Scott’s Thoughts: The Best Shortcut

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”

-Alfred “Freddy” Sheinwold, American bridge player (January 26, 1912 – March 8, 1997)

Trail directional post.One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was:

“Before you make any major life decision, ask the opinion of five people over the age of 60.”

Even if I didn’t always like the answers I received, I always benefitted from the hard-won wisdom and experience. I took solace in the realization that my problems weren’t new, my young instincts were often a little off track, and those crucial decades of perspective gave me short cuts that my peers weren’t willing to discover.

If you’re new to real estate, you’d do well to take this same advice to heart. While you don’t have to find mentors of a particular age, it would be enormously helpful to find ones who have been in the business fifteen years or more. Turn to those who have experienced the ups and downs of markets. Ask questions.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying into the hype machine that says “technology has changed everything” and assume that means people who aren’t on the cutting edge of technology have nothing to offer. Don’t forget, they have hundreds of transactions under their belt! Times change, technology changes, financial markets change, but that sort of change has always been around. And guess who has been around to see it? (Hint: They can tell you what it was like to use a paper Rolodex, even though today they use a smartphone.)

Now, if you’re on the flip side of the experience coin, you can also do yourself a favor by asking new agents what technology they’re excited about and why. Find a few new agents in your office or in your community who you can not only mentor, but can also learn from. Sometimes the freshest ideas come from the outside, and many new agents are making the leap from other sectors– technology, hospitality management, marketing, and more. Run your solutions by them and see what they think.

Your problems are not new, and you’re not alone. Let your defenses down, swallow your pride, and learn from others’ perspectives. Get a cup of coffee and find common ground. It’s the best shortcut in the book.

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