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Knowing When To Sprint
Why playing rugby is a lot like being a realtor
I played rugby in college. The game resembles football, but is longer, played in two, forty-minute halves. Protective padding isn’t allowed, you can’t substitute players (if you go out of the game, you’re done playing), and there are no stops in play unless the ball goes out of bounds or there is a penalty. It is not only physically challenging, but also mentally challenging, as you have to constantly think on your feet, play after play.
My teammates and I always struggled with conditioning. It was so hard to play the entire match because you were always trying to catch your breath from the last play.
I’ve studied the best rugby players in the world trying to figure out how they manage to play so well for the full eighty minutes. They are generally in outstanding shape and they run hard the entire game, but so does everyone on the field. The best players however, always seem to be at the right spot and the right time throughout the game.
As a real estate agent, I see parallels with the sport of rugby. Not that I am tackling my clients to keep them from making a mistake (at times I would like to, but that would be awkward). But being a real estate agent can be both mentally and physically exhausting.
A real estate agent responds to clients, prospects, and other agents throughout the day, and spends evenings playing catch-up and working with clients who are only available to talk, meet or to see homes after work. Weekends are slammed for the same reason: this is when clients are available to deal with real estate. The end result is that real estate agents work 7 days a week, day and night. It’s exhausting.
Most clients don’t know that you spend hours preparing before every meeting you have with them. The public doesn’t realize that agents work for free helping dozens if not hundreds of people with their real estate needs without ever getting paid for those services. For every commission we earn, we might work with 20 people that never close on anything.
The mental and physical challenges of being a real estate agent remind me of rugby. Just like rugby, the business of real estate takes a lot of mental and physical toughness.
Important elements of a successful real estate agent (or rugger):
1. Hard work and discipline applied to learning the craft
2. Learning how to react and perform in difficult situations
3. Understanding how to work best with your team
4. Knowing when to sprint
Most of these items we’ve heard before, but few focus on the last and most important: knowing when to sprint.
Remember when I said the best rugby players always seemed to be in the right place at the right time? These players get just as tired and exhausted as the other rugby players, but they have mastered the art of knowing when to sprint. They can’t sprint the whole game, nor should they, but they will sprint to get in the correct position, and they will sprint when the right opportunity is before them.
The same goes for being a real estate agent. To be a successful agent without burning out or lowering your level of customer service is difficult, which is why few agents are able to maintain a high level of sales and a high level of customer service. I believe the trick is in knowing when to sprint. You have to not only work hard to create frequent opportunities for yourself, but also be able to identify when you really need to dig deep to get a certain task done. The difference can impact your business both monetarily and emotionally.
Spotting the right and wrong opportunities is not easy. You’ll often choose wrong and your efforts will go nowhere. But as long as you learn from failed opportunities so that you can better identify how hard you need to sprint on future ones, you’ll be making progress.
An example of a good time to sprint is when you get a new customer. I recommend sprinting to get ahold of the prospect to find out what their needs are and then quickly follow through with something helpful for them. That initial sprint will do wonders for cementing your future chances of doing business with the prospect, even if the potential closing is more than a year away.
A good rugby player will stick with a successful play (keep sprinting) all the way until they score (you get welcome but little rest when you score in rugby). As an agent, if you get a hot prospect, don’t put the breaks on, keep sprinting. If you get a closing from it, you’ll be able to afford a little time to slow down so you can be ready and rested for the next play.
Mike Turner is are real estate agent owner of Front Street Brokers, a real estate company based in Downtown Boise Idaho.
Trivia about Mike: Prior to working in real estate, Mike worked for few years on movies and TV shows around the world as a Camera Boat Operator and Marine Logistics Coordinator, including the TV serie....
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