Kentucky Realtor Ryan Rutman shares a valuable lesson he learned when taking his daughter to a surgery appointment. It might just transform your business.

You never know where you will learn valuable lessons and nuggets of information that can give you tremendous perspective and insight and propel growth in enormous ways. That’s why it’s important to always be paying attention, observing, analyzing and asking questions.

I had one of those “a-ha” moments recently during a final pre-surgery consultation appointment with my daughter’s spinal fusion surgeon. I know, seems like a pretty far fetched comparison, but again, there can always be lessons learned from any experience we encounter.

Leading up to surgery, we had several different appointments with various specialists. We met with anesthesiology, cardiovascular, nutrition — the works. We had a head nurse who is our point person and main contact for if we have questions, concerns etc.

We didn’t have any direct and regular communication with our surgeon, other than the day he met with us and gave us his expert diagnosis, expert recommendation and obviously his expert course of action. (Notice all the “experts” there?)

Prior to our pre-surgery final consultation with our surgeon, we had a final meeting with our head nurse. This was our opportunity to ask final questions, address final concerns and lay out the process the morning of surgery. After this meeting, it was time to have our final meeting with our surgeon.

He came in the room, and we did the whole shake hands, “how you doing?” routine. Then, he got right down to business.

He looked at my wife and asked, “Any questions about anything?”

My wife responded “I don’t think so, we already went over most of everything with Julie and everyone else up this point.”

He said, “That’s perfect — that keeps you from having to ask me all of those questions.” He said it with a laugh and a hint of sarcasm, but I feel like he really meant it.

You see, this surgeon is a highly sought after surgeon for this particular surgery, which is major and very involved. He knows that his focus needs to be on one thing, and one thing only: making spines straight again.

Everyone else can handle everything else.

Side note: We got the surgeon we chose. We didn’t show up for surgery and have another surgeon. We chose his expertise, and we got it. Keep in mind that people make a choice in picking a real estate agent. If they choose you, don’t hand them off to someone else.

Now, this is an extreme example when comparing to being a real estate agent, and I get that. But, I think there is a lesson to be learned when considering the “big picture” of growing a real estate business consistently over time.

New agents can get sidetracked. As a matter of fact, veteran agents are also known to lose sight of what made them successful in the first place. So, when taking a closer look at this example of my daughter’s surgeon and applying it to your real estate business, ask yourself a question:

What is the one thing, and one thing only, that only I can do on a daily basis to move the needle in my business as fast as possible?

I know for sure the answer is not build a website, create facebook ads, create email drip campaigns, purchase buyer leads, design a logo etc.

As real estate agents we solve problems. That’s what we do. We make sense out of confusion. We provide order where there is chaos. We provide comfort where there is anxiety. We give an expert diagnosis, an expert recommendation, and lastly, the appropriate expert course of action. This is how we help and serve our clients.

This is the most important function of our businesses and our greatest skill as real estate agents. Just like my daughters surgeon, it’s crucial to know where your focus needs to be.

Let everyone else do everything else.

Ryan Rutman is a Realtor with RE/MAX Professional Realty Group in Owensboro, Kentucky. Follow him on Facebook.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription