A letter to my former self, the fledgling agent

Kellie Tinnin looks back to when she was a new agent and gives herself some advice

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Hello, me from years ago …

Great job on starting your new career in real estate!

You’ve entered the real estate industry with the world at your fingertips and a gleam in your eye. Your goal is to help everyone in your path achieve their American dream.

What you will quickly realize is the job is going to be much harder than you expected it to be. You will work long hours, weekends and sometimes during your family barbecue to get your business off the ground. Once you become more established you will have the ability to be a little more selective with whom and when you work — emphasis on little.

The commission check? It won’t be anything to write home about, and here’s why: You grossed $5,000 on your first sale. Congratulations! Now you get to pay your brokerage a percentage of that.

You don’t think they let you hang out there and use their equipment only because they like having you around, do you? Don’t forget to deduct your marketing costs and any miscellaneous fees. Your photographer and marketing personnel need to eat, too.

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Then there is Uncle Sam. He sure won’t forget about you when tax time rolls around. That commission check just went from $5,000 to $1,000. Guess you better go sell another house or two.

That listing you took, that house was perfect — or so you thought. Surprise! The roof is bad. You will find out that each transaction is like a volatile bomb waiting to explode. Get ready to put your money where your mouth is because you will not only be negotiating price, but you will also have to negotiate repairs, terms and quite possibly the family pet.

Let’s not forget that buyer, who was qualified and ready to buy. The one you just put under contract just pulled up to their home inspection in a shiny new car. You hope they like living in their new car because the deal you put together for them just fell through.

Speaking of escrow, the escrow process can be stressful for everyone. That sweet little seller or buyer just turned into a raging maniac or blubbering mess. At times, your clients will drink the “Kool-Aid” and become temporarily insane. Real estate is often a person’s largest investment. Money and the emotions of all parties involved become a temperamental mess that lands in your lap and doesn’t leave for 30-45 days.

You will grow a love for looking at homes. You will see a lot of lovely homes that will make you sad to go back to your own, and others that will leave you puzzled and wondering what they were thinking painting every room a shade of pea soup green.

You will find out quickly some people don’t see cleaning their house as a priority. You will come across some homes where the seller should have been more discreet about their hobbies. You will think you have seen it all, but you haven’t.

Despite everything, you will wake up every day and do it all again, but most importantly — you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sincerely,

You

If you wrote a letter to yourself as a beginning agent, what would it say? Please continue the conversation in the comments section below.

Kellie Tinnin is a real estate agent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Follow Kellie on Twitter @KellieTinnin.

Email Kellie Tinnin.