559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

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It was a pleasure to attend your seminar in San Francisco on Thursday. You are a truly excellent speaker and by the time you were finished, I was excited about getting into residential real estate! You are doing good work in the world. Brian Tracy, Real Estate Speaker


Eating the Elephant With Time Blocking January 31st, 2020 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Without making time for the most profitable activities, I can tell you exactly what will happen — you are going to be spending time on the most urgent items which are almost never your most profitable activities. The reason why my lead generation book is so popular with top agents is because it points to the direction of the most profitable activities in real estate. One needs now to decipher how to implement these activities on a consistent basis.

Many of the activities we cover in our systems are not done consistently by many top agents in our country. For instance, you need to choose a few seller lead generation activities. Whether you choose for sale by owners, expireds, mature people in large homes, out-of-state owners, or any of the any other amazing systems that will produce seller leads, you need to find the time to make sure they are getting done on a consistent basis. By implementing the ideas, your listings will go up, increasing your buyer inquiries. Buyers, being the demanding lot that they are, will soon cause you to be jumping through hoops at all hours of the day, if you have not followed some of the ideas shared in Buyer Net Profit.

Without time-blocking, you will find that you will always be urgently busy without getting your most profitable activities done therefore your listings will fall and buyer activity will fall. The largest difference between mediocre real estate agents and top producers is that top agents always find time to keep their pipelines filled with the most profitable activities. The most profitable activities are, of course, lead generation activities. These activities are normally time-blocked by the top agent to do himself or herself or activities for the assistant to complete.

Let me give you an example – at 9am every morning, I knew that I would spend 15 minutes researching the expireds of that day. I spent more time than anyone else researching and getting better names, addresses, and phone numbers. I then spent another 15 to 30 minutes preparing letters for mailing in the firecracker tubes. I would then start calling those same prospects. On my way back from lunch, I would time-block my day to stop by one of the most expensive expireds each day. On my way home, I would try reaching those expireds who I could not reach earlier in the day. The next day after I called all the expireds, I went ahead and sent them my crumpled letter from the previous day. There was little or no negotiation with the time-blocks. The only thing that would allow me to look the other way is a listing presentation or a family emergency.

The other activities that I would like to make certain that you time-block are just as important as your seller lead generation activities, especially activities where you knew the exact number that you need to complete. Here is what I mean — if you have a 1,000 person database and there are approximately 300 working days in a year, you should be calling six people a day to get through your database with phone calls twice in a year. It would most likely be more calls in a day, because I would like for you to try calling three times before giving up and putting them back in rotation. The same goes for the letters to the database – if you are going to be sending one letter each quarter and there are 100 working days in a quarter, you will be sending approximately 10 letters a day to get all the letters to your database for that quarter.

The magic of breaking your business plan into time-blocked pieces is that it allows you to “eat the elephant” faster and more efficiently. It also allows you to write personal notes on those letters, hand-sign them, and see if any of the letters might require special handling.

Another massively important time-block is listing leads in the “A” class. This group is for people who are going to be listing in the next ninety days. You were either unsuccessful in getting them to list, or they have promised you a listing. Even though they have told you not to call back until a certain time-frame, it is your job to call them each week with something of value to weigh their motivation and readiness without letting the lead pass you by. It is important that you maintain contact on a much more regular business than the “soon to list” person tells you contact.

Another amazing time-block to maintain is the buyers in the “A” class group. These are buyers who have jumped through all the “hoops.” This means they have answered the questions, been pre-approved in writing, have showed up for a meeting at your office, and have signed a loyalty agreement. These people need to be time-blocked for once a week to determine if the properties you are sending them still meet their criteria and when they would like to go look at the best leads.

Broker-required activities is another time-blocked section. Whether it is a profitable office meeting or an office tour, just remember, the broker is paying the overhead so support the systems.

