Have you been looking for a job as an independent contractor, with flexible hours, no guarantee of income, need to possess a variety of people and sales skills, capable of managing complex negotiations, whilst able to tap into your savings for the first few months on the job until (hopefully) your first paycheck arrives?
Have you been looking for a job as an independent contractor?
Say, with flexible hours, no guarantee of income, need to possess a variety of people and sales skills?
Of course, you’re capable of managing complex negotiations, whilst being able to tap into your savings for the first handful of months on the job until (hopefully!) your first paycheck arrives!
If so, congratulations – you’re ticking all the boxes to become a real estate agent!
Needless to say, but besides the mandatory licensing exams you’ll need to pass, as well as the abundance of time invested in educating and getting your name out there in the marketplace, any real estate agent worth his salt (whether complete novice or with a few years of experience) will be on the constant lookout to improve his skills or learn new ones.
Having access to that type of information is mostly quite easy as it’s being offered through a number of mediums, such as university courses, online seminars, webinars, or even to be found in a good old-fashioned business book! (Speaking of which: have you ever read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – or its variation called “7 Habits of Highly Effective Real Estate Agents“?)
And sometimes, the information gets to us via rather unusual channels, such as watching science-fiction movies!
Are you serious!?
Besides the imaginary and entertainment element of these types of movies, they can teach you a lesson or two about broader subjects, such as your relationship with money, investment, and yes, real estate!
You may, or may not, realize that the Star Wars series have produced tons of quotes, memorable lines, inspiring lessons!
And while some might be general life lessons, others can be applied to a variety of professional fields, such as (you guessed it) real estate!
Now that the cat’s out of the bag: have you ever stopped to think, while watching the Star Wars movies over the past few decades, that our little green friend Yoda is an extremely valuable source of great inspiring life lessons and quotes, which are very applicable to the field of real estate!?
Let me refresh your memory with this short list of quotes – and as it turns out, contains quite the valuable lessons that real estate agents can learn from Star Wars:
Star Wars Lesson No.1 – “Do or do not, there is no try!”
Back in the original Star Wars Trilogy (how many decades ago already?), during Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training with Yoda, the old Jedi Master uttered one of my personal all-time favorite quotes:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
It was time for Luke to get his act together and realize that he had to be 200% committed to the cause and that “trying” was not an option, as it left the door open for failure.
As a real estate agent (especially a listing agent), your client presentations become the basis of your livelihood!
You’re doing your utmost to explain why you’re the (wo)man for the job, put forward your proposed marketing plan for the seller’s property, your game plan for the home sale preparation, consequently get the selling mandate, and finally arrive at the ultimate goal of getting that sold sign in their front yard!
From start to finish, you need to be completely involved in getting the property sold, as these home sellers have entrusted you with the sale of their most valuable asset.
As one of my early real estate coaches used to tell me: “If you have a good ‘Plan A’, you don’t need a ‘Plan B’.” You list the property, then you work it, work it and work it even more until you sell it or at least know you’ve done everything you possibly can to sell it.
And there won’t be any need to look back and wonder whether you could have done X, Y or Z differently, as you honestly gave it your all throughout the marketing process!
Star Wars Lesson No.2 – “Don’t let your emotions rule you or you may end up going to the Dark Side!”
Most of us Star Wars geeks know that using that famous line, Chancellor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) convinced Anakin Skywalker to turn to the Dark Side of the Force, as he was told about a Sith Lord who could put an end to more people dying during the Clone Wars. Anakin’s visions, portraying his wife (Amidala) dying in childbirth of their twins, and consequently, his attempts to prevent it, actually led him to become Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Before I’m digressing into too many Star Wars details (guess it’s a tad too late for that!), the true lesson for a real estate agent lies in the honesty during his listing presentation with the homeowner!
Why do real estate agents take on overpriced listings?
While it might be easy (read: tempting) for the agent to get persuaded by the personal circumstances of the homeowner, who might want to recoup his initial purchase price, or perhaps needs a minimum sale price in order for him to afford his next property, the agent needs to remain objective and honest when it comes to pricing the property.
Does the agent tell the home seller what he wants to hear?
At what price is the real estate agent willing to get the mandate to sell the property?
Ever heard of real estate’s dirty little secret?
Remember, without proper substantiation to back up the suggested price level, as tempting as it might be to be pricing a property higher in order to please the seller (or to get the mandate), he’s not even out of the starting blocks and the agent is already doing the seller a disservice!
His final sale price (likely to be many months down the line) will never be as high as it could have been if the property had been priced correctly from the get-go.
Thus, the agent’s setting himself up for failure as the likelihood of successfully concluding a sale at a market-related price will be pretty much non-existent.
Once you’ve meandered into the Dark Side of real estate pricing, it’s ethically impossible to come back!
Star Wars Lesson No.3 – “Judge me by my size, do you?”
We all remember this one, no?
This other famous quote from the wise Yoda got mentioned in the movie “The Empire Strikes Back” during Luke Skywalker’s training on Dagobah. There he was trying to levitate his crashed X-Wing Fighter out of the bog but struggled to do so. Yoda then steps in and shows him that it is possible to do.
