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Ocean Yacht Racing as a Metaphor for Your Real Estate Business

Suze Cumming

Suze is passionate about our natural world and anything that propels her into the wilderness and allows her to stretch her limits is game on...

Suze is passionate about our natural world and anything that propels her into the wilderness and allows her to stretch her limits is game on...

Jun 14 4 minutes read

Ocean Yacht Racing as a Metaphor for Your Real Estate Business

By: Suze Cumming

In two weeks, I set sail for Maui on a 40 foot sailboat called Salient.  We will be participating in the 51st International Vic Maui Yacht race.  It should take us between 14 and 17 days to reach Maui.  Training and preparing for a race like this is substantial.  Most of the crew have years of experience, we trained throughout the winter often chipping the ice and snow off the lines and each of us has had a personal journey to prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for the challenge.   

Our team coach, Roger Friesen had us read An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earthby Chris Hadfield as part of our preparation. The similarities between a spaceship and a 40 foot sailboat in the middle of the ocean are pretty startling. Both are totally self-contained, both are complicated mechanically and both are out of reach of rescue.  Ok, a spaceship is way more complicated but you get the idea.  What really hit home reading Hadfield’s book is that astronauts can’t wing it, ever. They need to really know their stuff and have practiced it until it is second nature.  They need to be physically, mentally and emotionally rock solid. Reading this book helped build the motivation for each of us to do the preparation work for our race.

It’s a great metaphor for building a successful real estate business. In real estate you are self- contained, either as a solo agent or as a team.  No one is going to give you business.   Real Estate is complicated.  To be excellent at it means having a lot of knowledge and skill in many different areas.   And, there is no rescue.  No one is going to write you a paycheck.  You either make some money or sink.    

So, like an astronaut or an ocean sailor, you need to be really prepared. You need to be excellent at what you do. Your knowledge of the market, the economy, human nature, psychology, negotiations, trends, strategic thinking, finance and the list goes on – needs to be exemplary.  After all, you are representing people in one of the biggest financial transactions they will ever make not to mention the enormous impact it will have on their quality of life.  

Are you equipped to do this?  Are you an expert?   

I’m seeing a real trend in our industry where agents are getting trained in how to get clients but not in how to serve those clients well.  I see a lot of pretense or winging it with regards to the skills that are essential for us to be valuable to our clients.  

Chris Hadfield has a great quote in his book, “There is a North American culture of pretense, where watching top chef is the same as being a great cook.”    

And this may work for being an armchair chef or an amateur photographer, but if you are sailing the high seas, flying to the moon, or advising people making really important decisions, it’s not nearly enough.  

For more on our race and to follow us across the Pacific with our tracker and daily blog posts, see our Facebook page.

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