You have real estate strengths and weaknesses, just as all agents do. Every person has inborn talents that tie directly to subjects and activities we love. We also have things we don’t do well and probably dislike. And that’s fine, as long as we develop our strengths.
Just as appraisers consider the highest and best use of a parcel of land or a commercial building, we should consider the highest and best use of our self-improvement / educational efforts.
For too much of our lives we’ve been told that we should seek to improve on our weaknesses. But why? Why not spend that time polishing, honing, and further developing our strengths?
- Working on weaknesses can be a colossal waste of time.
- Using that time to build on strengths and hone expertise can pay big dividends.
What are your real estate strengths?
Today, stop and think about all the tasks involved in getting a listing, marketing it, and bringing it to closing. If you only serve buyers, think about all the steps between finding a new client and depositing your commission check.
Make a list (or two) of those tasks, then divide the list into your real estate strengths and weaknesses.
Your real estate strengths are probably the tasks you enjoy doing.
You may enjoy writing your prospecting letters and property descriptions. Maybe you love the face-to-face work of meeting with prospective listing clients. Marketing, blogging, and writing new web pages could be your favorite activities. Perhaps you thrive on negotiating – or doing the research and calculations for a good market analysis. If you’re a natural organizer, you might enjoy keeping all the people involved with closing on task and on track. (Of course this is just a partial list of all the tasks that lead to success.)
How many of the things on that list are things you enjoy and do well? How many are tasks you’d rather avoid, but since they must be done, you feel you must do them yourself?
If the “must do” tasks are not among your real estate strengths…
Should you spend your time trying to learn to do them well, or would it be wiser and more profitable to delegate them?
I think it would be wiser to delegate. Hire a writer, an assistant, and/or a part-time virtual assistant to handle some tasks that you don’t like or don’t do well.
For some things, such as negotiating, you might be better off working in partnership with someone whose strengths balance your weaknesses.
Meanwhile, there is always room to learn more in the areas where your talents and strengths lie.
If you like to write – whether it’s your prospecting letters, your property descriptions, your web pages, or articles for a local newspaper – you can always improve your skills. Take some classes on promotional writing. Collect articles about power words – and use them. Study the psychology of writing sales copy. Read books by well-respected copywriters.
If you enjoy doing market analyses, take an appraisal class and learn all you can about making adjustments.
If you love being face-to-face with clients, learn more about body language – so you never give off the wrong message and do recognize the signs your prospects are inadvertently sending.
I recall worrying about body language when I worked in the winter. I seemed to attract clients who liked to stand outside and talk, and since I was always freezing, I invariably had my arms crossed and shoulders hunched. They say that is NOT friendly body language.
Building on your real estate strengths also applies to choosing clients…
Real estate strengths and weaknesses also apply to the clients you choose to serve. For instance: You may thrive on helping first time buyers, but want to run and hide when it comes to helping a divorcing couple. You may love helping seniors relocate, but dread working with estate executors.
Instead of trying to learn to work with the client situations you don’t enjoy, refer those clients to someone else. Then turn your energies to learning more and better ways to help the clients you DO enjoy. Every niche – and every territory – offers you the opportunity to become THE best and most knowledgeable agent in that niche.
Some weaknesses do need to be overcome.
For instance, even if you have no head for numbers, you must learn how to do net sheets for your clients. I’d say you could have an assistant do them, but if you need to do “what if” changes while discussing a possible counter-offer with a client, you need to know what you’re doing.
It would also be wise to know enough math to be sure you don’t overdraw your bank accounts, and you do put enough aside from each commission to pay your income taxes. (I’ve known agents who didn’t know how to handle those two topics.)
And, if grammar is not your strong suit, you should take some classes so you avoid major bloopers when speaking. Also – even though you can use my prospecting letters and hire me or someone else to write most things for you, you do have to answer emails. Make the effort to learn the fundamentals, because bad grammar does negatively affect some people’s opinion of you.
“Do what you do do well.”
There’s an old song with that line, and it is wise advice. Decide which tasks you like and do well, then continue learning all you can, so that you keep getting better and better at them.
Expertise key courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net
Happy agent Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Agents in class Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net