Bringing theory to life


Good speakers and writers are typically also great storytellers. They know that raw information by itself can often be dry and difficult to understand, so they bring that information to life in the way of real-life examples and analogies.

Think about one of your favorite business books. The “core idea” of the book can probably be summarized in a concise magazine article, maybe less. But the idea really comes to life when it’s explained in greater detail, and proven with the use of countless case studies, real-life examples, and analogies that make the idea easier to access.

HouseValues Inc. (disclaimer: also my employer) helps real estate professionals manage their business with a package of marketing and business development services. These services include a CRM tool meant to help real estate agents build relationships with prospective home buyers and sellers over a long period of time – allowing the buyers and sellers to choose when they’re ready to take action, but helping the real estate agent “be there” when they’re ready.

This is a different business development paradigm for many real estate agents, who expect to work with clients who might be 30-60 days away from a transaction. Therefore, many agents don’t start with the patience to work with prospective customers who don’t immediately do business.

The theory of long-term client cultivation is the “core idea”, but like many good ideas it’s easier to understand in analogy format. Brenda Hakimi, an agent coach at HouseValues, came up with a great business cultivation analogy using