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Thank you for your words of wisdom and experience. I have already benefited from some of the techniques in your materials. My return on investment will be huge! Thanks again. Mike Fortin, Platinum Group REALTORS®


Don’t Got Into Winter with a Low Listing Inventory September 11th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

I am afraid that a lack of holiday listings will make it ugly for you in February. You still have a few months to increase your inventory so even if you hate seller lead generation — it’s only for a few months!

Here is a list of what I would do, if I wanted more listings in the last quarter. I have a list of twenty. Choose TEN and implement. You should have a happy start to 2015.

  1. Call the more expensive expired listings every morning.  Get some help from Landvoice.  Visit to get a discount, too!  Landvoice provides a service so you don’t have to research the phone numbers.
  2. Call all the homes, condos, and small multi-unit properties for rent in the weekend paper and/or Craig’s List.  Ask if they might consider selling or doing a 1031.  Unless it’s a multi-unit, it’s a 100% vacancy factor!
  3. Have forms for sellers to complete on your website like a free 48-hour phone value analysis or a buyer matching database.
  4. Email/call/mail everyone in your database with at least 5 valuable services that you can perform for them.
  5. Re-call all listing leads and let them know that the most motivated buyers come out in the winter when other sellers hibernate.
  6. Send a good FSBO letter to all FSBOs every week until the end of year. Have your favorite team lender call them with help on financing plans that can be advertised and pre-approval of all potential buyers. Have your lender use your name in the conversation.
  7. Send just sold and just listed cards out and call behind them. Get the Cole Realty Resource to help. Visit for a special discount, too.
  8. Get the newspaper and cut out positive articles that are relative to some of your area “movers and shakers.” Add these individuals to your database, too. They won’t forget you.
  9. Hold a good open house — good area and a new listing. Ask if the attendee is a buyer or seller and provide free value for them.
  10. Call the human resource manager at the big companies. Give potential sellers the estimates of value, based on the same comparables that appraisers use.
  11. Call assisted living centers and take the tour. Ask who they use to sell the homes of their incoming clients.
  12. Mail and call all of the divorce attorneys. Offer fast valuations and a written, aggressive marketing plan for their client homes.
  13. Mail all divorcing couples with the problem of a quit claim/grant deeds and underlying loans.
  14. Send an “I have investors” letter to poorly kept properties in better neighborhoods.
  15. Send a letter to owners of 2-4 unit properties about their value because of preferential financing, 1031s, and your management expertise.
  16. Send a letter to old expireds and old FSBOs long after other agents have ceased soliciting. Follow up with a phone call.
  17. Provide ten services to out-of-state owners. Offer things like rental agreements, vendor suggestions, management referrals, 1031 accommodators, etc.
  18. Work on friending/connecting/following your database via social media outlets and spending a few minutes a day entering any conversations into your database.
  19. Have forms for sellers to fill out on your website.
  20. Call all the clients who used to belong to the agent who left the business. Let these new clients know that the broker has asked you to be their new representative at the office.

It is a matter of designing the above systems and time-blocking them as the most important activities of the day. You will never have had a better first quarter!

If you need help with these systems, we have been making improvements to them with research techniques, multi-media approaches, overcoming objections, and follow-up.

We offer solutions in many forms with books/software, seminars, and coaching. Many top agents use Sanford Systems as their trusted resource. Call us at 800.792.5837 if we can help your business.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at


Loyalty to Affiliates August 12th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

Real estate agents are competitors, but affiliates can be team members. An affiliate is a service provider who affiliates with your business to earn a piece of the transaction. They can be lenders, home warranty providers, title representatives, inspectors, etc. For our purposes here, we’re going to use lenders but really the same principles apply to all.

First, your broker or firm might warn you about suggesting affiliates for your clients to use. I understand this warning because if the affiliate messes up, there might be liability attached to the referring party. Maybe. In my affiliate relationships, I took care of that concern with a removal of liability clause in my listing and buyer brokerage agreements.

Furthermore, I always did what was right for my client. The client’s best choice was always an affiliate who was afraid to lose my business, if they did not meet expectations. It’s simple: if you are loyal to a great affiliate, they will devote the resources to make your life easier as a REALTOR®.

I had a favorite one to four unit lender. Look for a hard-working, smart individual who understands that top producing REALTORS® are his/her preferred client. He/she always under-promises and over-delivers. My lender would tell me when I had a client in a low-closing proposition. My lender stayed out of my office and did not tie up my assistant in gossip. 

Rates are competitive. My lender knew how to get in touch with the underwriter to “explain” things when needed. My goal was to go to the top of the list for service, follow-up, and favors.

