand what you’re saying to me. I want to be of service to you, but I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying.” So learn to speak slowly, learn to ask questions or, in essence, follow the script. Learn to really hone in on what they’re saying. We can all work with people who have heavy accents that are different from our own. It’s hard, but it has to be done because we have multiple, different accents in our society today.

6. When working with Buyers, is there an advantage to putting them in our own car versus having them follow us to a property in their own car?

Well, the truth is you should always stay with your Buyer prospect. Period. End of conversation. The hard part of that, of course, is they will say, “Well, why don’t we just follow you?” And sometimes you’re going to submit to that depending on the strength of how they say it, or they have a big van and they’ve got six kids and you’re driving, say, a two-door Audi.

So sometimes it’s impossible and I understand that. The challenge with them following you is very simple … You show them a property and you have three picked out. And as you’re driving to number two, you look in your rearview mirror and as you’re making a left turn, they make a right turn and they’re gone. The purpose of having them with you is to control not only the fact they can’t get away, obviously, but also to control the conversation about the house they’ve just seen to determine what has to be done to get them to buy it and/or what changes the next house has that will help them.

So six questions, hopefully six answers that make some sense to you. We’re going to continue this for a couple of weeks. Thanks for being part of Mike Ferry TV.

Now, if you haven’t gone online to and looked at our newest service called The Mike Ferry Vault, you need to see what it’s all about. It is, well, it’s 44 years of work completely summarized … in The Vault. Take a look at The Vault.

Be with us again next week. Have a great week. Thank you.


Mike Ferry is the global leader in Real Estate Coaching and Training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!


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