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You’ve been told to stay “top of mind” so that you get more real estate clients but what exactly does that look like?

What does that even mean?

“How do you stay “top of mind”?

How do you stand out from the crowd especially with all of the noise that is going on everywhere right now?

That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode of the #RIBBIT show.

I’m Christina Ethridge with Leads and Leverage and I help real estate agents create more time, make more money and enjoy the journey.

Have you heard this before?

Do you struggle with trying to figure out what that means? What that looks like?

Does it mean more stuff?

Does it mean less stuff?

What’s The Realtor Translation for “Top of Mind?”

So I received a questions inside one of our groups and that question was…..

"What are the best real estate newsletters to stay “top of mind?"

If you know anything about me I was like ehhhhhhh because the Realtor translation, like let me translate that question for you.

That question was actually written. What are the best real estate newsletters to stay “top of mind?” but here’s the actual translation.

This is what the Realtor means when they said this. I’ve been told I need to stay “top of mind” and I think that means sending an email or a snail mail so what vendor can I use that will send these emails or snail mails FOR ME?

Like seriously, seriously and then the leap in logic begins when we’re thinking that as a Realtor. If I put things in front of people they’ll remember me when they’re ready to buy or sell so putting things in front of people equals clients, right?

That’s what we’re going to dive into today because in the real world, the real world truth is “top of mind” is a MYTH at least the way we’re executing on it is. 

Sally was told that she heard “top of mind” when she first started but what I was told to do was SUPER ineffective. I mean ineffectual! I don’t even know if any of those were words.

“Top of Mind” As We Know It Is A Myth

So the real world truth of this is that “top of mind” as we know it is a myth.

It is a beautifully coined phrase that unfortunately lives in the world of fantasy. If you’ve ever seen the TV show “Once Upon a Time” it’s like fantasy creatures brought to the real world. Well “top of mind” is living in fantasyland.

We can’t even remember what we ate for breakfast let alone who we should use for real estate.

I mean think about it from restaurants to movies two very close to my heart, restaurants to movies. You see the ad for it on TV or you see a mention like for movies or you see a mention for a restaurant or you see a new restaurant going up but you forget about it when you’re faced with making a choice immediately.

I’m hungry. Where do you want to go eat? Where do you to go? What are the new restaurants we talked about?

I don’t remember. Do you remember? No? Let’s go to Applebee’s. No we don’t eat at Applebee’s but that’s what people end up doing. People go to what they know. Applebee’s, Chilli’s, Red Lobster. The chain stuff, right? And then we’re like “Oh, yeah we should have gone and done that. “

Same with you. We default to the standards that we set when we aren’t intentional so how can you expect anything that you do or send out to stay “top of mind” with your customer when it’s something so mundane and so infrequent as using your real estate services?

Like we can’t ever remember for a restaurant or a movie. How are we going to remember it for a real estate agent?

And we get mad when in the moment they go to an open house and they think “hey let’s buy a house now” and they use the agent that is there at the open house or they use the builder or they call a listing and do that.

”Like dude you know I’m a real estate agent right?” and they’re like “Oh yeah. . .” and you think they don’t love you they can’t stand you because they forgot.

No. It’s because we can’t even remember what restaurant we want to go to or what movie we want to watch. It’s because “top of mind” doesn’t exist unless you’ve done something or are something to them so valuable that you are who they remember. There is a very big difference.

We noticed this. I’ve noticed this about ourselves which is why I’ve done the geeky thing. I’m not like necessarily a detailed data person but I have done this for restaurants and movies.

I actually have a note in Evernote that I can put on my watch from my phone anywhere I’m at.

I have restaurant names so every time I see an announcement of a new restaurant or just happen to hear about a restaurant, I’m like “Ooh, let go try that.”

I put that on my list and then when we’re like let’s go out to eat where’s somewhere new, I go look at my list and that’s why we get to explore all these new things and we remember them because I have set myself up to not have to remember them, right?

