Creating the D.N.A – Part II [Series]

The premier event for luxury agents and brokers
Luxury Connect | Oct. 16-18 | Beverly Hills

In my previous post we explored the ideas of building an ultimate agent to handle this new market we find ourselves in who could service the clients of tomorrow. In this post, we’ll explore what would be the genetic makeup of this “agent of tomorrow.”

To come up with the perfect mixture of D.N.A for this agent we should probably define what D.N.A stands for. Unlike the chemistry and biology classes of your youth, we’re going to change that acronym’s meaning from “deoxyribonucleic acid” to a slightly more “tech savvy” definition. In our new model, D.N.A stands for “Digital Native Agent.”

According to Wikipedia.org, a Digital Native is “a person who was born during or after the general introduction of digital technology, and through interacting with digital technology from an early age, has a greater understanding of its concepts.”

So that probably means if you were born before 1980, you are more than likely a “Digital Immigrant” or someone to whom technology isn’t a first language. Don’t worry, there are lots of us out here and we’re all learning how to adapt and work with the new generation of agents and customers.

If you could select your “D.N.A” for this new agent from anyone and everyone in history, what would your ingredient list look like? Can you even imagine Emeril Legasse or Bobby Flay having every great ingredient from all over the land at their fingertips to make an outstanding dish? Imagine the concoction you could come up with.

A Little of This, A Little of That

Let’s start with the genes of parents who would ensure that our agent would begin with the utmost manners and respect for other people – Ward and June Cleaver from the old sitcom Leave it to Beaver.

The “ultimate agent” of tomorrow will be a team player, able and willing to assist a fellow agent, support their industry and create a loyal group of individuals whose number one priority is to help the consumer get to the closing table with as little inconvenience as possible. Let’s take a little bit of John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time leader in assists.

It was Zig Ziglar who once said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” Let’s aspire to create agents who agree with and live by that statement.

A definite gene we’d like to insert into the test tubes and beakers that will be combined to create the “dough” for our agent would be that of a “graduate of life.” Someone who has “been there and done that,” walked the walk and seen things you wouldn’t even imagine. Maybe a good person for this added “sprinkle” would be your favorite Grandma or Grandpa. Can’t you just imagine the stories this agent would be able to tell on the day they were born?

Is a “good business sense” a desired trait for our agent of tomorrow? You bet it is, so let’s take a little from unbelievable business minds of our day like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban and Bill Gates.

Marketing expertise is such a powerful attribute of a successful agent in today’s business climate. There are two sides of the marketing coin that our agent needs to be able to excel at – Personal Marketing and Property Marketing. Can they maximize the multi-faceted media channels available today to earn a solid reputation among the general public which will create repeat and referral business and also capitalize on the plethora of marketing available to expose listings to a larger pool of buyers? If they can, they will have a parade of clients beating a path to their door.

Our marketing genes will come from well know voices such as Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch, CNBC’s Donnie Deutsch, advertising genius Linda Kaplan Thaler, David Meerman Scott, the master of real time marketing and PR, and the ultimate marketer and thought leader – Seth Godin. (These people’s genes alone ensure that this “new agent” will have the greatest blog ever!)

In today’s “show me what you’ve got” world, it will be vital to make sure that our agent has incredible presentation skills so let’s add some of Marcus Buckingham’s charm and research-based candor, John Maxwell’s “preach & teach” style and the passion and courage of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even though we think that tomorrow’s agent will be proficient at technology and mobile communication, it will still be necessary for them to communicate in writing so let’s be sure to take some characteristics from Mark Twain for humor and story-telling, Emily Post so our agent will understand manners and etiquette and a dash of your old high school English teacher so spelling and grammar will not stop a deal from happening.

According to recent NAR Profiles of Home Buyers & Sellers, close to 70% of all clients were secured through some sort of personal relationship or referral but being a former client doesn’t insure they will return to you or suggest their friends, family and co-workers consider your services. The agent of tomorrow must ooze personality and be the type of person that others want to be around, speak of and root for. How about we take a little dash of actor Tom Hanks and a pinch of actress Reese Witherspoon?

We know that real estate is such an emotional minefield to navigate; we will need to think about how we can create a perfect emotional connection to their clients, their communities and the business in general. Let’s take a local doctor’s office or hospital nurse for his/her care and concern, former Presidents Bush and Clinton for their unyielding dedication to community and just a smidgen of Dwight Schrute from NBC’s The Office for his commitment to the business.

Their attitude is visible in their eyes and their smile and they have a noticeable bounce in their step so we’re going to look at finding some of the qualities of a Will Smith with the motivational nature of Coach Lou Holtz and add in just a couple of shakes of a newborn puppy for the unbridled enthusiasm and joy they bring when people see them.

Finally, the “ultimate agent” cares less about “what’s in it for me?” (W.I.I.F.M) and more about answering, explaining & delivering “what’s in it for you?” (W.I.I.F.Y) to their clients, customers and followers. There is no better person in history we could look to emulate when it comes to this trait than Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Do you think there was ever a day that this matronly saint of a woman ever looked up and sighed, “Oh no, not another leper!” Every one of our future clients will have needs, fears and concerns and how our agent addresses them will be critical to their success.

So our ingredients are off the shelves and have been tossed into the huge mixing bowl.  It’s time to start the arduous process of mixing up all of these items and creating the essence of our new “ultimate agent.” In our next post, we’ll begin to create the foundation of our agent of tomorrow. I hope you’ll join us back here in the laboratory.