I write this column weekly, and I keep copies of each one on the computer. I didn’t even have to look very hard to realize that there aren’t that many with the word "closing" in the title.
So it is with joy that I’m writing this one, with an extra 5,000 bucks in my pocket.
I have been working the sales market here in Manhattan. The goal is to develop a high-end boutique practice, to do some but not many deals, and to be able to pick and choose my clients a little.
I know that sounds like a dream, but this is a career change for me and I figure that I’m going to be doing it for 20 years so I want to go ahead and dream a little.
Unfortunately, the sales market is slow so deals are taking a long time. I am currently working with dream clients — high-income, loyal, and fun to be around — and realistically, they’re going to buy two years from now. On the sales end, days on market are lengthening, and moving something involves having enough patience for buyers to go out on the circuit, see everything else, get horrified by the high cost of renting, and to come back around again.
So I’ve jumped back into rentals again. They’re a lot of work in a very short burst of time, but then, thankfully they close.
And the commission on high-end rentals is good. My check is about what I would have gotten if I were in Middle America and sold a $340,000 house.
But probably even more importantly, the high of closing is the same. I am not a runner so I don’t get that shot of endorphins, and since I am trying to have kids I can’t drink a full glass of wine or even a full cup of coffee. If I’m going to get a buzz, it’s going to have to be from business.
And, man, is it fun to get a buzz. I walked taller, looked prettier and had more patience with things that the day before would have driven me crazy.
Also, I have that secret fear (and I know that this is true of many, many salespeople) that somehow I might be a fraud. What if there’s some secret to selling that I don’t really have, and I’m just wearing nice clothes and faking it?
Well, whatever "it" is, I must have it because I closed. And so now I feel unstoppable.
Honestly, being in an in-demand market segment helped. As the sales waters get choppy, rentals are a bit of a safe harbor.
But it also helped that I just loved this property. When I was in New Jersey at my very first real estate gig, the sales manager used to lead us in a cheer of "Act Enthusiastic and You’ll Be Enthusiastic." Now I’m at a firm that doesn’t do pep rallies, but I didn’t even have to "act" enthusiastic about this apartment — I thought that it was the greatest thing since toast and I’m sure that showed in all my contacts with customers and other salespeople.
So that’s my success story for the day — one I’d long-needed, since my sales prospects go up-and-down and cobwebs were beginning to form on my bank account. I know the market has been a slog lately, but think about your own business — what are your success stories? What are you enthusiastic about?
Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie."
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