And movie names. I get frustrated. I watch movies so infrequently that when I do go sit down to watch a movie most of the time I end up not watching anything because the search to find a movie is like ridiculous.

I spend half hour to 45 minutes trying to find a movie and I’m like “eh, none of these are interesting” so I have a movie list. That’s me. I’ve created a routine.

I can’t remember that in the moment when we’re faced with going out to eat we end up sticking to our defaults like I said. If I didn’t have a list available I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t go there.

So again, how can we expect people to figure these boring things like real estate, financial planning and taxes, all of these things. How can we expect people to remember us and want to use us if we’re not actually providing value that keeps us involved in their lives, right?

So What Does Stay “Top of Mind” Actually Mean?

Because whatever, actually what does stay “top of mind” for you?

What does actually stay “top of mind” for you?

Whatever you need to do in the next few minutes?

Maybe, if you’re like most of us or like me you’ve walked into a room and can’t even remember that right?

So unless you’re like me and you have to write everything down because there is so much bombarding you that it takes an amazing amount of work to remember things. That brings stress on the body so I have really, really gotten to writing everything down which is why I love Evernote because I don’t even have to remember what list it’s on. I just have to do a search for that one thing and it pops up wherever it’s at.

But I do aggress. Basically top of mind is a myth and it’s an excuse. Whatcha talking about Christina?

Name that movie reference or TV reference. “Whatcha talkin bout Christina?” It’s an excuse to not learn anything about building a business, to not learn anything about your ideal audience. It’s an excuse to not actually truly be focused on building a business. That is why top of mind is a myth and it’s an excuse.

You knew I was going to dive into this, right? As I go into this space of our actions, our mind set, the marketing crap that we spew out of our mouths that we’re doing that doesn’t actually work. It doesn’t actually work. It’s like a phrase that we’ve learned and we’ve all learned it.

We’ve all said it.

We’ve all done it but I think when we refuse actually think about what does “top of mind” mean? What does it look like? I think we do that because well we don’t know but we hear everybody else talking about it so we’re like it  must be something. I just have to learn what that is. I’m here to tell you it’s nothing.

Doing things hoping that they will help you “stay top of mind” in your prospects mind is an excuse to hand off the most important element of building your real estate business. And when I say “doing things” I mean stuff like I got to “stay of mind” so I got to have this newsletter so I’m going to hire somebody, etc.  

It’s an excuse to not dive in and dig deep and learn how to connect with people on the platforms they’re on. The way you connect with people now is not just face to face. Even when it was face to face, I’m telling you right now, even when it was face to face and there weren’t platforms like this, the same percentage of real estate agents failed in the business because they wanted to out source relationships, seriously.

They didn’t want to have to go and actually dig in and get to know people. They just want to sell their crap. They want to puke sales post all day long. They just wanted to just throw stuff out there. They wanted to go and shake a hand and get a deal. So all of this is an excuse to not to dive in and dig deep and learn how to connect with the people and build a business.

It’s a way of trying to look at being a real estate agent as just a job with a checklist.

Return calls: 
Paid vendor to send my emails: 
I paid a vendor to send my newsletters: 
I paid a vendor “to do Facebook” for me: 
I paid to put an ad in the golf course flyer: 
I went to a brokers open: 
I turned in paperwork: 

That is NOT a business. 

If you’re expecting to build a business from checking off all of these things because you hired somebody to do this or do that and you actually expect to help people with arguably the single biggest transaction of their entire lives, you are delusional.

All of these checks are doing nothing for your business.


Because you’re treating this like a job with a task list and it’s not. You are building a business. Yeah, we’re gonna return phone calls, yeah we have to do paperwork, yeah, yeah, yeah, but all the other stuff where we think we can just check and outsource all this stuff, delusion. You’re living in a land of fantasy.

I have to tell you right now it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you’re living there because that is what our industry is teaching us, that what our industry is showing us. We hear people, We see vendors. We do it, totally, totally understandable why you’re there but if you just want to do tasks, please go join a team and do the tasks.

