The Real Estate Agent Success Formula, Truth Revealed

Everyone is great at some things, not great at others, and is working towards a greater level of mastery on the things that matter most to them.  This is true in business, as well as in life.  Today you’ll discover which level of mastery you have regarding your real estate skills.  

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Initially described as “Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill”, the theory was developed at Gordon Training International by its employee Noel Burch in the 1970s. Since then, it has been frequently attributed to Abraham Maslow, although the model does not appear in his major works.

The Four Stages of Learning provides a model for learning. It suggests that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or are literally unconscious of their incompetence. As they recognize their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, then consciously use it, polishing it and improving with practice.  Eventually, the skill can be utilized without it being consciously thought through: the individual is said to have then acquired unconscious competence.

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Keeping it practical and tactical…let’s take a look at each of these stages and translate it into something you can really use to move your skills forward.

Unconscious Incompetence

The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may even deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.  The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on their own desire to learn and improve.

Example:  An agent has never had to compete on a listing.  They only work with referrals, friends, and family.  They don’t see a need for a Pre-Listing Package or a formal listing presentation.  They don’t pre-qualify, they probably don’t use any scripts.  They have been reasonably successful.  They sometimes believe they already must have that skill because they’ve done ok so far.

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Stimulus to Learn:  Losing a deal, a listing, or a buyer to someone more professional.  Almost always a shocking surprise to someone in unconscious incompetence.

Goal:  This agent must learn to set more appointments, especially with prospects they do NOT know, so they see they need to upgrade their skills.  More experience will shine a light on their deficits, thus motivating the agent to improve. 

Challenges:  If it takes too long to experience the loss of a deal or a listing, the agent can stay in this stage forever.  

Conscious incompetence

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.  Lots of trial and error.

Example:  Agent has now seen the light.  Immediate needs are the following:

-They must set more appointments to reinforce the need for new skills.  Ok if mistakes are made.

-Adopt the ‘earn while you learn’ mentality.  -It’s ok to lose some listings along the way but find out WHY and fix it!

-Presentation skills, better questions, and listening more closely.

-Learning to close.  Actually ASK for the business with confidence.

  Core skills are ready to be built: (Premier Coaching will supercharge this process!)

-Improve Lead Follow-Up through the use of White Boards and Vital Stats report.

-Follow The 18 Furiously Fast Lead Follow-Up Rules

-PreQualification Scripts/buyer and seller

-Pre-Listing Package

-Listing Presentation

-Buyer Presentation

-Track everything / use whiteboards.

-Set More appointments

Stimulus to Learn:  Fear of loss.  Ego bruised by not being as good as they thought.  Good time for a recalibration of goals for the sake of keeping motivation high.  The agent often realizes that to do more deals, they actually MUST upgrade their skills.

Goal:  Get the above list created, polished, practiced, and systematized.  Lots of coaching time is spent in this category.  Agents need a ton of support and recognition in addition to education.  

Challenge:  An agent can be overwhelmed by the epic amount of polishing, production, and practice necessary to move forward.  Time Management may be an issue.

Implement one thing well at a time to avoid overwhelm.  Have your coach help you!

Conscious competence

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

Example:  The Pre Listing Package and Listing Presentation are polished.  Agent understands and values the upgrades they’ve made.  Now it’s time to monetize these skill and presentation upgrades.

Stimulus to Learn:  More income!  Attaining their goals.  Moving up to the next level.  Making a huge leap.  Lather, rinse, and repeat. This is where MOMENTUM occurs.

This agent usually will become curiously motivated to now set more appointments…because they are more fun, fulfilling, and have a predictable outcome.

Challenge:  Continued polishing, role-playing, and use of upgraded skills on a consistent basis.  Time Management again may be an issue.

Challenge: The agent will likely be handling more volume of business than ever before.  Mistakes may occur. They may feel overwhelmed at times.  If they don’t have a  Transaction Coordinator yet, now’s the time.  Continue tracking closely using White Boards and Vital Stats page.

Challenge:  Pricing and Negotiation skills may need polishing. 

Challenge:  Fear of Success.  Possibility of sliding back to previous categories out of being uncomfortable and unfamiliar with this level of business.  

Unconscious competence

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily.  The individual may be able to teach it to others.

Example:  ‘Grizzled Veterans’.  They take almost 100% of the listings they go on.  They have polished scripts, skills, and presentations.  They negotiate professionally and are good or great at core skills.  They have confidence.

Stimulus to Learn:  There may be none.  Danger! Danger! Danger!  Complacency and Ego may become a serious detriment.  Boredom may hold agents back from doing what they really could do.  Remember, a boring business is a predictable and duplicatable one. Don’t let boredom kill momentum.

Stimulus to Learn: Possibility of delegating and systematizing to buy their time back and execute on bigger and better goals in life.

Challenges:  Keeping the agent motivated.  New challenges to keep life interesting.  Keep focused on goals!  Sometimes their ego creeps back in and then it’s back to ‘conscious incompetence’ and the need for a hard reset.  The need for more exciting goals, learning to invest, and building the life of their dreams is critical to not lose momentum.




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