I spent the last two weeks of January traveling to two conferences, both with their own sets of merits. One advocated for a systematic approach to selling real estate — consistent scripted calls and presentations and laser focus on growth and scale. The other, Inman Connect, looked into the near future and speculated on the next thing in real estate.

Coincidently, both events, though vastly different in their nature and composition, came to the exact same conclusion: what remains constant, tried-and-true while also being the change this industry is longing for — the next big thing in real estate — is the real estate agent.

Simply put, it’s you.

The tried-and-true agent

Real estate takes a toll on agents. It forces you to be at your best at all times — to the point of exhaustion. You’re selling constantly, and even when you aren’t, you’re thinking about the next sale.

A missed opportunity in real estate is often frowned upon as a missed opportunity at life itself. Despite the insurmountable odds, agents always find ways to forge ahead day after day, month after month and year after year.

Those who have been in the business for quite some time have seen the best and the worst of life, and they have decided to remain agents. Why? Because they recognize the value in perseverance and hard work. Dolly Lenz put it beautifully during a panel discussion:

The constant agent

This is the agent that has the ability to consistently see every possibility to gain business — either by selling a home, or perhaps more importantly, by being a reference to others through one’s positioning in his or her community or locality.

When the market fluctuates and everything else crumbles, agents are the cornerstones of the local market. Our open houses are used to pulse economic activities locally.

Our ability to connect different vendors drives local economy growth. Our video tours and neighborhood insights entice people to move in our communities. Our friends, family, neighbors and strangers do not simply hire us because we sell homes.

They see us as the time-tested, unchanged constant that remains the epicenter of their dreams of homeownership — to move from one economic and social stage to the next.

This is why we are agents: we see the possible when others do not. As Seth Godin puts it:

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The changed agent

Standing the test of time and being a constant in our business are the things that make us relevant. What separates us from any other business is our ability to change — not just the way we do business but also to find a greater purpose in who we are as agents or real estate professionals.

Real estate for me was not a profession that I sought. I went into it out of necessity to provide for my family. Out of my reluctancies came my first real estate transaction.

Then came the time to choose between selling real estate, looking for full-time work or helping agents grow their business. I chose the last one. Then I attended #ICSF in August 2015 where I realized that all the good I wanted to do in the world could be done in the real estate industry.

Then came #ICNY16, which made me realize that aspiring to change is meaningless unless you claim it. I have Leigh Thomas Brown and Seth Price to thank for that, as they both gave me the greatest gift they could offer me — their friendship:

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It’s true — you don’t get a second chance at making an impact in someone else’s life in this business, so claim the profession that has been tried and tested. Claim the agent that is a constant in the community. Claim the person willing to change for the better.

Claim yourself.

Billy Ekofo is the Assistant Director of Lead Management at Century 21 Redwood Realty. You can follow him on Twitter (@BillyEkofo) or LinkedIn.

Email Billy Ekofo.