Back Me Up on This: Types of Teammates that Complement the ADHD Agent
ADHD stands for “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” but I prefer to think of it as “Attention Different.” Because of ADHD, I am naturally bad at some things in the real estate office. Mundane tasks like filling out excel sheets and finishing piles of paperwork might take me hours, for example, while it takes other people less than one. Therefore, to keep things in the office running smoothly, I usually try to delegate out tasks to other people who are better at that particular task than me. This isn’t passing off work to others—this is sharing the responsibility with your team. The reason we form real estate groups is because we can work better and accomplish more as individuals when we have a support group behind us.
It is especially important for a real estate agent with ADHD to build a solid team around him or herself. We may be “Attention Different,” but everyone is different in some way. For me, ADHD helps me become hyper-focused on an activity. Once I have an idea in my head, I can become obsessed with it and will spend hours upon hours working to reach my goal and trying to create new and innovative ways to reach said goal. This can be a superpower at times, but it can also be incredibly inefficient. By surrounding myself with a talented group of real estate agents who focus their energy and attention in a different way than me, I’ve been able to eliminate many of the issues in the office caused by my ADHD.
Here is a list of “attention different” personalities that can help make up a diverse real estate group, and can be especially helpful in keeping things running smoothly for the real estate agent with ADHD:
This person is good at completing step-by-step tasks. They are the “rule followers,” if you will. Once they begin a work process, like filling out paperwork or completing excel sheets (things that I am not good at), they will have to job done in no time and with no careless mistakes. Because they are so “by the books,” this type of person also tends to be very organized, and can help keep the office—and you—running like clockwork.
If I were to list myself on this personality list, I would probably give myself the title of “Visionary.” As I mentioned—as I’m sure many other agents with ADHD/ADD can relate, and even other “big idea” agents who don’t have the disorder—ADHD helps me come up with big ideas and goals and find creative ways to implement them. But this is not a list about me—this is a list about the kind of people on my team who help me, and who can help other agents like me. So this is where “The Realist” comes in. The Realist is the antithesis to the Visionary, and as such, the two make the perfect business pair. The Realist on the team can look at my big ideas from a more realistic perspective, and together we can work together to find a common ground and create a plan of action that is both revolutionary and reasonable at the same time. The Realist and the Visionary are Yin and Yang, and both are equally valuable and necessary contributors to a real estate team.
I’m a talker. I don’t deny it, and I doubt anyone would ever tell you otherwise. But being a good talker doesn’t necessarily make me a good communicator. In fact, one of the hallmarks of ADHD, according to WebMD, is losing train of thought during conversation, or interrupting other people’s sentences to say something that just came to mind. While these qualities in conversation won’t ruin relationships with clients by any means, they can make it harder to build them from the ground up. A client who doesn’t know you yet may wonder why you keep changing the subject, or be confused about what you’re trying to say exactly.
This is where having an excellent communicator on your team can help. Communicators are good at synthesizing complex ideas and translating them into simple, personable, and easily understandable terms for clients. Obviously, good communicators can’t be with you at every single meeting and every last property showing (they have their own clients, after all), but as a good teammate, they’ll help you out where they can—whether that be joining in on client discussions whenever they have free time or even writing correspondence and other memos on your behalf. You can learn a lot by observing them as well. Moreover, communicators tend to be good persuaders and can probably be your best advocate at getting people to jump on board with projects that you or others in the office need help with.
Every team and everyone needs a little bit of fun here and there. Real estate agents are already workaholics, even without ADHD. But with ADHD, sometimes it’s really hard to take a breather and stop working on a task in front of you. If I am enthralled in a project, it is really hard for me to walk away from it sometimes, even when I have personal events I need to tend to outside of work. A good team is not complete without someone who can remind people that they’re in a fun, exciting line of work that changes every single day. Make sure you have someone to remind your group to relax and have fun while doing your job. (Just not too much… there are still houses to sell!)
While an agent with ADHD needs to recognize his or her weaknesses and try to improve upon them, he or she also needs to remember that there is nothing wrong with asking for help from teammates at times, too. ADHD may render you “Attention Different,” but, as you can see from the above examples, everyone is. That’s why it is so important to consider personality types when building up your real estate team. Having people who can focus their attention in so many unique ways is not only helpful to you, but is helpful to everyone else in the office as well. This isn’t just about you, this is about everyone in your office. We’re all attention and talent different in one way or another, and recognizing this and building off of it will be an asset to your real estate team.