Conscious Incompetence...Or Just Plain Stupid!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Concierge Auctions

One of the goals of any professional should be to achieve a state of unconscious competence, meaning that they no longer need to think about their actions to achieve the desired results.  Much as a professional quarterback can simply find the open receiver without thinking about it, or the professional basketball player can sink the jump shot with no thought.


That same level of competence can be reached in any profession.  The carpenter knows where to put the nail without thought, the keyboard player knows where the keys on the piano are without thought, and the great cop knows who to talk to get to the bottom of an investigation. 


A novice may be unconsciously incompetent.  They are unaware of what they don't know maybe even to the point of not even knowing what questions to ask to find the knowledge.  Eventually they will begin to understand what they don't know, or become conscious of their lack of ability.  If you follow the theory most professionals will become skilled enough in their given trade to become a Conscious Competent and the truly great will achieve the status of Unconscious Competence.


This leads me to my point, even the unconscious incompetent knows that the point of listing homes,, and in fact the business of Residential Real Estate Brokerage is to sell houses.  This morning I had the pleasure of meeting a new client with the purpose of showing her some condos in Chicago's Streeterville Neighborhood.  On Monday of this week I called the listing agents or their designee and scheduled visits to 4 units, 3 in one building and 1 across the street.  My client informed me she would be taking the train to the city and would like to meet me at the building.  The first 2 appointments went off without a hitch.  Both units beautifully decorated with stunning views of the Chicago Skyline. 


Visit 3 was 10 floors down in the same building.  On Monday the listing agent told me to meet her at the unit.  Knock, Knock, no answer.  Knock, Knock no answer.  There must have been a mix up, maybe I was supposed to meet her in the lobby, no biggie, and a quick elevator ride and back to the lobby.  No agent.  Thanks to modern technology, I have mystery agent's number in my calendar.  A quick call and no answer, again no biggie I leave a message and suggest to my client the agent should call back in a few minutes.  No call, no agent, and no more time to wait.  The disgust on my client's face was hard to disguise.


A few words of apology and we head across the street.  The bright sunshine of the crisp Chicago morning helped ease the disappointment.  This agent indicated that I could gain access to this unit by way of a lock box.  Not my preferred method of trying to sell a client's property but it is a well accepted industry practice.  The door man quickly gives me access to the "lock box room" and I go to my notes and enter the combination on the appropriate lock box.  Bingo the front door springs open, and much to my surprise, no key.  Must be a mistake, I ask the doorman if there are any additional notes or showing instructions for the unit.  In something that sounded similar to English he said no.  I do what seems reasonable and place a call to the agent.  This agent is also unavailable, however someone from his office indicates that they have been aware of the missing key since Monday.  SINCE Monday I ask?  Yes since Monday I am told.  I asked the lady if she knew what day it was today, she said it is Wednesday.  I then asked if she had me on the showing calendar and she said yes from 10:45 - 11:00.  I then asked if she had ever heard of Alexander Graham Bell, she responds no.  I explain his invention and how it has greatly increased communication.


What is it with Realtors?  Four appointments, effectively 2 no shows, for the Love of God and everything Holy this isn't rocket science!  Like Woody Allen once said 90% of life is showing up.  You would think a slow market would lead people to gain some form of competence.  Like a wise man once told me" you just can't fix stupid!

Comments (5)

Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

You really had a lousy time. My favorite is when there is a renter with a million dogs. Guess what they do not want to move so showings get to be fun. I do feel your pain as in one shape or form I have been there

Jan 13, 2010 07:05 AM
Bob Maiocco
8Z Real Estate - Evergreen, CO

Wow, what a string of bad luck.  I had a similar experience showing some top end lofts in downtown Denver.  Luckily I had a strong relationship with the Buyer and I was able to get the door (insert PC term for female here) to open up the door for me.  

In a different building I opened the lockbox in the lobby but couldn't get through the security door-- a neighbor let me through after evaluating my crime potential...

Jan 13, 2010 07:09 AM
Kirk Dirksen
Assist-2-Sell S.D.R.E - Sioux Falls, SD

AMEN.  Unfortunately, you are not alone in finding incompetence.  I once showed up to show a property at about 10 am opened the door and was greeted with the phrase "what the ____ are you doing here?  I politely asked the lady standing in front of me in her pj's if she remembered talking with me on Thursday evening to which she replied oh yeah I guess I forgot.  So it is not only agents, but sometimes even sellers don't seem to get it that If I don't show you don't sell.  Never the less the buyer was so turned off they decided we didn't need to see that house.

Jan 13, 2010 07:17 AM
Charlie Gantz
Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay - Saint Petersburg, FL
J.D., M.B.A.

Isn't it amazing that even in these difficult economic times that the truly incompetent somehow manage to avoid being culled from the herd of competent and professional real estate agents.  How they survive is beyond me to understand.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Commercial Real Estate, LLC 

Jan 13, 2010 07:21 AM
Andrea Geller
HOT PROPERTY® The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Chicago, IL

There is a thing called professionalism. If you have been following #RTB on Twitter, you have seen it is a very lively conversation. Enough said from . 

Jan 14, 2010 01:49 PM