We’re in the era of intellectual property. It’s no longer about what we know, it’s about who you are as a person.

This means if you stop emphasizing the information you have, you will no longer be competing with Google Searches. Instead you will have much more value when you showcase yourself and your expertise.

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Where does this leave full-service real estate?

  • Is your experience of 100 or 500 home sales a valuable perspective in negotiations?
  • What about the 50 other times you have had to deal with an agent unfairly trying to renegotiate after a clean home inspection?
  • How about the 35 other multiple offers you had this year representing clients? Would that type of connection to the market provide value and give your clients a competitive edge? (If you won some of course.)
  • Is your ability to interpret and analyze information while discussing the credibility of sources valuable?
  • Is your art of finding neutral ground in which to shelter the client from stress and difficulties of negotiations valuable?

Of course it is!

“Leadership is a potent combination of  strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

This quote brings us to Stephen Covey’s explanation of our current industrial era: The Wisdom Era. It is no longer the era of providing value simply by distributing or producing mass amounts of information.

In the Wisdom Era it is our ability to analyze and interpret information from our experience, knowledge and character that provides the most value, and therefore the highest opportunity for success. I believe wisdom is the best thing we can provide to our clients, partners and friends.

This formula insists on technical expertise, experience, knowledge and character governed by underlying universal principles for what is fair, true and just.

Being impeccable with our word is a currency in today’s market. People accept advice from, and do business with, people they trust.

Become a knowledge worker

A knowledge worker is someone whose main purpose in their business is to share their knowledge and wisdom. They are paid to think, not to punch in regular hours and perform basic tasks. They are paid to analyze, plan strategically and align a vision, much like real estate agents and leaders.

The more you allow yourself to learn, the more valuable you are. When you realize what you didn’t know before, it allows you to create a more valuable knowledge base for your clientele.

Learning helps agents grow, which in turn helps them educate their clients in the best way possible. This, in turn, creates trust. People come back to people they trust.

The more open you are to seeing things in a bigger picture, the more powerful you can be.

Be a consultant, not a salesperson

As we continue to transition from the information age entirely into the wisdom era, we are all presented with increasing opportunities to work from a consultant’s approach versus the traditional salesperson.

The consultant’s approach places our focus on educating clients to create comfort, which then leads to an environment of trust.

When we have the confidence to present a logical approach based on experience and character, it is an empowering position to stand back and know our clients will naturally choose the best home, list price, terms, conditions or salesperson/broker for their needs.

It is not our role to predict or take ownership of  “information”, or to see our value associated with it. It is our role to, with integrity and expertise, be the interpreters of the endless sea of information now available to our clients.

The information age provided for the stats, reports, scores, listings, updates, averages and assessments at a fingertip. Now is the opportunity to explain, as experts, what it all means.

Is that not why we were hired as professionals in the first place?

Giving value to your business

If you’re treating your business transactionally, you will have a negative impact on your growth. When you’re only pushing yourself to make the next sale, your business will suffer in the long term. You need to show up with purpose and passion and only do good work, at the right time.

You need to calculate what growing your business is worth to you in every aspect: financial, lifestyle, health, energy, time, relationships, legacy and contribution – then put your ability to work to successfully move forward in proper perspective.

You can do this by tracking every piece of the pie. A great system is going to make sure that you’ve broken down exactly what you need to do, daily, monthly and quarterly, in order to be on track to hit your goals. It will always go back to what’s important to you and your values.

Do not work just to create profit – work with clients to lead them to their desired outcome.

If you do this, you will see that your business will grow quicker.

In real estate we forget how much we know, and we forget how much experiential knowledge we actually have to offer the public.

You need to communicate and analyze to help people feel safe, confident and comfortable, by giving them value, because people who feel this way are empowered to make good decisions for themselves. You need to push your clients and continue to communicate and educate them until they are comfortable and certain enough to take the next steps that lead them to their goal.

