As I sat through my most recent prelicense education course, I couldn’t help but look around at all the different people taking the class. I believe I had a preconceived notion that most of the people taking this course would be in their 30s and 40s, dressed in business attire and carrying leather portfolios or briefcases. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Who are we? To my right sat a woman who currently owns a Subway franchise. Behind me was a mother of three who works in a plumbing business with her husband and is looking for a new career. Next to me sat a recent college graduate, complete with shorts, a T-shirt and knit cap.
There were people in their 60s, as well as a large number of 20-somethings in the room. I found out an older couple enrolled in the course because they would like to work part time so they could spend more time with their grandchildren.
During the break, I had a short conversation with one of my classmates. He had worked in sales for 20 years before his company was forced to downsize. He and I discussed how we were both surprised by the large number of younger people taking the course.
We talked about whether or not a 20-year-old would be as well-equipped to sell a house as someone who was 40 or 50 years old — someone who had experienced the homebuying process firsthand. He brought up the emotions of buying a home. You have stress and worry. Is there any way these young agents would be able to relate to a client if they have never been through the process?
When I was considering a career change to real estate a while back, I wasn’t sure if I was the right person to sell real estate. Do I have what it takes?
During the past several weeks of class and speaking with many people, I realized it is important to draw upon your own experiences when working with a client. As an example, I feel I could easily relate to a couple with kids who decided to move to a larger home because I have been through it. Surely my 40-plus years of experiences would help me with a career in real estate.
I started wondering if a younger sales agent might be able to use their youth as an advantage. Is it possible for them to detach themselves from all the stress and anxiety of a home search a little more easily?
For example, every agent will have a client who loses an offer on a home they absolutely love. Personally, my first instinct would be to console them. I could tell them I know exactly how they feel since I have had it happen.
But the younger agent, one who might never have experienced the situation personally, might be able to move on more quickly and get the client looking for their next “perfect” home. Could a more youthful attitude actually be an advantage?
Each of us brings our own unique perspective to the table. Whether you are fresh out of college, looking to change careers midway through life or working part time to spend more time with your grandchildren, any one of us can succeed in the real estate field.
After speaking with some my fellow soon-to-be real estate agents, I realized all of us have the ability to make great things happen in this wild world of real estate. I intend to use my own experiences to succeed in real estate but also hope to draw from the strengths of others around me.
What experience or attitude do you feel you bring to the table that make you successful?
Justin Gallant is an aspiring real estate agent transitioning from a successful 18-year career owning restaurants. You can follow him on Twitter @jjgallant.