December 26, 2008

Adding Up Your Scores

Time To Turn In the Scores

Okay, so you completed the Self Assessment and now you're wondering where you go from here, huh? Well, let's dissect the results and see what they might say about you and your real estate business.

As you look at your scores, you'll notice they are bunched - some at the high end (7-10) that we'll refer to as your "strengths" and others down at the other end of the spectrum (1-4). We'll call these your "weaknesses." If you're like most people you also have a few of the lines where you weren't exactly high or low so you gave yourself a 5 or 6?

Well, as you saw from the self assessment, there were some questions about your business sense (goal setting and planning), your prospecting skills and systems, time management, follow through and technical skills. So as you look at your cluster of scores, you can probably identify areas where you are strong and areas where you score low.

Now the question becomes - do you focus on your areas of strength or try to elevate your areas of weakness?

I have always been a proponent of focusing on your strengths because I felt if you could continue to stay strong in those areas, your weaknesses would have no choice but to improve. The more I study and read about the subject, the more strongly I feel that you must focus on your strengths.

Long Drives, Three Putts and Your Success

Let me tell you a story about my days as a golf professional...

I used to work as a golf professional at a private club outside of Cleveland. After the members would play a round, they would venture into the pro shop to post their scores prior to heading to the locker room, lunch room or bar. Inevitably, one of the players would ask me if I had time for a lesson.

"I'm tired of getting beat by these guys," they would say, in despair over a lost $10 Nassau to their buddies.

"No problem," I'd respond, eager to have an opportunity to help someone with their game. "Let's meet at the putting green after you have lunch. Shall we say thirty minutes?"

And then I would hear it - the ego-filled excuses of why we needed to meet at the driving range instead of the putting green.

"These guys are out-hitting me..."
"I need to be able to hit the ball farther..."
"I want to learn how to control my driver better..."

They figured that if they could only learn to hit a longer ball that their score would drastically be affected. My response was always something along the lines of "how many three-putts did you have in your round today?"

For those of you who golf, you know that if a golfer has four or five "three-putt greens" in his round, his score will be those same four or five strokes higher than the golfer who two-putts every hole. So by improving one's short game, we could more drastically affect his score than by adding a few extra yards on to a tee shot.

In fact, the average golfer will only hit a driver on 14 holes each round (typical courses have 4 par three holes, usually requiring a tee shot with an iron) but he or she will use the putter on every hole. By strengthening one's short game, a golfer will have more opportunities to reduce scores, thereby saving strokes and this case...winning a few more bets.

Drive For Show and Putt For Dough?

How does this relate to real estate? Well, learning how to hit a long drive is sort of like the real estate agent who spends much of his time creating pretty fact sheets or surfing new listings on the MLS. It may look pretty and you're sure to impress the fellow agents in the work room but it's not necessarily going to help you get to a closing. A good putter is like someone who prospects effectively, has great time management skills and delivers results time and again.

Hopefully that analogy will help you determine how to leverage your strengths and weaknesses on the real estate course. In the next post, we'll take a look at how learning to harness your strengths and manage around your weaknesses just might be your "ace in the hole."