Share your knowledge and expertise with clients by educating them on the real estate market and buying or selling processes. A great client process is going to prepare people on what to expect next, so it feels very natural for them. This will guide them through the steps of your sales process with the utmost confidence in you.

You can also share your knowledge by using your integrated process to allow your client to know that you’re there to support and help them, and that you’ve done your due diligence.

This will allow you to build a relationship with your clients while also showcasing your analytical abilities and the wisdom you offer.

This is why it is absolutely essential for you to combine the forces of being principled and having the competence to give expert advice. This is because as soon as you ignore this fusion of value, you lose all power in the situation.

If you lose all power, you don’t know your systems, processes or next steps. If you don’t know your outcome, you’re lost.


  1. One has to know what one is talking about to get to the first pillar of becoming a consultant. That eliminates the scripters, the newbies, the short-cut artists, and the financially-strapped desperadoes in search of that next, elusive, sales commission.

    To know what one is talking about demands that one have the requisite experience in a variety of real estate related genres, including, but not limited to: construction; an understanding of current economic conditions and trends; basic legal tenets; realistic appraisal techniques, a basic knowledge of psychology, and self-knowledge regarding what one possesses as far as a functioning conscience is concerned. That is just for starters.

    The implementation of one’s knowledge base only creates the foundation for the development of one’s reputation in direct proportion to one’s sense of what one’s own inner voice means to one’s inner being. In other words, one is either an honest broker, or one is not. One is either in it for the long term as a professional, or one is in it for a fast buck…over and over again. N’ere the twain shall meet. One is either on the sunny upside, or in the dark underbelly, of the beast. Consultant types are always the former…and they are in the minority. Why? Because the majority can’t afford to be consultants. They can’t take the chance of letting that next commission cheque go, to maybe gain it back again in the future. Therein lies the problem that O.R.E. chooses not to deal with. Why? Because the dues-income is much too good from the here-today-gone-tomorrow failures-in-waiting mob…and the under-the-radar crooks who continue to foul up the good names of the pros by way of the public’s application of the proverbial brush that paints all within real estate sales as corrupt. Remember: Corruption usually starts at the top by way of turning its head and thence turning a blind eye to the reality of what daily goes on in the field under its umbrella of toothless ethics rules. That makes the powers-that-be complicit with the scoundrels and their behaviours under their purview. Money talks. Always has.

    It’s time for a revolution within the ranks of the great unwashed, because that’s what the powers-that-be-bureaucrats really think of you guys/gals out there in the trenches…even you pros. If not, they’d be out there with you, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, transacting deals as consultants, not greedy sales types. But we all know they wouldn’t touch you and your turf with a ten foot pole. Too good for that, and besides, the nine-to-five salaries are great…which you all are paying.

    If everyone decided to withhold all dues, starting at a single date, say three months from now, watch what would happen. Money, or the lack thereof, talks. It would be a start.

    First order of business? A province-wide MLS system that all can partake of. If a Realtor is licensed to sell anywhere in Ontario, it stands to reason the said Realtor should have access to a province-wide MLS system. DUUUGH! It’s time to gang up on the T.R.E.B. Toronto Realtors: Agree to withhold all dues. You have the power; you just don’t realize that. You have the money. Make the bureaucrats use up their non-profit designated business model’s cash surplus. I hear it’s a stupendous amount. You all should dig into it. It’s your money, on loan only. They didn’t earn it; you all did.

    I’m not a fan of government intervention in business models, but maybe it’s about time.

    Kathleen’s right. It’s time for a consultant revolution. Realtors should all be professional consultants by way of a new designation worthy of the educational/experiential background and time needed to earn same. Regular REM readers will know that I’ve been banging on this drum for years now. It’s up to the membership to get on board with the program…your new program. Take the bull by the horns; they’re not that sharp.

  2. My motto on the back of my business card says
    DOWN – TO – EARTH Service for more than 52 years

  3. Cathleen. Great article. It dovetails nicely with the #1 New York Times best seller I’m reading “Range: why generalist triumph in a specialized world” by David Epstein.


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