There is nothing wrong with that. There is no shame in it but you’re lying to yourself and you’re frustrating yourself. You’re creating stress in yourself if you think that I should be getting clients and deals and whatever just doing these tasks.

It’s just frustrating and if that’s where you want it to be like “I just want it to be sequential and I want it to be systematic” then go join a team.

That’s a good space to be in, a good thing to do but you’re not building a business. Don’t expect to be a real estate agent and just check off boxes and expect to build a business from it because you won’t. You will one of the 87% that fail out in 5 years or less.

So how do you make sure that you are the first person a prospect thinks of when they want to buy or sell real estate?

I am going to tell you right now it is not spending more money on more newsletters or spending more money on more ads or spending more money on more, whatever, vendor stuff.   It’s not. You don’t need the perfect magazine or the perfect newsletter. There is no such thing.

You Have To Niche Down

The first thing you have to do, number one, here is the meat and potatoes after the lecture:

Well the first thing you have to do is: You have to niche down. You’re not going to like this. You’re not going to like this because you’re going to be like “but I want to work everyone.” Well of course you want to work with everyone because you’re desperate right now. I get it, totally get it.

I struggle with that every single day of my business. I am told by other people “You know you’ve got a really good message, you should go beyond real estate agents.” Yeah and be like everybody else and be not heard? Be like one of five thousand people who are trying to reach the world through social media? Mmm, well you need to niche down.

Are you a listing agent or a buyers agent? Yes, you can do both, but you can’t sell both and expect people to remember you. People need one focus and one thing to remember you by. Which one are you? Name it and claim it.

When you’ve niched down between buyers and sellers, go even farther. I can already tell you, oh I can hear your brains, I can hear your minds right now, I know exactly what they’re saying, “but, but, but, but, but. . . that means I can’t . . .I’ll lose business.”


The message that you’re going to put out there is going to be very focused, very targeted, very, very focused and targeted so people know and remember who you are and what you do because Christina Ethridge real estate agent is just like every other two million real estate agents in the country, blah, blah, blah real estate agent and blah, blah, blah Realtor. That’s exactly the same, zero reason and NO!…creating a little tagline is not going to help you either. It’s not going to.

When you’ve niched down, I mean do you remember “The Condo King”? “The Condo King” in Philly or Chicago, there’s one in Philly. I am specifically referring to the one in Philly, “The Condo King.”

Hello! Is that a niche?  He only works, well he put out the message he only works downtown condos and he is “The Condo King.”

I am here to tell you that in downtown Philly there is a heck of a lot of more than just condos. There’s row houses, there’s single family homes, there’s luxury homes, there’s all kinds of stuff in there but he does other business besides just condos but that’s what he chose to niche down to. I am this “condo king ” He lists them. He’ll works with buyers but he is the listing agent for condos everybody knows who to refer to.

“Selling your condo? Go to The Condo King.”

“Oh you’re buying a condo? Yeah you probably should go to him.”

“Oh you’ve got a luxury home?” They end up thinking about The Condo King even though he is really good he might not do luxury homes but try him anyway so he gets it all.

When you’ve niched down between buyers and sellers go even farther. Do you work with seniors or first time buyers? Homes or condos? Waterfronts or ranches?

Yes, you need to be known for something very specific in order to grow big. You’re not saying no to the other business. You’re saying YES to this focus, you’re saying YES to going viral, you’re saying YES to people going “Hey, that’s who you want to go to.”

I have been working on that. What do I want to be known for in the real estate industry? I help real estate agents create more time, and make more money and enjoy the journey and I do that through helping them with Facebook.

So when people are like, there are other “experts” Facebook people in the real estate world. They have a different outlook on this than I do. My focus is creating more time and making more money. You can leverage Facebook doing that so I need to niche mine even more,  I am working on that.

