A Good Real Estate Agent is Like …

A great real estate agent (or Realtor) is like Hannibal. Quite a bit like this Hannibal. Not at all like this one . This one:

. A great real estate agent

Hannibal “seems to have a plan for getting the team out of any situation they get into. His favorite catch phrase is, “I love it when a plan comes together”.

A successful real estate transaction representation* requires an excellent team:

– The home inspector
– The lender
– The attorney and his team – paralegals, title companies, etc.
– The other Realtor
– Radon
– Septic
– Transaction management
– Photographer
– Plumbers
– etc. etc. etc.

Situational awareness is something that is learned through experience, not taught.

Situation awareness (SA) involves being aware of what is happening around you to understand how information, events, and your own actions will impact your (clients’) goals and objectives, both now and in the near future. Lacking SA or having inadequate SA has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error

You can’t put together an A-Team from the internet. The intangibles aren’t there. Yet. The relationships aren’t there. Yet. Knowing whom to call, and knowing that that person will answer is something that can’t be gained by a google search.

One’s ability to get things done in a pinch is something that’s never rated on agent ratings sites. Working on the fly – competently – is something that cannot be taught.

A simple example:

I was at Nest Saturday, planning to be there for five minutes. The kid was already restless. A gentleman walked in and asked about The Gleason Condos … and any other two bedroom condos in the City of Charlottesville in that price range. I swiftly put together a package for the condos that met his criteria, color-coded with maps and detailed information – and he was out the door in twenty minutes. Easy? Sort of. Could I have done it six years ago as efficiently and professionally? Nope.

It’s surprising to think that I have been doing this for nearly ten years, have met the 10,000 hour rule, know those whom perceive to the the “right” people – the best in their respective fields – and still find myself learning something each and every day.

Perhaps the two most important traits to success in the real estate (or wider) world:

– An Insatiable desire to learn.

– Ability to know when and whom to ask for help.

Hannibal knows his team and recognizes that without them, he’s just a great mind with no way to effectively enact his master plan.

But there’s more to it than just assembling the team. Assembling the right team is crucial. “It” requires an ability to discern personality traits, potential conflicts, situation assessment, matchmaking, psychological analysis, proper preparation and expectation setting. The best Realtor in the world who recommends crappy home inspectors, attorneys, lenders who drop balls, isn’t a great Realtor.

Above all else is that Hannibal made mistakes, admitted them, learned from them, changed the plan accordingly and moved on.

Looking at the team concept another way:

Inspiration tip for this post: @darinpersinger’s tweet:

Why the real estate agent won’t go the way of the travel agent…Because a Realtor is more like the Airplane Pilot.

* Sometimes successful representation means telling the client to walk away. In the current world of real estate, that means my take-home pay from that relationship is integrity rather than money.

Also, I’d like a theme song.

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  2. Joshua Dorkin December 6, 2010 at 20:42

    Great post, Jim. I think that a strong team is what separates the weak realtor from the A-lister. That quality team makes sure you get things done quickly and correctly. I love to Burn notice clip, BTW!

  3. Carol Costanzo December 6, 2010 at 21:38

    Jim, excellent post. I love your analogy too. The team quality and response time is so important. Well done my friend.

  4. Face December 7, 2010 at 13:49

    Lot’s of bullets and no one ever dies!!!

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