Ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you have to have at your fingertips as a real estate agent?  Just when you have one set of scripts and skills assimilated into your listing presentation, it seems another scenario or objection jumps gets thrown at you and this new scenario which you may know little or nothing may just be the deal maker, or breaker.  Frustrating as it is to never be or feel like you’re “done” learning, know that you’re not alone in being compelled to master this information and knowledge.

Learning processes and styles (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) can take many forms. Semester long classes, weekend workshops, one-one tutorials, watching/listening to master teachers/mentors, experiential internships and on and on…endless possibilities are available for you to learn whatever it is you want to learn.  But one of the ways to help you actually absorb and utilize whatever knowledge you’re learning is to apply the 30 – 70 rule to your learning process/style.

The 30 – 70 rule boils down to 30% consumption and 70% creation.  Contrary to what many people think, knowledge is not 100% consumption.  Reading a book or listening to a lecture to gain knowledge doesn’t really do it.  (Chances are that tomorrow you won’t remember much of what you read or hear today, right?) Actual learning requires time and application…time to study, time to think, time to use your motor/mental skills and try things out, experiment, refine your ideas. That time and application, that creation enables you to truly understand/grasp the concepts and  facts you’ve been consuming.

Time and application, ie. creation also allows failure, the most effective learning tool of all.  Every failure, regardless of how embarrassing or disappointing or frustrating, always comes with a lesson.  Your next attempt, your next effort to apply and “make work” the information you’ve consumed may still fail but this time, the time after you allowed yourself to actually try and perhaps fail, will get you closer than you were to getting it right.

Also know that learning, the true acquisition of knowledge, is not a method of procrastination.  Sure, too many times we all essentially cheat ourselves out of success by procrastinating.  Instead of writing a market report, we read one…one in another state that has nothing to do with the local market in which we work.  Instead of making a lunch appointment with a client to discuss new listings that may be of interest to her, we have lunch with a friend and tell him how behind we are in following up with our clients.   No, learning is not procrastinating.

Learning, truly mastering a subject/idea/skill, requires taking in the information you’re consuming and using it.  Consuming it takes 30%; using/applying/creating it takes 70%.

Tried and true adages to keep in mind while you’re learning…”Earn while you learn;” “Learning is doing;” “Practice makes perfect,” and, most importantly, “Done is better than perfect.”