Create & Build Relationships

Second, number two, you’ve got to create and build relationships and you need to do it and with the invention of social media this process is so much easier. You can scale it on the big. You have it so much easier than I did 15 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago when we were really going.

You have it so much easier.

It is so much easier to become an influencer in your community via social media than ever before but most people think that it’s harder because they’ve never understood that business is actually about people and people connect with other people.

People do not connect with logos or slogans or brands, generic emails, generic newsletters. They connect with people.

Now, some of you might be going “What about the Nike, Just Do It?” Yeah well Nike put out billions of dollars of ads and stories. The reason people connect with “Just Do It” is because they connected with the stories of people who “Just Did It” so now that phrase is apart of our jargon right?

That is really just a brief example. They brought in people to connect with people, so you’re connecting with their brand and company because the people connect with you. Their stories resonated with you.

And here’s the thing, people connect with people and quite frankly people are very self centered. We all are. Everything we do and are interested in is about us. You’re like “No, no, no I volunteer, I do this, I do that. . “ Yeah, but it’s about you. It is. It’s about what resonates with you. It’s about what is powerful to you. It’s about what you’re passionate about. That’s what I mean when I say it’s about you.

They’re not going to be interested in you until you’re interested in what interests them so what interests your prospects that you can contextually connect with your business?

How can you help them move through life and be a valuable resource for them?

How can you stop making noise and start actually helping and serving so that they see you, they hear you, they know you?

I am asking you these questions to get your brain juices flowing. I want you to stop looking for someone else to provide the answer for you because there is no perfect answer.

You are you. You know you better than yourself and you darn well better know your ideal clients better than they know themselves and I want you start getting to know your ideal clients.

What do they love about where you all live? Start with what you love, truly love. Dig into it.

Stop telling me “Oh there’s nothing to love about here, it’s boring. It’s dull.” Figure it out. Find the good in it. Find the amazingness in living in the middle of nowhere. Find the amazingness of living in Detroit where everybody is vacating where all the car places were.

Find that amazingness and share it. Connect with people who are there. People are there intentionally. Sure there are people who are not there intentionally but just stop using the excuse there’s nothing good about it. Then get your butt out of there and go somewhere else.

Like I guess today I’m really not into hearing excuses anymore. Do you know why?

Because I am really giving myself my own booty kicking and I’ve shared a lot of this. We talked about this in the members group earlier this morning but I am done with excuses.

See one thing Dave Ramsey, love him or hate him, it doesn’t matter, one thing he says that is just absolutely amazing is that nobody is going to defeat the debt or change the habit or behavior until they get so mad at it that they make the changes they need to make. They become mad at it and change it.

So you are not going to succeed using social media for your business or anything online for your business until you just like get so mad at not succeeding.

What do your people love about where they live? What questions are they asking in their heads and in their homes and in their communities and in their lives?

In other words get your butt out there and listen. Stop trying to sell. Just shut up and listen. Yeah, that’s what it is!

It means we actually have to listen to people and we can’t just sell them you know what: S H I T. We can’t just sell them crap. We can’t just sell them our services because quite frankly real estate agents, Realtors, you’re a flipping dime a dozen, and I realize that we go through hundreds of classes and hundreds of things saying, “No, you’re unique, no you’re valuable, you’re needed and do this, do your USP and do that. . .”

I’ve been through them all too but here’s the reality. The consumer sees you as a dime a dozen. What’s the difference? And that’s why we spend time trying to write our USP (our unique selling proposition) or our tagline or our logo or do something creative and we don’t spend time getting to know the consumer and building a relationship with them.

Huh…is it any wonder 87% of agents are out of the business in 5 years or less and our industry is helping that happen.

Let’s Recap

Yeah so what do you need to do first?

Again, number one, you need to niche down. That’s number one.

You need to be known for something very specific in order to grow big.

Number two, you’ve got to create and build relationships. Period, plain and simple. You’ve got to figure out how you can stop making noise and start actually helping and serving so that they see you, they hear you, they know you. They want to be connected to you.

