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Spring Forward: Brian Copeland on delivering confident yet humble advice


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This Spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents, and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at

Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how agents and brokerages can all move Faster, Better, Together this July at Inman Connect San Francisco. Not got your ticket yet? Buy them here, and remember that Select members get a $100 discount. Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Brian Copeland from Village Real Estate in Nashville and ask him about the specific tactics he uses to keep his business fresh, and his team successful.

What are the three most effective things you do every day to grow your business?

Community-building: Buyers, especially, want to feel connected to the tribe of people and the things that make a community a community. I’m always searching for ways to build community and daily tasks that do that very thing. Two very tangible things that I do daily is work in one of the 30+ Facebook groups that I run. I’m amazed by the referrals that come through simply connecting people with others like them. The second thing is I’m always out in the real-world community. I serve in numerous volunteer functions that intersect me with amazing people who want someone who is a steward of more than just real estate.

Presence: This is a business of showing up. I’m constantly amazed by the stories of people who tell me that I was the only person to answer my phone, call them back, or email them back. As silly and common sense as this sounds, it’s a deliverable the consumer is saying isn’t happening.

Consistent rhythms: I’m huge on making sure I’m deliberate with my time. I don’t like the term “time management.” When I hear that, you’re telling me that everyone else controls your time and you’re in mid-level supervision over it. I believe in time ownership. I own every second of my day. I know that when 4:30 to 5 p.m. rolls around, I want to be tumbling on the floor with my three and six-year-old. In order to make that happen, I have to have my goals clear each and every day. That means huddles, key performance indicators, metrics, and clear deliverables.

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What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listing presentations?

Presentation is the key word. A presentation is a moment of communications. Many leaders today lack this essential piece of success. Yes, you need to listen. Yes, you need to ask questions. And on top of that, you need to be ready to deliver confident yet humble advice in a way that is persuasive and compelling. Everything I do surrounds a story. The stories must change for each unique seller and situation. Leaders who can present and tell their story most effectively will connect with others.

Driving referrals happens in a multitude of ways. I’m super involved at the local, state, and national level of the REALTOR® organization. When people think Nashville, I need Brian Copeland to be the first name they think of. So many agents are missing the mark by not branding themselves around their marketplace. If you’re not in a popular place like Nashville, then you need align with the brand of your state or geographic region. When I see titles like “Your Real Estate Partner in the Greater Valley Area,” that means nothing to me or the community you may be able to receive a referral from. While it may be a great local tactic, you must be looking at your strategy beyond your home area.

How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?

The biggest mistake we make today is leading the seller to believe that there is one price for their home. There are actually numerous prices they must consider, and as their sales leader, you must be proactive in guiding them through what each pricing metric means.

The comparative price of square footage times price per square footage, in their mind, is the end all be all. They must be educated, however, on the competitive price, the compelling price, the appraisable price, the negotiated price, the post-appraisal price, and the closing table price. When you can show that seller that you’re navigating them through the pricing hurdles they will face, you’re proving your value.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?

It’s ok to know the answer, but allow people to arrive at the answer without pulling them to it.

If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?

Bragging how quickly they sold a home. We get it. The market is hot. But your value IS NOT in your ability to sell a home quickly. When you post on social media, “Under contract in five hours,” you’re telling a consumer, “This is so easy, you should try to do it yourself.” Getting a home sold is just a tiny percentage of your value proposition. Amplifying your speed completely sends the wrong message for what you can bring to the table. If you need to trumpet that you sold a home in order to show people that you are effective, avoid the “I sold this in 3 days,” and concentrate on the statements like “While we were able to negotiate a win-win deal for my client, I’m excited to orchestrate a successful process  to see this seller to the closing table, stress-free.”

Want to connect with Brian? You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also contact Brian at his office address:

Village Real Estate, 2206 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN

Email Matthew Shadbolt

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