These are the steps I followed in getting my top lender’s attention:

  1. Asked for his picture and résumé to put on my “meet the team” section of my website used to promote my one-stop service for clients.  
  2. Sold his services to my seller at the listing presentation by mentioning that the only way I could guarantee my service completely is if I worked with the team members who best know the process.
  3. Sold his services to my buyers by not wanting to work with lenders with whom I wasn’t familiar.  It is hard to orchestrate a closing with lenders who are servicing a new account where their prospects of future loans are bleak.      
  4. All offers that come in with a non-team member lender are automatically countered by a pre-counseled seller who now believes that a non-team lender may be a hindrance to close.  Counter is written: “Buyer to pre-approved by (lender) at (company).  After pre-approval, buyer is free to use any lender of their choice.”


Loyalty can bring many benefits:

  1. I liked to time-block my weekly follow-up on pendings for Wednesday at 1PM. My lender was always ready with a report.
  2. My lender looked for referral business for me.
  3. My lender participated in lead generation systems where it benefitted him. For instance, I did all the FSBO research and mention in my advertising to them that I had a lender who could help them. I would then have the lender call the FSBO to offer value. My lender ended up with many loans on FSBO sold real estate.
  4. My lender ceased coming in with rate sheets. Who cares about rates where the yields between lenders are almost the same? Fewer interruptions from all affiliates allowed me to work on filling the pipeline.
  5. I was on the top to the list for challenges to be satisfied. 

Try a little loyalty to a hard-working affiliate and see how you can work together as a team for mutual benefit.

For great affiliate systems, check out Teaming Up or call our office at 800.792.5837 for special pricing. 

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at

Coaching 9-1-1 July 31st, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

Having a coach can provide the right answers when you need it.  Below is an exchange with one of our coaching clients and it provided a little “911” for his current situation:

Coaching Client: I went on what I thought was a great listing presentation yesterday. However, the couple would not sign at our meeting. They said they needed to talk. I then felt like something was up.

Walter: On the phone while making the appointment, one of the questions needs to be – “If everything meets with your approval, are you wanting to start the marketing plan tomorrow night when I meet with you?”

Coaching Client: The guy just left me a voicemail saying they loved everything I had to offer; however, they were listing with some schmo that doesn’t do any FRICKIN’ business.

Walter: Always make it your goal to get the signature! Fake that you are leaving then do the “Columbo” and say, “So, I can email all answers at the office – what are you thinking about so I can do more research for you?”

Coaching Client: They said they had a personal connection that really suggested that they use this guy. I know them as well and I can hear the conversation: the (name) Team are doing just fine and (name) really needs the business. How in the heck do I fight that?

Walter: Let’s not try to fight until you are sure that’s what happened. Call them back. “(Wife’s name) and I are always trying to improve our services. Could you help me by letting me know what I could have done differently to earn your business? Was there anything I could have improved on for you?”

Coaching Client: This other guy doesn’t even know how to spell marketing much less apply it! I am as mad as I have been since getting into real estate. Thanks for any suggestions.

Walter: If that was the REAL reason, you needed to find it out while you were there then counter it by letting them know that more than anything else…an agent makes the difference on the amount a seller nets at the closing. Experience makes a difference in –  

• A large buyer database

• More trust from buyers

• More money to spend on marketing

• The ability to convert leads into showings by uncovering needs of buyers and demonstrating how your property fulfills them having experience in negotiating

• Understanding in how to write contracts to prevent post-closing seller litigation

• Having a team who monitors every aspect of the closing successfully

• Overcoming objections and challenges in the most cost-effective manner


Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at

Leveraging Mundane Activities July 14th, 2014 | Posted in Other Interests

When I coach, we set up consistent, inexpensive lead generation activities for sellers. Some require a complete overhaul, and some require only small tweaks. 

Do you look for the small tweaks? You know, tweaks like those easy-to-include, natural moves taken within a mundane (but necessary) real estate activity. I have devised hundreds of these “tweaks” over the years. Proven and tested, each produces a new client when implemented. 

You have to be smart in this business while trying to get it done well – all within 50 hours a week. This is why efficiency is so important. 

Here are a few of the hundreds of small tweaks that don’t add much to time or overhead but will produce big results: 

  1. On a counseling call with a potential seller, ask if there are any other real estate needs to be marketed along with the home. Add to your listing checklist. 
  2. On a new listing, send a notice to your database prior to it hitting the MLS. The recipient can easily forward to their friends, family, and/or co-workers. This can easily provide more double-ended transactions while also providing necessary interaction with your database. Add to listing checklist.
  3. Send a letter to 2-year and newer expireds around your new listing touting that your marketing can produce more than one buyer. Add to your listing checklist.
  4. Have an “Ask (YOUR NAME)” feature on your website where the question and answer can be distributed through social media.
  5. Send a letter to small demographic owners like owners of a duplex, tri-plex, or four-plex. Explain that you have buyers taking advantage of the preferential government financing offered for small investment properties and investors looking for these small investment properties to fund their self-directed IRAs.
  6. Call closing clients. Let them know that the hardest thing you have to do is to replace great clients like them. Ask who from their family, friends and co-workers are thinking of buying or selling. Add to listing checklist.
  7. Solicit the co-op agent to come over to your office, if you are with an office that has a plan where you benefit from recruitment. Add to closing checklist. 

