Real estate professionals and medical professionals are both referral-based, with former clients and colleagues often making the referrals.
However, one of the biggest things differentiating medical professionals from real estate professionals is the way that doctors value their own time.
How doctors get it right
Real estate agents and brokers drop everything that they’re doing to follow up a lead, while only the on-call or ER doctors drop what they’re doing to take care of a patient.
In addition, medical professionals are selective when determining what patients and cases they want to work. The most successful medical professionals are highly specialized, and they review the case before making an in-person appointment. Doctors decline patients if they don’t think that they can effectively help them.
Specialists only work within their area of expertise. A thyroid surgeon is not going to do heart surgery, and a heart surgeon probably isn’t going to do a facelift. This allows them to better control their time and build their reputation within a specific niche.
Medical professionals generally have a robust support staff, including a receptionist, and maintain a separate office phone line so that they aren’t interrupted during personal and family time or while working.
Remember pagers? Doctors still use them, meaning that they are in control of their time and communications. You’re definitely not going to be text messaging with your doctor at all hours of the day and night.
Doctors practically invented time-blocking, including blocking out time for golf and other personal pursuits. They only see new patients on particular days, they do surgeries on specific days, and they set aside particular times for other professional duties and tasks.
What we can learn from top real estate agents
Just like medical professionals, real estate agents who are very successful typically work in a narrow niche or sub-market and by referral. They specialize in a specific transaction or property type. Most commercial agents won’t sell residential and vice-versa.
The best real estate agents value their own time and guard it zealously. They take advantage of productivity platforms to free up time and employ virtual assistants and other support staff to help them build leverage. Over time, they build out a large team to provide even more support.
Many real estate professionals are coming from a place of fear — fear that if they don’t make themselves available 24/7, they will miss out on a career-changing opportunity. In reality, however, the message they convey is that their time is not valuable, and neither is their skill set or expertise.
Take a tip from other professionals, and convey your worth to clients and colleagues through the way that you value your own time and expertise. Set the example for the way you should be treated, and others will follow suit.
Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.