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Game Theory

Agents // Feb 07, 2011

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…is serious business, but is still very much under the radar.

About 4 years ago, in my quest to learn from some of the leading economists in the world (through literature) I became aware of Game Theory, and started dabbling in it. The more I read and studied about Game Theory, the more I realized how vital it was to everything we do in the field of negotiation.

(In other words – real estate brokerage)

It is the most significant theory that I have come across that directly relates to the real estate business (and beyond).

Most agents view the standard continuing education requirements of a real estate license as a necessary chore. My advice to anyone reading this entry is to start exploring Game Theory as a practical method to help you represent your clients’ interests. This should be a standard continuing education requirement because you will get invaluable information to help make you a significantly better agent. It is at the very core of our expected skill set and expertise.

There are thousands of references, dating back many centuries, but my strongest recommendation as an entrée into this subject is Dixit and Nalebuff’s book The Art of Strategy. It is thorough, practical and easily understandable (unlike Von Neumann’s books – which need a deeper level of understanding and 4 cups of coffee).

These studies will certainly help those of us who have suffered with the question, (while representing a buyer in a bidding war) “How much do I offer, and when do I submit the bid?”

And much, much more.

Happy learning!