In real estate, OK is becoming the new Great

A professional painter uses brushes borrowed from his kids’ paint by numbers set. He lays down newspapers instead of a drop cloth. And uses a makeshift cardboard edger instead of blue painters’ tape.

A surgeon operates with kitchen utensils. Sutures with yarn.

A hairdresser blows your hair dry. With his mouth.

A wedding photographer captures a client’s memories on his Droid.

Would you hire these people and pay them top dollar?

Would you attend a business conference titled Quality Schmality, Just get ‘er done!

Would you buy a book of 10 great tips on how to lower your standards of professionalism?

Would you subscribe to a professional blog titled…

OK is the new great


You’re an agent. Hard at work perfecting your craft. Years of woodshedding have resulted in career stability. You’ve got stature and respectability.

People refer others to you because you’ve left great lasting impressions. You’re solid. A great agent. The best. You’ve performed miracles.

You’ve become a brand. You’ve risen above the masses that reach for the low bar.

You’re a professional, and you are sure of one thing: you never want to be…


There’s a lot of them in real estate. People who lean toward soothing winds fanned by those who tell them it’s all easy.

There are forces at play that enable that weakness. From the simple real estate course that’s impossible to fail, to the cadre of evangelists who achieve popularity by aggravating our inherent fear of the unknown and our aversion to pain.

Everything is made simple. Blogging. Marketing. Social networking. Everybody, just do it! Skill, talent, work, dedication… please… is that really necessary?

Video is now part of this discussion too. This wonderful story telling platform is simmering in the real estate saucepot like a fine Tawny Port being reduced to a sickening syrup.


Selling simple

You can easily buy into the belief that climbing your learning curve in public view is a good idea.

You can easily subscribe to the notion that anyone can be a marketing ninja by simply checking in daily.

You can easily convince the masses in real estate that grokking the digital world involves nothing more than sporting an iPad loaded with a bunch of free apps.

And shooting video… how easy is it to point your smart phone and click? Shazam, you’re a director.

Selling simple. I get it. Simple is liberating. Simple is easy. Simple is ok. But is simple great? Does doing simple – the thing everyone else does  – differentiate you from everyone else?

Does simple lead others to view you as the professional you really want to be?

Some will disagree with me:

“There’s nothing wrong with shooting video tours of listings or community videos on your iPhone. It’s authentic!”

“Blogging is dead – it’s all about being a multi-platform force of nature, a ubiquitous tweeter, shooter, reviewer and checker-inner.”

“Writing? That’s for suckers. Why write when you can curate?”

I believe that if what you do can be replicated by an 10-year old, then it’s too easy. You’re just winging it. And that will never paint a portrait of professionalism.

Blood, sweat and tears

Joba Chamberlain doesn’t wing it on the mound. Neko Case doesn’t wing it on stage. J.J. Abrams doesn’t wing it on set. They bleed, sweat and cry their way to the top.

Their coaches didn’t show them shortcuts. Their advisors never suggested they wing it. Their trainers never simplified their workouts. Their gurus never suggested they sacrifice their dreams by being like everyone else.

Why, in our grand effort to raise the bar of real estate professionalism, do many consistently draw professionals to the light by taking them down the path of least resistance?

Here’s a liberating thought: reject the temptation to do what everyone else does the same way everyone does it. Resist the notion that just because things exist it means you have to jump on them. Resist the idea that your practice efforts are good enough for public consumption. They are not.

Simple is ok. Free is fine.

But resist. Show discretion. And float on your own currents, not those conjured by others seeking to collect the masses seeking solace in stories of simplicity.

That’s the mark of a true professional.