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We Don't Rise to the Level of Our Expectations, We Fall to the Level of Our Training

August 14 2019

laptop tabletFirst, let's settle who I am quoting in the title of this article. According to many sources, it was Archilochus, a Greek lyric poet from the island of Paros who lived from 680 BC until 645 BC.

But it really doesn't matter who said it. What matters is the point of the quote.

Many times over my 19-year career in real estate, I have heard REALTORS say, "Every time I get a new designation like GRI or CRS, my income increases." Many will attribute increased income from even 3-hour classes, seminars and webinar as the agent expands both knowledge and confidence.

There is one big downfall with people trying to rise to the level of expectations—making up answers to questions they don't know the answer to! I have spent most of my life being a teacher, instructor, trainer and speaker, and I know for a fact that you NEVER want to make stuff up or try and hide the fact you don't know something!

Some people have a hard time admitting they don't know the answer to a question. Not me—I simply say, "What a great question!" and "I wish I had a great answer for that." Normally, I will ask them to write the question on the back of a business card or a note with contact information so I can pass on the information after doing some research. People can see thorough a smoke screen. By saying you don't have an answer but will get one leads to more respect.

Getting back to the title—each of us need to expand our knowledge in the field we have chosen. Many of you have either read or heard me present the "four Cs and three Fs." The four Cs are Chemistry, Character, Competence and Consistency. A few think that not having an answer reflects on both our Competence and Consistency. Most of the time, the person asking the question will see you are faking it, so there goes Chemistry and Character. It's so simple and easy: "Sorry, I don't have that answer, but I will get it for you!" (Oh, the three Fs are Find Them, Fleece Them, which includes making up answers without the facts, and finally Forget Them.

So, REALTORS who are training, training and training, I get so tired of hearing, "Is it CE?" like that is the gold standard of real estate education. It should not be about CE. Rather, it should be about raising the level of your training because sometimes you will not be able to rise to the level of expectations!

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at