But Beware the Agent Who Has Already Mentally Retired
- Whose advice do you take? A new parent or a parent of five?
- Book smart or street smart?
- Should you go with the new agent or the seasoned agent?
Everyone starts out as a new agent. You have to start somewhere.
I had an advantage when I started. I partnered with my mother-in-law who was a seasoned agent and had been involved in hundreds of transactions. So in my first few years, I always had her for advice and counsel.
New agents have a few things going for them. They usually have few clients, therefore, they have more time to spend on the ones that they do have.
They might be more current on some new technology and be more open to change.
But real estate comes down to dealing with people. Each situation is a little different, and there's no universal way of doing something.
Reading Books vs. Actually Doing It
I think a good analogy is the difference between a first-time parent with a young child vs. a parent who has five grown children all who graduated from college. Who are you going to ask for advice about how to handle a problem that you are having with your ten-year-old?
The new parent might have recently read all the books about parenting. Maybe they even took some parenting classes where they learned great new strategies like "Love and Logic."
The seasoned parent of five probably read the same books 20 years ago and was all prepared to be the best parent that there ever was. But they quickly found that their kids were all different. Their kids didn’t seem to have read the same books telling them how they were supposed to respond.
The seasoned parent had to take those theories in the books and apply them to real life, making changes along the way.
Maybe they made some mistakes with child number one and number two but by the time child number five came along, being a parent was a piece of cake. They already experienced many situations and found out first hand what worked and what didn’t.
They quickly found out that every kid is different and what worked for one might not work for the next. But they had enough experience to be able to figure out which course of action had the best chance of success when a problem came along.
Real Estate Is About Reading People
Real estate is a people business. The older you are, the more capable you are of reading people and situations. You recognize patterns.
You know what your teenager might do because you were once a teenager. You've been there, done that.
Over the years I’ve walked through thousands of homes with buyers. I’ve heard their comments. I’ve heard their concerns, both rational and irrational.
There’s hardly ever a black or white answer. But there is a spectrum of possibilities on what will affect a transaction.
Playing the Hand You Are Dealt
A seasoned agent can stack the deck in your favor and give you the best possibility of winning.
It's like playing poker. You try to optimize the hand that you are dealt using probabilities. At first, it's all about the science of statistics. Then how you play your hand in the eyes of your opponent is where the real skill comes in. How you play your hand is as important as what your hand actually is. A little twitch or wrong tone of voice can make all the difference.
Sometimes Real Estate Is a Game of Chess
It’s also like a seasoned chess player. They are thinking many steps ahead. They’ve seen the moves before and can anticipate situations before they develop. They avoid getting checkmated. Maybe they sacrifice a pawn in order to save the queen. They make certain moves to entice the opponent to make the move he wants them to make.
Experience and street smarts trump youth and book smarts every day.
Some Have Mentally Retired
One caveat though. Beware of the agent who is approaching the end of their career and thinks it's a waste of time to learn any new tricks. Many older agents resist spending the time and money investing in new technology. They might be getting out of the business in a few years so they think, why bother? I see it a lot. It's frustrating and sad to see.