No one is great at everything.Conventional wisdom would argue that the best performers:
- Are Universalists, that is able to do a wide array of varied tasks equally well, and;
- Had more experience than lower performers.
- Self-awareness: They had a significantly higher level of awareness for their natural strengths and weaknesses (85% compared to 55% in the non-top performer group).
- Authenticity: They took stock of their strengths and weaknesses, and incorporated that knowledge into their roles by ensuring that their success was dependent on what they did very well, and outsourcing those tasks and responsibilities that they sucked at.
A real estate agent is really 22 jobs mixed into one.The reason behind this is that we all have certain natural traits, or core capacities, based on how we think and make decisions – how our brains are wired, basically. For example:
- For those with what the DISC Index would classify as being High D’s (Decisive), details, structure and organization are weak points. They excel in competitive environments, moving quickly, being – well – decisive. Those with a lower D made better Inside Sales or Listing Specialists.
- High I’s (Interactive) on the other hand, naturally do well with connecting, interpersonal skills, and collaboration. These types fit will into Listing and Buyer agent roles, but not as well in transaction coordinators or many roles in title companies.
- There are those who have a higher S dimension (Stabilizing), and while they are geniuses at providing support, working exceptionally well with any personality type and always making everyone feel like things are secure – they suffer from call reluctance, don’t like cold calling as a result, and hate to get into any heated negotiations.
- Lastly there are the high C types (Cautious), for whom accuracy, attention to detail and planning help them be masters of perfection; but they can struggle with chaotic situations and tend to hit the brakes under pressure, preferring to think things through instead of react by instinct alone.
Don’t believe in throwing lots of people at the problem.John Makarewicz, with the Mark Spain team in Atlanta GA (one of the top performing Keller Williams teams internationally) thinks specialization in real estate is an inevitable evolution in the industry. According to John, “Those companies that have the old mentality of ‘people are disposable’ and ‘we try to limit our risk by investing as little as possible in them’ – will die out! Any brokerage that hasn’t already realized that human capital, getting the right people, treating them like family, investing heavily in them with training, mentoring, and leads is already in the stages of dying … they just don’t know it yet.” Another person who believes heavily in specialization in real estate is Curtis Johnson (a realtor in Phoenix, AZ who is also ranked among the top 50 in the country by the Wall Street Journal.) “Until our industry changes its mindset from body count to quality and sales, things will continue to stay the way they are. We, and other teams that outperform most, have a completely different attitude towards the individual agent and their role. We don’t believe in throwing large volumes of agents at the problem, collecting our revenue from the fees, and not worrying about how well their strengths line up with their job. We’re the exact opposite. We very carefully hand pick each and every team member, vet them very seriously, and support the hell out of them by allowing them to specialize in what they naturally do so well,” says Curtis.
Change is difficultSo how prevalent is this trend towards specialization in real estate and the team-model that makes it possible? According to those interviewed, only about 5% of all agencies are taking this newer approach. Yet, within the top 10% of agencies (based on sales), as many as 50% are incorporating this mentality. In other words, while the majority of the entire industry isn’t doing it, the majority of the best performing agencies seem to be.
Are you ready to take your agency to the next level?