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Why skill in real estate is so overrated

04 November 2016 Tim Neary
What skills do you need to be a real estate agent?

How much skill is needed to succeed in real estate? One of the industry's leading voices says we may be thinking about this all wrong. 

Thirty-year industry veteran and current CEO for growth at Ray White, Mark McLeod, says he would rather have somebody in his team who is task orientated and disciplined than someone who is exceptionally skilled.

Mr McLeod says running a real estate business, whether as an agent or an agency, is a craft. It involves some fundamental components, including things like database, pipeline and stock management, an after-sales program and the ancillary products like property management and mortgage broking.

“Each of these divisions are filled with tasks,” he told Tom Panos as part of Mr Panos’ Real Estate Gym.


“I go and door knock, I go and make phone calls, I follow up and do all the things that a good agent does. It doesn’t really require much skill at all. It requires discipline. And it requires the most underrated commodity in our industry, which is consistency.”

Mr McLeod says he sees new-to-industry agents all the time who are disciplined, follow the tasks and “play the ball in front of them perform at “unbelievable” levels.

There is another interesting industry phenomenon that the Ray White Group’s research has revealed.

“Our research shows that for about 80 per cent of the industry, their business will peak at around year three to four – and then it will plateau.

“And it will plateau because they haven’t built a strong enough foundation to push them through the different categories.”

This, reasons Mr McLeod, is because having the skill to sell a home has no direct relationship to having the ability to build a real estate business.

“Anyone can do a one-off sale,” he said.

“But whether you have the understanding to build a business in the art of selling real estate is completely different to the art of selling homes.”

Why skill in real estate is so overrated
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