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Education vs. Real World Experience

Title Insurance with First American Title


It’s Tuesday morning, 7:45am, and I’m supposed to be in the office.  Instead I’m on Northpark, lying on my back, trying to get the tire jack under the rear wheel axle.  Yep, one of those fabulous mornings when a child calls and says “dad I have a flat can you come help?”


Before any of my kids are able to drive there are a few things I teach them.  One of those is how to change a tire.  Despite the training, when someone gets their first flat, and especially when it’s on a busy road, the nervousness and first time experience make it difficult at best to get the spare on the car.  Testing my skills against professional NASCAR pit crews I replaced the tire and we were off and running in minutes.  A big hug and knowing my child was safe was all the reward I needed.


As I drove back to the office this morning I couldn’t help but think of the challenges I faced transitioning from college to my career.  Despite the countless hours of study; statistics, accounting, marketing, and more, real world work was a whole new ball game.  I consider myself blessed to have had some fantastic mentors.  One of my best mentors of all was a 4’8” woman from Chicago.  She was tough as nails and expected perfection.  Though I couldn’t always see it, she was preparing me for a future that would allow me to provide for a growing family.  Through her mentoring and hands on training I learned as much from her as anyone I’ve ever worked with. 


I hope you’ll take what I have to share today with a grain of salt, understanding, and a lot of introspection.  A daily conversation I have with experienced Realtors is something like this “Max, are you having as hard a time with new Realtors as I am?  They just seem lost, have little direction, and need better training”.  Last night a veteran and Top Producing Realtor called me as she was completely frustrated with a contract she has with a new Realtor.  She shared the following: “Max when I was a new agent my broker held my hand all the way through my first transactions.  I didn’t write a contract or submit an offer without his mentorship.  He trained me to be a pro.  As frustrating as it was at times I consider myself so lucky to have had him at my side.  He made sure I understood what I was doing as well as the implications of the actions I was taking with my clients”. 


I’m the first to admit that my pride has often prevented me from achieving my best.  It can be hard to acknowledge a need as we’re often “trained” to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness.  The older I get the more I realize that the ability to ask for help is a sign of strength.  As a title provider I reaffirm that we look forward to the opportunity to work with Realtors who have achieved and who are seeking greatness in their profession.  As a Realtor I hope you’ll reach out to your broker, your manager, trainers, and other professionals as you learn the business.  This fantastic market we’ve been so blessed to be a part of won’t last forever.  I’m forever optimistic with a bit of caution from experience.  Economists are becoming more and more skeptical of what’s around the corner.  The extra time you take today to improve your skillset will pay huge dividends down the road.


Posted by



 Max VanNatter


Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around


You are so right about asking for assistance.  When I started in real estate, if I was unsure of something or didn't know an answer, I asked my Broker.  He was more than willing to help me.  These days, I have noticed that fewer adults ask for help.  This is all part of the learning process.  Many things in the real estate market are constantly changing.  I still find myself asking for help from others.


Jul 07, 2015 05:01 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Thanks for the feedback Brigita.  I wholeheartedly agree.  Change is a constant and therefore we always have the need for continuous education.

Jul 07, 2015 05:42 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Max VanNatter - this is what I call, investment in yourself ---

"The extra time you take today to improve your skill set will pay huge dividends down the road."

Jul 07, 2015 02:34 PM