How to avoid real estate failure

Letters From the Home Front

I was first introduced to the term "cyclic failure" in college. The idea is pretty simple, even intuitive: Repeated tension and compression cause stress, and this type of stress, applied over a long enough period of time, can cause fatigue.

Enough fatigue and the result is failure, be it a slab of concrete, a bungee cord — or a real estate agent.

Most of us have spent the better part of the past five years feeling like underpaid test subjects in an engineering science lab. In fact, in the best of markets our work is defined by compression and tension. Find a client, serve the client, then go out and find another. Lather, rinse and repeat.

One minute, we are on top of the world, flush with listings or buyer clients, reveling in the ecstasy that is positive cash flow. The next, we are wondering how we will eat in 45 days. If you have been licensed for more than two closing cycles, you know this feeling too well. If you have lived through a couple hundred or more transactions, you know it can wear you thin.