The first thing I would share about a real estate career is that it is not like what you see on TV. I can assure you of that. It is not a viper den,at least not in our market area, and it is not for those who aspire to do it part time, although we have many who do just that. As far as being successful at it, I would imagine that it depends on your interpretation of success. For instance, if you are not the breadwinner in your home and are looking to spend countless hours talking about the homes that come to market with your inner circle and strangers, and would be happy selling just a house or two each year, then that is possible. It is a waste of time, in my opinion, but possible nonetheless. The amount of hours required to sell that house or two a year is substantial. In fact, when you start out, it takes a year to three years to do just that. When I spent a lot of my time coaching other agents as a broker, before I changed to my current office format, I would often state that everyone knows at least five agents. You, as the agent, have to be the first agent they think of when they want advice and guidance related to real estate matters. Being number two doesn’t cut it. Many people do not, and should not, work with friends. That is the truth. The process of buying or selling real estate is a business transaction where optimal results are the bottom line. If folks work with friends or neighbors it can often turn into a total mess. Business transactions can often bring out or expose behavior and information that is better left with those that you do not know personally. I am not saying don’t work with friends, I am just saying be aware of the impact of doing so.
If you are just starting your real estate career, I can assure you that many of your friends will not choose for you to represent them until you have built a personal brand and reputation that clearly defines your expertise. Often a large social circle does not guarantee a strong real estate career. In this business many people depend on trust, tenacity, expertise and a successful history. They want to work with an expert. Experts get better results than someone who is doing this to fill their time, part time. Experts have a better view of the playing field, more experience in challenging transactions, more wisdom to share and know what it takes, moment by moment, to produce the best outcome for clients.
As it relates to time management, if you do not have a lot of time on your hands and you do not have good time management skills then this is not the right position for you. This is a business where, if you are fortunate enough to be successful, you are constantly juggling the demands of the business. In the end the only thing we really sell in any business is our time. In real estate, boundaries related to time can get a bit unclear as the business itself is so personal. I am involved in people’s lives for a short period of time customarily, and I want to make a difference. It is my job to have an amazing impact on their lives and create outcomes that make a difference. As my father used to repeat to me every day, you may be going out of business and do not even know it. He regularly said to me at the start of every business day, with his deep French Moroccan accent, “Tsur are we growing the business today or going out of business? If you have not decided this morning, then we are surely going out of business.” That question continuously challenges, decades later, to exceed expectations and to make a difference. A truly successful real estate career calls for you to start your day with my father’s question and answer in mind. Did I mention the fierce competition in real estate? I don’t live my life looking or thinking about it. I look ahead every day but that does not take away from the fact that it exists if you look to your right or left. Did I mention market fluctuations and their impact on your actual livelihood? Fact. Did I mention the long hours? The days in season are very long. Did I mention that to be truly successful in my industry you have to be available seven days a week? That is true. Did I mention the income is not guaranteed? Deals fall apart. Did I mention what the toll on your personal and familial relationships can be? The business is demanding. Work/life balance? It’s stressful and hard. When I was on a hiring spree in my office many years ago, new agents would walk into my office and tell me how much they like design and houses. They thought if they liked those two things I would be impressed. I was not. I rarely hired those folks. If you go into real estate you better like negotiating. You better like to work. You better like sacrificing your time for the needs of others. You better like business because that is exactly what it is. You better want to leave a wake behind your ship that builds a great reputation among your clients. You might ask after reading this why I do it? I do it because I love everything about it. It is what I know.