Each week, we talk to agents across the country about what they’ve learned along the way (and what they wish they had known as new agents). This week, Naples agent Sonja Pound suggests focusing your energy on trusting your gut and building relationships when growing your business.
In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Sonja Pound uses her background in marketing and her client-centered approach to create big moves for her Naples, Florida, clients while never losing that personal touch.
Her brand is built on market expertise, value-added content and a gift for connecting. Find out how she learned to cut through the noise and listen to her own (still small) voice when launching her real estate business.
How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?
I have been licensed for 2.5 years. I’ve been on the other side of real estate transactions and knew there had to be a better way. I wanted to make the process more transparent, understandable and personal.
My background is marketing and design. I knew I could weave all of my expertise together to create a remarkable real estate experience for my customers.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself running a successful business by building relationships one transaction at a time. I will always be involved in the entire process, holding hands when needed and providing as much support possible. Everyone has a story, and I love being a small part of each customer’s next chapter.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
One lesson I have learned is to always remain true to your values and trust your instincts. Brokers, coaches and other agents will often give advice. What works for one agent might not be right for another. I’ve learned that by remaining true to my values, that it’s OK to think outside of the box and find what works for me.
How did you learn it?
Early in my career, I had many people telling me who I should be as an agent. “Only accept $1 million-plus listings, learn your scripts, cold call … ”
While well-intentioned, most advice was revenue-focused, and that was absolutely not my focus. I quickly realized that my business was not going to be about how many transactions I would close each year.
It would be about how many happy customers I could call friends after the transaction closed.
What advice would you give to new agents?
I would tell new agents two important things. First, don’t try to fit into someone else’s mold. Each agent needs to find their own niche in real estate. Some might flourish on a team, others will function better as a single agent. Real estate is not a one-size-fits-all career.
Lastly, always remember that our business is about relationships. I find newer agents are often so overwhelmed learning contracts, systems and the in-and-outs of the business, that they forget about making genuine connections with people. If agents focus on building relationships, the business will follow.
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Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr