As a veteran firefighter and entrepreneur, Robert Taylor knows his community and its people. He’s turning those connections and insights into a new venture as a real estate agent. What is he learning in the early days of his career that you can put to work in yours?

Robert Taylor

In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.

As a veteran firefighter and entrepreneur, Robert Taylor knows his community and its people. He’s turning those connections and insights into a new venture as a real estate agent.

What is he learning in the early days of his career that you can put to work in yours?

How long have you been in the business?

I got my license in January 2018. I’m a newbie, but I have been watching the market for 15 years. I have had an interest in real estate forever. I have been wanting to get into the “flipping” business, and I thought getting my license was a good first step.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am a full-time firefighter right now and will be very close to retirement in five years; I hope by then I will have built my real estate business up enough to be full time in this industry, being an agent, flipper and landlord. Fingers crossed and lots of hard work.

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?

Always be clear on your client’s intentions; leave no room for assumptions.

How did you learn it?

My very first deal was a disaster. I had a lease worked out with a client. He said he wanted the space but needed to clear it with his partner first. After no deposit or lease in almost two weeks, another prospect came along and wanted the space; he was ready to sign, so we accepted the lease.

The first guy was beyond mad thinking he already had it locked up. I told him no deal is a deal until it’s a deal. It was a huge mess, and my first client ended our relationship telling me I was going to suck in the real estate industry. Confidence builder!

What advice would you give to new agents?

Know that it’s going to take time and money. It’s going to be discouraging. It’s going to be stressful. Don’t quit! Eventually, I hear, it’s worth it!

Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter

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