Is there anything striving real estate agents can learn from the Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) training program?  Actually, quite a lot. Striving agents and striving SEALs share a dedication to performing at the top of their respective games and both are dedicated to excellence in fields that are highly challenging, competitive and stressful. Along their respective journeys towards excellence, SEALs and agents develop two key characteristics…grit and resiliency.

The Navy SEAL training program is one of the most difficult and well structured training programs in the world.  Let’s take a look at some of its foundational principles and reflect upon how those principles might apply to training to be a top notch agent!

  1.  Having Purpose and Meaning are key ingredients of SEAL training…having your own purpose and meaning, not someone else’s.  SEAL training is so intense, so challenging, so stressful that it weeds out those without a deep sense of purpose in becoming a SEAL.  Real estate (its competitiveness, intensity, stressfulness) too weeds out those without deep purpose and meaning in becoming an agent.
  2. Make your Purpose a Game.  Research shows that the best way to deal with stress is to see problems as challenges, not threats…and to then see challenges as problem solving games.  To survive SEAL training, SEAL veterans say to play the training game, to have fun with it and to pay attention to the bigger picture.  Same with being a novice agent. See the problems as challenges, the challenges as problem solving games and keep playing the game, over and over again.
  3. Be both Confident and Realistic.  First, evaluate the situation and the players/clients involved as they are, not what you’d like them to be. Then be confident you have the tools to effectively handle that situation and those /players clients.
  4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.  As “being” a SEAL in the field, “doing” a real estate transaction takes just 25% of your time. The rest of the time, the other 75%, is “training time” or doing the prospecting, lead followup and presentations necessary to get the deal. Just as in being a SEAL, agents have to prepare, think through the inevitable “explosion” and practice developing alternative solutions ahead of time instead of reacting to an explosion after the fact.
  5. Always Focus on Improvement.  The SEAL culture is a culture of constant self improvement.  As we always say, “Earn while you learn.” Never stop doing the hard work, even if you’re not ‘perfect’ at something yet – keep learning, practicing and implementing. This is where grit comes from in both of these cultures. This is where resiliency comes from.
  6. Give Help and Get Help.  Giving and receiving help is a two way street.  Having such a two way support network is vital to improvement, according to Charles Duhiggi, author of The Power of Habit.   
  7. Celebrate Small Wins. “Small wins” are very big deals, according to research.  Because life is a constant cycle of unpredictable peaks and valleys, recognizing and celebrating small wins help keep us going…help keep us resilient.
  8. Find a Way to Laugh.  Research shows that laughter/humor is a huge buffer against stress and fear.  Good comedians are able make us laugh at stressful, sometimes painful, situations by enabling us to see that situation with a different mindset.