Rules for CORE Agents #18: If You’re Not Good at Something, Get Good or Have Someone Else Do it.

It’s staggering how many things real estate agents need to know how to do.  They need to be market analysts, appraisers, negotiators, counselors, photographers, videographers, writers, lead generators, stagers, transaction specialists, communicators, marketers — everything that goes into helping people buy and sell homes.

But it’s tough to be good at everything.  We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Maybe you’re good at marketing and servicing a listing, but not so good at generating leads to get new ones.  Maybe you’re good at taking great pictures of your listings, but you can’t write a complete sentence for your property descriptions.  The problem is that you cannot be a successful real estate agent if you have big, gaping holes in your skillset. All these things are important, and you need to do them all well.  Too many agents in our industry aren’t particularly good at their jobs, or particularly inclined to improve.  Don’t be one of those agents. Your clients deserve better.

So you have two options when you’re not good at certain aspects of your job: (1) either get good at them, or (2) find someone else who is. Can you get good?  Often, the skill you lack is just something that you’ve never actually learned how to do.  Taking good pictures is not brain surgery, you can learn how to do it.  Take a class, read a manual.

Sometimes, though, the problem is that you’re just not good at it.  Or, more often, you could do it, but you just don’t WANT to do it.  What do you do then?  Get someone else to do it, like the “designated hitter.”  In baseball, pitchers are notoriously bad hitters.  They’re good at pitching, but terrible at hitting.  So in the American League, pitchers no longer go to bat.  Instead, teams put up a “designated hitter” who is good at what pitchers are bad at – hitting.

Real estate agents should do more of that: find “designated hitters” to do the things that you can’t or won’t do well.  Instead of hiring an assistant just to do your busywork, find someone who has a skill set that you lack.  Or, if you can’t afford an assistant, try bartering with other agents.  If you’re good at taking pictures but not writing, make a deal with another agent that you’ll take her pictures if she’ll write your descriptions.  If you’re great at servicing listings but not good at lead generation, pay another agent for leads.

I’m not saying you should form a team, just an informal partnership that allows you to take advantage of each other’s strengths.  If you can’t do something, there’s probably someone in your office who can.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.