Entering the complex and precarious labyrinth of the real estate industry requires more than just thinking, “Driving around showing people houses for money looks fun and easy!”
I actually said that out loud 16 years ago when I decided to get my license, but I quickly realized that there was so much more to learn.
Being a real estate agent is like being a superhero on a roller coaster ride. The ups and downs, the victories and disappointments, the time, energy and commitment of being an agent can be draining.
Overall, real estate is satisfying and rewarding, of course. The positives are obvious, but when people tell me they are going to get into real estate, I tell them they’ll need to channel their inner superhero, and here’s why.
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” – Batman
You will need to find your superpowers and master them.
Now, this doesn’t have to be anything fancy like a PhD or previous real estate experience. Your attitude can be your power, being an expert listener is a skill, and extensive knowledge of the market can be your secret weapon.
There’s a lot of competition out there, and you must find a way to differentiate yourself. Have a stellar marketing presentation, become a neighborhood expert or host the best open houses in your town.
There’s something for everyone in real estate, and determining what activities complement your superpowers the best will carry you a long way toward success.
“No matter how bad things get, something good is out there over the horizon.” – The Green Lantern
Superheros don’t get tired, and they are ready to serve at any time. Your clients will text, email, call and message you at all hours of the day, and they will expect you to respond quickly.
You will have to work on your day off, during your vacation and when you just don’t feel like it. You will work long days, put deals together that will fall apart at closing and work tirelessly to negotiate, coordinate and counsel.
One day you might even calculate that you actually paid $100 an hour to be part of a transaction. Yes, it’s true.
Sometimes your clients will be unappreciative and rude, then they’ll ask you to cut your commission. Being in the people business will test your stamina in more ways than 10, which you will get used to, but it takes some time. Hang in there, and don’t give up.
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Alfred Pennyworth
Grab your figurative armor and shield yourself because you will be rejected, it will hurt, and your attempt at certain activities will fail. The overpriced listing you took could expire, then sell five days later after being listed with someone else, or the $5,000 shiny new website that you bought might get no traffic.
Or the buyers that you showed 50 houses to might decide not to buy at this time. What? Or worse — they buy from someone else. The learning curve in the beginning can be overwhelming, and you have to be tenacious and strong. Wear your armor, and keep a positive mindset — it will save your day.
“I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from.” – Captain America
Unfortunately, you will have to deal with villains. Some agents, buyers, sellers and supporting cast members are unethical. They will lie to you, ask you do something you know is wrong or try to sneak something by you.
Agent beware. The pressure and discomfort from situations like these are agonizing. You must always be diligent in your dealings and always take the high road. Be ethical, honest and set an example for those around you.
“Luck favors the prepared.” – Edna Mode
To experience maximum success in real estate, be prepared. Learn how to run your business like a business, or you will get caught up in a hamster wheel of time-wasting activities.
Plan your day, and develop a strategy. Take classes, read good books and ask lots of questions to experienced agents.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to a new agent is to work with a mentor. The experience can be invaluable to your career, and they will show you how to work smarter, not harder.
“The future is worth it. All the pain. All the tears. The future is worth the fight.” – Martian Manhunter
It’s exciting to ponder a new career in real estate. It’s a fascinating business that offers flexibility, wealth accumulation and prestige. There’s a lot of work, learning and preparation that goes into being successful — and it’s worth it.
I think if you are willing to approach your career like a superhero and focus on creating your niche — then, yes, go get your real estate license now.