How would you feel if nearly half of America thought you should quit your job, and another 10 percent weren’t sure?

Or, put another way, what if only one-third of the people who know about you–your family, friends and casual observers–thought you should keep doing what you’re doing for a living?

Well, those are the two messages I got from the results of an Inman News survey conducted about a week ago. The survey question was simple, but direct: “Should the Rookie Realtor quit real estate sales?”

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Nearly half of the voters–45.3 percent, to be exact–said I should leave the business and look for a different line of work.

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Survey respondents who chose “other” had mixed words of advice for the Rookie. One reader said to “keep on truckin’, Rookie,” while others suggested it’s time to throw in the towel.

Here’s a sample of their advice:

“Better to get the bumps and bruises now,” said Mike McCutcheon, Coldwell Banker NRT in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Usually, the rookie gets a deal right out of the starting gate, then the bottom falls out. Perseverance may be (the) strongest attribute at this point. It’s a tough business to get started, but, long term, it’s the best. So, hang in there and keep those knuckles hard. Someone will eventually see you for what you are, hardworking and dedicated.”

“I think the rookie should re-vamp and consider becoming a buyer’s agent, assistant agent or join a team,” said Denise Larson, RE/MAX Homebase, Fairborn, Ohio.

“While it seems like the rookie should have made a sale by now, if he is doing everything humanly possible-the cold calls, the warm calls, door-to-door, mailings and then calls, maybe the rookie needs to re-address his attitude. Maybe he is his own worst enemy,” said Deb Walker, Exit Lakeside Realty Group, Laconia, N.H.

“Do you love to sell? A real estate agent is always selling, especially once the contract is signed and the escrow is opened. Keep selling those buyers until the escrow is closed! Surely you are doing something in the process really, really well. Think about what it is and pat yourself on the back. You need encouragement for what you are doing well, and you need to build your confidence in yourself. Quitting won’t accomplish that. If you can find the confidence in yourself, buyers will see it and will stick with you!” said P. Sorenson of First American Title.

“You have to be there for your clients. If you enjoy sales, maybe another job would be better since real estate has little to do with sales and everything to do with things like marketing, analyzing, time management, communication skills and the ability to feel what your clients needs are, among other things,” said Bree Walker with Skyline Properties.

Source: Inman Pulse survey results

Another 9.4 percent said they “weren’t sure,” and 13.2 percent checked the box on the survey that said “other” (whatever that means).

Add those numbers up, and it suggests that more than two-thirds of all the folks who’ve been following my travails as I try to close my first deal as a rookie salesperson have already determined that I should “hang up the towel”–or at least, start folding it.

Only 34 percent (barely one-in-three) said I should keep my license and continue marching forward.

If my approval ratings were any lower, I’d be the President.

I didn’t know that Inman.com was going to conduct this survey. If I had been given “advanced notice,” I probably would have raised a fuss.

Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why they didn’t give me advanced notice.

I don’t believe that anyone likes to be “judged.” But I guess that’s exactly what most surveys are supposed to do: Judge. The people vote, a count is tallied, and the results are posted.

Fortunately, the majority doesn’t always rule. If you don’t believe me, take another look at the Supreme Court’s decision in Gore v. Bush.

I’d like to thank the 34 percent of readers who said I should stay in the real estate business. They’re probably the same folks who, since I started writing this weekly diary four months ago, have graciously taken time out of their busy schedules to e-mail words of encouragement and useful advice.

For example, when I recently wrote that my spouse was pressuring me to quit because the bills are mounting and I haven’t closed a deal yet, several veteran Realtors wrote in to say that they went through the same thing with their husbands or wives when they started out, too.

They also told me that I needed to sit down with my spouse and have a calm, frank discussion about my new real estate career.

I followed their suggestion. Last Saturday, my spouse and I left the kids at Grandma’s house and went to our favorite breakfast spot for a long chat. Two hours later, we reached an agreement: I’ll continue to work full-time in real estate sales through the end of this year.

My spouse promised to quit nagging about the bills for the next six months, in exchange for my promise to start looking for a 9-to-5 job that provides a steady paycheck if my sales prospects aren’t better by the time January comes around.

I hope this decision won’t disappoint the 45 percent of Inman News readers who say I should quit the sales business today, or the 23 percent of survey respondents who apparently can’t make up their mind.

But for me, the most important thing is that my spouse and I have promised each other to work together over the next six months to make my new career in real estate sales a success.

We’re a majority of two. And in this case, we’ve got the only two votes that matter.

***

Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.

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