How a Planeswalker became a Skilled Realtor

Jake Lindauer has a few hobbies. He golfs, he bakes and he makes delicious homemade ice cream. One hobby in particular makes him a savvy Realtor. Jake plays Magic the Gathering, and he’s pretty good. For the uninitiated, Magic the Gathering is a trading card game that pits two or more players, called planeswalkers, against one another in a battle to defeat their opponents.

Magic the Gathering hones a player’s ability to read people. Like any real estate transaction, you will not know all of the cards that the other person has, you can only guess based on your observations what the other player may do. A winning strategy is almost always the key to winning a game. Players must be able to look at the big picture and anticipate the moves that the other players might make with the cards available to them. Figuring out the right moves to make, or cards to play, can get a Realtor’s clients their dream home.

Away from the tournaments, players look for cards to enhance their decks. Sometimes, they buy lots of packs in the hopes of getting what they need. Serious players seek out what they need on the secondary market and negotiate for the best price. Learning to approach people and negotiate a middle ground that is agreeable to both parties is 90% of what a Realtor must do to close a deal.

“My collection is a few thousand cards – a large part of the hobby (and keeping the costs down) is actively buying, selling, and trading into the remarkably fast moving, and surprisingly sophisticated secondary market for cards. Price histories of individual cards are tracked like stocks (you should see the graphs!) so knowing when to buy or sell something is part of the fun. All of that said, I still have a couple hundred cards from when I was I was 10 or 11  and I will always keep those for the sentimental value. I love how this thing I did when I was little has turned into this giant worldwide pastime 25 years later.”

Jake plays Magic the Gathering at tournaments all over California. “I play once or twice a week – as much as work and married life allows. That ramps up as much as I can (and my amazing and patient wife tolerates) in advance of large tournaments a few times a year.”

 Jake uses the experience that he has gained playing Magic the Gathering in his business. “I’ve learned a lot of skills from playing! From identifying large market trends in the price of cards, to negotiating complex situations with hidden information. The game has also taught me the value of thinking beyond this week’s conventional wisdom (based on last week’s reality) to be a step ahead of everyone else’s preparation. It’s also reinforced the value of exhaustive knowledge and preparation. In the same way knowing a complex rules interaction or being aware of all the possible responses a player might have gives me an edge playing, that same understanding of real estate transactions lets me be that much more valuable for my clients!”

 

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