Ben Kinney - 12/8/2022

"Knowing how to be effective in a competitive market"

Ben Kinney has been named one of the 100 most influential people in real estate by Inman News and the Swanepoel Report. He was also named Inman News’ “Innovator of the Year'' for his work in real estate and technology, and his team has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and Real Trends as one of the top 25 producing real estate teams in the nation.


In July 2004, I was a brand new agent. I only sold six homes the first half of the year. In my second year, I made a commitment to make it work. I did what my team still does today: I had at least two open houses every week, I called expired listings, knocked on doors, bought internet leads and did floor time at my brokerage. I was able to hire my first assistant and I went from selling 25 homes to 84 homes. Before hiring an assistant, I was busy doing all the things that didn't make money. When I hired someone, I had time to call leads and get in touch with them. Your potential is unlocked when you can find something that pays you the most per hour.

There are success principles in real estate, and any agent who does these things can be successful. They will stand the test of time.

  1. Say the right things, and become an expert in your scripts. Show empathy for your customers. When they see that you care, they'll work with you. Communicate with empathy, integrity and with a way that says: I really want to help people experience home ownership.
  2. Say it enough times. Are you willing to set a daily activity goal that will equate to the success you need next year? Break it down: How many phone calls do you need? How many appointments? How many contacts do I need to make? How many Open Houses do I need to have? Early in my career, I made 52 calls per day. On average, this lead to 15/16 conversations and 1 appointment. Know your activity goal and promise yourself to commit to it.
  3. Have a network of people to share these goals with. If you don't have enough leads, host Open Houses to meet new leads and knock on doors.

When you transition from being an agent to a business owner, there is another important principle: Move into leveraging your time and business by hiring team members and assistants.

Think about how you can take advantage of what will happen over the next 1-2 years. Listings will become your new expense, and there is an opportunity to collect listings, price effectively and grow your business. If you aren't willing to change, you're going to struggle. Get up and do the work.

If you're doing the duties of the CEO, you'll survive. These are the four key duties:

  1. Spend a portion of your time finding and attracting talent to your business. You need to add talent to survive shifting times.
  2. Get your talent in production quickly. I implemented an 86-day launch plan. What can you do in the first 86 days to guarantee that you’re on path to two closings per month?
  3. What are you doing to make sure the people you are in business with never want to leave? Make your company a place that employees will never want to leave, and focus on retention.
  4. CEO duties: accounting, bookkeeping, HR. CEOs need to have a plan in place so that the business can go up.

Systems make the ordinary become extraordinary. I have gotten some extraordinary results, and it has always been through systems. Work really hard, and be really kind to everybody. Take 5-10 minutes each night and create a plan for the next day. Think about what winning will look like the next day. Keys to success:

  1. Visualize your day when you create a plan the day before - what do I want to accomplish?
  2. Look at your calendar. My goals are to cancel 50% of what's on my calendar every week. Most meetings on your calendar are other people's priorities. I look at my calendar and cancel meetings, cut meeting time in half or reschedule.
  3. Write down priorities for the next day on a piece of paper. Priorities don't land on paper in the correct order. Write them down, and then prioritize them. 
  4. Plan rituals - what will I eat and drink tomorrow? When will I exercise, read and take breaks? For every 90 minutes of focus time, I take a 15 minute break, and repeat this 4-5 times per day.
  5. Schedule time for these key points in your calendar and prioritize them.
  6. Make a mental commitment to stick to your plan tomorrow. Go to bed and feel confident in your plan for the next day. Think about what winning looks like, prioritize accordingly, ask what's important and take breaks.

Make time for people who matter. People follow other people who have confidence, so have confidence in this market and people will follow you.

To get more information from Ben, you can find his listing presentation and scripts on his YouTube channel, and you can hear his podcast here.

Check it out! You won't want to miss this: How to win with OJO and Chris Heller's scripts