How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?

Real Estate Agent with ReMax Realtec Group

Abe Lincoln used to ask? "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?"


Hello, I am Annette Lawrence. More than half way through January of 2016.

2016. A new year with new promise and new challenges.

Some are beginning the year as brand spanking new real estate agents. 

Now is a good time for us all to take a sobering look at where we are.

Abe Lincoln used to ask? "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?"

Answer: Four

Calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.


And my question to you is?

How many businesses do you have if you call your hobby a business?

Answer: None.

Calling a hobby a business does not make it a business.

This concept is crucial to your success.

What does a real business look like?

1. You spend real money on it. 
2. You spend real time on it
3. You spend deep thought on it
4. You can reliably predict the returns you will receive from your expenses
5. You have systems in place for traffic generation, lead capture, and conversion
6. You have outsourced or delegated all tasks except the ones to which YOU and only you can bring the most value.

A new agent will find developing a business plan essential to graduate from hobby to business. From practicing 'accidential real estate' to guiding your business in growth.

The not-so-new agent may look at 1-6 and realize calling it a business does not make it so.

Right here on Active Rain a seeker can actually find the guidance and resources needed to establish a real business.

For the "I'm thinking about trying real estate" person, getting the basic questions answered to allow creating the summary business plan will prove essential. In this case what you don't know CAN hurt you. 

The not-so-new agent may want to do a simple Projection-of-Possibility based on their business plan. This will make clear one of three options available to get to your goal.

1. Increase sales

2. Raise price

3. Time distribution

In all cases, without a plan not only will you not know where you want to go, you can't know you are lost. It is in the security of not knowing that we call a hobby a business.


Best of success,


Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee 423-677-6677

This is really good.  Your title caught me, but I ended up reading this out loud to my family.

Jan 18, 2016 09:13 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041

OUT LOUD to the FAMILY! Wow! Whether pejorative or with accolades, one can not expect more than that!

Thank you for leaving a comment.

Jan 18, 2016 10:02 PM
Jason McIntosh
The McIntosh Group | Founder & Team Leader

That is a great quote not surprisingly from a great man! As a newer agent, I can 1000% attest to your words of wisdom.... Coming from an industry that is very process driven yet so many don't follow. This notion is very easily identifiable dividing the successful from the average. 

Or like golf being a hobby! I am terrible but thats because its a hobby!

Jan 18, 2016 10:20 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041

Jason, you have just provided readers an excellent blog post title.

"I am terrible at it because it is a hobby!"

Terrible meaning in measurable results as opposed to intent of the heart. Eighty percent of agents are TERRIBLE and they do not intend to be so. They just don't seem to be able to engage rightly.

I wrote recently about the levels of skill as related to real estate agents. Dog tails are not in the blog but other 'tell tale' signs are.

5 Levels of Skill

Thank you for investing the time to read and for leaving a comment. 

Best of Success,

Jan 18, 2016 10:58 PM
Tamara Elliott-Deering
Central Metro Realty - Austin, TX

I struggle with #4 but I've put processes in place now I just have to keep working the system and have faith that consistency is the key to success.

Jan 18, 2016 10:29 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ


Faith. Not so much blind faith but the faith that promises if one is diligent in what they can do, what they can not do will bless their lives.

The members of a champion football team do not play a football game, but will tell you they only play one play at a time. Rock climbers only see the next 18 inches. Winning is not in their control, but is the outcome of ten other players doing the same thing, advancing another 18 inches.

Complete fully the steps in your implementation (the play) and success (winning) will take care of itself.

Consistency allows you more grabs at the ring.

Keep it up then write a blog about your experience.

Thank you for investing your time to read and leaving a comment.

Best of success,


Jan 18, 2016 11:07 PM
Marie Haydock
Evergreen Global Homes & Land | RSVP Real Estate - Redmond, WA
Simplifying Real Estate

Hi Annette.  You really hit the nail on the head for people who think they want to grow a real estate business.  I especially appreciate the structure and guidlines it provides for people who are committed to the business.  Thanks for sharing!

Jan 19, 2016 02:12 AM