Whether you’re a fan of Bravo’s hit reality TV show Million Dollar Listing New York – and whether or not you’re in the real estate business – you may have heard some of the hoopla surrounding the new book by America’s #1 Real Estate Sales Person, Frederik Eklund. As it happens, I am a real estate broker and a big fan of both MDLNY and Frederik Eklund. So what’s in his new book, and does it live up to the hype? Here now is a A Realtor’s Review of The Sell by Frederik Eklund.
Let me preface this by saying that I have never reviewed a book before. I can’t even remember the last time I did a book report – probably back in Junior High, over 30 years ago. Please forgive me if I’m not as thorough and insightful as a professional reviewer might be. 🙂
Before I get into it, I’d like to explain why I’m a fan of Frederik. I’ve been watching the Million Dollar Listing shows for years – first Los Angeles, then New York, and for a couple of episodes, Miami. As I watch these agents, I’m frequently appalled by their lack of professionalism and the shabby way they handle their fiduciary responsibility to their clients. I’ve seen them accept listings they know are overpriced, yet tell their clients they’ll bring in that price. I watch as they weakly negotiate deals and overall add very little value, especially considering they are often paid well into the six figures for the commissions on these deals.
But Frederik is clearly a cut above. From what I can tell, he is actually spot on with his pricing, and does (usually) get the clients the price he says he will deliver. He’s forceful and direct, but he appears at least to be unfailingly polite and listens to his clients. He’s funny and quirky, and not afraid to show it. One thing I especially admire is his apparent ability to get record-setting prices for his listings, at values well above recent comparable sales. This after all is the reason you hire a Realtor in the first place, to get you more money for your home.
I’ve read a lot of books about selling real estate, but Frederik’s book isn’t really about selling real estate par se. It is ostensibly about selling, period. It is however not about sales – there’s very little in here about marketing, prospecting, advertising, follow up, lead conversion – none of that. Rather, the book is largely a collection of life hacks that Frederik uses to always be at the top of his game, always ready to make the sale. There are lots of anecdotes from his childhood and the early years in his career, which help you understand a bit about what makes Eklund tick.
There are lessons for sales people in the book, however. Frederik is an absolute master of time management, a trait which is common to high achievers in sales. He has a clear focus, and obviously pays a lot of attention to detail. He’s a master of social networking, and shares some tips for using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram which will be useful to a lot of people in the sales game.
Throughout the book, the voice of Frederik comes through loud and clear – you can imagine him reading it to you. That’s pretty impressive considering it’s very doubtful he actually wrote it, as it’s “co-written” by Bruce Littlefield. It’s a voice that gets inside your head; it’s fun, infectious, and keeps you turning the pages to hear more of it.
Ultimately, The Sell is one gigantic advertisement for Frederik Eklund. He even says in the book: it serves as his business card, because he doesn’t hand out business cards. The primary purpose of this book isn’t to inform others how to sell anything to anybody – it’s about selling Frederik to you.