Does your Realtor have anything in common with your kid in T-ball?

My six year old son has just started his baseball career.  T-Ball, be warned!  As I watched and participated in the first practice, I couldn’t help but notice the different personalities, abilities, and styles of all the kids.  The differences were most obvious when our very, very patient coach split the team in two; sending half of them to the infield to catch or stop the balls while the other half would be batting.  My son was with the first group of fielders.  They all looked so good and professional.  Their uniforms were new and clean.  Hats were on straight, displayed proudly for all the parents and spectators.  The gloves were even on their correct hands…mostly.  Finding their positions, (with a little help) and facing the batter, they were an intimidating defensive presence.  Then the inevitable happened.  A ball was hit toward them…

The ball came off the tee with a “crack!”  Although, I’m sure the “crack” was the sound of the bat hitting the metal tee.  Nonetheless, it was a short, very short blooper to shallow infield.  The fielders all shuffled their feet for a moment, and then the wait was on.  The ball took a bounce before slowly crawling to a stop.  Once it had fully stopped, the sharply dressed infielder quickly realized it would not roll all the way to his mit, so he swiftly charged the stopped ball and returned it to the coach!  So it went, and this first group of fielders, in my mind, came to be known as the “passive” infield. 

The next group proved themselves to be very aggressive.  They were all assigned their positions on the field, but this would not stop them from covering the entire field.  Each ball hit past the tee was fair game for a vicious winner take all scrum of a dog pile for the ball.  It was like watching a pack of wild dogs chasing a chicken.   The concept of working as a “team” has not been fully covered quite yet, but I’m sure will be addressed later in the season.  This group, I’ll remember as the “Dog Pack.”

While the drills continued, I glanced to the field next to ours, where another T-ball team was practicing.  What I saw looked more like a college team!  They performed calisthenics in unison and played long toss catch – even catching the ball!  I secretly hoped they would not be our first opponent…

What does all this have to do with Real Estate?  Well, as I watched the kids performing at different levels and speeds, I thought about Realtors.  While all Realtors are taught the same materials to receive their licenses, they do not all perform the same in the field.  They all have their own particular style, pace and abilities.  Some wait patiently for the ball to roll their way, yet others will rush to get the ball regardless of obstacles.  Some are leaders, some are followers.  Some are great team players, while others thrive independently.  Some go about their daily activities without a specified goal or plan as others operate under a well laid business plan, conceived days, weeks, even years ahead.

As with T-Ball’ers, who eventually learn to play specific positions, there are realtors who specialize in unique niches, becoming experts in their field.  Of course, there are also the majority of licensed agents who offer services covering the broad spectrum of the residential real estate field.  Some agents continue their training and education so they can make it to the “big leagues,” while others are content to stay in the little leagues.  Most are well informed.  Some are good at anticipating the market’s bounces, others not.  I’ve even seen some in the outfield chasing butterflies and grasshoppers…so to speak…

So what do these observations mean?  It means, if you’re in need of a Realtor to help you with buying or selling real estate, you should do plenty of homework!  The New York Yankees don’t draft players based on how good they look in the uniform.  The Chicago Cubs don’t sign pitchers because they talk a good game.  Real estate transactions are usually some of the biggest financial decisions a person will make in their lives, so do your homework and do it well!  In my next blog post, I’ll discuss questions to ask while interviewing agents.  In the meantime, choose wisely and play ball!

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