Another important time-block is calling your sellers. In tough markets, there is one truism – if they do not like you, they are less likely to drop the price for you. The easiest way to babysit upset sellers is to take your listings and divide by ten. Call that many people each day. This gives you the energy to bring about a price reduction or obtain a value enhancement. Many real estate agents wait until their clients become discouraged then go through their entire listing inventory trying to obtain price reductions or value enhancements. That process is not only an energy-zapper but it is also ineffective. Regular contacts from you will allow your sellers to feel at ease that the job is being done. You will soon find that they will not be available for appointments, because they trust your efforts so much. Efforts like this allow the inevitable price reductions in tough markets to be easier. Please time-block your listed seller communications.

Add in contact to your pendings for another time-block activity. Each week, you need to contact all parties involved in a pending – sellers, buyers, cooperative agent, affiliates, and anyone else involved. I spent Thursdays making sure that all contingencies were being met, and there were no smoldering embers that needed to be put out. Staying on top of pendings will allow you to flush out the bad transactions sooner and possibly reduce problems that might affect your closing. You will grow to dislike the pending process so much that you will try to increase the velocity of your business by shortening your pending periods. As long as they are pending, you need to call all parties involved at least once a week.

Another important time-block is making time for your LIFE! Some of these items are “floating” like your daughter’s dance recital or your son’s game, but some of these items can actually be anticipated like “date night.” I chose a weeknight as date night because babysitters are more plentiful during the week and the lines at our favorite restaurants were not so long! It was also a nice break during the week, and everyone always looks forward to date night. The same process applies for working out, lunch, breakfast, church, and other mandatory parts of your life that allow your life to go more smoothly. Having these things time-blocked will reduce any disappointment in your family and allow you the opportunity to re-make appointments with clients.

This is the perfect time to bring up an important distinction between time-blocked and non-time-blocked agent schedules. When I knew that I only had a few different hours in which to book a listing presentation, a showing appointment, or a negotiation appointment, it allowed me to funnel the cooperative agent or client into those available slots. I was able to always give them three or four hours a day from which to choose. Without a time-block, you are always moving your most important activities around urgent activities, when it is much easier to book urgent activities in the time allotted. I promise that the cooperative agents and clients you are working with will have less disciplined schedules, and you will be able to conform to your available times.

Occasionally, there will be an infrequent time-block for activities that only happen once a month or once a year. These activities would be time-blocking the first and last day of the month and the first part of the New Year for excessive expired activity. These are times when the expired activity is so heavy that you will have to free up time to take advantage of it. These items need to be time-blocked at your goal setting session early in the year. Do not forget to time-block your goal planning session, too!

The process of time-blocking is fairly simple. Time-block the activities that are important to your life. Time-block your lead generation activities. Time-block your listing leads “A,” buyer leads “A,” pendings, and listed client activities. You will soon find that you have a lot fewer hours available during the week than you realized. Of course, these time-blocks will be devoted to listing appointments, showing appointments, contract negotiations, and all of the other “emergency” activities that we are all involved in.

You will find that when your time becomes scarce that putting a “do not disturb” sign on your office door will become a much better idea! You will also find that hob-nobbing with other real estate agents or affiliates will become activities of the past (possibly). Soon you will be prioritizing your free-time among activities including family, fun, faith, friends, fitness, and personal finances. You will find that urgent items will be either eliminated or lessened.

Time-blocking is the first step to true time management and forces you to do the items that are the most profitable in your business. Soon there will be no more excuses that you are too busy to make money in this business. Congratulations!

Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.


Are You Going to Do the Same Things Again? January 9th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

Going to bed late, waking up late — the world is already at your doorstep so there’s no time to exercise.  Maybe you will take a look at Facebook.  Oops!  Where did that 40 minutes go? 

An incoming call from a buyer comes next.  You might really need a deal so you pop up and show the property.  The buyer is a little late so you wait.  The buyer sees you waiting at the door but stays on his phone until he finishes his business.  When he sees the house, he asks you a ton of questions but does not do much answering.  It was all wrong for him, but he says that he will get back to you. 

You’re back at the office now and see that you have nine leads from third party consolidators and your IDX.  They have no phone numbers, but you have a great drip system that sometimes causes the leads to interact.  Most of time, they do not. 

You see a flyer on your desk about continuing education.  It’s another ethics class along with “Winning in the Social Media Game.”  You need the hours so you sign up even though you suspect it is the last thing you need to increase your sales. 

