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Don't be on video!

being a professional Jun 15, 2024

I don’t really mean “don’t be on video.” I mean video should not be anywhere near the top of your concerns or focus. Unless of course you are exceptionally good at it - which is not most of us.

I was listening in on an office of agents who had participated in a national coaching event with a big-name real estate coach. They were sharing what they took away from the event. Someone said, “I love that he [big name coach] said ‘Be on video or get out of the business.’ If you aren’t doing video every day you are killing your business.”

Wow. I hate to continue to be that same curmudgeon who says, “Total and utter bullsh*t,” but I appear to be that guy.

All I keep thinking about is that over the last 10 years or more, real estate training has been focused on marketing (with a lot of focus on us - as individuals). Nothing wrong with marketing. If you can’t get clients, you can’t do business.

On the other hand, if you don’t know how to sell real estate you can’t do business. What I see across the industry: most agents don’t know how to sell real estate.

There is all this noise around getting business. Very few know how to do business. Those that really know how to do business have no problems getting business. Funny how those two things go together.

Too many people know little to nothing about:

  • Houses
  • Their local market
  • The national market
  • The economy
  • The structure of homes and what are the things to protect their clients from
  • Contracts (there is more than one!)
  • The essence of how to put deals together
  • Negotiating
  • Psychology
  • Relationship building

I can go on and on. Learning those things is boring. So is success.

Maybe you have 2,000 followers on Instagram? Congratulations. Maybe you are a TikTok sensation? Whoopee.  Or maybe you have 3,458 friends on Facebook? Hold on - is Facebook still around?

Your friends and clients tell you they see you on social all the time and love your videos. Really? The argument for posting on social is so that they can see you are a real person by what you post. "For sure that makes a difference", some will say.  I highly doubt it.  But maybe...?

If you know me, you know I am not on social. I cannot think of a worse technology for humanity in the last 15 years. I am also not saying don’t be on social. My wife’s favorite thing to do with her cup of coffee in the morning is scroll IG for dog videos because she gets immense joy from watching people and their dog stories (actually, any animal video).

But...and my wife hates when I start a sentence with ‘but’...your social media and your video skills have little to nothing to do with your effectiveness as a realtor. And definitely has nothing to do with being a professional.

I love this abridged list of Shane Parrish’s thoughts on the difference between Amateurs and Professionals. (Here’s the full list

  • Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a system.
  • Amateurs are reactive. Professionals are proactive.
  • Amateurs want to win the moment. Professionals want to win the decade.
  • Amateurs are kinda-in. Professionals are all-in.
  • Amateurs focus on the outcome. Professionals focus on the process.
  • Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circle of competence.
  • Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing who they are. Professionals know they have blind spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.
  • Amateurs value doing it once. Professionals value doing it consistently.
  • Amateurs rely on willpower. Professionals focus on creating an environment that turns desired behaviors into default behaviors.
  • Amateurs wait until they feel like it. Professionals do it when they don’t feel like it.
  • Amateurs show up to practice to have fun. Professionals realize that what happens in practice happens in games.
  • Amateurs worry about what they see. Professionals worry about what they can’t see.
  • Amateurs focus on the short-term. Professionals focus on the long-term.
  • Amateurs focus on tearing other people down. Professionals focus on making everyone better.
  • Amateurs blame others. Professionals accept responsibility.
  • Amateurs are intermittent. Professionals are consistent.
  • Amateurs want to get even. Professionals want to get better.

This list is sooooo good - I would have included the whole list, but it’s long and that probably would have bored you and we would have gotten off track - but I encourage you to read the full list.

If you want to do and be on video - knock yourself out! All I am simply saying is, please make sure that first you know how to sell real estate, especially if you are signing fiduciary contracts with clients. My assertion is that when you sign that contract, you are representing not just yourself, but our entire industry. I am sick and tired of being lumped in with lousy professionals - they are not professionals, they are hacks who don’t even know what the word “professional” means. They most certainly don’t know how to spell ‘fiduciary’.

Some of you who are great at video is still hung up on me saying video is lame and a waste of time. Not really what I said, and not my point. What I am saying is that there is so much noise and nonsense around the things that don’t really matter in the long run. These “experts” who are telling you how to run your business seemingly have made our industry worse. Not the truth, just an opinion, and I am exaggerating maybe a little to make my point.

My point: simply focus on being a professional. Stop worrying about this noise about how “you have to do this ______ to be relevant and successful.” The blank gets filled in with reviews, videos, etc. You can do those things, but how about putting a little more attention on being a professional? Here are the last four items from the longer list above:

...Professionals focus on making everyone better.
...Professionals accept responsibility.
...Professionals are consistent.
...Professionals want to get better.

I promise you that if you simply focused on only these four items, your business - and life - would alter.