The Confident Rookie Series - Secret Five - Cheerfully Waste Your Time

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Regular readers of my blog know how I feel about wasting time. I'm all for it! Especially for rookies. This is one of the main reasons I'm opposed to rookies jumping into the biz only half-way (that is, part time) - when you have to carefully guard your time, you can't risk wasting any of it... and that's a shame.

Even as an almost-thirteen year agent, I still cheerfully "waste my time" every chance I get.

What do I mean by that?time

I mean that you should take every opportunity to be out there in the world talking about or looking at or learning more about real estate. If you are doing something that accomplishes one of these items, that's  time well-spent, even if the activity is not leading you directly to a paycheck. Not only are you learning more about being a real estate agent, you're also putting yourself in front of people who could end up being your biggest fans.

When you're new, take every opportunity to learn something, even if it takes time, even if it takes gas. Think about it - would you rather practice on someone who may NOT buy or sell right away, or someone who will? Sure, on the surface, you'd rather work with someone who is leading you to a paycheck, but there's certainly a strong argument for perfecting your technique on non-clients first!

So, what might be some "time-wasters" to embrace?

  • Showing an office listing to an already-represented buyer who calls off the sign?
  • Helping a friend protest her tax assessment by providing sold data?
  • Helping a friend protest a low appraisal for a refinance?
  • Meeting with a potential seller when you know full well he isn't going to hire you?
  • Showing homes to a buyer who can't yet qualify to buy a home, but thinks he can in six months?
  • Helping a relocating renter identify the right neighborhood for him or her?

All of these activities teach you more about your market and give you practice communicating market data to potential clients. They also give you an opportunity to impress someone who might end up being your biggest client and/or referral source. Sounds like a good use of time to me...

Here's a snippet on Wasting Time from a Real Estate Radio USA Interview I did last summer.


 The Confident Rookie Series:

  1. Know Your Systems
  2. Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
  3. Preview, Preview, Preview
  4. Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
  5. Cheerfully Waste Your Time
  6. Find Your Handyman
  7. Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
  8. Get Comfy with Your Commission
  9. Admit that You're New
  10. What to say when you don't know the answer

Stay tuned...


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April 18
Representing Your Buyer in a Short Sale

April 22
The Art of Commission Negotiation

May 13
REALTOR Moms - How DO You do it??





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  1. Yvette & Dennis Gardner 04/10/2009 10:40 AM
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Comments 56 New Comment

Anonymous #53
Edward Berenbaum

Hey Jennifer,  You have a great perspective on Real Estate.  The only one of your points that I would refute is-

Meeting with a potential seller when you know full well he isn't going to hire you?

From what I can read from your writing, you should be able to go into any listing appointment with the confidence that you'll be able to earn the seller's business!

April 10, 2009 08:36 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Ooooh, Edward - you have a good point! I guess I should clarify what I meant by that... sometimes sellers just want market information to decide if they should refi or something like that. And sometimes you're pretty sure they'll FSBO - but your point is well taken because you just never know when someone will change their mind or move up their schedule or whatever! And, I guess... that's kind of the point of being willing to "waste your time." You just NEVER KNOW!

April 10, 2009 08:48 AM
Paul McFadden
Mortgage Loan Officer, Bellevue Washington Home Lo
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

Jennifer: I like your approach. I may really cheerfully waste my time this morning and go hit a bucket of golf balls. I haven't done this in 6 months! And I read somewhere that it's o.k. to occasionally have a diversion. I believe this was your point. Keep up the great posts! I'm now ready to greet the day!

April 10, 2009 09:36 AM
Chuck Capan
REALTOR Licensed In IL. - Moline Homes Quad Cities Real Estate
Mel Foster Co


Yet another great post for newbies and the seasoned alike.  Since when is doing your job a waste of time?  I received a floor call on Tuesday about 11:30 AM, the caller wanted to "See what his house may be worth."  Yes it is REAL easy to blow this kind of call off but I did not.  So I spent 10 minutes looking up tax records to find assessed value, house type, square footage, age etc. plus did a quick check of sold comparables.

I did not put together a full blown CMA...just dropped by the house at 6:00 PM to get a quick tour and I'm going to give the guy a price opinion.

This guy (a widower with 2 small kids) may never sell his home.

I invested about an hour of my time.  In return I think I made a friend.

Nothing wasted here.

Nothing ventured...nothing gained.

April 10, 2009 02:23 PM
Adrian Alvarado
Inland Empire Real Estate
MGR Real Estate Inc.

Your a genius what a great idea to have new agents waste their time and get some great OJT (on the job training) while they are at it. Such a clever way of putting it. Thanks for the great post.

April 10, 2009 06:20 PM

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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