As an agent, we’re expected to be the experts.
Trust in an agent requires a certain belief that no matter what the situation, you, the agent, will have the expertise to guide the client through whatever comes along. We need to know our local markets, the national markets, home prices, contracts, title issues, mortgages – you can add whatever you want to the list, we’re supposed to know it. People rely on us to have the answers.
When you’re new, you’re not an expert. You don’t have the experiences that lead up to expertise. You’ve passed your test and you feel ready to take on the world, but I know from experience, on your first transaction something will come up that makes you say “what in the world is that and how do I deal with it?” If not the first, then the second; if not the second, then the nine hundred and thirty-first. It will happen.
Much like the skier in the photo above, you don’t just magically start at the top. You’ve got to earn it. You need to practice your craft and learn everyday to be an expert. Truly, I don’t think you ever reach the “expert” level. The minute you’re the expert, the mountain just gets taller. If you stop pushing towards the summit, you’re only going to slide down the mountain. Classes, reading, interacting with other agents, and reading blogs will help expand your knowledge, but actual use of that knowledge will make you the expert that consumers will trust.
Being the expert means knowing when to say “help!”
I’ve learned a lot, but I still think I have only a fraction of the knowledge I need and want. I’m not a mortgage expert. I’m not as knowledgeable about home inspection as I’d like. I cringe when I hear an acronym I don’t understand (we have so many). There are times that despite my own confidence in knowing what I need to do for my clients, I feel like I don’t know the answer. And when I don’t? I ask for help. Whether its another agent, my broker, a lender, a title company, or one of you; we all need help from time to time – new or not. Having expertise in every area of every field involved in a real estate transaction is simply impossible. That’s why a true expert knows the other experts so they can find the answers to their clients questions.
I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately. Perhaps I’ve obtained the “expert” designation.
photo courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik