Advice to New Agents Getting into the Business
Many members of the public look at a real estate agent's job as glamorous with days of looking at pretty houses and taking clients to lunch and dinner. The fancy cars and expense accounts allow agents to play golf, take frequent vacations and wear high fashion wardrobes. WRONG!
The reality is we get paid based on commissions and having real estate closings that really happen. If the closing doesn't take place, all the hard work goes down the drain without being paid. Nobody stands over you and makes you work each day. It is up to you to set your goals, be innovative and to accomplish the tasks of the workday. You start each day unemployed and must make things happen to further your career. Each day is a learning experience and a building block in your business.
What the public doesn't see is the money invested, the hard work and long hours that are required to put the face of success on our careers. There is a pot of gold to be had but it comes with working long work weeks, very little time off, some disappointments along the way, no expense accounts for sure, and learning to win the business over your competition. It takes a well executed plan and your investment in it.
The work starts at the very beginning, the first day of licensure. You can never let up and you have to treat it like a real job and work it. When agents give up and leave the business, many say they are going to go get a Real Job. They had one but didn't know how to make it work for them, establish good work habits or to define their careers. Much of what a successful agent does is self generated and executed. It comes from the gut.
- What do you wish you had known the very first year you were in the business that cost you lost business or income?
I wish I had known to keep a good database of everyone I worked with. Even those that may not have bought right then or had moved away were potential business. If I had just stayed in touch and thought about building a business for the future and not just the present I would have made money. I never gave a thought about the referral side of the business of who they knew. Meantime I lost tens of thousands of dollars in income and connections for a lifetime.
- Was there ever a time you questioned whether you had made the right choice of being a real estate agent? What events caused you to stick with it and succeed?
About my fifth year in the business I hit a rough spot. It seemed like everything I was working on fell through. I kept pressing forward but doors were slammed in my face. After a series of discouragements I went home at the end of the day and told my husband it was clear that I needed to leave the business. I took the door slamming as clear signs I needed to do something else. What the something else was, I had no idea.
Just as I had gained my husband's support to do whatever I thought I needed to do and to quit first thing the next morning, the phone rang. It was a young military couple that had just arrived in town that I had been corresponding with for a couple of months. They said they needed to buy a home and asked how early could we start looking in the morning? I set the appointment for 8:30 to get an early start and to make sure we could find them a home before the day was finished.
I was smiling and exhilarated as I hung up the phone. My husband looked at me strangely and asked how I was going to meet them when I had a first thing appointment to quit the business. I told him I had to help this young family and that was my priority. I never looked back.
I love helping others and don't focus on any discouragements or doors slamming. I have my eyes set on looking for the open windows.
What are 3 things you have learned along the way that have positively affected you and helped improve your real estate business?
1. Treat everyone you meet as a prospect. There have been agents that got out of the business that I was able to represent them. Treat other agents with respect. I have worked with family members of other agents. I don't consider them off limits. I am never afraid to ask for the business and do not get scared off by hearing a no. A no means, not now but maybe later.
2. It takes working long hours and working smarter than your competition. I am not afraid to learn something new nor take risks or chances. If I am not moving forward I am losing traction and falling behind.
3. You should never stop learning. Education in this business is abundant and readily available. Take classes and continually learn. Don't settle for the minimums required to keep your license. Be aggressive in your learning and become a leader in your business community. Be involved and give back to your REALTOR body and gain their respect. It will win you additional business and make your job more satisfying.
If a career is real estate is calling you, research it and go into it with your eyes wide open. It can be a dream job but that doesn't mean you won't work your hard or make personal sacrifices to service a client. The job satisfaction you gain is some of the highest of any career. It cannot be measured in dollars.
2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.
Clarksville, TN 37040
it would be my pleasure to assist you!
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"
931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell