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My buyers made me do it YourStories Realty Group

My buyers made me do it, YourStories Realty Group. I couldn’t believe Bill (my Buyer) was making me do this.  What could I do, he is a first time home buyer and he is incredibly excited. Remember what that is like? The emotion can be almost overwhelming at times. “I want the sign that is in the lawn,” Bill confirmed with me. 

“Huh” I am thinking? “You want the For Sale sign that is in the lawn,” I ask?.


“You want what?” the agent asked me when I called.  Usually, as you are moving towards the clear to close, phone calls often come with things to be cleared up. While a closing gift is an item all agents clear up, it is usually in their own minds, but here I was asking Robin.”Well, he is so excited and wants to remember these moments,” I shared.

“Sure, you can buy the SOLD sign from me at cost”  But that is not what he wanted, I knew.

“No, he wants your For Sale sign, your picture on the sign, your agency and your agencies phone number sign as a memento of this first purchase.” It was not easy for me to get these words out. I am reminded that good agents have to be good within awkward conversation.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Nope, that is what he wants and I am going to give it to him as the closing gift.”

As the last weeks went by and we moved to and then closed on the transaction Bill never was in doubt about wanting the sign to hang in his house.  He saw no irony in his love for me for helping him find and secure the place and his love of the co-broke.  As weird as this is, I understand it. The purchase of your first home is emotional and life changing and the way we celebrate is unique. I shared in his joy and hope he doesn’t forget that I was his agent as he looks at Robin and promotes her agency in his new home.

The real story here is that this was a truly successful co-broke. We negotiated, we compromised, we adjusted and we moved forward mindful of how both parties were being stressed. The Sellers were having a second child and the one bedroom was no longer a fit, literally. They sold before they looked. That is stressful. My clients got an extra 15 days strapped on to their lease and we adjusted.

I asked Bill why he liked Robin so much. He only met her at the open house, I was not with them because I had my own open house at the time and Robin was open and gracious. “I showed her a picture of Elvis (the beloved pet dog) and she liked it,” is how he explained it.  That was and is enough for me.  I like Elvis too.

Thanks Robin Doherty of Keller Williams Northwest in Concord and Lexington MA for being a great co-broke. Buyer made me do it YourStories Realty Group

Archive Blog Boston Boston Back Bay Featured For Agents For Buyers For Sellers Larry Lawfer MA Milton Seller

Not all clients are created equal; Hindsight is always crystal clear.

Not all clients are created equal; Hindsight is always crystal clear. “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” a line from Cool Hand Luke, a movie from 1967 starring Paul Newman. Communications, in real estate, is most often the reason for there to be no meeting of the minds. Without  meeting of the minds, there is no agreement.

I met the whole family in the living room of their mother who had lived in the house for many years. Mother was going to join Daughter in her home, they were selling the original home  and it went on the market.


In my first 128 days I brought the same buyer back twice with an offer of $615,000 and $10,000 back at closing, effectively $605,000.  Because I was unable to explain the value of this offer in a way that the Seller would accept the offer that is best for them I failed. What I learned it is not just that facts that are important, it is the manner in which the facts are shared.

In real estate people don’t always make rational decisions, it is often based on emotion.  Once the emotion is right, then the Buyer looks for data to support that decision.  The job of a good agent is to provide all the necessary information so the Seller can make the best decision for them. That is al. I feel sorry these people lost $30,000 and almost another year, we have all moved on. I, for certain, learned with this one. The trick to being successful is not making the same mistakes twice.

Not all clients are created equal; Hindsight is always crystal clear. If your mind is focused on providing people with their best options the best you can. Learn along the way. Always meet in person, never over the phone, if your client is a physician, only their job is life and death, not yours.Not all clients are created equal; Hindsight is always crystal clear. 

Archive Blog Boston Boston Back Bay Featured For Agents For Buyers For Sellers Larry Lawfer MA Milton Newton

Broker-Talk Podcast Day 50 Your Million Dollar Year

Broker-Talk Podcast Day 50 Your Million Dollar Year. To further promote our Agent One program of training agents individually to master their specific skills for sales in real estate, we go on air with our first Broker-Talk. The podcast is dedicated to honest and open conversation about the life of a real estate agent.It was originally designed to follow the hugely popular NPR show Car Talk.  Sadly one of the brothers died and so the show is in just reruns now. Many people believe that agents are more than happy to sell their soul, to live in the grey areas and to not be truthful for their own gain. I am hoping if one of us dies  to be a beloved a show as Car Talk on NPR, it will be Jim Lowenstern, Founder, CEO of Castles Unlimited® my partner, but don’t tell him that.


On the show today we had a call in RedFin agent from NY, we called him Guido Sarducci. Guido explained the philosophy of Redfin as being customer focused on delivering real estate services through their portal/app. As a Buyers Agent he gets paid to show houses to people who are looking in his/her/their area. The Redfin agent work for Redfin that is structured as a team. Whoever is available can be assigned to the client. This is very different than a traditional model of trust in your agent for their knowledge, experience and insight. The client is left on their own to gather all the information they need from the portal/app.