I want you to stop looking for someone else to provide the answer for you because there is no perfect answer. I want you to start getting to know your clients. In other words get your butt out there and listen. Stop trying sell. Just shut up and listen.

What Are You Going To Change Starting Today?

I want you to tell me what was the most useful for you today? What do you totally disagree with me on? What do you totally agree with me on? What do you think you’re going to change starting today in your business to get away from the myth of “top of mind” and become a valuable person, resource, etc. for your clients?

Anesha is totally spot on with this. Future consumers especially Gen Z and millennials, they can smell fake a mile away. They can totally. They want a real connection with you.

This is why, this is why I am revealing more of myself, more of my struggles, more of what I am going through in life because there is somebody out there that can relate.

This why you need to be sharing. You know if you don’t like something about your town do it in a way that helps people love your area, help people love real estate agents because believe me it helps us all.

Yes Sally, talk to people and find out what they want.

Sally said she is referring to people just throwing up stuff to put in front of people….Noise. “ Top of mind” noise. It was just lazy. It didn’t require me to invest myself so I got nothing.

This is a big key.

When you’re not investing your time and I realize that people outsource, outsource, outsource but I’m here to tell you it is not possible to outsource a relationship. Period.

If you want to build a business that has “Come list me” phone calls and a business that has low stress and a business that is consistent, a business that makes it through the market shift and guys, I have been through multiple market shifts and arguably the biggest one in our history. Not the depression but the recession. I have been through it and excelled through it in real estate.

I know what I am talking about and if you want to do that, you have to build relationships. You have to, absolutely and I’m not talking about you have to personally know every single person. You don’t have to personally get a birthday card out to every single person. You have to understand what your ideal consumer wants, needs, what they’re going through and help them.

Right now, I am talking to hundreds of you, like maybe 10-20 on this live right now but in replay I am talking to hundreds of you. I am building relationships with hundreds of you. You can do the same thing. It does not just have to be one to one which is why social media is so flipping amazing because I can get to know so many of you, your questions, what you share in the comments that helps me  help you so what are you doing to reach out and get to know your people?

Sally said,

"What I’ve been doing since learning from you has already yielded results!"

I love that and even if that doesn’t get a sale or a closing you feel good, you know you’re in the right space, you know you’re in the right head space, you know you’re in the right heart space, you know that you’re actually giving value and it is amazing what it does.

You all are amazing. This is like the whole show, right now through it so it’s a butt kicking but it’s an actual two step thing that you need to do to actually become…I don’t like the word “top of mind” because it not true but become so valuable to someone that they could never consider using anyone else. That’s what you’re going for: Value.

You want to be VALUE.

Yes Mari,” #notpossibletooutsourcerelationship needs to be on t-shirts, baseball caps, key chains! Love it!!!”

It’s not possible. We need to figure something out for that. That’s funny. That’s awesome.

“Not sales or closing.” Yes, no, you need to learn how to “close the deal” but it’s really easy when you’re in a relationship with someone because here’s the thing.

When people trust you, they trust you and when you say yes, this a good house, this is a good thing, you should get this now, they listen because they know that when you tell them “No, you shouldn’t do this one” because you’ve told them that.

You’ve taught them what’s good, what’s not, what’s real, what’s fake. You’ve taught them that. You’ve taught them what to listen to through whatever you’re doing to build that relationship with them so when it comes down to it, they listen to you and they do what you say.

 With great power comes great responsibility. 

Don’t be a knob head and don’t tell them to go buy things or do things that are just to benefit you, okay? Don’t be a knob head about it but you do need to.

That’s how you build a relationship when people call you and say “come list me”, they trust you on the price, they trust you on your commission, they trust you on the process, they trust you on the time frame, they trust you on all of that because you’ve built trust with them over time.

Have an incredible day today and I will see you on our next episode of the #RIBBIT show.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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