Which sort of intelligence is best?

Ed Mead

According to experts there are many forms of intelligence, we can supposedly divine up to nine different sorts. Deep breath…

1/ Naturalist [Nature Smart]

2/ Musical [Sound Smart]

3/ Logical-Mathematic [Number/Reasoning Smart]

4/ Existential [Life Smart]

5/ Interpersonal [People Smart]

6/ Bodily-Kinesthetic [Body Smart]

7/ Linguistic [Word Smart]

8/ Intrapersonal [Self Smart]

9/ Spatial [Picture]

These kind of make sense to me but does create another debate after last week’s call for Agents to be required to complete higher education.

This is not about making noise or talking politics and does bear looking at more intelligently – pun intended. Thank heavens the majority of people I’ve worked with in this industry are not 3. Research from anyone using psychometric testing is that category 3 tends to be full of, for example, accountants and solicitors and represents less than 5% of the population. Experience tells me they’d not make great agents, but they clearly need qualifications to do what they do and don’t major on empathy.

No, agents are by definition going to be 5, with a bit of 8 not doing any harm at all. Being able to empathise and read people is not, though, something you can teach, is it? You surely just have it or you don’t and to me it’s usually obvious within seconds of an interview starting, whether the interviewee has it.

The painful culture wars all around us at the moment, exacerbated by polarising coverage – could surely be diffused with a few more of the qualities agents show, i.e. understanding and empathising with others and not seeking confrontation just for the sake of it.

I’ve said it before, but if you asked 10 people straight out of school what they wanted to be, none would put their hands up and say “Estate Agent”. Most fall into it having tried something else, BUT, they then discover what a great and varied job it is. No amount of traditionally understood intellectual intelligence is going to help them win and retain business – but being streetwise, emotionally intelligent and able to read others makes for well-rounded people with a set of skills that are useful for life, not just for business.

Now, what school teaches all that then?


University launches UK’s first ever estate agency degree



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One Comment

  1. Robert_May

    Working in an estate agency is fundamentally about being a decent human being; it requires being well-mannered, respectful, and polite. Emotional intelligence and empathy are crucial.

    It’s quite disheartening to hear when industry trainers and service suppliers suggest that “agents are thick,” especially when such comments are made openly in meetings and discussions.

    There’s absolutely nothing stupid about agents.

    The push for agents to be regulated and qualified often seems more like commercial lobbying, aiming to create opportunities to charge for mandatory training, regulation, membership, redress, and insurance.

    In a service industry, such heavy regulation isn’t always necessary. Competition and the quality of service naturally separate the good agents from the less effective ones. Recently disruptors in the industry have highlighted this; services that didn’t live up to their marketing promises failed. This led vendors to return to their #local agents after incurring significant fees for services that didn’t meet expectations.

    The real misunderstanding lies with those who fail to appreciate what it takes to be a good agent. Those who belittle the profession and overlook the challenges agents face are the ones missing the point.


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