Does practice really make perfect?

My Donald has a saying about this and it's "Perfect practice makes perfect"

But what happens if you practice wrong?

 "Practice makes perfect" can be an accurate phrase because the more you do something, you build up that procedural memory and your brain can quickly instruct your muscles to carry it out. That muscle memory doesn't judge whether you're doing good or bad, however, and so if you practice a song poorly for hours on end you're going to be really good at making the same mistakes over and over again.- a quote from How Muscle Memory works and how it affects your Success.

What does this have to do with real estate and being prepared for the busy season you might experience?  Well, everything!

As agents we "practice" real estate and if we practice wrong or poorly then our brains just get used to doing it wrong. So it's my (many hats job) as the broker to make sure that I do it right and that my agents do it right. As the owner/broker in my office I act in many roles.  I've been misidentified as an "assistant" to one of my agents by an agent in another firm and it didn't bother me one bit.  I don't care who anyone thinks I am. I care that my agents get it right for our clients. So we try to incorporate the same methodology my Donald does on the range when practicing with his firearms... perfect practice.  We try to do it right over and over.

I work very hard in my office to keep on the pulse of the market.  I know which direction prices are trending, which direction days on the market is trending. I also know to watch for things that because of a unique out of of the norm property or a simple typo should not be included in the data.

Recently I read a social media post about the price per square foot and days on the market.  Two of the items in the stats were 1) a property with -600 days on the market and another with a price per sq. ft. of $677.  Both made me head out the MLS to see what the deal was.  Well when an agent typed the "contract date" they entered the wrong date.  Because I'm pretty sure a property that went on the market in January did not go under contract 420 days prior to that.  And trust me when I tell you that no property in our market brought $677 a sq. ft.  That property was a 19 acre parcel on the lake that will likely be torn down and 19 acres developed into a best use. But no, that little fishing cabin built in the 70s was NOT the value on that sale and .8 acres is the average size of our lake lots on Sinclair so you can that a 19 acre parcel simply doesn't fist the mold to "average" into the stats.

But making sure that my agents working with sellers are using accurate comps for pricing and making making sure agents working with buyers know not only current pricing, but specifically the average sales to list ratio for the most recently 30 and 60 days, but also for the listing agent.  That's right, I even when it comes time to write an offer look up the agents stats.  If an agent's listings have sold for 96% of list they are pretty good at pricing, however if the listing agent has a 79% sales to list ratio, we simply use that knowledge to our advantage on first offer price. 

Knowing my market, really knowing my market has helped me to help my agents help clients for more than two decades now. The best way to prepare for the busy season in our market is knowing current pricing and trends.

Of course there is more to helping clients than just the numbers. Also very important is:

  • Communication
  • lead generation
  • available technology
  • systems in place

Having agents who can easily adapt to the clients preferred method of communication is key to keeping clients happy. If the client wants to call, we answer, if they want to email we email, if they want to text we text. 

Lead generation is NOT about just having the clients find you and contact you. It's about offering them a product that works and is user friendly and keep them up to date

Technology includes so much stuff, from having an e-signature program that is easy for clients to use to an app that is beyond awesome.  We offer our clients an app that has "insta view". They down the load the app and are driving around or even out on their boat and find a property that they are interested in knowing more about and open the app the bingo... touch insta view and there it is with interior photos and all the details. They can also use the app from work or home and search by address. It also communicates to the agent right through the app if a buyer wants an appointment or has a question.

Our systems are more back end.  We have listing check lists, we have contract check lists, we have buyer follow up checklists and closing day check lists.  We utilize them all.  And our office assistant is amazing at keeping us on task and keeping things running smoothly. She has brought some new office checklists to us that help so much.  She keeps all of our lockboxes giving notifications to the right agents and helps us make sure we have a certain number of "touches" to past clients each year.

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

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Comment balloon 24 commentsTammy Lankford, • February 10 2018 09:14PM


Good afternoon Tammy Lankford, 

Your Donald is one smart man. You can practice all day long but if you are practicing wrong then the saying of practice makes perfect doesn't ring true! 

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) almost 3 years ago

EXCELLENT post Tammy Lankford, You must have practiced it perfectly. 

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) almost 3 years ago

I don't know if "practice makes perfect" but it definitely gives you a competitive advantage.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 3 years ago

Hi Tammy- you have to practice but if what you're doing is wrong then it makes no difference. It looks like you have everything in place to make sure that you are doing what's right!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 3 years ago

 Tammy Lankford, 

Practice does not  make perfection unless it is perfect practicing.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 3 years ago

Hi Tammy - yes practice creates habits and we have to make sure that we don't create a bad habit.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 3 years ago

Margaret's comment is perfect! Really enjoy Donald's comment, and your clarification. Your agents are lucky to have you steering the ship. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Tammy. As usual this is funny, true and very focused too. Great insights.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 3 years ago

When we analyze MLS data, we MUST use accurate information. Otherwise, the information we share with our clients is skewed. We have to look for the abnormalities.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Tammy Lankford, I wish every agent ran their business like a business and had systems and operations in place to facilitate real estate transactions "perfectly". Well done ... a true professional. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 3 years ago

These are all the reasons why if I had a transfer and buyer I would recommend that they hire you.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 3 years ago

Learning to do things the right way is very important for sure. If you are practicing the wrong thing it does you no good. The right systems in the right place and proper training may not guarantee success, but it sure does help.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 3 years ago

Dear Tammy,

I am sure, your agents love to work for you.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) almost 3 years ago

Good systems help us provide good service and protect us from all-to-easy errors, especially when we hit a busy streak. We use checklists for every stage from listing through sale.

Posted by Kathleen Luiten, Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales (Resort and Second-Home Specialist) almost 3 years ago

Practicing perfectly is only as good as the mentor who is training the skills while measuring the execution and performance that produces best results or winning. Not all teachers are excellent teachers, therefore, it's entirely possible that people cannot be successful because they were trained by inferior mentors. Team performance is only as good as the head mentor and his team of assistant mentors. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 3 years ago

Love this! Well written and great advice! I never thought about "practice makes perfect " that way before!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 3 years ago

Knowledge of your market is an invaluable tool for both Sellers and Buyers.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 3 years ago

I would not say that practice makes perfect. Practice makes you better.

It is a necessity to keep up with the market. So this becomes an ongoing practice.

Things change so much in Real Estate, we must keep practicing.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 3 years ago

Tammy Lankford, this is definitely something to ponder. You are what you do. So if you practice poorly then you'll perform poorly.

Posted by Carla Freund, Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) almost 3 years ago

I think there are some good phrases you can practice and use--to combat the usual objections.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) almost 3 years ago

Good stuff Tammy Lankford, 

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) almost 3 years ago

Tammy, ecellent post and well written. I agree that practice does make perfect or very close to it.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 3 years ago

You have really good business practices in place that make your the success that you are. On top of that you care and take pride in doing a great job.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) almost 3 years ago

So much great information in this article! I love that you do your homework on the listing agents' list to sale ratio.

Posted by John Alesi, (Orange County California Real Estate) (Century 21 Award) almost 3 years ago