On this edition of “Keeping It Real,” a recurring podcast series on Inman, Peter Lorimer gives a truthful account of the first year of real estate and how to overcome the challenges. 

Are you trying to get some traction in the real estate industry? My advice — give it 12 months. One full year of consistent hard work.

Your first year in real estate is going to feel like you are in a boxing ring. That’s why I call it “12 rounds with Tyson.” It’s 12 straight months of getting knocked down. And every time you get back up, you’ll get punched again — no matter how prepared you are.


That’s how I paint the picture of the first year of working as a real estate agent to newcomers at PLG Estates. I explain that the first one to two years is going to be like getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. You’re going to have your head smashed in.

You’re going to be pummeled. It’s going to be horrible. You’re going to wish that this was not happening to you. You’re going to feel full of doubt and full of fear. And every time you stick your head up, you’re going to get knocked down again.

It’s just not easy. It’s saturated, and it’s tough. Don’t expect to jump in and start closing deals left and right.

How do you make it through, then? View your first year as an apprenticeship.

Expect to eat ramen noodles (and not the hipster kind) for that first 12 months. In fact, I recommend storing away a year’s worth of living expenses so you can work without stressing about paying the bills.

Focus on having a humble, confident mind that is ready to learn and ready to grind.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again. And the cold, hard truth of it is this — it’s going to feel lonely. It’s going to feel dark. And just when you think it can’t get any darker, you’re right at a breakthrough. And trust me, the breakthrough will happen if you work hard and stay consistent.

I say all this to urge you not to lose faith — because it’s hard, but it’s worth it. And the first 365 days might seem dark, but there’s a light at the end. Run toward it.

Your goals are going to matter tremendously in your first year. So set goals — and set good ones. What do I mean by that? Monetary goals (most likely) are not going to get you through these tough months.

I’ve seen agents become full of despair when July rolls around and they aren’t anywhere near their goals. Instead, set goals that aren’t necessarily related to money.

Some examples might include taking your kids to Disneyland or expanding your client base by 100. Maybe your goal is to get out of debt or to send your kids to a certain school. Or maybe you want the autonomy that comes with setting your own hours.

If you’re in your first year of real estate or just feeling like things are rough, give this podcast a listen.

Peter Lorimer is the CEO of Beverly Hills, California-based PLG Estates.

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