Your few sellers are mad that there are not enough showings, but they are very firm that there should not be any price reductions. 

After adding up your bills and looking at your probable closings, you’ve realized that there just isn’t enough money to satisfy all.  

Oh, another incoming call.  This one is from a coop and the buyer didn’t approve the inspection.   

Look, real estate done without a plan will kill you.  There are cures to every evil in real estate.  There are better business plans.  You can time-block a few, proven, profitable moves.  You can decide where to put emphasis.  You can eliminate the time killers that are suspect in net profit potential.  A simple, perfect week could fix everything.  I know since I get the top agents in the nation to implement more effective business plans. 

Here are some of the areas they will be working on in 2014:

  1. Implementing at least 5 new ways to aggressively generate seller leads from the best demographics.
  2. Converting websites from mostly buyer generating to seller generating.
  3. Pointing all lead generation machines to more expensive property.
  4. Making a faster listing presentation at a higher commission with fees.
  5. Hiring an assistant who takes care of administration and generates leads for at least 2 hours a day.
  6. Getting a better presentation that offers value a buyer can’t get on the internet.
  7. Knowing what you have to do every day of the week and having the systems tostick to it.
  8. Cutting expenses, increasing gross, and managing your personal assets.
  9. Buying real estate for the long term and having the tenants pay off the mortgage.
  10. Walking away from bad business and bad clients faster.
  11. Implementing systems for better and more effective lead follow-up.
  12. Leveraging business – i.e. build you buyer business into a seller lead generator or solicit old expireds around a new listing on your listing checklist
  13. Overcoming objections effectively and providing more value. Reducing interruptions
  14. Learning to work at work and be off otherwise.


Maybe, it is time for a tune-up.  Our products, seminars, and coaching are designed to increase your net proceeds so you can buy income-producing real estate…and RETIRE.  It’s time to get started NOW so that 2014 looks better than 2013. 

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


Are You Thinking about Opening Your Own Place? December 9th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

Recently, I was asked to answer some questions regarding an agent opening their own brokerage.  Below are the questions with my responses, which have been taken from my personal experience and my experience with my clients.


Question One:

What are the telltale signs that a REALTOR® should break out on his/her own and start a brokerage? What are the typical tipping points in these situations?

Answer One:

Square footage!  When there is need to add to the team or add infrastructure/technology but there is no place to put it, it’s time to move out on your own.  A team that is separated loses synergy.  If the broker cannot or will not add square footage, the agent may be forced to get his own.

Another area is lead generation.  Some of the teams that I coach are so effective in generating leads that occasionally there is spill-over to other agents in the office and leads are lost.  A destination without in-house competition is sometimes the answer.

Compensation is another area to consider.  Sometimes top agents already supply the services for themselves.  When that top agent crunches the numbers and adds up the total costs of splits, fees, and franchise costs – many times they find that that amount of money can pay the monthly mortgage payment on a building.

Sometimes a broker’s vision and goals differ so much from the top agent’s that there is dissention within the office. 

You need a change of business plan.  Working the pure commission life is hard!  Sometimes agents want a different business model that allows income from splits and fees so that they can get away from the daily business of one-on-one sellers/buyers.

Finally, sometimes a different management style necessitates a move.  Maybe an agent wants to provide a heavier training regimen or hold agents accountable, and he or she might find that easier to implement in a different environment. 


Question Two:

What are the first few steps that a REALTOR® should take when the points discussed in #1 above actually happen?

Answer Two:

A.      Find a location

B.       Prepare a budget — looking at all costs and applying the knowledge of previous abilities to bring in income.

C.      Make a list of all the marketing materials, phones, internet, and image changes.

D.      Decide whether this is going to be a secret move vs. a well-advertised move.  This usually depends on the relationship between the broker/owner and the vacating agent.  It also heavily depends on whether the broker has a reputation of allowing a vacating agent to keep his or her listings. 


Question Three:

Where do REALTORS® generally go wrong in these situations? What challenges do they encounter and how can they work through these issues?

