Re: ‘Rookie Realtor spouse speaks out‘ (May 10)

Dear Rookie:

I’m in the same boat as you are. I’ve been licensed for almost a year and half. Have not sold a house in that time.

At first I thought it might be my training, so I got my GRI. Still no homes sold or listed. Maybe more training was needed, so I got my broker’s license. Still nothing. Maybe residential was not my cup of tea, so I am trying commercial real estate. So far one lease and a whopping commission check of $384.

Been working in a market just like yours. Houses selling like hotcakes. Tried marketing with hotline numbers, radio transmitter in front of my house (only got calls asking how much the house is selling for even though my script several times said the house is not for sale) and even tried advertising as one of those lowball commission agents. Still nothing.

Has my relationship with my wife suffered? You bet. For our anniversary trip we went to Lake Tahoe and proceeded to spend the entire week, with only one day out of the hotel, because I was too busy taking real estate classes online. She has sacrificed a lot in the past 18 months, not buying new clothes and not going out to lunch with co-workers while she sees me spending money like a drunken sailor. Bless her heart, as she never really complained, but it seems every time she saw the bank account she would get more and more distant, as the bank account grew smaller and smaller. My emotional roller coaster did not help. The ups (“I’ve got a client who’s ready to buy/sell”) to the downs (Client wants to lowball an offer that already has 15 offers on the property”) are very dramatic in this business. I guess I’m not suited for that kind of ride.

Within the last week or so I have come to a realization that I am just not geared towards selling real estate. I normally don’t give up on things, but every career guide and biography that I have read says to be successful is doing what one enjoys. I don’t enjoy working in real estate sales. I am fascinated by real estate and will be an investor someday when I have money to invest, but real estate sales is not for me.

You have to sit down and ask yourself very bluntly, “Am I ‘playing real estate’ or am I seriously putting 110 percent effort into my real estate sales career?” If you are just “playing,” then you owe it to yourself to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with yourself. Do not look as leaving real estate sales as a failure but as a test to your personal abilities and skills. Analyze what you have been great at while you have been licensed and see what professions or other business opportunities are out there that you could switch to and be successful.

Remember not every one can be a brain surgeon, and, despite what I thought getting into the business, not everyone can sell real estate.

Larry Day

Dear Rookie:

I have been in real estate about a year and a half and let me tell you the first year was a killer! I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody. Not to mention that my mother is my broker and owner of the company. While you might think both of these things would be an advantage, they really turned out to be a disadvantage. Being that “everbody knows everybody,” that means 50 percent of my contacts usually know at least one or two other Realtors; the other 50 percent are split up between knowing and working with my mother or being a Realtor themselves.

Competition is fierce! My first year was spent running around showing houses to people who seemed serious but never actually bought anything. It was entirely frustrating not to mention costly! There were many moments when I thought the real estate gene just wasn’t passed down to me but then finally at the end of my first year, I had a closing. Since Jan. 1, 2004 I have had eight closings and I’m working on my ninth. Really, there’s nothing I’m doing differently; it’s just that I had to put my time in and get my name out there. If your office has floor time (when you get all of the calls that come in), take as much as you can! If you’re helpful on the phone and can talk them into letting you search for their perfect home, sooner or later you’re going to get the ball rolling. As for your other half…they never understand real estate, but they’re all for it when the checks start rolling in.

Good luck and don’t let your spouse bring you down!

Amy Witzel
Greenridge Realty Witzel & Assoc.


Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to

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