The soft skills and mental strength pro athletes call on for high levels of performance are remarkably similar to those shared by top producers. Find out how you can tap into their strengths to supercharge your business.

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It’s no coincidence that many professional athletes have gone on to successful real estate careers. Both professions are highly competitive and require a keen ability to adapt to change on a moment-by-moment basis. Both demand unwavering focus and dogged determination from their highest performers. 

As the wife and mother of former NFL athletes and a long-time real estate professional, I know that athletes who have already proven themselves in the world of professional sports are primed to succeed in real estate and can be a tremendous asset to their clients and brokerages. Here are four reasons why:

Preparation pays off

Schedule and discipline are the twin pillars upon which many successful athletes’ lives are built. As an athlete and as a real estate professional, the best among us realize the importance of structuring our time every day to ensure every minute is accounted for in a way that adds value to our ultimate goal, and by doing so, allows us to hold ourselves accountable. 

This advance preparation pays dividends during “game time.” In sports, the hours spent during practice means a perfectly executed play right when it’s needed for the win. 

In real estate, this means making sure you’re dedicating regular time to understanding and building relationships within your market, community and client base so that when a prospective client calls or the perfect listing goes live, you are ready to execute the perfect play.

Only the strong survive

The ebb and flow of the real estate market means there will be times when business is up and when it is down. As any professional athlete can attest, slumps are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you give up. 

Getting through these times is all about mental toughness and perseverance. No matter what’s happening around you — the market is volatile, prices are soaring or inventory is scarce — it’s essential to focus on the factors within your control. Continue to show up, be competent, and answer your phone when it rings. 

Equally as important is sticking to your habits for success even when times are so good you don’t think you need to. This dedication is what will ultimately see your business through the down markets, as well.

Team-first mentality

There’s a perception that real estate can be a notoriously individualistic profession, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Most times, top individual performers come from top-performing teams, and this isn’t by chance. Professional athletes understand just how vital a healthy team is to both individual and collective success. 

In real estate, team members balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses and bring different perspectives, networks, experiences, and knowledge to every transaction. This means clients benefit from the collective synergy of the team, something much more powerful than any one individual.

In the same vein, the value of a good coach cannot be overstated. Good leaders hold people accountable while understanding that everyone is not motivated by the same thing. Culture starts with people. It’s up to brokerage and brand leaders to build teams with a like-minded attitude toward success, competency and respect.

A constant desire to improve

When a game is over, professional athletes don’t walk off the court, field, pitch, rink, etc., without a backward glance, simply hope for the best the next time. Win or lose, athletes spend hours upon hours analyzing their play to ensure that they can be better next time. 

The same is true of the best real estate professionals. Deals shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Like athletes, real estate professionals should know their own stats and the specifics of each transaction.

Agents need to examine the market and listings data of other industry professionals they work with regularly, like lenders and lawyers, and most importantly, the specific needs and preferences of each client. Knowing your data keeps you ahead of the competition every time. 

In the fast-paced and high-stakes world of real estate, professional athletes are uniquely qualified to bring the competitive, hardworking, quick-thinking and team-first mindset needed to get the job done.

Furthermore, they have first-hand experience and existing networks from which to build their own market specialization dedicated to servicing other professional athletes and their families. Truly a win-win. 

Bridgette Hager is a native Texan and a real estate industry leader with more than three decades of experience in her field. She is a private office advisor at Engel & Völkers Austin, a member of the Engel & Völkers Professional Athlete Advisory Group, and the wife and mother of former NFL players.

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