## “I’m Not Good At Math” Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about people who tell me they aren’t good at real estate math.  Nearly 100% of the time, the issue is that they will read the question and can’t figure out what is being asked, which in turn means they don’t know what formula to use.  If you read the question and can’t figure out what it is saying, is that a math problem?  Or is it a reading comprehension problem?  I’d suggest it’s a reading comprehension problem.

I’m pointing this out because if you don’t diagnose the problem correctly, there is no way you can solve it.  It’s just like real estate math – if you can’t figure out what the question is saying, you will not be able to do the math.  So next time you can’t figure out a math question, ask yourself, “Is the problem that I don’t understand the actual math problem? Or is the problem that I don’t understand what the question is asking me to do?”

Once you have the diagnosed the problem correctly, you can begin to work on the solution.

Please note that I, Karen Climer, have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold that school in 2014.  Since that time, I have had no affiliation with that school.  If you are looking for me, you will find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2021-08-24T15:03:22-04:00August 26th, 2019|

## “I’m Not Good At Math”

In almost every real estate class I teach, there is at least one person who will come up to me before class and say, “I’m not good at math.”  I know why they say this – it’s a defense mechanism.  They are afraid they will be made to feel stupid, so they are setting up their defense early.

But here’s the thing – by saying, “I’m not good at math,” they are not only setting up their defense, they are setting themselves up to fail.  Why is that?

You are who you define yourself to be.  One of brain’s deepest needs is to be consistent with how we define ourselves.  Our brain does not deal well with incongruency, so sometimes we force congruency — even to our own detriment.  In other words, if you define yourself as someone who is not good at math, you will unconsciously do what is necessary to make that true.

The math on the Florida real estate exam is not difficult. All you have to do is add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Imagine you have a someone who smokes and he proudly tell people, “I’m a smoker.”  Then he doesn’t have any problem walking outside to smoke a cigarette.  He decides to quit, so now he starts telling people, “I’m trying to quit.”  That means he shouldn’t smoke, but it also gives him permission to have the occasional cigarette.  But what if instead of “I’m trying to quit,” he immediately started saying, “I’m a former smoker.”  How would that change things?

We are who we define ourselves to be.  If you walk into real estate class and say, “I’m pretty good at math,” you will have a much different experience that the person who walk in and says, “I’m not good at math.”  You are who you define yourself to be.

By the way, this isn’t just true of math.  In every class, there are a few people who tell me, “I’m not good at taking tests.”  What if those same people started off the class by saying, “I usually do well on tests that I’m prepared for.”  You are who you define yourself to be.

Maybe you are thinking, “That applies to other people, but not me.  I can say one thing, but I won’t let it define me.”

Why don’t you try something, just for kicks?  Just try it my way for length of your real estate class.  Tell yourself you are good at math and tell yourself you are good at taking tests.  Say it with enough conviction that you believe it.  Even if you do think this is psychobabble, it won’t hurt any.  And maybe, just maybe, it will help.

And then do one more thing, just for fun, when you start your real estate career, try the same thing.  Instead of moping around the office saying, “I’m not good at cold calls,” try saying, “I love talking to new people.”

Please note that I, Karen Climer, have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold that school in 2014.  Since that time, I have had no affiliation with that school.  If you are looking for me, you will find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2021-08-24T15:04:05-04:00August 25th, 2019|

## One Tip That Will Save Your Butt On Florida Real Estate Exam Math Questions

Let’s say the questions says, “John bought a rental house for \$237,000. He wants to make at least 8% return on this investment. His mortgage payment is \$1,287.65 at 5.5%.  How much rent should he charge to meet his financial goals?”

I always ask my students at Demetree School of Real Estate, “What formula are you going to use?”

The ones who are trying to wing it will say, “Well, you take \$237,000 times 8% divided by \$1,287.65 minus 5.5%.”  When that answer doesn’t result in one of the choices, they will try some other combination.

Usually I will interrupt before they get that far and say, “What is the formula?  Don’t tell me the numbers.  Tell me in words what formula you are using.”

The ones who have studied will say, “Based on the last sentence, this is the IRV formula, so it is income equals rate times value.”

I encourage them to write the formula on a piece of paper, then plug in the numbers right next to that. When you do that, you realize that the mortgage payment and interest rate are problem trash.

To summarize my method:

1. Read the last sentence of the question to determine what we are looking for.
2. Identify the formula.
3. Write the formula on your paper.
4. Plug in the appropriate numbers and ignore everything else.
5. Then, and only then, do you reach for your calculator.

You may think my method is too much trouble.  I guarantee it is less trouble than taking the exam again.

There might be another benefit to learning the formula in words, not just punching numbers in your calculator.  Recently, I heard a student say that this was their question on the Florida real estate sales associate exam:

What is the formula for capitalization rate?

a. Income ÷ value
b. Interest ÷ value
c. Value ÷ income
d. Value X income

For the students who learn the formula, this was a super easy question.  For students who just punch in numbers without thinking of the formula, this question could be the difference between a score of 74 and 75.  In other words, the difference between walking out with a real estate license or coming back next week later to sit for the test again.

By the way, the answer is A.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate

By |2021-08-25T14:38:30-04:00January 26th, 2018|
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