Are You A Math-O-Phobe?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Blackboard MathI recently took a Real Estate Mathematics class as some continuing education. For me at least because I already come from a technical background, I put it off cause I just knew the time it would take to work through all the problems, not the difficulty of the class. But it made me wonder about others...

Are You A Math-o-phobe?

That is, an adult needing to conquer a fear of math from some negative thought about yourself from some teacher that gave you bad performance when you were younger.

Math is highly valuable for appraisals, inspections, loans, measuring materials and labor for sidewalks, or helping investors with rental properties or evaluating commercial real estate. Why do so many fear math I wonder? There are myths about women not being as good at it as men or some people's brains are wired for math and others not so. Some just plain don't like it.

Some of us may be skilled more at problem solving that leads to a black and white answer and not some grey area. Some also from taking classes, in their wildest dreams can't figure out where in life what they learned in Calculus class is going to do them any good, particularly in real estate instead of being in a rocket scientist field.

Math VariablesI do know people that are panic stricken when you mention converting back and forth between fractions, decimals, and percents. But think about it. Even when you go shopping and something is on sale, they will say like 40% off. Well how much is that off the list price? Can you calculate it?

I have concluded two things about this math fear.

One, math is a building block process and you miss a class or two in sequence along the way and you miss the foundation of how everything relates, and therefore you are SUNK with math.

Two, math can be intimidating if you don't first pick up on what you are learning. We all learn at different paces and some TEACHERS are not patient or not well skilled with their communication abilities to work with you. I used to do math tutoring and I see the need for some extra understanding, care, and NO INTIMIDATION in working with those who really want to learn math but just aren't connecting with it yet.

Try to not let math overwhelm you and view it as FUN with finding the right teacher, books, videos, or computer-based training etc.

     So are you a Math-o-phobe???


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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Gary....well, I am not crazy about math. But, did like algebra in school.  As long as I have my calculator with problem.

Dec 21, 2009 04:18 PM #10
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Math has always came easily to me. I worked my way through college to be a polymer chemist and a scientist. Physics,linear algebra, all the calculus,quadratic equations and more, Math and problem solving just came second nature, I remember one tine talking to my friends Dad that had designed the Titon rockets and we were just carrying on a great conversation. Boy I miss Lori a lot, and I really miss talking to her dad.

Dec 21, 2009 06:16 PM #11
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

I'm glad that we have so many variety of personalities that excel in all different things. Biology and History to me is like Math to some.

Math just comes ALIVE to me and they talk to me. On the other hand, History and Biology don't.

Come to think of it, I do miss my physics and engineering classes in school. I did well in them because I didnt have to "study". The Engineering math classes were just a tad more challenging for me than real estate math - which is a good thing. Gives my brain a break!

Dec 21, 2009 09:54 PM #12
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Gary, great post.  I think many of us love technical and math, while others don't want to be so specific.  Kind of right brain, left brain thing.  It's one of the benefits of partnerships with different personalities and skills.  And, I like your instructor!

Dec 21, 2009 10:26 PM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Gary, I won the spelling bees....but math was NOT my subject and I came to dread it.  It's a wonder I got through it :)

Dec 21, 2009 10:26 PM #14
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

No, I'm not.  That's actually one of my favorite parts of the business.  I do a lot of calculations in my mind fairly easily.  I can't imagine what it wouild be like if I couldn't do that.


Dec 22, 2009 12:12 AM #15
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Fun post, Gary. I love words AND numbers. Math came easily to me, I'm not sure why. I never took calculus though, and I suspect that if I had to do math with abstract concepts like infinity, I'd be lost. My husband, on the other hand, is very comfortable with infinity and beyond LOL. My boys also love math...must run in the family. -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 22, 2009 12:36 AM #16
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Gary:  Certainly not me.  I am, however, I financial calculator-phobe.  I would rather take the handy dandy every day calculator to work out the formulas needed in our real estate careers.  THAT maakes sense to me.  Plus, you are never lost wihtout it if you understand what you are dong.

Dec 22, 2009 01:54 AM #17
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Gary, I have been blessed with a math mind in a family of teenage son has completed his college calculus requirements as a High school I'm happy to say math is not my problem (there are other issues...but math isn't one of them).

Dec 22, 2009 03:29 AM #18
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor

Gary...I'm creative, personal, innovative, and only like math as it pertains to what I do in real estate...Please no calculus problems to solve...

Dec 22, 2009 04:29 AM #19
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


Interesting post and the comments are just as interesting....I enjoyed math and took it at the university level also, so it came relatively easy for me.

The math we deal with in real estate is generally pretty simple and straightforward.


Dec 22, 2009 06:41 AM #20
Anna Matsunaga
Team Momentum Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Lakewood, WA
Seller specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert

Yes Gary, I am a little but, but have found that if I understand the concept of what I am trying to figure out then it's not too bad I can figure out how to figure it out.

Dec 22, 2009 06:54 AM #21
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I love mathematics as long as it doesn't involve those darn story problems. Everytime the teacher asked me to determine when the two trains traveling toward each other at different rates of speed would meet each other, I just wanted to scream "Don't let them meet. Put them on different tracks!"

Happy Holidays!

Dec 22, 2009 01:23 PM #22
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Hi Gary - That photo gives new meaning to "A Beautiful Mind." Math always came easy to me, but I only went as far as algebra/trig -- no calculus.

Dec 22, 2009 01:37 PM #23
Guy Thomas
WR Starkey Mortgage - Colorado Springs, CO

Gary, Math is interesting and is actually the basis of so much that we use and depend on today. I guess I have always enjoyed the challenge. Your photography skills are coming along nicely.

Dec 22, 2009 02:59 PM #24
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Gary, me a math-o-phobe?  You bet!  I still have dreams that I forgot to take my final for my college math class.  And out of a context that I understand, I'm pretty Duh-uh!

Dec 22, 2009 05:36 PM #25
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

A teacher like that. .she can teach me  Algebra, Math and Physics.

I don't remember my Math  teacher ever looking like that!

Dec 22, 2009 08:39 PM #26
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Yes indeed I am! But here is what I learned. I am able to do calculations, I just do it differently than most. If it had been taught differently to me as a child I wouldn't be so afraid of it. I realized only recently that I have my own way of understanding and doing things.

I will publicly admit something here and now. When I was very young I came home from school with an A on a paper. It was clock faces, we had to circle the correct time. My mother knew I could not have done this as I couldn't tell time. I could read when I was very very young, but numbers just caused me to go into a trance. I had guessed each and every one.

I have adapted to my different approach, and realize that I am just unique, LOL. Words are my forte. But like Russel, those wordy math problems with the trains heading to each other made me want to scream the same thing!

Dec 22, 2009 10:10 PM #27
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

On the one hand, I like math because it's cut and dried, right or wrong - no subjectivity on the grader's part.  On the other hand, I always struggled with word problems and figuring out the right equation.  Once I had the equation, I can do the math.  Anyway, give me English and foreign language any day of the week!

Dec 27, 2009 11:27 AM #28
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I love math but it isn't something that I was able to pass on to my daughter - maybe if she had a really cute male math teacher.....

Dec 27, 2009 03:15 PM #29
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Gary Woltal

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