It’s been a busy week here in the InmanNext™ Laboratory. We started back on Halloween with our desire to think about what it would take to build the “Agent of Tomorrow.” If you haven’t read the first four parts, you might want to start there first.

Click here for Part 1 – What is the Ultimate Agent?
Click here for Part 2 – Creating the DNA
Click here for Part 3 – Early Development is Critical to Success

Click here for Part 4  – The Foot Bone is Connected to the Leg Bone

Our agent is basically complete from head to feet but now it’s time for some cosmetic touch ups and some extras to finish the package. Let’s look at what we should add when it comes to “the outside” that will enhance our agent’s chances at success.

We need to provide a thick skin that can withstand criticism, insults and animosity. We might be wise to consider an outer layer that can regenerate because the “agent of tomorrow” will need to be constantly reinventing themselves through learning and experience.

While it may seem a bit inhuman, we will want our agent to have whiskers. Ken Brand, Realtor and author of the book Less Blah Blah & More Ah Ha says, “To understand what’s relevant and important to others, you have to be cat-curious.” Strictly from an visual appeal standpoint, let’s imagine the whiskers will be more like George Clooney’s five-o’clock shadow than Morris the Cat’s whiskers, okay?


They will love to get face to face with clients so they will understand the power of technologies like Skype and Eyejot, they will connect on Google+ Hangouts and utilize sites like YouTube and TubeMogul for video distribution.

The hands are a vital part of the new agent. The hand that is willing to help others is also the same hand that gets raised when the agent needs help themselves. The “agents of tomorrow” are “clutch performers” and want the ball in their hands at the end of the game. They have confidence in themselves and their ability to execute when the game is on the line.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

The world is changing rapidly; the “agent of tomorrow” will not be taking anything for granted, especially when it comes to communication with their customer and clients. They will always be asking themselves how they (the consumer) want to be communicated with. Then they will utilize their fingers to text, dial or handwrite their way through the transaction.

And now, it’s time to dress and accessorize this “ultimate agent.” Of course we must demand a professional appearance and because they approach their real estate career like a business. They dress professionally…but stylishly for the occasion. Inside their coat pocket or purse they carry their business plan with them like a GPS so they don’t lose sight of where they are going.

We’ll equip them with a suit of armor as an overcoat to withstand the barrage of feedback and toxic negativity they could face on a daily basis.

But it won’t be all about “dressing for success” with this “agent of tomorrow.” If you look under their business attire, they proudly sport a tie-dye shirt to show that they are nothing more than a regular Tom, Dick or Jerry Garcia… truly an ‘artisan” at their craft. Seriously, if Subway can have “Sandwich Artists” making your next foot-long turkey bacon club, why can’t some of our most creative and spirited agents be considered artists as well?

In each of their pockets we will add some spending cash. They are willing to spend money to build and grow their business but they understand that the axiom “you must spend money to make money” isn’t actually true. In 2012 and beyond, it’s all about “spending money wisely to make money.”

Whether it’s a Rolex, a Timex or any other brand doesn’t matter but we do need to equip our creation with a wristwatch so not only can they show up on time for all appointments, meetings and events but they must also find the time to attend training and coaching opportunities. They know that personal development is a key to business development.

The shoes we choose are going to be an important determinant in this agent’s success. Tomorrow’s agent must be able to walk in the Buyer or Seller shoes to see “where they are coming from.”

Here is a wonderful thought from Todd Waller of Professional One Real Estate in Plymouth, Michigan about the idea of choosing the right shoe;

A true professional, in my opinion, is not simply educated and up to date on what’s happening in the market. A professional is like the village shoe cobbler of old:  he knows your feet, knows your needs and crafts shoes that meet those specific needs.”

Of course, we can’t build a complete “agent of tomorrow” without a toolbox or briefcase filled with the tools, gadgets and toys that will help them succeed. They will have access to a digital camera (capable of video as well), a smart phone, a Bluetooth earpiece, a GPS system and they will constantly be reading new business books for continued self development. They will carry some device (iPad, laptop, etc.) in their hands with a connection to Wi-Fi and social networks for access to market news, updates and “buzz” at their fingertips.

So there you have it – The Ultimate “Agent of Tomorrow.” That’s quite a specimen we have created. How would you like to co-op with that agent? How would you like to compete with an agent like that? How would like to have someone like that on your team? There’s no reason you couldn’t if you start the process today.

Special thanks go out to my fellow scientists and contributors from across the nation who helped me consider what to toss into this recipe. In no particular order we had great insights from Nancy Kohutek, Julie Gezella, Ken Brand, David Marine, Mike Bowler Sr., Matthew Ferrara, Matt Case, Kim Daugherty, Stefanie Hahn, Todd Waller, Michael McClure and Debra Trappen. You’re all geniuses in my book and I’d share lab space with you any day.

Now let’s go out and grab a cold beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail with our newest agents. We must find time to celebrate our successes each day before we have to go back and do it all over again tomorrow.

Come to think of it…I hope we were smart enough to put a healthy liver in there?

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