SHIFT by Gary Keller Complete Summary (shift right now!)

In this article, I will share with you the complete book summary of SHIFT by Gary Keller, author of the best-selling books the millionaire real estate agent and the millionaire real estate investor. 

Gary Keller started his journey as a real estate agent. Over time, he has built the biggest real estate company in the world, Keller Williams, with a total valuation of over $517 Billion. His famous quote says:

  • It is not about the market. It is about what you do.

The book SHIFT by Gary Keller shares his struggling story and how he made it through despite the big market crash in 2000 and 2008. If you are an agent, and you are facing a disaster in your business that you have never expected, then this is the book you should read to help you overcome those difficult times and move your business towards success.

Table of Contents

SHIFT by Gary Keller Complete Book Summary

This book is written for agents who are struggling to get enough leads, sell their properties, and generate income during a difficult time or a time of market crash. This book will help them out. He says:

  • Shifting both your thinking and tactics will accelerate ahead of the rest.

SHIFT means to shift your mindset and your business in a way that generates leads and sales for you. That is the whole concept of the book SHIFT by Gary Keller. Here the author Gary Keller shares 12 steps to shift as a real estate agent and how build an empire like Keller William Realty.

1) Get Real, Get Right

The book Shift by Gary Keller is all about mindset. Make up your mind. Change your mindset. For example, when the market goes down, or anything unexpected happens to your business, don’t be afraid of it. That is the first thing you should do, as Gary Keller says. Then ask yourself why did this happen? And what can I do to make it right?

Look, there is a time for every business that faces extreme pressure and setbacks. In that time, don’t be afraid of what will happen. Analyze your business data and try to find a Breaktrgough Point. By which you can make it right. It is all about mindset. That is why the author said, Get Real and Get It Right. 

He is advising you to think logically, not emotionally. Make some changes to your business, and plan differently in order to get more leads. You can use the 80/20 rules to filter the profitable 20% sales and then focus on that 20% only. That is one way to do it. So find a Breakthrough Point and change your tactics to overcome the market crash.


2) Re-Margin Your Business

Now, look at your expense. How much are you spending to run the business? Look closely and understand the importance of every expense you make every month, according to your current situation. Then try to cut some spending down in order to increase your profit.

When analyzing the whole expense in your business, you will find some extra spending habits that are not necessary at the time, and if you remove them, they will not harm your business. Expenses like:

  • Excessive advertisements (online and offline)
  • New employee hires
  • Services charges

All these can add extra costs to you every month. Check them carefully and then reduce them if possible. But do it carefully. Because it can backfire if you do it wrong without making a priority list.

A Special tip direct from the Book Shift by Gary Keller

In the book SHIFT by Gar Keller advises us to increase your advertisement cost during a market crash, don’t reduce it. Because when the market slows down, companies will withdraw their advertisements from the streets and from social media, also to reduce their expenses. And that is the right thing to do.

But, if you wish to beat the competition, you must increase advertisements, not reduce them. When there are few advertisements on the street, people will notice them, and you will pay less money for advertising your business both online and offline.

Look, advertisements equal leads. How do you expect to get more real estate leads if you cut it down? That is why the author Gary Keller says, advertise more in the time of market crash if you can handle the expense, obviously.

If I talk about myself, I have also seen it on the street during the time of the pandemic. In the area, I live (Kolkata, India), there were full of ads on the streets. But when the pandemic hit, I saw fewer ads on the streets. Only big companies were doing it, and they were generating leads. You also have seen this in your area, I think.

So, reduce your expenses but know if you cut your required advertisements, your business will receive fewer leads. That can damage your reputation and business in the long run. It is up to you what you are going to do.

3) Do More with Less

You have to find a way to use the Leverage. Try to build a network with fellow agents in your area or a different state that can give you some extra leads. 

For example, a client wants to buy a house in a different city but came to you to help them find it or show them the way, as you have proved a trustworthy person in their eyes, and they don’t want to get scammed in the process.

So you will send that lead to your friend based in that city, and he will handle the client for you. In return, he will give you a little referral commission. 

This idea can also work vice versa. Many real estate agents use this Leverage of Network to increase their leads and income. Plus, during a market crash, you can take out loans to expand the business as banks will be ready to give a business loan with low interest. You use this Leverage to get ahead of the competition.

  • Leverage is always the game-changing factor in any business if you know how to use it. 

So find a way to do more with less with the power of the Leverage.

4) Find the Motivated Seller

The book SHIFT by Gary Keller says, in every market, properties do sell. But during a crisis, home buyers are looking for a property that will cost them a little less. If they find it, they will buy it, and you will get your commission.