Answer Three:

Bad mouthing by either party is not the way to go!  The management of the previous brokerage bad-mouthing the leaving agent and the leaving agent bad-mouthing their previous affiliation will not help anyone.  There is no reason to do either.  It only hurts the image of either or both parties.  The brokerage should be proud that they could provide the foundation for an agent to open their own business.  The leaving agent should be thankful the experience gained at the old brokerage. 

If the broker supports your moving on, then full disclosure of the move is the best way to go.  Another item of contention is that the vacating agent should initially look to recruit new agents from other companies, rather than the one they are leaving. 


Question Four:

Do you find that REALTORS® tend to jump the gun in these situations and perhaps not think through what it really takes to run their own brokerage?

Answer Four:

No, since most of the great agents want to stretch their wings.  They were successful agents because their planning and coaching allowed them to move to the new endeavor.  If there was a problem, it would be underestimating the costs of having your own brokerage.


Question Five:

What other advice would you give a reader who is thinking about this right now?

Answer Five:

The concept of the broker trying to keep listings or charge higher splits during a transition time will cause innumerable problems.  Letting great people do their own thing is the gracious thing to do. 

I hope this helps you make the important decisions involving opening your own brokerage.  Doing so means you are opening a new type of business.  You will be taking much time away from personal production and the other challenges while trying to live off of other agents in your new office.  We have coached many top producers and their teams through this year long process.  Good luck in your planning!


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

What Are Some Habits of Low-Producing Agents? October 8th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

  1. Signing up for expensive lead generation when they are not effective in following up on the leads — There are many sources of purchased leads, and a lack of good systems for turning those leads into business means little closed business.
  2. “Pop-Tart” activities in handling business — This is an activity of jumping up to handle urgent business rather than finishing profitable business.  A lack of time- blocking will cause an agent to put out fires rather than working on a proven plan.
  3. Taking stupid business — What is stupid business?  Under-motivated sellers and buyers are two sources.  Low producers disregard the warning signs on these two groups, because they do not have the systems to produce leads and need to prove they are busy.  The problem is agents actually lose money working with transactions that probably won’t close while hoping for success.
  4. Buyer house calls — Low producers jump at the chance to work with a buyer.  Top producers ask them buyers questions, get them pre-approved, have a meeting with them, and have them sign a buyer-brokerage agreement while making the buyer feel they are receiving the best service available.
  5. Not being able to walk from sellers who have no reason to participate in this market
  6. Working with buyers who have both minimal credit and minimal down payments
  7. Working short sale clients who have second mortgages that are not with the same party as the first and also where there is not enough money to pay the first
  8. Going into a short sale where the buyer will not pay for an appraisal and inspection, prior to approval
  9. Taking too long to start lead generation — Just go out and knock on some expired doors…this morning. 
  10. Dealing with inexpensive properties — Start generating leads of more expensive listings today.
  11. Having REALTORS® as the major component of your sphere — It’s time to get out in the real world. 
  12. Have an assistant that only gives assistance — My past assistants and those of my coaching clients generate leads. 
  13. Setting up elaborate systems to stay in touch with class “B” buyers and sellers — There are enough “A’s” to keep you busy.
  14. Spending too much time on social media — Social media is one of the most overrated activities in real estate.
  15. Having a website that specializes in buyers rather than sellers
  16. Waiting for market changes — Forget the market and get seller leads.  You make the change today.
  17. Keep staging in your pocket until it is asked for by a client
  18. Waiting for the buyer to do an inspection after they write a contract — Get the seller to do an inspection right after they list the property. 
  19. Having so little business that they cannot walk away from a bad deal, bad situation, or an unreasonable client in a nice way
  20. Writing loose counter offers
  21. Not keeping the pipeline full
  22. Not handling the big problems early in the morning
  23. Not working enough
  24. Not spending enough time talking with or seeing clients
  25. Having a mentor who did not sell a lot of real estate.


There are many more, but let’s start considering these first.  We have systems that help with these and out right replace most of these habits.  We would be honored if you became involved with us by obtaining our training systems, attending our seminars in your area, or considering personal coaching. 

We have systems that help with these and out right replace most of these habits.  We would be honored if you became involved with us by obtaining our training systems, attending our seminars in your area, or considering personal coaching. 

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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