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February 11, 2014

Going For Real Estate Gold

by mark mclean

going for real estate goldOk, I can’t help myself. I’m a sucker for the Olympics. I love the ceremonies, the interviews, the back stories, the performances, and the replays. Just like ABC’s Wide World of Sports I like the ” thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”. So, I’m using the Olympics as a metaphor for real estate. A bit of a stretch? Well maybe…. but here goes.

So let’s say your dream is to represent your country in speed skating. It’s not likely that your going to head over to your local rink and skate around for a few hours and expect to walk on to the Canadian team. It’s going to take a lot more time, training, dedication and practice to get anywhere near competition ready. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, he talks about how individuals achieve greatness. His research indicated that to be exceptional, you need to repeat (practice) whatever it is you want to be great at for a minimum of 10,000 hours. Greatness comes in all forms, athlete, businessman, scientist and dare we say it…. even realtor.

If Gladwell’s numbers are correct then the goal of real estate mastery is easily attainable. Consider this; 40 hours of work per week X 50 weeks a year X 5 years = 10,000 hours. Now you just need to figure out what to do in those 40 hour work weeks and do it every week for five years.

I asked my agents to come up with a list that would fill in that time. Here’s what we came up with, in no particular order; take continuing education classes, attend meetings, inspect properties, write blogs, make phone calls, read real estate news articles, door knock, write post cards, show houses, write offers, negotiate deals, attend home inspections, oversee just listed and just sold cards and make sure they get delivered, attend conferences, conduct buyer and seller interviews, prospect, take clients for lunch, buy presents for clients, write thank you and birthday cards, spend time building your social media network and post valuable information on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, oversee floor plans, video productions …really, we’re just getting started here. How many things could you add to the list? So here’s an interesting thing. Look at the top agents in your office and you will find that they do nearly all of this. They’ve been doing it for years AND they are the best in the business. Are you surprised?

But before we get carried away, let me just say that there should be some caveats to Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule. For instance, making cold calls for 10,000 hours isn’t going to make you a real estate expert. To really stand out you not only need to understand everything about real estate, you need to know how to use your knowledge to create success and wealth for your clients. The reality is that in real estate, you don’t need to be a rock star (unless you want to be). Simply being an expert may still require thousands of hours of “doing” real estate related things.

So, hunker down for the next few years. The hard work has its payoff just like any Olympic athlete who trains for years just for a chance to stand on the podium.

mark mclean

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