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Happy January and a fresh new year! With the new year comes a new look for my newsletter. The Indispensable Agent has been rebranded as The Essential Agent. The Essential Agent corresponds with a pretty exciting new venture that I am launching in the middle of 2024.  This newsletter will form a key communication piece to continue getting valuable and useful content in your inbox.  Why “Two Minute Tuesday”? Well, we hope you can read it all in under two minutes! All of it is steeped in the concept of what it means to be “Essential” in the eyes of the industry, your colleagues, but most important your clients.  We are going to spend the next few weeks exploring just what it means to be “Essential”. 

I have had thousands of conversations with real estate agents. Some good, some bad, some very ugly.  I have had them in my office late at night when everyone else had gone for the day, having full blown emotional meltdowns, sobbing uncontrollably.  I have consulted with them over the phone weekend after weekend after weekend as they try to sort through a problem, a crisis, or an opportunity.  

Under their brash confidence and eager, almost manic, drive to succeed; these agents face a lot of demons.  Filled with imposter syndrome, consumed by fear that the next paycheck may never come, passionate about serving the needs of their clients, yet confronting constant challenges and frequent conflict.  An incredible amount of their angst, like many of us, comes from feelings of disregard and disrespect by those who view them as disposable or as a “necessary evil” in the real estate transaction.

In short, agents want to be needed. No, more than simply needed, they want to be Essential. They want to be an indispensable, integral part of not only the real estate transaction but the lives of their clients. They want raving fans for life. At least, the ones who enjoy being treated as a professional and who enjoy getting referrals want that.  

People choose to start their own businesses because they want freedom. They want to choose when they work, how they work, and whether they realize it or not, who they work with. That last part, the “who”, is absolutely critical to their success and career satisfaction. When entrepreneurs have no control over who they work for, who they serve as clients, they see a rapid deterioration in career satisfaction and quality of life.  Agents, like all entrepreneurs, need to be able to choose who they work with or more specifically, who they do NOT work with. In this way, being “self employed” is really very similar to being an employee – your job satisfaction is driven in large part by who you work with.  Indeed, one of the most important reasons to gain seniority and tenure in your job, as an employee, is so that you have more control over who you work with every day.  So it is owning your own business except as an agent, you have no “coworkers” and you have no corporate ladder to climb. So, “who” is not necessarily your coworkers, although the other agents at your brokerage are critical to your success, but even more important is who your clients are. 

In short, they need the freedom to “fire” (or never hire) people.  An agent who does not have the freedom to say “no” is living in a prison of their own making. If they are forced to work with anyone and everyone who wants to work with them, they are always going to wind up working with people who frustrate them, disrespect them, or waste their time.  So how does an agent gain this freedom? They become Essential. 

Next week I will tell you the first six steps to becoming The Essential Agent. 


Nick Schlekeway