You can go through the whole process through your phone, the hand held personal computer that you sometimes talk to people on, but mostly just text with. From beginning to end the process is on line and on your phone. Broker-Talk Podcast Day 50 Your Million Dollar Year

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Million Dollar Year Day 1

The day I got my real estate license

The first day is always exciting, filled with success, hope and plans you strike off to lands yet unexplored, or just another day in real estate, as the cynic would say. When I first joined Active Rain back before I had my license in MA, I had my license in TX. I lived in the Dallas Fort Worth area and worked for an EXIT Realty franchise.  My nine months in TX gave birth to the realization that no Northern boy belongs in Texas. What made matter worse is they always called you a Yankee. Being a Boston boy since 1980 I am far from a Yankee as you can get here in the heart of Red Sox Nation. Back then I read and wrote about a book by Walter Sanford a coach and writer of many books. The particular one I was writing about was entitled If I could Start Over Again. It was a nuts and bolts way to succeed in this business.

Decisions are made, ready to ride.

My plan is to move agencies for the third, and I know, the final time.  In the last 9 years I have learned about Brands, Franchises, and my needs.  I spent 9 months with  EXIT, 2.5 years with RE/MAX , and now 6 years with Keller Williams. 9 years of learning and growing. These companies are all franchises.  An Owner buys the Franchise and it’s area, the agent works for the owner/broker.  The broker pays the Franchise, the agent pays the Owner and the Franchise. This is very good for the Franchise, not always good for the agent. There is a new breed of agency now driven by the internet.  eXp, Compass, Zillow,, Redfin have come into the market offering virtual offices for less cost and fees while offering the consumer better deals on their houses through discounted commission fees. While this is seemingly good for the consumer it is not so good for the Agent.  Don’t you wish there was a hybrid agency that had no fees, a more reasonable cap amount and offered both virtual and bricks and mortar offices locations? That is where I am heading and this is Day 1 of the first 90. Today I have to get my act together for the actual move.

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Today Now Present Day 26 of 90 in a Realtors® life

OurStories Page

Today Now Present Day 26 of 90 in a Realtors® life. It is Spring, the weekends are busy, so with details galore and various properties to juggle the here and now gets lost. I think this is normal, I don’t know.  I do know I like the Kellerism, “you can have results, or you can have reasons, you can’t have both.” So I won’t try with any reasons, today is Day 26 of 90 in my Realtor® life and rebooting the reboot of the reboot.

Constant change is something you can depend on.  Constantly all over the map is never efficient nor leads to success. Spread too thin is a caution I am finding.  What gets lost is the routines, the habits, the things you know will

set you straight on the path. Today, now and present of the implementations of those best practices often gets lost in the today’s, here’s and now’s of a growing agent.  Once the string is broken, it feels daunting to get back. The practices of a single real estate deal are complex but can be mastered.  When you have time to consider the best options and the best way to communicate you can nail it if you have training and experience.

The difference between a mid-producing agent and top producers is these practices, the habits. For me they include this reminder of

what it was like in hopes that I can recognize the side track and remember the path.  Corrections along the way is how we navigate. Change is not bad, change is good and what is better is controlling and directing the change.  In every day we are in control of our own days.  With control comes responsibility. What am I hungry for plants its pic in the corner of my brain? Today Now Present Day 26 of 90 in a Realtors® life

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Change the Story Day 25 of 90 in a Realtors® life

Crying baby

Change the Story Day 25 of 90 in a Realtors® life. Stop me if you haven’t heard this story. There is no inventory. The market is crazy. People don’t want to talk to agents. I can’t door knock in my town. I hate cold calls and now I have to cold call to be successful? Everyone has heard this, but is it true?  Well, yes and no, in the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” What you are saying to yourself, what you are feeling inside is manifesting itself in your life on a daily basis. I know this because I struggle with this.  Surround yourself with good people is what we are told so I did that yesterday.


Knowing what I want and not getting it demands I change. I knew this several days ago and I have felt it for a month. That is why I hired a coach.  Yes, I did pick up 4 listing this month and have 3 more in the pipeline I am still not feeling it.  I still do not have a handle on how to continually get up and produce the results I want.  So I changed.  I reached out to 31 people performing at a level I want.  I asked each the same questions, what do you do daily to succeed? What is your schedule like? When and how do you make your calls?  Then finally, can we script practice and can we be accountable to each other.

Being afraid is no excuse, putting yourself in position to get what you want also puts yourself in position to grow.  Fear and trepidation are real, but not an excuse for not taking action. Today is the day today.  Tomorrow can wait, build your tomorrow today.  That is why I Change the Story Day 25 of 90 in a Realtors® life