Category: History Lessons

How to disappear

lessons photo

Lessons come from lots of places.  I just celebrated the 43rd anniversary of my 21st birthday and I’ve had the opportunity to learn lots of lessons.

Sometimes I learned and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out the lesson. This one took a while.

At the age of 24 I decided to take up Tae Kwon Do. I studied under Sung Jae Park in Indianapolis and I believe it or not he’s still teaching.

I started as all students do. A white belt and I knew nothing. Maybe less than nothing. I paid for 6 months of lessons up front. I was out of shape, smoking a pack a day and ready to make a change. Just coming out of a bad marriage and trying to figure out what to do next. This was just want I needed.

Master Park was a great teacher. He spent the time to help us get the details right. Details matter in martial arts. Form, position, conditioning and so much more. I was in the class room 5 nights a week at the start. I was allowed to come to the more advanced classes too after a little while. My class started about 6pm every night and the advanced class started at 7pm

I learned something about people while I was there.

The other white belts had something to prove and sometimes it ended up in bruises on my forearm as I protected myself from a badly executed round house kick. I learned how to block and protect myself first but then I learned how to disappear. That was better. Let me explain.

Sparring is part of the learning in Karate. It can be violent and painful but most lessons are if they are worth anything. As I developed skills I got more confident and I was willing to attend the higher belt classes. They were much more interested in teaching and helping. The black belts especially because they had nothing to prove. They could do it and we all knew they could. No one questioned their ability but they practiced to improve continually. It was about beating yourself instead of your opponent.

One of those black belts saw my bruises and asked me about them. He listened and then taught me how to avoid instead of block. To be someplace other than where the blow was coming. To disappear. You could still see me but it was harder to hit me.

Master Park taught the same thing later but with better results. He would demonstrate and I got to work with him one on one a couple of times. If you tried to hit him he just wasn’t there. If you tried to reach out to get him he would take you down in a lesson to show the value of balance. Humiliating at first but later it became a favorite part of my lessons. To learn from him.

Lessons learned? There are a few captured here.

Find someone with nothing to prove but really wants to help. They can be a mentor and will show you things you didn’t even know to ask.

Practice and be willing to take a few bruises on the way to getting better. Challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday. This is not a contest, this is a chance to improve.

Be consistent and show up for class even if you’re over your head. You’ll learn more and stretch to be a better person.

That’s enough for this time but I am sure there are more lessons coming. Stay tuned.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

PS: For more info now and to make sure you don’t miss anything in the future, sign up below for the free eBook I wrote. We’ll show you how to work by referral from day one. No cold calling or door knocking. We promise we’ll never spam you or sell your info. It’s just so we can stay in touch. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Creativity – Ideas Before Results

creative photo

We are all creative!

That is a bold statement and I suspect there are some of you who disagree with me. I’m OK with that but you’re wrong.  When we were children we were all creative, curious and investigated the world to figure it out. We figured out how to walk, talk and we used our minds to imagine.

Since then we have all been told things that might not be true. We’ve been told math is better than dancing. Maybe it is if you’re a mathematician or psychometrician but not if you’re a dancer.

In my digging I found this TED talk and I’d recommend it to you. It’s about 20 minutes and worth the time.

I have another person for you to listen to. His name is Seth Godin and this one is about 17 minutes long. He asks a question about school. “What’s it for?” and we need to answer that. Check it out.

Between these two guys I think you begin to see what happened to our (yours and mine) creativity. It has been ‘educated’ out of us and it’s a shame. We are all creative and we can recover much of that imagination to use in our work.

BTW Seth referenced the KKK when he talked about how public education got started and I had to check it out.  You can see some info on that topic right here. It’s fascinating what you can learn when you go digging.

I’ve got 3 more articles to finish up the discussion on the culture of the company I’m a part of. Stay tuned and I’ll do my best to finish them up this week.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

PS: For more info now and to make sure you don’t miss anything in the future, sign up below for the free eBook I wrote. We’ll show you how to work by referral from day one. No cold calling. Ever and we’ll never spam you or sell your info. It’s just so we can stay in touch. You can unsubscribe anytime.

That was you?

I had been in the real estate business about 6 months and still working to find my way. I had not submitted to the advice of my team leader to start making cold calls (and I never did) because I wanted to work by referral with folks I knew.

I was in a conversation with a lady from church while we were working the ‘coffee cart’. She mentioned they were thinking about selling their house.

Now, I had been sending a monthly mailing to her at her home address for about 4 months. It was a decent newsletter type mailing and each one cost me about $1 to print, stuff and post.

I replied to her comment that “I can help you sell your house” and she looked at me really funny. She said “You’re not a real estate agent, how can you help?”. I was stumped for a second but finally I told her I was an agent and I explained how I had been mailing stuff to her.

Now it was her turn to be stumped. She asked me what the mailing looked like and after a few seconds she exclaimed “That was you?” We laughed and began to talk about how I could help but that lesson stuck with me.

She had no idea I was the one behind that ‘junk mail’ and she was throwing it out until she realized who it was. So what’s the lesson? Do not assume what you mail out has the intended result. Most people get way too much junk mail and NEVER see what you mail them.

Call them, go see them, take them to coffee or lunch and build a relationship. It’s how working by referral works. I still mail stuff but it’s to folks who know me, like the stuff and might even miss it if I stopped.

If you want to make sure the folks you mail to open it, write them a handwritten note in a nice small envelope.

I promise, it will get opened and might even saved.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct



Photo by Cabanillas.-

No, they won’t.

