Real Estate Marketing and Sales Essentials: Steps for Success, by Dan Hamilton, surveys a vast array of marketing principles and strategies to equip the up-and-coming agent with the tools necessary to reel in clients –and to keep them coming back. Hamilton focuses on a professional and ethical attitude, which compels the agent to perform at the best of their abilities, and devotes multiple chapters to intuitive approaches to mining for business.

Hamilton is certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission to train agents on a variety of topics ranging from real estate marketing to real estate agency. He also directs training for Century 21 and has owned and operated numerous successful real estate offices himself. Hamilton has been recognized as Top Office Producer, is in the Multi-Million Dollar Club, and has been listed in the Board of REALTORS Top Ten Realtors. The narrative of this book is consistently seasoned with Hamilton’s personal experiences, which are broadly applicable to California agents and brokers.

Being an advocate for higher learning in real estate, Hamilton notes the real estate business is far too often flooded with people expecting to turn a massive profit in just a short period of time with only minimal work. This is where he divides the sheep from the goats; he makes certain the reader knows his book is for people who are serious about a long-term career in real estate, not just a fling.

While Hamilton outlines a variety of sales techniques for agents such as farming, prospecting and getting clients through referrals. He also runs through practical day-by-day habits and prunes the hours of time-wasting activities, replacing them with money-earning practices. The book’s big picture is broad, focusing not just on what to practice, but how to practice. This mentality permeates the smaller venues, such as wardrobe choices, all the way to big-time such events, like as closing negotiations.

The book includes lists and samples of different materials needed for the job, such as property viewing and open house checklists, and scripts that will help defuse a client’s fears, deflect objections, and help agents endear themselves to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers. A real bonus is the exhaustive appendix featuring checklists, worksheets, scripts, a glossary and full alphabetized topical index.

However, Hamilton’s commentary can be over simplistic on occasion, even for newer agents. This is particularly evident in his chapter on financing options which is generic to a fault. Some content is dated as well, such as his sections covering how to harness Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and digital cameras in the real estate profession.

Perhaps the greatest shortcoming is the lack of data to support Hamilton’s points. Most of the information is anecdotal with no hard numbers to prove Hamilton’s methods are steadfast, and without such information, the book loses some of its authority.

Despite these foibles, the book is timeless in its approach to marketing theory, and is calibrated accurately for the true real estate professional. The book is broken up in easy to reference sections with short chapters, but remains visually rather sparse with few photos or flair to engage the reader.

Though Hamilton practices in Texas, his commentary is not specific to just this one niche of real estate. Similarly, though the book was written before the Millennium Boom, the information contained within it is good practice no matter what the market is doing. The book stays laser-focused on the betterment of the individual real estate professional, with little commentary on broader economics or time-specific tips for overcoming the Great Recession. Thus, it operates more like a book of proverbs than a book of prophecy.

Hamilton’s credentials alone should pique the interest of the budding real estate professional. If you are committed to real estate for the long-haul, you are going to need more than dumb-luck to keep the business keg tapped. Hamilton’s book provides a starter kit of marketing strategies to keep you productive and profitable, supplemented with friendly anecdotes to guarantee their retention in your knowledge bank.