Have you ever played the card game, Cards Against Humanity? If you have friends or family that you are comfortable with, and have a night to decompress, I strongly advise playing! The object of the game is to use your cards to fill in the blanks of different phrases, questions, and statements written on the cards of other players. Many people make the mistake of choosing cards that they think are clever, witty, and most of all funny. In reality, successful players choose the card that will connect most with the person in charge of picking a winner www.cardsagainsthumanity.com/.
Choosing the right investment for your client is similar. Just because you know of a value add deal in the northwest part of town doesn’t make it the best investment for your client. Your responsibility is in conducting research to present a myriad of opportunities to your client. Using supporting data from third party sources helps you combat the urge for bias during this process. If you have not used data to support your suggestions and decision making in the past — start now!
Data has been used to make decisions since the beginning of time. Decision making has been an integral part of the human race since day one, and begins on an individual basis the moment we leave the womb (Godfrey-Smith 2001). Evidence of data’s role within the decision making process has lead psychologists to produce empirical data to show what humans do with that data: from adolescent choices to managing a company, data is behind the most influential decisions of every person and generation. Backing up your decisions with evidence helps you act quicker and more decisively.
When investigating the decision making process, psychologists consider emotions, statistics, group versus individual thinking, bias, rational versus irrational thoughts and much more (Buchanan and O’Connell 2006). In the 1980’s Leon Mann coined the acronym “GOFER” (Mann et al 1991) and labeled goals, options, facts, effects, and review as steps in the decision making process. When you are deciding how to get out of bed in the morning the decision making process is done without cognitive thought, but you still run through certain steps. When you are creating an annual budget or deciding risk, return, and ROI on an investment, the process is active, detailed and thoughtful. In a client relationship, physical evidence brings perspective and solidarity to the forefront of decision making.
That being said, there are tools out there to help you! In the past, brokers would request county paperwork or purchase books of land plots on a quarterly basis. Today, all of the data you need is at your fingertips. There are databases that track property stats, sales information, business directories, etc. These databases streamline business processes allowing you to better advise your clients after researching investment activity, pricing out buildings and generating reports. It is also helpful in finding new clients and making more efficient use of your time. So when it comes to data, rely on the companies that do it well so you can get out there and do what brokers do best, fostering relationships and getting deals done.
https://hbr.org/2006/01/a-brief-history-of-decision-making Leigh Buchanan and Andrew O’Connell, Jan 2006
http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=423 Pamela Shore, 2003
Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2001). “Environmental complexity and the evolution of cognition” (PDF). In Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, James C. The evolution of intelligence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 223–250. ISBN 080583267X. OCLC 44775038.
Mann, Leon; Harmoni, Ros; Power, Colin (1991). “The GOFER course in decision making”. In Baron, Jonathan; Brown, Rex V. Teaching decision making to adolescents. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 61–78. ISBN 0805804978. OCLC 22507012. See also: Mann, Leon (July 1989). “Becoming a better decision maker”. Australian Psychologist. 24 (2): 141–155. doi:10.1080/00050068908259558.