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Thirty Years of Real Estate Wisdom February 10th, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate

It was a welcomed surprise getting this list below in the mail from a long-term student.  Early in my speaking career, he attended my seminars and even joined us in San Diego for the National Association of REALTORS®.

He has built a real estate empire emulating my systems, but he also likes the way I work the systems.  Over the years, he has written my little sayings that drive home a point and he has shared his list with me.

I can’t say for sure if I am the originator of each of these sayings, but I did make them “mine” through the years.  Which ones can you make yours?

  1. Buy other agent’s databases.  It’s like buying a business for very little money.
  2. Always go where the equity is!
  3. Make your pitch to the people who need you the most.
  4. If you are undecided whether or not to increase your expired prospecting, don’t.
  5. Delegate everything except $100 and above outlays.
  6. Always sign your own checks; no matter how much money you have.
  7. Be your own best client; make an offer on a home today.
  8. You just can’t make some people happy.
  9. If you have thought about firing someone more than three times, do it now.
  10. Are you doing the most productive activity right now?
  11. Turn down a minimum of 20% of all listings.
  12. Don’t work with the bottom 50% of buyers.
  13. Give your assistant all the work they think they can handle and add 20%.
  14. Affiliates work for you; never help with their job.
  15. Add a new lead generator that happens without you being there.
  16. I hate real estate many times a day, and that’s okay.
  17. Mentors are many; follow results, not words.
  18. Accomplishment almost never lies.
  19. Plan your life or someone else will.
  20. Make a plan for the rest of the day and see if you can stick to it.
  21. You only make money when you are talking to a buyer or seller.
  22. Could you have an assistant handle 100 rental properties?
  23. Who owes you business?  Ask for it.
  24. Tell a buyer today that you have a certain procedure they must follow.
  25. Buyers who complain the most are usually the ones who appreciate the least.
  26. You’re only a hero when the transaction closes.
  27. Sellers who overprice their listings are the ones you call everyday with updates.
  28. Refer out buyers with whom you are not working.
  29. Charge sellers for service that other broker’s don’t offer.
  30. Charge a transaction coordination fee…today.
  31. Have your broker, title officer, and escrow officer transfer 10% of your commissions to a bank.  You’ll never miss it.
  32. Old expireds and FSBOs don’t have competition.
  33. You make more money selling higher priced properties.
  34. No open houses, tours, emotions, signs, showings, and less accountability with apartment buildings.
  35. Big hat, no cattle means you lease your ranch.
  36. Get mad at a lack of productivity.
  37. On what level do you operate?
  38. Both sides of a transaction are easier than one.
  39. Charge garbage fees and raise your yield, just like lenders.
  40. There are only three things that sell a listing: 1. a buyer; 2. the right price; and 3. a price reduction.  Never depend on #1.
  41. Don’t worry about being the best, biggest, or skinniest – just the most profitable.
  42. Never watch your competitor.  It’s easier to create than copy.
  43. How much money does it take to buy a small rental house or condo?
  44. I always make more money when I work longer hours.
  45. I always make more money when I do stuff I like.
  46. I always make more money when I delegate stuff I don’t like.
  47. I always make more money when I make someone make me do stuff that I can’t delegate and don’t like to do.
  48. What bugs me measures my size.
  49. I get to choose my attitude with any real estate situation.
  50. You can tell clients “That doesn’t work for me.”
  51. Tell the truth to your clients.
  52. You get paid more when you tell someone NOT to list or buy.
  53. Have just a little fun today.
  54. Never be compliant with the first “no,” first hurdle, or first mountain to climb.  All the money and happiness come after the third or fourth “no.”
  55. Much of the initial impact of bad news will be due to the stigma attached to the event.  Are you sure you really care that you lost that listing?
  56. What really separated me from the competition were the extra hours I put in and the better investments that I made.
  57. Be careful with whom you share your success.  Can they handle it?
  58. The people you hang with will rub off on you.
  59. Use direct communication.  What do you really mean?  Say it more often.
  60. Practice your “no’s.”
  61. Simple distraction brings answers – a yogurt, a walk, a workout, a movie.  The answers will come.
  62. Have a client drop their price or cancel on three listings today.
  63. It’s better to have the day off than work with clients who aren’t going to buy or sell.
  64. Iron-fisted control is why they pay you.
  65. Be loyal to your army of helpers, assistants, and affiliates.
  66. If you are producing, the broker works for you.
  67. You’re probably right; you shouldn’t have lost your temper.
  68. I’ve known the same business people for twenty years; now, most of them are running the city.
  69. Write a lot of thank you notes.  Dictate them!
  70. Can I do something about it?
  71. Let everyone else try to cure it first.
  72. All things being equal, the nicer agent makes more money.
  73. Settle lawsuits early.
  74. The greater the pain, the bigger the break-through.
  75. Only invest in things you know. It takes a long time to know things.
  76. Generosity is a good deed when done quietly, done inconspicuously, then immediately forgotten.
  77. Treat people like what you want them to be.
  78. God gave you talents and blessings. Use them.
  79. Re-define loss as challenge.
  80. Your decisions determine your outcomes.
  81. Obstacles make you resilient.
  82. Recall your history of mastery.
  83. Ask for help more often.
  84. Spend one-half hour a day and create a new idea.
  85. Carry thank you notes with you.  It feels good in many ways.
  86. If you buy your leads and they work, there will be fewer and they will cost more next year.
  87. If you go for continuing education credits, find an easier way.
  88. If your assistant does not pay for himself/herself, fix that.
  89. The ideas you pay for are usually better.
  90. Someday, quit working for commission and let your commission earn you rent.
  91. I have had the Rolls Royce and regal homes, but Christ and cash flow are better!


I hope you enjoyed this list.  On many, I can remember the initial circumstance that occurred to create the saying.  Learn from mistakes and learning from my mistakes is less painful for you!

Many people have a coach who has not been through the ups and downs as Walter Sanford. Many coaches do have the same achievements as Walter. He has millions in cash flow equity that came from his real estate business, and he developed systems that can be implemented without any special abilities.

We currently have a few availabilities in our coaching program, and this year’s schedule has some availabilities for seminars as well.

Visit us at or call us at 800.792.5837 for more details on coaching, speaking, or training materials.

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