- To play full-out, ask yourself: what are your strengths, where do you fit and how can you help?
The median age in the real estate industry may very well be the highest in the country. As technology changes continue accelerate and the millennials and Gen Z take the stage, the question for boomers has become this: Will you call it quits, be forced out by all the shifts — or keep on delivering value to your clients as long as you can?
Ageism exists at both ends of the spectrum, whether it’s the young who are bypassed because they lack experience or the seniors who are judged as being too old to be useful.
To me, age is not as important as the value you bring to your clients. Every time I have taught a new agent training class over the last 25 years, I have always learned from the fresh insights and the creative marketing ideas that the new agents bring to the table.
On the other hand, if you want to be inspired, talk with a septuagenarian or octogenarian agent who is still cranking deals and loving every moment of it.
Is it time to leave?
Last week I had a call from a long-time friend who is a 30-year industry veteran.
Recently, she has faced some extremely difficult physical and personal problems that prevented her from working. She was wondering if there was any point in gearing up to get back into the business “at her age.”
I completely understood what she was up against. Just a few weeks ago my husband asked me if I still wanted to be doing my Awesome Females in Real Estate leadership conference 10 years from now. My GM was on the line with us, and we both responded with an emphatic “YES!”
I’ve also been told on numerous occasions that, “It’s good to have a woman your age talking about technology.” Double whammy on that one — and yet, I deeply appreciated the acknowledgement. If I can help agents who “are of an age” to embrace the new technologies and then combine them with the years of wisdom and experience they bring to the clients they serve, bring it on.
To play full-out, answer these questions
What are your strengths?
Regardless of your age or any other factor, recognizing and leveraging your strengths is a critical part of playing full out. To do this, ask 10 to 20 people you are close to about what they perceive as being your three greatest strengths.
From this point forward, focus on these strengths. Whether you’re new and not that experienced or you’re a boomer who doesn’t get around so well any more, people will be drawn to you because of your strengths.
Sebastian Stan made an astute observation when he said, “Embrace your differences and the qualities about you that you think are weird. Eventually, they’re going to be the only things separating you from everyone else.”
Where do you fit?
The challenge facing my friend was identifying which business model would be best suited for her current situation.
She had always been independent. Would one of the boutique or independent brokerages work better for her, one of the flat fee models, or perhaps one of the major brands that supported a team model?
This is exactly the same dilemma that a new agent faces!
To answer this question for your business, identify the people who really resonate with who you are, what you value and how you live your life. You only need a database of 150 to 200 people (each of whom probably knows, on average, 250 people) to have a very profitable business.
Focus on growing this database of people who are like you. Playing full-out is a lot more fun with people you enjoy.
How can you help?
When my friend Verl Workman asked one of his personal coaching clients to double his income goals, the client asked him, “When is enough, enough?”
Workman replied, “When you have taken care of your family and there is no one left to help.”
This is the question that I posed to my friend: “Are there clients and other agents out there that you can help? We are probably heading into a period of increasing interest rates and the next downturn may already be on the way.
“Many agents have never had to navigate through a market where interest rates are increasing and prices are declining. You’ve helped so many agents grow their businesses over the years — would that be a group you would be interested in helping?”
By the end of our conversation, my friend was ready to get back into the game. She was going to investigate different alternatives and was excited about getting back to her passion — helping sellers and other agents.
Regardless of your age, if you’re ready to play full out, leverage your strengths, work on attracting people who share your values and beliefs and search for ways you can serve others, then you’re on your way to working in and on a productive business.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/