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 broker and author, Austin-based Julie Nelson has found that understanding the managerial aspects of a real estate business is an essential element for success.
With a background that is “techy and operational,” she uses her past experience and current interests to inform her business’s growth and her work as an expert resource for up-and-coming agents.
Find out what she has learned along the way and how she learned to put money matters first.
How long have you been in the business?
Twenty years. I had thought about real estate off and on for years but numerous people talked me out of it (guess I wasn’t ready). Then one day I got laid off from my high-tech position … that was a good day and opened my real estate door. I have never looked back.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As a best-selling author, playing large and impacting Realtors’ lives.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
So many big lessons. One of the most important lessons I have learned is how to be a good boss in my own business.
How did you learn it?
I like to say that there is the sexy part of real estate (working with clients, no financial ceiling, flex schedule, I am my own boss, design, architecture, thrill of the hunt, helping people land awesome properties, etc.), and then there is the not-so-sexy part, the job (build a sustainable pipeline for financial stability and predictability).
I learned this the hard way, as do most agents. You figure out (and sometimes you have to relearn this) that you have to lead with the job, not the sexy.
I relaunched my real estate business in 2017 (after five years in a leadership position). I knew I needed a successful relaunch and also was well-aware of my tendency toward distraction.
I had big goals, so I started by giving myself the title national sales manager. And what does a national sales manager do? She sets the goals for the team, creates systems and an environment that supports those goals and holds the team accountable for hitting those targets.
I have a post-it note on my desk that says “Julie, what is your fastest route to a lead, client, contract or paycheck today? Do that thing first!” That is being a better boss in a nutshell.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Seriously, my advice is to read my book (it’s why I wrote the book, to help agents get started or restarted).
The big takeaways there are:
- A healthier pipeline fixes everything: Focus on getting your next three to 10 clients.
- Stop over complicating things: Minimize distractions, get the most important things done, and be a better boss of you.
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.”