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There are some odd things that happen in this business when you first get started. At least they will feel odd to you.

Most of your family and friends won’t do business with you (at first).

It’s a real disappointment.

That was not what you expected. Most of us are surprised when we discover our sphere of influence is a lot smaller than we thought. We expected our friends to ‘just use us’ when the time arises. I believe the reason they don’t use us are two fold.

1. They don’t know you are in the business. It’s our job to let them know but we are not really effective at doing that. Sometimes we mail them an ‘announcement’ and they don’t see it. It looks like junk mail and they don’t realize it’s you. We do this because we are afraid to call and tell them.

2. They don’t know if they can trust us yet. It’s a big deal to buy or sell a house and they are not sure how much you know.

The best thing you can do it to let them know you’re in the business face to face and you know a lot about the market.

You can overcome a lot with a few details and simple facts about the market. Things like the amount of inventory, average appreciation and and clear understanding of what the news has to say and why there are news stories that can look at the same facts and spin them into bad news and good news at the same time.

Things like the number of houses sold in the last 6 months and other facts you can glean from the data in the MLS. This business is simple but it’s not easy. Do your homework and be clear about what you know and what you don’t and commit to learning continually.

You can also share you have a mentor who will help you along the way (if you don’t have one maybe we need to talk) and anything you don’t know, you can get answers to.

Your friends like you and will want to work with you but you have to give them reasons to trust you.

Keep learning and thanks for listening,

Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

Engineer to Real Estate Agent – How does that happen?

That is a really great question. The answer to that is part of the story about why I have always worked by referral. It’s a bit long but the story is a good one.

It was a Sunday in March 2003. The sun was shining and I was chomping at the bit to get on the Harley I rented and go for a ride. I was in Shreveport, LA and my friend Steve was supposed to meet me at the hotel. We planned to put on about 500 miles on our bikes before dark. He was at the GM plant (they make pickup trucks there) and gotten hung up with some problems.

I was waiting.

When I’m waiting on something I will usually have a cup of coffee in my hand so I walked across the parking lot to the motel office where the coffee pot lived. As I was getting my coffee I got this really odd feeling and then I get an odd thought that said ‘get two cups’. Now I won’t say it was an audible thought like anyone else could hear it but it felt odd and it seemed to come from outside my own head. It’s hard to explain. I said it was odd but let’s keep going.

I looked around and there was no one else in the room. I shook it off and got one cup which I immediately carried out the front door and at that moment it got even stranger.

There was a woman standing across the parking lot who saw me and hollered “if I had known you were getting coffee, I’d have asked you to get me one”.

Queue the Twilight Zone Theme.

rod serling photo

Photo by meltwater

I walked over to her and gave her the coffee I had and we chatted for a minute but all the time we talked I was thinking ‘I just missed something important’. Had I gotten two cups as I was ‘told’ I might have had a different conversation.

I went back in and got my own coffee and listened for that ‘voice’ again but all I got was silence. About that time Steve rolled up and we took off for the day. It was a glorious ride and I thought that was the end of it but I was wrong.

My work was finished on Monday night at that GM plant and my customer asked me to hang out that night just to be sure everything was working right. I agreed and on Tuesday morning I loaded my stuff in the truck and headed home to Atlanta. It’s a 10 hour drive.

I need to fill in a few details here for this to make sense. I am a believer. Spiritually speaking, I mean. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe God sometimes speaks to us through the Spirit and we can be influenced by what we ‘hear’. This will make sense in a minute.

I worked in the automotive industry for 25 years and loved the work but hated the travel. It paid well and that sometimes made me feel trapped into something I liked but hated at the same time. I frequently asked God in moments of feeling trapped “what else can I do” to earn a living. I was having one of those moments on that 10 hour drive home.

Susan (my wife) will tell you I frequently spend much of a road trip in complete silence. No radio, no music, nothing but the sound of the road and my own voice in my head. I love it and find it helpful to spend time in silence like that. I guess it’s why I like motorcycles so much. It helps me think.

So about 4 hours into the drive home I was having that same old ‘conversation’ with God about ‘what else can I do’? and I got that odd feeling again and that ‘thought’ from outside my head. Now I won’t say it was an audible thought like anyone else could hear it but it felt just like that one of ‘get two cups’ and it said “Did you ever think about real estate?”.

My first response was “No, are you kidding?” but then I remember the feeling that I had missed something. I missed a blessing with that woman in the parking lot and after about another hour of driving I decided I would not miss another one.  I was at the MLS office on Wednesday morning getting the pre-license course to get my real estate license and by July of 2003 I was part of Keller Williams Realty.

In some more ‘conversations’ I had with God over the course of getting my license I was convinced I needed to build my business on relationships. Working by referral was a natural path when you want to build a business that way but it was more than that. I really felt I was called to do business differently and not to rely on the brute force methods of cold calling and door knocking. Looking back I believe it was part of the plan to teach me how to do this without cold calling so I could teach it to others.

To be able to say I have NEVER made a cold call or called an expired listing is true and powerful. Powerful in the way it gives credibility to the idea of working by referral from day one. It can be done and I love teaching that.

So that’s how I got from engineer to real estate agent. It was an option presented to me by God and He did it in a way that made it really clear. I didn’t have to do it but I am really glad I did. There are so many blessings wrapped up in my life since 2003 and I am thrilled I get to share it with new agents and agents who struggle to stay in business.

If you want to know more about how all this works I would love to meet up or talk on the phone. Give me a call and we’ll chat.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct