With more than 1,000 Inman posts, Bernice Ross is a long-time contributor whose weekly column on real estate trends, luxury, marketing and other best practices publishes every Monday.
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned veteran, creating a sellable business will allow you to retire with an income you can live on rather than struggling to get by if you have to rely on Social Security.
Most agents are so caught up in the day-to-day affairs of their business that they seldom consider what would happen if they had to leave the business unexpectedly. Sadly, serious illness is a fact of life.
For example, approximately one out of every seven women will suffer a hip fracture. Of those who break a hip after the age of 50, 20 percent die within one year. Cancer and heart disease are other serious concerns for Americans, with the latter being the leading cause of death in this country.
The pivotal question you must ask yourself is this: “What would happen to my business if I am unable to work for an extended period of time?”
If your business would continue making money without you, you truly have a business. If your business only makes money when you’re working, then you have a job rather than a business.
No matter what your level of experience is, taking steps to create a sellable business right from the start is the smartest way to protect both you and your family from the disasters associated simply with living.
Are you ready to leave psychologically?
Are you psychologically prepared to stop working? Studies have found an increased mortality rate for those who retire early or as soon as they are eligible. If you plan to sit around all day and watch television, chances are you won’t live long after you retire.
In contrast, people who stay sharp mentally by taking classes, attending book clubs, playing bridge and engaging in physical activities such as exercise classes, swimming or gardening, are much more likely to make a transition into a comfortable retirement.
To psychologically prepare for your exit from the business, begin exploring the activities you fantasize about doing in retirement to determine if they are really enough to keep you happy.
A good way to test out what it would be like is to take at least a month off from your business. If you’re bored out of your mind, work on creating a plan that will keep you both physically and mentally engaged after you retire.
The next issue to address is: What do you have to sell? Stay tuned for part 2 of this series next Monday.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.