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“The Prime Directive”

All of our Star Trek fans out there will recognize this term immediately. If you are not so familiar with its meaning, it stated that even though these astronauts from the future were charged to “seek out strange new lifeforms, and boldly go where no man has gone before,” it came with a specific caveat. What was more important than the exploration and discoveries that would come from this quest, was the mandate that Captain Kirk and his crew could do nothing to interfere with the natural evolution of a planet or their civilization. This Prime Directive wasn’t just only for the Starship Enterprise but for all members of the Federation of Planets.  It was pretty important, and it was an issue that came up in the majority of the episodes.

When I work with Real Estate agents, whether they are brand new or seasoned professionals, I frequently allude to what I refer to as the Prime Directive in Real Estate. I will tell them up front, you might not have realized what you were signing up for when you got into the business. But here’s the deal, you can call yourself anything you want, an agent, a Realtor, a property consultant, an Associate Broker or even an entrepreneur, and some or all of these things may apply. Ultimately, however, your role in the transaction is to become a teacher. You have to teach people how to buy and if you are working with sellers, you have to teach them how to sell. It is that simple.The thing to remember, is most of your “students” will not be paying much attention to you. They will not finish their homework. And even if they tell you that they have sold a million houses and think they know more than you do, they don’t, (because you are actually in the business every day) and the lesson plan changes, at a minimum, every 3 months, because all markets are dynamic.

It is not an accident that the most agents who came from other careers, were previously, ACTUAL teachers.  Within this special group of achievers,the most successful fall into the subset: elementary school teachers.  Why is that? As a 40 year observer, I would like to suggest: the skill sets are all too similar to discount. Both are dealing with audiences with almost no attention spans and the teacher has to take them through a complex lesson plan. If they are good at what they do, they will constantly be asking questions of the “student” to make sure they are “getting it.” They want to make sure that everyone is staying on the same page.  If you think my description is harsh when I compare buyers/sellers to young kids, let me elaborate.  A very strange thing happens when people consider buying/selling. Simply put, they just cannot help it, and most seem to be “bouncing all over the place.”  The questions all seem to fall into the “well, what about this, and what about that” category. A good teacher helps keep their students from going down the various rabbit holes that are constantly emerging.  It really is quite amazing, and it offers a tremendous challenge many times even for the BEST of agents.

So if you are buying or selling don’t get frustrated if your agent is constantly asking you questions.  The entire basis of what is referred to as the Socratic Method of teaching relies on this.

If you are an agent, remember your role as a teacher. Understand that the more questions you resolve the better your client will be serviced and the quicker you will bring them from Contract to Closing.

“Beam me up Scotty!”

Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.

Start your home search now at www.husvarre.com

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