What It Means to Be First—And Why It’s Essential | RE/MAX Ready

Once upon a time, Sears was the top retailer in the country, a seemingly permanent fixture in our consumer culture.

But, as we all know, Sears didn’t turn out to be so permanent.

As technologies evolved and consumers became less and less likely to walk into a department store, Sears suffered from dwindling sales and failing stores for years until, back in October, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy.

So, why is this important to YOU, a real estate agent? 

It’s important because you need to ask yourself an honest question:

Are YOU hanging out with the Sears of your industry?

I’m not talking about the Sears of 2018, the fallen giant on the brink of extinction. I mean the Sears that once was: the successful and dominant—but ever more complacent—industry leader.

As Sears demonstrated so clearly, complacency leads to stagnation, which leads to irrelevance. 

It might take years, even decades, before complacency has its consequences, but it’s still like being aboard a sinking ship.

That’s why, in my agency, we’ve adopted a core value that we feel counteracts complacency.

“We are first. First to bring the forms, knowledge, and best practices to the office.”

What does it mean to be first? It means that instead of waiting around for changes and reacting to them, we respond proactively. We want to be first to adapt.

Your mind probably jumps straight to technology, and that is part of what we mean. As brokers, we strive to investigate all avenues of technology that could be useful to our agents, from Google Ads to Instagram Stories to 3D Oculus headsets.

By doing the work of reviewing these technologies as they emerge, we empower our agents to spend less time researching and more time diving right in.

But the “we are first” philosophy applies to more than just technology. 

It also means being first to become competent in the latest policy changes of our industry.

Did you know that in an average year, there might be a dozen new forms created for the buying and selling process? And on top of that, existing forms might change in a myriad of small ways?

The “we are first” philosophy means we review all of this and give our agents the takeaway information they need.

That way, instead of pouring hours and hours into trying to stay updated—or neglecting to stay updated at all—our agents can start using the most relevant new tools first.

The “we are first” philosophy also means we pursue leadership roles in our industry. 

It means we participate in leadership committees like the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, are present during the creation of new forms and policies, and attend key seminars and events where the latest market trends are discussed.

In doing so, our agency stays awake, alert, and relevant.

Is it difficult to be first? Yes. But it’s easier when that’s the mindset of everyone you work with. 

If you feel like your agency smacks down new ideas like a game of Whack-A-Mole, you might be in the wrong place.

You should feel confident you’re serving your clients with the best, most effective technology and practices.

That way, even if you’re never actually first in your field, you’ll always know your mindset is keeping you ahead of the game.

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Matt Mittman and Eric Rehling are the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, PA. See articles from them about smarter marketingfinding a coachbeing all of the chiefs your company needscreating a positive client experienceassessing a prospective homemaking the boring choicediversifying your workweekcreating the best possible offer for your clientthe importance of inefficient communicationthe Eaglesthriving during your busy seasonmagic wandsgood trainingmeasuring profitabilityroutinestaking the right kinds of risksreal experience of being a real estate agentcommunication stylesbuilding an audience, and more.