That is why you should find a motivated seller who will sell his property or house below market value. But why? Because he has some problems that he wants to fix as soon as possible. Here are a few reasons people can sell their homes below market value.

  • He got stuck in a foreclosure
  • Death of family members
  • Want to shift into a different city
  • He can not repair the house
  • He wants to get rid of it anyway.

If you can find a seller who has one of these problems, he will sell the house for below market price. You just approach him and help him sell his house. That’s all. You will receive your commission during a market crash. Isn’t it super amazing?

But identifying these kinds of leads is difficult. That is why filter your marketing companies in order to attract those customers. It is difficult. But it works. Let’s see how you can find those leads.


5) The 3C of Lead Generation

To generate quality leads, you need to know how to use the 3C of lead generation techniques in your business, and those 3C are:

  • Capture
  • Connect
  • Close

First, capture leads using advertisements, networks, or referrals, and then connect with them. Follow their social media, like it, and leave a comment. Let them know you know them and care about them.

In between those times, promote your listings in a way that don’t disturb them. The book Shift by Gary Keller says if you are approaching a new customer, promote your listing eight times a year. Don’t do it more than that. If you know that person well, you can do it up to 32 times a year. They will not feel disturbed.

That way, you will build relationships with them day by day. It will create a quality lead for you when they ask you to show them a good house to buy. If they want to sell, then also this will work.

After all these, you can hit for the close. Show your client their dream home, help them choose the best one for them within their budget, answer their questions, solve their problems and then motivate them to sign the contract with the seller, and you will have your commission as a real estate agent.

If you use this 3C of lead generation, no one can stop you receive continuous leads also during a crisis. You just have to work actively on the relationship for a lifetime. That is the primary criteria of this plan.

But are there any other ways to capture genuine leads than advertising and another expensive way? Yes, there is as explained in the book Shift By Gary Keller, and that is using the power of WEB, the internet. Here is how. 


6) Catch People on Your Web

Everyone uses the internet, social media, and emails today. Use all of them to capture leads. Create pages on every social media platform and post beautiful house designs, interior designs, and a virtual video tour as short videos on TikTok and Instagram Reel.

You can use videos on YouTube to inform your buyers what they must do to sell their houses fast without any scams. All these will create trust between you and the client. And in the future, this will ultimately convert into a quality lead if you do it with patience.

If you don’t have a website or blog, create one and capture emails from that using a powerful lead magnet. Like, Download a free PDF. People love kinds of stuff. They will be happy to give you their email to receive the free download.

You can use all of these to capture more real estate leads. I have written a whole article about real estate lead generation check that out, where I have shared 30 unique ideas for real estate agents to capture leads.

7) Price Ahead of the Market

The book Shift by Gary Keller explains, there is always an emotional attachment to a house that every owner has. He will not sell the house below that price under any circumstances. For example, he will say I have built this house from scratch inch by inch, worked hard for it, and this was my dream house. I will not sell it below $200,000.

On the other hand, the man who wants to purchase the house will say $200,000 is over my price. I will pay $150,000, not a single penny more. Talk to the seller. Let him know that is my final price. 

In that case scenario, you have to understand the market price of those kinds of homes in that particular area and then remove the emotion by talking to them continuously. 

Help them understand why the price of $200,000 is way too high, and $150,000 is way too low. Make them believe that no one will be ready to buy or sell a house at that price. That is their heart talking. Help them think with their brain.

Your primary work here is to price the property correctly. So that does not affect both parties, like $175,000. At that price point, no party will show negative emotion, and probably, they will say yes.

Sometimes, the seller may ask for $5,000 more. The buyer is not ready to give it. In that case, don’t let it slip out of your hand. Use your negotiation technique and settle it. Don’t get exhausted and handle the situation calmly. 

Look, my friend, that is your commission waiting for you. You have to try it once again. Price the house correctly, and the property will sell.

8) Stand Out from the Market Competition

The best way to start out from the competition is to design the house beautifully. Stage it in a way that looks like heaven. Primarily focus on the first 15 seconds of their visits.

The first impression is everything in this real estate business. The maximum clients will make the most decision in that 15 seconds, is this good property for us or not. Do whatever you can to make that 15 seconds of their visit unforgettable.

If you are creating photos and videos or any architectural design, use high-quality pictures and 4k videos and show those on a big screen, not on a small laptop screen. Build a room for it in your office that looks like a movie theater, and help them feel like they are living there. They have just bought the house.

You can use VR for a better impression. Most agents do this nowadays. Focus on your first impression, and the competition will never touch you. You will become a leader in that market.