After all, as soon as Luke had met Yoda, he was very doubtful whether this Yoda figure was actually the real thing.
How could this weird, green-looking, little creature be the incredibly-powerful Jedi Master he heard so much about?!
Let’s be honest here:
How often do we judge a book by its cover?
A real estate agent might take his car along a client’s long driveway, surrounded by an unkempt garden in dire need of TLC, thinking the worst is yet to come with the house, only to arrive at the most beautiful home setting he’s seen in the entire neighbourhood!
Likewise, meeting a client for the first time might give a real estate agent certain judgemental ideas by just looking at the person.
How can this person, dressed in this “painter’s outfit” and driving a 30-year old rusty pickup truck, afford this $1,000,000 home?
Yet, more often than not, those types of people will make cash offers.
Things aren’t always what they seem to be!
Star Wars Lesson No.4 – “You must unlearn what you have learned!”
In the same movie scene as mentioned in the previous lesson when Luke Skywalker was asked to levitate his crashed X-Wing Fighter, Yoda mentioned another one of his snippets of wisdom:
Luke’s way of thinking needed to be adjusted, where he would be more open-minded to the possibility of the levitation actually happening!
Similarly, as a real estate agent, you’re dealing with a constantly changing property market; whether it is a seller’s market turning into a buyer’s market or vice versa, new Generations entering the market who prefer doing things their own way, having to adjust to new technology, keeping up with new laws being introduced, etc.
Remember how much fun working those fax machines were? (I’m revealing my age now)
Back in the day, the fax machine asked for quite the adjustment!
Then there was this world wide web thing – and something called an electronic mail or email?!
And now, there are all these new fancy apps to get used to!
Or remember writing an offer where you needed only a handful of pages? Now you’re easily looking at 30+ pages to just cover the basics!
Marketing a property is another great example where one cannot just place an ad in the local newspaper and expect buyers to show up.
But guess what: unless you as a real estate agent remain open-minded to adjust to the changing working environment, you will miss the boat.
Star Wars Lesson No.5 – “First impressions are important.”
Obi Wan Kenobi: “That’s no moon…it’s a space station.”
Han: “It’s too big to be a space station.”
Luke: “I have a very bad feeling about this.”
(Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope)
First impressions: they can be bittersweet!
Did you know that it only takes 15 seconds for potential buyers to form an opinion of a property?
How far do you think they’ve gone up the walkway by then?
Would it be fair to say that you better make sure that you use that one chance of making a first impression count?
One of the most important factors of selling a home is making sure the house has curb appeal.
Unlike some people who might believe that it’s the interior that needs to be taken care of first, it’s actually the exterior of the house which needs to be a priority!
There’s no way any potential buyers will visit inside if the outside of the home is a major turnoff. There are a number of relatively easy exterior staging tips one can follow to make a huge difference!
A real estate agent needs to be very well aware of the implications of the curb appeal of a property if he has the seller’s best interest at heart:
How inviting is it?
Has it been well-maintained?
Does the front garden or façade of the house present well or could it potentially turn interested buyers away?
Likewise, once the interested home buyers enter the house, how will their first impression be? Has any effort been taken in ‘making it pretty’?
Don’t you agree a home needs to look its best in order for it to get the most attention from buyers? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the homeowner wants to sell as soon as possible, he will have to make some important decisions before putting it on the market: one of these might involve home staging!
Even though this article only mentioned 5 Lessons Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Star Wars, I’m sure there are many more lessons to be learned from the syntax-challenged, 900-year old Yoda!
Who would have thought that the Star Wars movies contained so much wisdom applicable to real estate agents?!
Bottom line: if there are 3 important things a real estate agent in his journey to success ought to remember from reading this article filled with Star Wars quotes, they should be (1) to remain flexible, (2) recognize opportunities, and (3) be patient.
Bottom line: following this reading filled with Star Wars quotes, if there are 3 important things to ensure success as a real estate agent during his journey, which will hopefully last for many decades, they should be (1) to remain flexible, (2) recognize opportunities, and (3) be patient.
In other words: do the above, and you’ll be a real estate Jedi agent in no time!
I hope the above-mentioned helpful information will be useful on your ongoing journey as a real estate agent! Who knows, it might actually get you a few more listings, which will sell faster given the above Star Wars quotes and lessons!
And, if you found this article interesting, please help share it across your social media platforms, so other real estate agents may learn a thing or two!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
About the author: The above article “Lessons Real Estate Agents Can Learn From Star Wars” was written by Xavier De Buck, your top-producing Johannesburg real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty. Xavier has been nationally recognized and awarded for providing service excellence, exceptional property sales, whilst exhibiting the highest level of professionalism. With over 17 years combined experience as a real estate agent, real estate investor and landlord, if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Johannesburg, Xavier would love to share his property knowledge and expertise.
© 2015-2019, Xavier De Buck. All Rights Reserved.