6 Ways to Become a Smarter Agent

by Peter Thomas Ricci

How can you be sure, as an agent and as a person, that you’re always pushing yourself to become smarter and more adaptable?

We have an unfortunate tendency, nowadays, to think that intelligence is innate – that some people, in other words, are just born smart. There’s no denying that some people do have a propensity for knowledge, but it’s equally absurd to think that there’s nothing we can do to improve our own mental lot in life!

Indeed, few industries award smarts better than real estate, so with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of simple ways to challenge yourself and become a smarter real estate agent:

1. Be Smart Online – Dog videos and Internet memes are undoubtedly a blast, and it’s nice to get away from the noise and unwind for a spell; however, in addition to looking at photos of Sad Keanu and checking your Facebook page, look into something more mentally engaging, like an interesting TED talk.

2. Write Things Down – It’s one thing to hear something interesting, but it’s another matter to write it down. For instance, did you read something interesting in one of our stories about new construction? Write it down! Doing so forces you to reconsider what you just learned, and will better internalize the information for future reference.

3. Note Your Accomplishments – Confidence plays a huge role in one’s intelligence, and what better way to boost your confidence than noting all the things you accomplished in a given day? Whether they be professional or personal in nature, it’s great to remind yourself that you did, in fact, accomplish things worth noting.

4. Read, Read, Read – We’re hardly the first website to point out the benefits of reading, but to be fair, the benefits are such that it merits repeating. From daily news briefs to longer forms of fiction and non-fiction, it does the brain no harm to assault it with a wide array of written materials, especially when the subject matter is outside of your personal discipline. Of course, read about real estate and the market, but also consider some Vonnegut or Hemingway on the side to challenge your brain in unconventional ways.

5. Explain Things – Just like writing things down helps you internalize them, explaining them to other people helps you master them. For instance, think back to how daunting certain aspects of the real estate business seemed when you first learned them, but how, after explaining them a couple hundred times to clients, they now seem as natural as telling someone your birthday. Apply that same approach to new facts and concepts that you learn in your travels!

6. Embrace Downtime – Finally, though our previous tips all involved some form of action, it’s just as important that you allow yourself the time to sit back, relax and soak in all that you’ve learned. Of course, we’re being figurative here – whether it’s relaxing with a glass of wine or going for a run, reflection is the final step to the learning process.

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