When I wrote the first installment of “Rookie Realtor” I didn’t really know what type of reaction to expect from fellow agents and other Inman News readers. I hoped for the best, but braced for the worst.
I got both.
Many of the 100-plus folks who sent e-mails to me within hours after the first column appeared were Realtors from across the United States and Canada, and as far away as Japan. Some gave me good ideas to refine my marketing program or generously offered other advice to help me close my first deal.
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Others provided simple but highly cherished words of encouragement. I think a lot of veteran Realtors don’t realize how good they can make a new agent like me feel by taking a few moments to offer some suggestions or just saying, “Hang in there!”
Yet other agents weren’t as nice.
“You complain too much,” wrote Marlow C. Harris of Coldwell Banker Bain Associates in Seattle. “Obviously, real estate does not suit you. You should go back to doing whatever it was you did before you foolishly got your real estate license. Good luck!”
Lee Anderson of Century 21 Premier Service in Spokane, Wash., was even more succinct.
“Six months (and) you haven’t sold a house?” Anderson wrote. “Get a clue! Either you got it or you don’t, and obviously you don’t. Good luck–I hear McDonald’s is hiring.”
I think those two e-mails written by Realtors in Washington (and published by Inman News) were downright mean. My mom grew up in the Midwest and she taught me that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.
I think Washington might benefit from importing some more mothers from the Midwest. And following my mom’s well-worn advice, I hereby note that those two letter-writers at least had the decency to end their notes by wishing me “good luck.”
Comments from other agents about my first story were more helpful.
After I wrote that I thought it was unfair for a rookie like me to be charged the same amount for liability insurance as veteran agents who do dozens of deals a year (and therefore have a greater chance of making a costly mistake), Leslie L. D’Amato of Century 21 Paradigm in San Diego suggested that I find a company that charges for the insurance on a per-transaction basis.
“The company that I work for does that – it is so much more palatable than paying for a year up-front – and yes, subsidizing agents who are doing 50 deals a year,” she wrote.
I’m also very grateful to Mary L. Lee of Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons who sent me nearly a dozen tips to help me get started and to differentiate myself from all of my competitors.
One of Lee’s best ideas: “Guarantee that your buyers will love their new home within the first three months of moving in or you will sell it again for free. We have offered this service for several years and have never had to pay as all of our buyers have loved their new home – but it does give you a great