This week, our readers share the values, principles and ideas they learned when they were first starting out and finding their footing in the industry.


In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This spring, go Back to Basics with Inman.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

Last week, we asked you to share the valuable things you learned early on in your careers — hard-earned lessons you’re using today and would pass on to new agents if you had the chance. Those teachable moments serve as steady pillars to lean on in any situation, particularly when the going gets tough. 

Your answers were diverse and touched on fundamentals like endurance, building content, nurturing relationships and more. No doubt, these are all important things that pay off in more ways than one, especially this year and especially now. Here’s everything you had to say. 

  • If it’s not on your calendar, it does not exist! Especially now, when every day seems to blend into the next with no real distinction, this simple-but-vital skill has helped me. While I’m currently not as busy as I have been in the past, it still helps to mark my calendar with to-dos and things you may have not added before.

For example, I’ve added a “post on social media” event to my calendar. Before the pandemic, this would have never made it onto my list of events and appointments to remember and plan for. But now that I have more time to systematize my business, I’ve found marking this type of action on my calendar has really helped me stay busy and feel efficient.

This is truly one of the fundamentals of real estate, so I apologize if it seems too obvious. While it’s one of the “basics,” its importance is paramount! Stay safe out there everyone, and thank you.

  • Very early on in my career, I learned that it wasn’t about the “sale.” It was about creating and nurturing relationships. Providing information, answering questions and generally just listening lead to way more business than the “dialing for dollars” approach. That’s exactly how I’m approaching my business now during this pandemic — listening, providing information and being a trusted resource. 
  • Enduring, by whatever means, is the key to weathering rough times. My wife and I got started in real estate in 2002, and by 2006, we thought we had things dialed in. Then, countrywide went belly up, and the crash followed. It’s easy to think that business just stopped then, but reviewing the numbers shows we kept putting one foot in front of the other.

Business was reduced, yes. But we endured and picked up side gigs. For a while, I returned to graphic design work. Survival then has paid dividends since, in repeat business as the market bounced back and then surged, and also in confidence to weather this new storm. So my bottom-line advice: Hang in there. Find ways to stay in real estate, and that endurance will pay off down the road.

  • Lead generate every day!
  • Knowing the importance of content building.
  • I started in real estate at the tender age of 20 years old. As the “new kid” in the industry, I was in for an awakening. I quickly learned the ropes, and being a young, hungry new agent, I took off. I think what most new agents realize quickly is that this business requires work and consistency. This industry can easily eat you alive and run you out of town.

I am fortunate to now be a nine-year veteran and still going strong, but it took trial and error and adapting to the industry and market. My biggest lesson early on in my career has always been to stay in a high-peak state to push through those pivotal growing moments. I went many years where I would suffer during the holiday season, and a lot of it had to do with how I managed my business. I would close a couple deals and quickly let go of the gas.

My business would never grow with these habits of stopping and going. The truth was that I had to learn how to push through. I then learned how to stay in a high-peak state — how to stay motivated even through the hardest moments in life. I figured out what worked best for myself, and I implemented those things. I treated my business as a game. I made it fun and competitive.

The objective was to take little wins each and every day. There’s something to be said about working with a Realtor who has high energy and works at peak state. The consumer can feel it, and it creates an environment that draws business and assurance. So if you’re going through a temporary rough patch at the moment, I recommend that you figure out how to get yourself into a high-peak state.

Once you figure it out, contain it, and tap into it. Perhaps set some mini goals for yourself that lead up to the big picture. This has been something I learned early on in my career. If you ask any of my peers, they will tell you I always work toward being at a high-peak state. Demand more from yourself than anyone could ever expect.

  • I used to be an art teacher and had 750 kids a week. With this profession, I had to be highly organized, be able to help and teach many people, deal with many different learning styles and personalities, and be creative. All traits I use today.
  • That you only have to work one or two days in real estate, and you can choose which 12 hours it is.

What did we miss? Please share in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state. 

After 25 years, Inman Connect is coming to you. We’re transcending our legendary events in a live digital event, Inman Connect Now. Get ready for the top industry leaders plotting the path forward, new business ideas and opportunities, networking like you’ve never imagined it, and tons of exciting new magic, all straight to you. It’s all part of an epic new Inman experience, Connect Now, June 2-4, 2020. Click here to save your seat.

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