Don't Become An Expensive Coat Hanger

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Exercise MachineYou got to love those late night TV infomercials. Each year it seems they come out with a new exercise machine. The contraptions, and the latest and greatest ones, seem like they change year to year. They have these buff, muscular, attractive young men and women hawking these goods. Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley it seems are everywhere. But you know where most of these great ideas end up don't you? In a corner of some room in your house. Like these machines

   Don't Become An Expensive Coat Hanger.

What I mean by that as real estate professionals, we all take lots of courses for continuing education, take SEO coaching sessions, attend in house Broker training, learn information from ALL sorts of sources. Oftentimes that loose leaf binder goes right on the shelf when we get home.

You have heard knowledge is power. Well they lied. "Applied" knowledge is power. In all the courses you won't retain everything anyway. What is mainly important is what is relevant to your business, your clients, and your life.

Apply what you learn to help others and to help yourself. Don't let your brain turn into an expensive coat hanger.


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  1. Roland Woodworth 09/16/2009 04:29 PM
ActiveRain Community
Texas Denton County Flower Mound
The Art Of Marketing You
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100 Days to Change
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Irene Kennedy RealtorĀ® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


For my recent birthday, I was given an I-Pod. Agonized for 2 weeks about whether to keep or exchange it - because I seriously questioned if it would be a coat hanger!  (You may soon see me wearing ear buds.)

Thanks for making me apply the same logic to my business!

Sep 16, 2009 11:55 PM #53
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

I was just thinking about this yesterday.  We got a title requirement on a property in regards to fee simple title issues.  I thought "Hey I remember that from my pre license education classes.  Now, what does fee simple title mean again?"  You're right on!  I better go do my homework!

Sep 17, 2009 12:24 AM #54
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Use it or lose it. . if you are not learning, you are dying.

Sep 17, 2009 12:33 AM #55
Dan Quinn
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

Years ago, when I worked in construction, the carpenters used to say you could stand around all day thinking about what was the best way to construct a wall.  At some point in time however, you were going to have to pick up the hammer and start swinging.  That is how a house is built, and similarly for, how a house is sold.  At some point you have to apply the knowledge you've learned to get the house sold.

Sep 17, 2009 12:37 AM #56
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

"Applied" knowledge is power - is absolutely true. So many of us go to class upon class, and if the info is not applied, then what is the point.

Sep 17, 2009 12:55 AM #57
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

It seems like when you go to these seminars that they pump you up and the drive is there but then the tire deflates if you don't keep it up. Motivation is the have to be motivated or you'll just waste a lot of energy.

Sep 17, 2009 01:14 AM #58
Bill Blair
Coldwell Banker Realty - Covington, GA
Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes

Great advise, Gary.  I try to learn something new everyday.  It may not get applied immediately, but it does get applied at some point.  Without the "application," the knowledge is useless.  reminds me of something  a close friend used to tell me... "You have to belive it to see it!"  Pretty much a reverse of the old cliche, but to me, much more important than the other way around.

Sep 17, 2009 01:22 AM #59
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTORĀ® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have been doing 4 webinats a week working on Twitter, IDX, etc. I am on overload. You can get so much going on at the same time that information overload shuts everything down. The brain does not multitask. That is called dist5raction. Do one thing at a time and do it well.

Sep 17, 2009 01:29 AM #60
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Well said Gary.  I've limited the number of courses and seminars I go to every year.  I find most repeat the same information.  Unless I can determine how a seminar or course can improve my business, and determine that I will actually apply the principals, I will not go.  Great post and best of luck to you.

Sep 17, 2009 01:41 AM #61
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I've done  training classes where agents said to me "I already know this". My response is "But are you doing it ?" The 80/20 rule applies here also !

Sep 17, 2009 02:46 AM #62
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator

Hi Gary,

No matter how many courses or seminars I attend I always look to learn something from the experience.

Good advice and congratulations on the feature.

Sep 17, 2009 03:37 AM #63
Dynamic Page Solutions
Dynamic Page Solutions - Mesa, AZ

Jack of all Trades and Master of None?

I just condensed my blog subscriptions to five proven industry experts. It's easy to become overwhelmed with the wealth of information that is available. 

Sep 17, 2009 03:47 AM #64
Darrell Walters
W. Darrell Walters - Newnan, GA

I couldn't agree more. If you don't use what you've learned you'll be behind everyone else instead of leading the way.

Sep 17, 2009 04:54 AM #65
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou


This applies to every aspect of life!

Yes, just applying ONE thing CONSISTENTLY can help.  :)  I think, for me, I sometimes am overwhelmed with SO many good ideas. I need to remember it is ok to take babysteps in the RIGHT direction!! :) Wonderful reminder!!

Sep 17, 2009 04:56 AM #66
Will Goodson
Sheffield Properties/Private Label Realty - Austin, TX

Good point, Gary.  As a "newer" person in the business, I have a tendency to want to know everything about everything.  Experience is the best teacher.  Education is critical... but like you said, if it's not applied, it's just taking up space.

Sep 17, 2009 07:52 AM #67
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

LOL! Great post.  How many homes have you been in that the exercise equipment is clearly not being used!!!  I am proud to say that mine is.  And i will never be the one to not use the tools I have at hand.

Sep 17, 2009 08:18 AM #68
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

You are so right my friend!

VB ;o)

Sep 17, 2009 11:49 AM #69
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

I had a friend call me who goes to the same expensive gym that I belong to.  I should say she is a member, but not an active one.  She asked me how effective I thought one of those infomercial pieces of equipment were and did I think it was a good idea to buy it.  I said I thought it would be about as effective as her gym membership.  Not very!  I like this analogy and I am guilty of buying the books and not reading them.  I am guilty of spending lots of money on cd's and ot listening to them.  Time for a change I think!

Sep 17, 2009 11:43 PM #70
Tamara Perlman
Referral Network Inc. - Truckee, CA

Gary-- I love this You have heard knowledge is power. Well they lied. "Applied" knowledge is power.  Every time I come home from a conference or read a new article on SEO or the like, I try to take at least one thing out that will help my business.  Of course, on AR, I could end up with 20 things in one day!  And I have to admit, I don't apply that many any one day! ;-)

Sep 18, 2009 03:04 AM #71
Marianne Snygg
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Monument, CO

You're so wise! What great advice. I attended a class this summer, great class, but have been so busy that I haven't been able to go thru my notes and make some needed adjustments to my business, and I just keep shuffling the notes from one side of my desk to the other. That's my coat hanger! And it time to get that done!

Sep 18, 2009 12:22 PM #72
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Gary Woltal

Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
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