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Confessions of a Self Made Mediocrity

The Proof’s in the Results

The other day I was with a small group talking to Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. In discussing one of his pitchers he said that the hitters usually will tell you how effective you are as a pitcher. Translation: get the hitters out, and you’re doing your job. Don’t and you’re not.

Oddly enough, this got me thinking about my own career as an accused self made mediocrity. When first affixed with this label several months ago I took considerable offense. But then I realized the real feedback is how I performed … either I did my job and sold houses or I didn’t. It’s about that simple.

Last year, I had 20 closed sales plus two other closings referred to other agents. Clearly, I’m not Russell Shaw, though the gross commissions I earned since the switch to RE/MAX placed me in the top 17% or so of franchise agents – and that coming in about nine months of work.

Then again, maybe I overdid it. It seems that just over half that number of sales is all one needs to close to become an expert on who else might be a self-made mediocrity. Who knew real estate sales expertise when measured was in reverse proportion to actual closed sales, the non-PETA approved skinned cats we all seek?

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At least, I assume that’s what the name of the real estate sales game is … actually selling.

As for the other particulars, I’m muddling along with a PR 4 on my blog and a PR 3 on my local websites. My only solace in regards to these inferior rankings is I’m currently generating about as many leads as I can handle, and a bit more than I can handle solo if I want to take off any time for such things such as sleep, dinner and possibly seeing my family.

In the same vane, my Technorati ranking is woefully inadequate compared to the real estate sales experts. I guess I’m fortunate in that no buyer or seller has ever wanted to know my ranking before hiring me as their agent. And my wife’s never looked at me with bedroom eyes and asked me to show her my big Technorati ranking because my BlogTopSites ranking got her sooo hot …

… Wow … Where was I?

I don’t have signs where Tobey is the featured attraction and I can’t program php from scratch (though I’m just handy enough with a WordPress blog to generate business.) But I did have five sets of buyers in town two weeks ago (two of the five purchasing), another half-dozen coming in this month and another couple in the wings waiting for their own homes to sell. It may be mediocre, but it’s enough to keep me busy.

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Of course, the other thing I don’t have is hypocrisy. I don’t tout freedom of expression and then bash those wishing to exercise it across the heads like a defenseless harp seal. I don’t position myself as an unabashed bully, all the while hoping in the darkness of the night that no one actually looks to see my production ahead of pressing the PayPal button.

And I don’t invite people to my blog by encouraging comments and then take offense when those comments aren’t sufficiently sycophantic, like there aren’t enough folks breathlessly parroting Bundini Brown as it is. It wouldn’t seem that spitting on the carpet would matter when the spittle’s falling on yards of accumulated feces, but that’s not my call.

Truth be told, my business still isn’t where I want it to be. This is the year I want to incorporate a buyers’ agent, all the while making sure I’ve got enough business of my own so as to be able to allow someone else to earn the money on my behalf. And there’s always the next major sales standard RE/MAX has, though it’s going to take more than a few $43,000 homes to get to that point. Stranger things have happened, though.

A self-made mediocrity? Perhaps. But an honest one. And one that’s outperforming more than a few others.

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Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Ken Brand

    March 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Pikes blend with 2 raw sugars and a dose of half & half is shooting from my nose. Another fine shire soiled.

    Harp Seal, Spittle, Show Her My Big Techorati.

    You crack me up! May I have another?

    Cheers.

  2. Ken Brand

    March 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    By the way, that’s “fine SHIRT soiled”, not shire.

    And what kinda mutt is that in the picture?

  3. Erion Shehaj

    March 5, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I was at Sweet Tomatoes when I read this. Now my sweater smells like Big Chunk Chicken Noodle Soup 🙂

  4. Bill Lublin

    March 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    If I were Toby, I might be upset that I was not featured on your signs. I would point out that in the case of my dog, Cisco, and Toby, and any other dogs, they are generally smarter than their owners. After all they live in the same houses as we do, but they don’t need to work.

    Got to tell you that I’m not big on telling others whether they are or are not successful, and I think that doing so is presumptuous to say the least. You’re right that success in our business starts with what you sell and how much you make, not with your page rank. I might suggest that professional growth and contributing to the community come next, and that the truest success comes after your financial security and professional reputation have been established, and that success is found in charitable works and self-fulfillment, but maybe I’m missing something. I just don’t understand where your Google page rank comes into any of that.

    In any case, if Toby is happy then you must be a success, his opinion is probably the most important one of all.
    😉

  5. ines

    March 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I measure success in weather people like me or not? 😉 …without even saying cupholders

  6. ines

    March 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    that’s “whether” – I hate when I think in Spanish and type in English

  7. Chris Lengquist

    March 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    This has nothing to do with anything other than to say I was in Royals Stadium during Clint Hurdle’s very first major league at bat. Over the right field wall and into the fountain. I’ll never forget. I was just a kid….

  8. John Wake

    March 6, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Congratulations on your success!

    And you are covering the Cactus League too? Holy Mackerel!

  9. Elaine Reese

    March 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

    As always, I love your posts. Only the income counts. I love (NOT) when someone says you MUST do this or that, or they brag about their ratings, traffic, etc. THEN you look to see if they have any bu$ine$$.

    Now about your big Technorati rating ………

  10. Melina Tomson

    March 6, 2009 at 11:22 am

    As long as you make your income goal who cares? Some people want to make $50k a year, some $500K.

    Some people have kids that they actually want to spend time with. Some people would like to stay married.

    People need to find their own balance and be okay with it. If you aren’t making your individual goals, then you need to continue to work hard to get what you want.

    People don’t want the same things out of life.

  11. Russell Shaw

    March 6, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Even I am still working on fully being Russell Shaw and I had quite a head start. Nice one, sir.

  12. teresa boardman

    March 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    If you are mediocre then I hope to reach that level one day too.

  13. teresa boardman

    March 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Except for the technorati rating and the page rank. LOL Just kidding you know I love you. 🙂

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