Does practice really make perfect?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

My Donald has a saying about this and it's "Perfect practice makes perfect"

But what happens if you practice wrong?

 "Practice makes perfect" can be an accurate phrase because the more you do something, you build up that procedural memory and your brain can quickly instruct your muscles to carry it out. That muscle memory doesn't judge whether you're doing good or bad, however, and so if you practice a song poorly for hours on end you're going to be really good at making the same mistakes over and over again.- a quote from How Muscle Memory works and how it affects your Success.

What does this have to do with real estate and being prepared for the busy season you might experience?  Well, everything!

As agents we "practice" real estate and if we practice wrong or poorly then our brains just get used to doing it wrong. So it's my (many hats job) as the broker to make sure that I do it right and that my agents do it right. As the owner/broker in my office I act in many roles.  I've been misidentified as an "assistant" to one of my agents by an agent in another firm and it didn't bother me one bit.  I don't care who anyone thinks I am. I care that my agents get it right for our clients. So we try to incorporate the same methodology my Donald does on the range when practicing with his firearms... perfect practice.  We try to do it right over and over.

I work very hard in my office to keep on the pulse of the market.  I know which direction prices are trending, which direction days on the market is trending. I also know to watch for things that because of a unique out of of the norm property or a simple typo should not be included in the data.

Recently I read a social media post about the price per square foot and days on the market.  Two of the items in the stats were 1) a property with -600 days on the market and another with a price per sq. ft. of $677.  Both made me head out the MLS to see what the deal was.  Well when an agent typed the "contract date" they entered the wrong date.  Because I'm pretty sure a property that went on the market in January did not go under contract 420 days prior to that.  And trust me when I tell you that no property in our market brought $677 a sq. ft.  That property was a 19 acre parcel on the lake that will likely be torn down and 19 acres developed into a best use. But no, that little fishing cabin built in the 70s was NOT the value on that sale and .8 acres is the average size of our lake lots on Sinclair so you can that a 19 acre parcel simply doesn't fist the mold to "average" into the stats.

But making sure that my agents working with sellers are using accurate comps for pricing and making making sure agents working with buyers know not only current pricing, but specifically the average sales to list ratio for the most recently 30 and 60 days, but also for the listing agent.  That's right, I even when it comes time to write an offer look up the agents stats.  If an agent's listings have sold for 96% of list they are pretty good at pricing, however if the listing agent has a 79% sales to list ratio, we simply use that knowledge to our advantage on first offer price. 

Knowing my market, really knowing my market has helped me to help my agents help clients for more than two decades now. The best way to prepare for the busy season in our market is knowing current pricing and trends.

Of course there is more to helping clients than just the numbers. Also very important is:

  • Communication
  • lead generation
  • available technology
  • systems in place

Having agents who can easily adapt to the clients preferred method of communication is key to keeping clients happy. If the client wants to call, we answer, if they want to email we email, if they want to text we text. 

Lead generation is NOT about just having the clients find you and contact you. It's about offering them a product that works and is user friendly and keep them up to date

Technology includes so much stuff, from having an e-signature program that is easy for clients to use to an app that is beyond awesome.  We offer our clients an app that has "insta view". They down the load the app and are driving around or even out on their boat and find a property that they are interested in knowing more about and open the app the bingo... touch insta view and there it is with interior photos and all the details. They can also use the app from work or home and search by address. It also communicates to the agent right through the app if a buyer wants an appointment or has a question.

Our systems are more back end.  We have listing check lists, we have contract check lists, we have buyer follow up checklists and closing day check lists.  We utilize them all.  And our office assistant is amazing at keeping us on task and keeping things running smoothly. She has brought some new office checklists to us that help so much.  She keeps all of our lockboxes giving notifications to the right agents and helps us make sure we have a certain number of "touches" to past clients each year.

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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
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I don't know if "practice makes perfect" but it definitely gives you a competitive advantage.

Feb 10, 2018 02:54 PM #3
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Tammy- you have to practice but if what you're doing is wrong then it makes no difference. It looks like you have everything in place to make sure that you are doing what's right!

Feb 10, 2018 06:23 PM #4
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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 Tammy Lankford, 

Practice does not  make perfection unless it is perfect practicing.

Feb 10, 2018 06:37 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Tammy - yes practice creates habits and we have to make sure that we don't create a bad habit.

Feb 10, 2018 08:03 PM #6
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Margaret's comment is perfect! Really enjoy Donald's comment, and your clarification. Your agents are lucky to have you steering the ship. 

Feb 11, 2018 07:32 AM #7
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tammy. As usual this is funny, true and very focused too. Great insights.

Feb 11, 2018 08:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

When we analyze MLS data, we MUST use accurate information. Otherwise, the information we share with our clients is skewed. We have to look for the abnormalities.

Feb 11, 2018 09:13 AM #9
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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Tammy Lankford, I wish every agent ran their business like a business and had systems and operations in place to facilitate real estate transactions "perfectly". Well done ... a true professional. 

Feb 11, 2018 06:20 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

These are all the reasons why if I had a transfer and buyer I would recommend that they hire you.

Feb 12, 2018 06:08 PM #11
Rainmaker
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JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Learning to do things the right way is very important for sure. If you are practicing the wrong thing it does you no good. The right systems in the right place and proper training may not guarantee success, but it sure does help.

Feb 12, 2018 06:33 PM #12
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Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Tammy,

I am sure, your agents love to work for you.

Feb 13, 2018 07:09 PM #13
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Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Good systems help us provide good service and protect us from all-to-easy errors, especially when we hit a busy streak. We use checklists for every stage from listing through sale.

Feb 13, 2018 07:40 PM #14
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Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Practicing perfectly is only as good as the mentor who is training the skills while measuring the execution and performance that produces best results or winning. Not all teachers are excellent teachers, therefore, it's entirely possible that people cannot be successful because they were trained by inferior mentors. Team performance is only as good as the head mentor and his team of assistant mentors. 

Feb 14, 2018 01:43 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Love this! Well written and great advice! I never thought about "practice makes perfect " that way before!

Feb 14, 2018 04:10 AM #16
Rainmaker
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

Knowledge of your market is an invaluable tool for both Sellers and Buyers.

Feb 14, 2018 04:56 AM #17
Rainmaker
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John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I would not say that practice makes perfect. Practice makes you better.

It is a necessity to keep up with the market. So this becomes an ongoing practice.

Things change so much in Real Estate, we must keep practicing.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Feb 14, 2018 05:51 AM #18
Rainmaker
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Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Tammy Lankford, this is definitely something to ponder. You are what you do. So if you practice poorly then you'll perform poorly.

Feb 15, 2018 07:25 AM #19
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Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I think there are some good phrases you can practice and use--to combat the usual objections.

Feb 15, 2018 09:46 AM #20
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Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Good stuff Tammy Lankford, 

Feb 16, 2018 03:15 AM #21
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Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Tammy, ecellent post and well written. I agree that practice does make perfect or very close to it.

Feb 16, 2018 06:57 PM #22
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Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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