When I was 27 I started out in real estate with nothing, not even a vehicle. In order to survive, let alone succeed, I needed to start making money and start making it fast. So the first thing I did was search out agents who carried a lot of listings. I studied them, invited them to lunch and picked their brains to find out what they were doing to get their clients.

They were more than happy to share their tips and techniques with a rookie like myself, especially if that rookie was paying for lunch. Then I took what I learned from them and using my own experiences I developed a series of real estate systems. Using these systems I became No. 1 in Canada with the national franchise I worked with, in my very first year.

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Life changed for me after that. I became a non-selling broker and opened my own real estate firm. I stopped directly selling and started training other salespeople. In no time I passed all my clients along to my salespeople, and taking a back seat to clients, I lost touch with the front line of real estate. I lost myself in speaking engagements and travel and eventually, through misplaced trust, I lost the company I had spent years building. How that happened is another story for another day. Be sure to watch for my upcoming book, Erasing the Lines, an action-packed adventure tale of the ups and downs in real estate and real life.

So, there I was, pretty much right back where I was those many years before, starting over in real estate with nothing, bankrupt, with not even a vehicle because they’d taken my company car. Was I scared? I was terrified, because as we all know, real estate can be tough.

In my 25-year career, I’ve seen literally thousands of people try and make it in real estate, only to fail. Those people came from all walks of life with all kinds of background: rich and poor, old and young, educated and not, male and female. Some couldn’t handle the stress, others couldn’t take the long hours and some just weren’t good dealing with people. All excuses if you ask me, as we all have the ability to sell real estate. As different as all those people were, and as different as their reasons were for quitting, they all had one thing in common: they didn’t know how to secure and maintain clients and if you can’t get clients in real estate, you can’t succeed in real estate. Simple as that.

So that’s what I needed, clients, people looking to buy or sell, and I needed to get them soon or I’d sink like a deal with a leaky roof and a low credit rating. Luckily, there was one thing I never lost and that was the systems I created way back when. I took them out, dusted them off and wondered if they’d still work in a world that had changed so much since I first developed them.

There was only one way to find out and that was try them and see what happened. Before I did that, I tweaked them so they’d be as easy to use on social media as in the real world. Did they still work? Well, let’s just say that right now I’m carrying 52 listings including a subdivision. In the first quarter of 2017 I’ve written 26 sales. That’s all while being an independent brokerage that’s not a part of any major company with their backing. So, yeah, I think my systems still worked just fine. In fact they work absolutely amazing! In today’s fast past paperless word I’d say they even work better.

If you can carry that many listings and close that many deals, you’re not just doing something right, you’re doing it right over and over again. That’s what systems do; they take the thinking out of a big part of your job so you can concentrate on other things, like talking clients off of ledges when they get too stressed. These systems have also allowed me the freedom to pursue my public speaking, which I dearly love. This month I’ll be appearing in Toronto for a national franchise.

Here in REM over the next few months I’ll be sharing the systems I created – listing systems, FSBO systems, expired listing systems, buyer systems, systems for every part of your real estate career.

The systems that made me successful not only the first time round but also the second time around. The systems I’ve created, if followed, will work for you just as well as they work for me. When it comes to success it’s all systems go!


  1. Hello Debbie I sure need some new systems in my life I would like to know when will the sharing begins.
    Congratulations on doing again.

  2. Hi Debbie, if and when you decide to share the systems I would love to get them and use them in my real estate practice.

    • Hello Sanjinc
      We will be making our systems available this September. Please contact me at [email protected] so Incan add you to the email list and you will be notified once they are ready
      Have a remarkable day


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