In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry. This week, find out how Rhode Island real estate agent Caswell Cooke Jr. learned, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Caswell Cooke

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

Even if you have a high profile in your local community, it doesn’t always translate into new business.

According to Caswell Cooke Jr., a Rhode-Island-based Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, it’s important to connect — and reconnect — with your network to earn every client and every listing. Find out how he learned to work his network more effectively.

How long have you been in the business?

I have been an agent for one year. I have spent the last 20 years in the public eye, first as a DJ and TV talk show host and then as an elected official, having served 14 years on the town council in Westerly, Rhode Island. I also have been the executive director of the Misquamicut Beach Business Association, which I founded in 2000.

All of these contacts and “exposure” made it a natural fit to go into real estate. Throughout my career, I have been proficient in social media promotion and marketing, which is also another natural fit.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I would like to see myself as the top agent in Westerly, Rhode Island. We have such a beautiful shoreline community which includes the famous village of Watch Hill, home to Taylor Swift, among others.

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

I have learned in real estate that the listing is not going to happen if you don’t work for it.

How did you learn it?

When I first got my license and joined Berkshire Hathaway, I thought that I could basically hang my shingle, and they would come to me. I assumed my name in the community and friendships and business relationships would make it happen. Boy, was I wrong.

I assumed that one of my business associates was going to list her house with me, so I did almost nothing in the way of research and background neighborhood comps for her. Should it have surprised me that she went with a competitor? No. So what did I learn? You have to work for it. That has never happened again to me!

What advice would you give to new agents?

My advice to those who are starting out is to get involved in your community, no matter how big or small. There is no greater introduction than being a part of your chamber of commerce, business association, rotary or other civic organization. Get out there, and do good things for the right reasons to help others, and you will be rewarded.

Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!

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  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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