The Shiny Penny
If you were to offer a child a shiny new penny or a worn discolored dime; which do you believe they would take? Without understanding value, they typically would choose the penny because it was new and larger than the dime, so it obviously would have a greater value, in their mind. Many new real estate agents entering the business do the same exact thing because they do not understand value. The shiny penny gets all the attention with the brilliant office and the smiling face that exudes wealth. Newly licensed agents are promised opportunities from long-standing companies with the reputation of housing top producers or having market share. They promise training and the ability to shadow top producers and learn how to become a top producer. Oh yes, their commissions are lower than other firms, but they offer their reputation and services, unlike the other firms. They will be among several other newly licensed agents and they will all learn along the way and become part of the company team.
The training begins with scripts for calling expired listings and “for sale by owners”, and the role playing begins till they have their scripts down pact, and the phone calls begin, alongside other agents. After many hang-ups and disgruntled persons on the other end of the call, they create an opportunity to make a listing presentation to take on an over-priced listing that will linger again because of an owner’s preconceived idea of the value of their home, and later expires, again.
The shadowing of top producers becomes stuffing envelopes or applying stamps to postcards and attending closings where they witness large commission checks the top producer receives and their excitement builds once again as the newly licensed agent makes a cash advance on their credit card to make it through another month without income.
Very soon the shiny penny isn’t as exciting as it once was. The newly licensed agent must take on another job to fulfill their financial obligations, often to the dismay of the shiny real estate brokerage. The training fades and very soon the newly licensed agent is cast into the heap of other fledgling agents and the shiny penny becomes a tarnished albatross around the neck of the newly licensed agent as they become tarnished with the real estate industry. If only they knew the right questions to ask and were able to look past the shiny penny.
What many newly licensed agents don’t understand is, they are in business for themselves and they need to understand what tools they must invest in to go along with the training. They need to understand that the market share of the firm is not theirs, a shiny office is to impress the public’s opinion, not theirs, what other opportunities will there to create cash flow and build a database other than working with buyers and sellers? They need to understand, they are building “their” business and not just the reputation or create a larger market share for the shiny penny.
The old dime is there, long after many agents have been cast into a pile for their tiny piece of market share. There are many opportunities with the old dime that will be bypassed by those who don’t understand the value or what questions to ask.
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