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Nobu Hata: Time Ain't On Your Side

Nobu Hata, NAR Director of Digital EnagementThe following is a chapter from the book REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate.


The author of this chapter is Nobu Hata, NAR Director of Digital Engagement. @nobuhata

It’s been a little more than a year since I hung up my sales license to manage an association.

As I write this, I find myself missing the grind. The 20-hour work days. The Multiple Listing Service research. The hours in the car previewing and showing homes. And the open houses. And while I no longer help buyers realize their home ownership dreams, I now counsel my former peers to help clients do just that, sharing my sales and leadership experience.

But it’s hard. It’s hard to properly convey to my coworkers how difficult it is to be a real estate agent in the digital age; or what it feels like to have a buyer cry her eyes out because she lost a home in multiple offers for the third time; or how strange it is to justify your value to a seller who thinks sales data found with a smartphone application is gospel. More difficult still is answering the perennial question, How do I succeed in real estate?

As a former salesperson, nerd, leader, and now association staffer, folks expect me to share the wisdom of the ages. But there is no silver bullet, no magic technique. Likewise, there’s no coup by social media, nor a toppling of the industry by the Internet. Agents need not be paperless.

In fact, if there is a systemic problem, it’s time.

Too much time is spent on thinking and not enough on acting. Not enough time is spent with clients, while too much is spent on the Next Big Shiny Thing. Really, that’s the crux of issue: too much time is spent on things instead of people. Personal interaction — face-to-face and belly-to-belly — is the one thing that no website or online campaign can synthesize or usurp, and it’s time well spent. And (at least for now), you can’t be cloned. It’s the little things that you do every day that can set you apart from your competitors and make a difference in your marketing.

Some suggestions...

Use that phone in your pocket to capture your volunteering. Share that hidden gem of a neighborhood playground. Show off your favorite dog park. Share your expertise as well. Use your blog to educate, demystify, and explain. It’s time we told our current and future clients what’s important in a real estate transaction.

No one deals with more unique situations than a realtor. No one deals with more adversity or rolls with the punches better than a realtor. And there is no one that works harder for his or her client than a realtor.


About The Book

REAL book coverMost real estate books fall short. REAL goes beyond mere tactics and strategies to focus on the core of what really matters - You. In addition to the authors' lessons learned, this book also includes contributions from some of real estate's most influential thought leaders: Nobu Hata, Marc Davison, Spencer Rascoff, Sherry Chris, Krisstina Wise, and many more.

If building a real estate business that lasts is important to you, this is a book you surely won't want to miss!


Dave Crumby

Dave is the Chairman of Firepoint / Realvolve, a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) platform built expressly for real estate agents. Dave began his real estate career as an agent in 1996. Dave authored in 2013 the book titled 'REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate’ that has since become a best seller. The book features Dave's experience and the wisdom of other successful real estate leaders, such as the CEOs of Zillow, Trulia, Better Homes and Gardens, and many others.


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