Natural Talents: How Many Hats Must You Wear?

Location, Location, Location! As realtors, no one knows this old business cliché better. One of the biggest contributing factors to your success as a real estate agent lies in a hidden third dimension they typically don’t think about. It has to do with your location, and I don’t mean your street address! I’m talking about your natural talents and skills.


Accentuate strengths and minimize weaknesses


Everyone may indeed have natural talents, but unfortunately not everyone does as good a job of positioning themselves in a location (i.e., job or role) to match with his or her talents. Many people occupy locations where their success depends on their weaknesses more than on their strengths. Those who master the third dimension do a great job of finding or creating a location for themselves that accentuates their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.

As real estate agents, however, your task is extra difficult. Your role finds you wearing a large variety of hats. I compiled a list of these different tasks, some 204 of them, and have broken them down into the different careers you would expect to find them in. While I list them completely in the featured download below, I will summarize them here.

In reality, your clients expect you to wear up to eleven different hats – and wear them simultaneously and perfectly. I’m not implying that you legally fill all of these roles, but your clients don’t care. Here’s what you’re expected to be:

  • Subject Matter Expert and Teacher
  • Sales Professional
  • Marketer of self and Marketer of homes
  • Administrative Assistant/Transaction Coordinator
  • Paralegal/Legal Advocate
  • Financial Advisor/Mortgage Officer
  • Research Assistant/Home Appraiser
  • Interior Decorator/Stager/Photographer
  • General Contractor
  • Executive/Team Leader/Lead Agent

How much of a super person would you need to be in order to effectively do all of these jobs by yourself? No wonder somewhere north of 80% of all new agents fail in their first year! Maybe now you’re finally able to understand why success is so hard to achieve in this industry.

To help highlight my point, let’s add up all the various items in the list of 204 tasks. The mix of the behaviors and motivators I wrote about in two previous blogs would look like this across all jobs:




Another fascinating realization should be that the vast majority of the things you have to do every day are more administrative and operations related (as high as 83%), not sales and marketing (which constitutes only maybe 17% of the overall role).

Let’s take some specific examples, compared to the natural talents and ideal personality, for just a few of these roles:

  • Sales Professional – the personality that best fits this role is typically one that has a high D and I, with a low S and C. There are many types of selling, but here I’m talking about the traditional hunter/gatherer outside salesperson. Natural talents here tend to have the economic driver as their highest, followed closely by the Individualistic and then Political.
  • Administrative Assistant/Transaction Coordinator – Typically great admins have high S and C behavioral traits, something that conflicts with the higher D and I of great sales people. The motivational style of a salesperson doesn’t jive with this role either, as it requires someone more driven by altruism, regulatory and either aesthetic or theoretical.
  • Financial Advisor/Mortgage Officer – The financial advisor role your clients assume you will play for them would be better served by the admin’s higher C, but the salesperson’s higher D. The economic driver will help here, but it normally better be in second place after the high Theoretical.
  • Interior Decorator/Stager/Photographer – Throw the D and C out the window to make room for the creativity that comes with the high I, move the S up (because it’s better to prefer a nice steady and predictable pace), and your natural talents better have a first place Aesthetic driver if you’re supposed to be giving decorating advice that’s worth a damn.
  • General Contractor – Hello high S and C, because without a superb ability to notice the smallest details and place a premium on accuracy and dependability, never mind. Your Regulatory driver better be in first place as well.
  • Executive/Team Leader/Lead Agent – And, if you lead your own team, you need that higher D to be the decisive leader, and Economic and Political drivers to stay focused on the money, and be comfortable leading everyone else. Sometimes a D/C behavioral style works well as an entrepreneur, but the missing I (if it’s too low) can make sales and team management harder.


Get over it, get real and let’s get to work


Get my point? Ah, if only you could change the way your mind worked so you could be all of these things. Alas, that’s impossible, so get over it, get real and let’s get to work. Your best bet for success is to figure out which of these roles you are best suited for, and hire out the rest – as soon as possible!

How positioned for success are you? Are there ‘hats’ you’d like to pass off to others who are happier wearing them?

Pass the hat

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