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The Short List: Sissy Lappin’s Musts for Every Real Estate Agent

by James McClister

Sissy-Lappin

Sissy Lappin is the broker-owner of Lappin Properties and co-founder of ListingDoor.com working in Houston.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we spoke with Sissy Lappin, the broker-owner of Lappin Properties and co-founder of ListingDoor.com, shared her musts for every real estate agent. 

3. Explain Your Value –Have an opinion and know what you are talking about. You must continue to learn.

I see agents thinking they can specialize in the entire city. Agents are naïve if they think buyers are not extremely educated. If you specialize in everything and your buyer has done analysis of an area, they are going to know more than you. Buyers are on HAR more than I am, and you must add relevance. This is something that is so overlooked. If you do not add relevance, then you have to explain your value to your clients.

You are not there to just email contracts and show a few homes.

2. Ensure Client Satisfaction –I have never had a client go around me. I have the most loyal clients and I am asked this question all the time. In 2008, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Tony Hseih several years ago and he sent me Zappos’ “Culture Book.” I covet this book.

The first page reads: “It is not what you do for someone, it is the feeling you leave them with.” Emotions drive sales!

Since 2008, we have been shifting in how we market. We are no longer going through but have arrived at the conclusion that the mass marketing campaign is dead and individualized marketing is the “IT” way. I call it “the small town feeling.“ This has happened because of Facebook, Twitter. Marketing has become humanized, and so many agents do not get that.

Groupon is a great example of this. Two years ago you thought you were special because you got the teeth whitening for 50 percent off. Now it is perceived as mass marketing no longer has its individual feel; it’s all spam.

It’s a huge culture shift and if you don’t understand it, you are going to lose out.

1. Assemble the Best Affiliates – I will not even go out to lunch with the title company I use. If my client does not get unbelievable service, then the affiliate is gone.

I have used the same painter for 23 years; I use two title companies, one awesome lender. My roofer called me the day after the hurricane and asked if any of my clients needed their roofs tarped. He did not charge them a dime. That is integrity.

They know I will be loyal to them if they treat my clients well. I have never asked for a cheaper paint job or a free roof. I have always paid the same as my client. My affiliates know the rules. I could not do my job with out these guys. I love them.


With over 25 years of experience, Sissy Lappin is one of the most experienced residential brokers in the business. She has successfully marketed over $500 million in real estate.

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