The Indispensable Agent: “A dose of strategy, a dash of inspo, & a few tall tales.”
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
In my short 13 years in the business I have personally seen dozens of agents come and go. Agents who sold a lot of real estate at one point in time. In good markets and in bad markets. While this is determined primarily by their personal habits and systems (or lack thereof), a slower market certainly reveals the truth about the agents who are running a solid business (or not).
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked.” — Warren Buffett
Recently, I ran across the social media account of a guy who, just a few years ago, was doing over 25 deals a year. He was young, energetic, talented, and had an enormous amount going for him. I remember when I first met him and was so hopeful for a huge future in his life and business. When I ran across his profile, I was shocked to see the dismal state of his life (in general). I saw that he dropped out of the business entirely. He was working a very low paying job and struggling in just about every aspect of existence. Unfortunately, he is not the exception to the rule. I have personally witnessed (and attempted to help, often failing) dozens of agents go from making strong 6-figure incomes selling real estate to completely falling apart and departing the industry. Just as tragic are the people who don’t leave the industry, but probably should because they are absolutely miserable and never able to get “over the hump” into some kind of sustainable success and stability.
I have met with several agents this year who are quitting real estate because they never stopped to work on their business (or on themselves). They stayed transactional, they stayed working in their business, and they never picked up their heads to consider what they were doing or why. Their examples, while sad, do serve up a lot of good lessons about what not to do.
Making Money is Easy… For Awhile
I think this is one of the biggest “lies” and unspoken secrets of our industry. The lie is that it is difficult to make money selling real estate. The truth? It is not complicated nor particularly difficult when you get right down to it. Making money in real estate is just like learning history your freshman year of high school or learning algebra. Once you figure out the rules and the playbook and you study the way it’s done and you practice it a little bit, get a little coaching on it, you take the tests, you can do it. You can do simple algebra, you can pass your history test and you can close a real estate deal and make some money. It’s not that hard.
What is hard? Making it into a career that lasts is hard. In other words, doing it sustainably over time is what’s difficult. Because you can go work leads, you can go work internet leads that you buy or that somebody else buys for you. You can join a team and start working their leads. You can go sit in an open house for someone else. You can pay one of the dozens of companies running around out there who hand you leads and take most of the profit (and data) for themselves. You can do a lot of things to make money and make money fast. But, after a while, when you have cashed enough checks and closed enough deals, most of us are looking for a little bit more than that.
The reason most people quit is because they just get tired. They just get exhausted. They never get in touch with a real meaning or purpose for why they do what they do every day. This work, while easy in the short term, will wear you down if you don’t guard against that outcome. People quit because they never figure out what the next step is for them. They don’t go through the difficult work of figuring out what really makes them tick and what it is that they are striving for in the first place.
Make it Last – Build a Business & Create Wealth
I am going to give you a short and sweet list of the things that I have either discovered myself or been taught by others that will ensure you have lasting success in the business. Each one of these items could be their own article or speech, and in fact I am speaking about them at our next Sales Seminar, but for this format it needs to be concise and to the point. Please feel free to reach out to me for more color, stories, or details about these 13 practices that lead to a healthy real estate career and the opportunity to build wealth (in no particular order):
- Find your reasons. Discover your calling. Choose a purpose. Dig until you do.
- Build a simple but meaningful strategic plan for your life & business
- Utilize new information and lessons to modify your strategic plan as needed – AKA NEVER STOP LEARNING
- Focus on what you can control. Hint: not the market, not other agents, not your client.
- Fire problem clients… better yet, don’t hire them in the first place.
- Religiously and fanatically invest in yourself and in your business.
- Do what you say you are going to do (massive problem in our society).
- Confront the fear of rejection until it is minimalized to something you can handle quite easily and quite routinely.
- Stop making decisions based on the opinions of strangers who don’t even want the best for you.
- Stand for something. Be about something.
- Do not give counsel to your fears, your detractors, and the unknown (thanks Coach Pete!)
- Make decisions and learn from the outcome. The worst decision is no decision.
- Never Quit – it takes what it takes.
A Quote to Ponder
“People do not decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” — F.M. Alexander