The other day, one of my favorite blog buddies did a reblog that caught my attention - because it really bothered me! The major thesis was that 67% of all Realtors felt a lack of confidence when it came to their work. And that didn't surprise me.
But their solution did. It was a guide that seemed to be saying "Here is how to fake it till you make it." And while the post seemed to be aimed at new agents, there are plenty of people with older real estate licenses who can relate.
If you have confidence issues, you have competence issues. And there is no short cut to fixing competence.
It's all about mastery, and you cannot fake mastery.
If you want to hit the ground running in your new career, I have some suggestions that have worked for me and for agents I have trained:
- You have to understand the paperwork, especially the three documents you'll need to have people sign - listing agreements, buyer agency agreements and the contracts used in your jurisdiction to make offers on homes. If your company does not provide serious training in these basics, look to your local board of Realtors to see if they offer classes - they usually do. If not, check with local title companies. I've seen a few that put together a good analysis of the major documents.
- You have to know the territory, including the neighborhoods in your immediate market area and the inventory. And you are not going to learn it sitting in front of your laptop looking at virtual tours. You have to get out to see what's available, and you need to use your feet and your eyes!
- Never ever misrepresent your experience because sooner or later the client or prospect will find out you are brand new pea green, and if you've lied or exaggerated, they will dump you. I went to my first listing presentation at the home of a former colleague. I'd previewed everything for sale, had a fabulous written CMA and marketing plan, and my broker came with me. And, competing against a highly experienced neighborhood expert, I walked out with a signed listing agreement. He knew I was new, but he also knew I was basically smart and competent - and well supervised. You don't have to lie.
- Never take credit for selling a colleague's listing! The authors of the reblogged post suggested that, in order to hide your total lack of experience, you emphasize the homes in their neighborhood that sold from your brokerage. Forget that you never set foot inside any of them. If you are selling your brokerage as a group of agents who are experts in the neighborhood, that's one thing. But don't leave them with the impression that you personally were responsible for either listing or selling any of these properties.
Newbies have some strong advantages! When I look at the new agents in my office, I envy their enthusiasm and energy. They are soaking up knowledge from courses and their experienced colleagues. They often have prior work experience that translates into real estate, and they have a ready-made sphere of influence from a previous career where they had a reputation for being smart and competent, and the people who knew them are willing to be among their first clients. And they are not faking anything! They are taking advantage of a unique advantage that they won't have forever!
- Oldies need to keep up with changes. Recently, there were major changes to our contract forms, and I realized I really needed some training. I need to work hard to stay current with changes in technology and industry changes. Neighborhoods are changing as various corners of town are seeing huge renovations and new commercial development, and it can be interesting trying to keep up with inventory possibilities. Learning never, ever stops in our business.
If you have persistent confidence issues, you can solve them by seeking new ways to improve your basic skills. If you know what you are doing, it shows, and you will be one of the 33% of agents who can walk into a listing presentation and do yourself proud.
And you won't get there without mastering your craft.