Making mistakes in real estate (especially when you’re first starting out) is inevitable. However, if you approach failure with the right attitude, commit to the practice and tap into the expertise of mentors, you’ll grow in this business.

One of our team members shared a quote by Thomas J. Watson with me recently, and I thought it was so inspiring. 

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

It can feel daunting to be just starting out in this industry with so much to learn, with competition so high and mistakes inevitable. However, there are a few ways to set yourself (and your mindset) up right from the get-go. Here are some lessons learned and positive attitudes to bring to your career. 

1. Embrace it all

Every time you make a mistake, you’re learning. Whether it’s during a prospecting call, a face-to-face meeting with a potential seller or while working with a homebuyer, you are bound not to hit it out of the park the first time — and that is all right.

Give yourself grace to mess it up, then consider what you can do the next time to do it better.

2. Find your higher purpose

When I started in this business, I was just 19 years old, and I wasn’t really a kid with a lot of confidence. Life had shown me some of the worst of its blows at a young age. I was determined, however, to become a businessperson.

At first, I didn’t really believe in myself — but I did believe in this business. I did know that whatever I was or wasn’t internally quite yet; I had studied and learned and understood that the great state of New York had given me a license for a reason.

I had earned the right to help people — and that was a purpose high enough to try and try again. 

I teach agents to serve, not sell. To come from a place of, “how many families can I help this week” as opposed to “how many listing appointments can I make this week.” When you come from that space, you set yourself up for a win-win situation, regardless of any mistakes you might make.

3. Learn from other people’s mistakes

One of the best things you can do when you are starting out is to find a mentor, be part of a network, get a coach or all of the above. Why? Because you’ll shorten your learning curve.

You can learn so much from the experience of others, like what pitfalls to avoid and what systems and tools work and what don’t. Just two notes of caution:

  1. Make sure to align yourself with people who have high integrity and a commitment to service, not just money. Our business is not just about a bottom-line transaction; it’s about helping people get to their next level in life, so make sure you are learning from someone who lives from that intention.
  2. Make sure to give back. Consider the words of the late Maya Angelou, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” It’s extraordinary how much we can learn in the process of teaching and giving back. I’ve been at this for more than 30 years, and I can tell you beyond a doubt that I learn from my students every day.

4. Commit to the practice

Commit to connecting with prospects and people in your sphere if not every day, at least four days per week. Your goal on these calls is build relationships. Ask questions. Find out if they have questions — especially in a market and time where change is so top-of-mind.

It is natural for people to want to know how that change will affect their buying and selling power. Position yourself as a resource, and don’t worry if you don’t get it right every time. With practice, you’ll learn from every conversation how to make the next conversation even better. 

5. Don’t give up

Too many define their days and lives by the mistakes made, not by the good work done. People give up, often without realizing that they were right on the cusp of a breakthrough.

In my company, we’re big believers of breakdowns because they do lead to breakthroughs. Lean into this business, your life and the new lessons and skills every day brings. When you do, you’ll have a lot more results and a life with way more to smile about.

Darryl Davis is the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube

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