There is a large society out there that I am a member of and so are many of the Inman readers. We call it the RE blogosphere, made up of real estate bloggers. In recent weeks some of our most prolific members have developed writer’s block. Some of us are not exactly sure what to think about current events or what our own futures hold.
None of us know what the future will bring or when the real estate market will begin to stabilize. The way it sits right now, I am finding it harder to make a buck or two, but like the rest of the Realtors out there I am tough and I know that being self employed and living on a 100 percent commission basis is not for wimps.
Whining isn’t going to help and neither is just having a positive attitude. The industry has been slowly changing and we need to pay attention to what is going on around us and listen to consumers. We need to continue to learn and to improve our skills. There are new opportunities in any market and we need to find them.
Anyone who has earned a living as an agent during the last five to 10 years shouldn’t have anything to worry about because we have all picked up and fine-tuned marketable skills just by doing our jobs. Those of us who are members of the real estate blogosphere have strengthened our writing skills. Many of us have strengthened our networking skills and marketing skills by taking them online.
Some of us have improved our photography skills, speaking skills, negotiating skills and those all-important sales skills. We have had to constantly learn new technology, technology that has wider applications than the real estate industry. We have learned how to make a living without having a job, and how to manage a small business.
Successful Realtors have some of the most in-demand and marketable skills. They can be used in other industries or used to improve a real estate business. Anyone who is worried about the future should write a list of skills they have and a list of what they really love to do. There isn’t anything wrong with changing careers.
I am on my third career and am finding that with each career I have learned a new set of skills that were not only transferable but they are like building blocks. Each career has laid the foundation for the next career. I have experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth as each opportunity demanded that I gain or improve yet another set of skills. Each change brought some fear or challenges that had to be overcome, forcing me to leave my comfort zone, and take risks.
I am not implying that I plan to send my license back. Selling real estate has never been easy, at least not for me. My plan isn’t to leave, but I feel confident that I can at any time, and that makes the job easier, and has given me something that I can have that all-important positive attitude about.
Think in terms of skills, not occupations. Think in terms of what makes you happy, not in terms of what you have always done to earn a living, or what is expected of you, or what you are supposed to do, or what you are doing today. Be positive about the future. The future has little to do with the economy and everything to do with what we make of our lives. It isn’t necessary to have confidence in the economy or in the real estate market, but it is necessary to have confidence in ourselves.
Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.