9) Overcome Buyer Reluctance

Most clients will say, I have this problem, we are not financially capable now, this is out of our price, or let us think a little, then we will let you know. Customers will say these exact words, and you have to overcome all of them. Otherwise, most of them will not buy a house from you, and you will lose your commission.

To overcome this problem, create a sense of urgency in their brain. Like, the stock is limited, and everyone wants the house. If you don’t take it, I don’t know if it will be available in the market for long. 

You can also say the market is 10% down. Grab it while you have the chance. After a few months, the price might increase, and that will become tough for you. I advise you to take the hit now, and you can choose to pay the money using an EMI option.

  • Create an urgency.

You can use any tactics, any other plans just to make them feel there is a shortage of this product in the market. 

People always run for those things that are shortage in supply. It is pure influence, Robert Cialdini talks about this in his book Influence The Psychology of Persuasion. You can read that book to understand this better. 

Urgency will create a tremendous effect on those buyers. They will feel like we will miss once in a lifetime opportunity if we don’t take it. Most clients will call you within a week if they are ready financially. It is way more powerful than you think. Use it.

10) Use Creative Financing

The biggest setback your clients will face during a crisis is the lack of money to buy a house. They want a home loan but can not find a good lender that matches their budget.

A lot real estate investors says, go to his bank or approach those guys. They will help finance your house. But that is not the right thing to do. Gary Keller says you take complete responsibility for their total financing game.

Find the best loan option with the lowest interest possible and do all the documentation. Face all the hassle your client could face if they try to do it themselves. 

That way, you will save them a lot of time, and they can buy their dream home. A win-win situation for both. Most agents don’t do it, but Gary Keller says you must do it, especially during a crisis. Your sales will increase automatically.

Your clients will ask you different finance questions before taking the loan. Answer then properly. If you can’t call some expert and let him speak to them.

The point here is that you must help your client in every way possible. So that they don’t hesitate anymore to buy their dream home. That’s what a millionaire real estate agent does. Do it, and your sales will increase.

11) Master the Market of the Moment

The moment is everything in a real estate market. There are some moments when people want to buy more houses, and sometimes they want to sell them. 

For example, from 2008 to 2012, the prices of an average house were 10% – 20% less. Investors were super interested in buying more homes. That was the time for buying.

But after the recovery, they want to sell it. It was the time for selling. The same thing happened in this pandemic. But now, in 2022, the market is improving slowly despite the housing prices increase in the US. People are buying homes, according to researchers.

The author says you have to identify those moments and then focus on those types of customers more. You will have more sales. That’s guaranteed. Remember, this idea may not work in every area, but you can test it.


12) Bulletproof Your Transactions

The last thing the author suggest in the book Shift by Gary Keller is that you make sure you get paid, and the property sells under any circumstances. Sometimes your clients will try to avoid the deal after it was signed for a reason they have, and they don’t wish to disclose that.

If you did not set up an Escrow, the deal might not be successful, and you will lose the commission money. That is why setting up an Escrow for that particular transaction is important. But, what is this Escrow?

What is An Escrow

An Escrow is a middleman company that confirms that in any circumstances, the deal happens. If both parties signed the escrow document and agreed that the buyer is going to make the payment by 20th Dec, then he has to pay it. The Escrow company will take care of it. 

If they don’t, the Law will fine him a huge amount of money, or he will face big legal problems. Escrow is important when dealing in real estate to make your transaction bulletproof. Use it and help yourself.

Last Words

Now you know how to tackle a down market as a real estate agent. Here are the points that you need to follow if you want to get more leads and sales as explained in the book Shift by Gary Keller.

  • Know that shift will happen, and the market will crash. But you have to be prepared for it. Change your mindset first, and then use a different plan to deal with it.
  • Look for ways to reduce your expenses by not cutting the required advertisement that is driving leads to your business. Do it carefully. Use the 80/20 rules to filter out.
  • Don’t reduce advertisements during a crisis. Increase them in a way that don’t hammer your profit.
  • Use more and more of the Leverage from other agents and your network to get leads in the time of need.
  • Keep the hope alive and motivate yourself. Something will work out. Be patient. Remember Gary Keller’s quote, Anyone can do it, but not everyone will.
  • Use your resources at full scale and try to get more leads, more sales, and more income.

Follow these ideas, and you will survive any market crash.


So that was the complete book summary of SHIFT by Gary Keller. I hope it helped you as a real estate agent to tackle tough times. If you are experiencing a difficult situation, use these formulas to get out of it. Thanks for reading. Read other book summaries on our site. See you soon.

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