I could go on forever. I promise, after 40 coaching sessions with me, we will have efficient systems that make you one of the top agents in your region or franchise. Yes, you’ll still have a life, too! 

For more details or coaching testimonials, email me – or call the office at 800.792.5837. 

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at


Help Your Lender Plan a Walter Sanford Event June 10th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

You could have a seminar in your town where I could train you and your assistants! In addition to yourself, another who would benefit from such a seminar would be your lender. 

For years, I teamed up with my lender and suggested activities for him to make more money. One of those ideas was to bring in top real estate training talent. Each time, the lender received kudos from the attendees and earned more potential clients. You, the agent benefits from attending a seminar in his/her hometown rather than traveling across the continent. 

Below is a great action plan to share with your favorite lender so he or she can plan a great real estate event. 

Here is an action plan to help a lender form a “things to do list,” while planning a real estate seminar. Our goal is not only to have the most successful real estate seminar your area has ever seen but also to produce more business for you! Top real estate agents love Sanford Systems seminars. This is the action plan that we recommend and has proven to be successful for others across North America.

1.       Call executive officers of all real estate boards involved in the area. Let the officers know your plans to hold an exclusive seminar. Let them know that you will be bringing in a well-known speaker. Ask for their participation and feedback on the date, location, and marketing techniques. They love helping to bring even more value to their REALTOR® members.

a.      Real estate boards may market a seminar for free, if they get credit as a service provider to their members. The marketing techniques used by most real estate boards to promote a seminar are as follows:

1)       Broadcast email

2)       Inclusion on board’s website

3)       Direct mail

4)       Inclusion on various social media outlets

5)       Announcements at all board meetings

6)       Announcements at all board functions

7)       Stage time for you at board event

b.      They may also provide a short list of all top producers, brokers, and managers in that board so a special promotion program can be aimed at those “high yield” agents through your company. This special promotion may include:

1)       VIP mailings (invitations)

2)       VIP seating

3)       Direct phone calls and visits from your individual loan officers (great for business building)

4)       Direct phone calls and visits from your management (also great for business)

5)       Email drip system

6)       Social media effort

2.       Solidify a date with a local hotel or another reputable meeting facility.   

3.       Solidify the date and time with Sanford Systems. Ask to make an appointment with Walter to discuss a custom-designed topic for the area, market, and demographic. 

4.       Prepare marketing materials that include a great promotion for the real estate boards to use, flyers for loan officers, and other sponsors to hand out and mail. A one-page information sheet is great. Personal invitations are wonderful touch, too. Don’t forget tickets with a value on them! Can you be a 5-minute speaker at a few of the top offices? I can provide the high-value talking points for you. 

5.       Think about additional sponsors who would not cause dilution of the sales message of your firm but would help defray costs and promote marketing to fill the room.

6.       Include me in a conference call with all loan officers. In this call, it would be good to discuss the marketing options, techniques to form alliances with top producing real estate agents, and follow-up procedures after the seminar to make it most profitable. I will also help your loan officers overcome any objections they may receive and propose methods for getting the top real estate agents’ assistants there, too!

7.       Sanford Systems will develop a pre-event email for the attendees to maximize attendance. We will provide ideas for follow-up so the lessons of the seminar are not quickly forgotten and relationships with your firm are built.

8.       I can record an audio promotion on your IVR system or a video for web and email that can utilized in various marketing efforts.

9.       Check and approve facilities…once again. The date of the seminar should be confirmed with the facility. The facility should easily handle the expected number of attendees figuring a 20% no-show rate. The facility should be clean, have plenty of parking, be air conditioned, and have audio-visual requirements that allow the attendees to see 10-point print from the back of the room via a projector. It would be very nice to have a house system CD player to play motivational music before and after the seminar.

10.     Prepare for a last minute telemarketing blitz. This will remind everyone of the seminar, ask everyone to recommit his/her attendance, and remind him/her to bring his/her assistant and/or friend to the seminar. If he/she cannot make it, ask for their ticket to be returned so that it may be given to someone else. This builds perceived value!

11.     Design your presence at the seminar. This could be a trade show booth or you could prepare handouts including items that differentiate your company and provide value. Also, provide note-taking material and even a possible discount certificate for their next loan. It would be great for you to have a short talk on the benefits of your company, to handle my introduction, and to give a short promotion of any other sponsors. I will promote your value proposition throughout my presentation as well.

12.     The best attended seminars are from 9AM to 12PM. The real estate agents are less likely to be “entrenched” in putting out fires in the morning.

You should expect 200 to 600 agents in metropolitan markets. I can get commitments from 60-70% of the room for a loan directed to you in the next 30 days. Your loan officer’s fear of approaching top producers will be diminished because I will clear the way. I will get the agent’s “OK” on each of those commitments to meet with you in writing on the back of their cards.

Let us help you arrange, coordinate, and plan this profitable, relationship-building event. Call us today at 1.800.792.5837.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at


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