The rookie sold a house! The rookie sold a house! The rookie sold a house!
The rookie sold a house…Whoa-oh!
Okay, maybe the first successful offer I’ve written on behalf of a client doesn’t rank up there with a radio announcer’s call of Bobby Thompson’s bottom-of-the-ninth-inning home run that allowed the New York Giants to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers a half-century ago.
I don’t follow baseball much, but my father was a lifelong Dodgers fan. As such, Dad was an expert when it came to the topics of heartbreak and disappointment.
I have written more than a dozen offers for clients in my first year in the real estate business, but none of them was accepted until today. So for a struggling rookie Realtor like me, closing my first deal now would be like winning the World Series, the Super Bowl and the National Basketball Association championship all at the same time.
I know that there’s a long road to travel before my first deal can close. There are inspections to get, an appraisal to be obtained, and countless other things that must happen before my buyers can get the house and I can collect my first commission check.
But to be honest, I don’t want to think about that stuff right now.
Today, I just want to celebrate.
I want to celebrate, because the offer I made for my clients is going to help them buy their first home.
I want to celebrate because I can finally tell my kids I sold a house, so they can feel a little better about all those Little League and soccer games I’ve missed over the past year to show property to prospective buyers.
And yes, I also want to celebrate because maybe–just maybe–closing my first deal will stop my spouse from constantly complaining about having to support me in my first year of the real estate business.
But most of all, I want to celebrate because selling my first home will make me feel a whole lot better about myself.
It was almost a year ago today that I decided to quit my 9-to-5 job in order to become a Realtor. I wish I could tell you I’ve never looked back on the decision, but that would be a lie.
The truth is I think about my old job all the time. It wasn’t a particularly good job, working in a tiny cubicle for a government agency.
I pushed a lot of paper, and my boss was always breathing down my neck to push more. The receptionist didn’t even know how to transfer telephone calls, but she had worked in the office for many years and was a dues-paying member of the public-employees union, which meant she couldn’t be fired for her incompetence or her notorious habit of calling in “sick” every Thursday and Friday before a three-day holiday weekend so she could spend five days in Las Vegas, Mexico or Hawaii.
It was heaven-on-earth for our receptionist, but hell-on-earth for me.
Still, the job had its perks. As a government worker, my entire family received health, dental and vision insurance for just a few dollars per month. I had a good retirement program and a small, but guaranteed, annual pay increase.
I automatically received 13 paid holidays every year. And on top of my three weeks of paid vacation, I was also entitled to 10 paid sick days annually and three paid personal days off.
Added up, it amounted out to 41 days that I was allowed to take off at taxpayers’ expense every year and thousands of dollars in other benefits.
Had I had done this little calculation a year ago, I’d probably still be working for the government.
Instead, I decided to get into the real estate business. I don’t have paid holidays or vacations anymore, and I don’t have free health coverage. When I get sick or injured (as I did recently), there are big medical bills to pay, but no weekly salary to pay them.
The Saturdays and Sundays I used to spend with my family are now spent in my car, toting strangers from one house to the next in the desperate hope they’ll buy a home and use me as their agent.
If it sounds like I’m second-guessing myself, it’s because I am. I can’t reverse the decision I made a year ago to quit my old job and start a new career in real estate. If I could, I probably would.
So I really, really need to close the deal that my clients put on the table and the sellers accepted. It’s not just about collecting my first sales commission: I just want to get back a shred of the self-confidence I had when I went into this crazy business a year ago.
It’s the bottom of the ninth inning. But if Bobby Thompson could do it, so can I.
Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.