This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.
Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.
This post was last updated April 5, 2022.
It’s an exciting time to embark on a new career. Real estate can be an extraordinary business with unlimited potential when you lead with strong foundation pieces such as finding the right brokerage, adopting the right mindsets, tapping into the right training – and oh, yeah — getting your family on board!
While real estate does provide tremendous opportunity, it’s also a lot of work. Sometimes there are long days – and sometimes even steeper learning curves. That’s all right. I like to tell agents to think of it like this – you can make as much as an attorney or doctor (and sometimes much more) without the 8-10 years in medical or law school.
However, you do have to put in the work and time and get the people you love and that love you back all on the same page in preparation for when the going gets tough, the hours get long, and the stress gets high. I don’t say that to scare you – just to prepare you – and them. This way, everyone is “rowing the boat in the same direction” as they say. (Whoever they are.)
The best thing to do first is to have a meeting with your spouse or significant other and your family. This meeting should not be impromptu but a thoughtful, planned time where you can prepare for your family’s future and how you all can support each other, especially as you get started in this business.
Here’s a good guideline for your conversation
1. Explain this is a new business, not a sales position
You are not just “in sales” – you are building a business. Like any business, it takes time, money and patience plus skill to not only see a profit but create habits and foundations that create reliable, sustainable income. If they understand that, it will be easier for them to weather the storm of bad days.
2. You will run in the ‘red’ for a while
Even if you sold a home today, it would take between one and three months to see a check. During that time, you’ll be spending and investing in your new business. Dues, marketing, prospecting – all are an investment.
Do not shy away from that discussion. Be honest with your family’s investment, so that everyone can be clear about what it is going to take to get your business off the ground as quickly as possible.
3. Set goals together
There are two very important goals to set with your family. The first is taking care of anything that you all have stress about. That could be a big bill, a fair amount of debt, a car that needs replacement, a new roof, etc. Whatever that is – make that the first financial goal to hit.
The second goal is finding out what the next level is for your family. What is the dream? An incredible vacation? New house? Second home? College fund? RV? Dream it together, visualize it together, create a vision board, then get ready to make that a focus for all of you on this new journey. Then keep your eye on the prize.
4. Give regular updates
Communication is one of the biggest secrets to success or failure in relationships. That said, don’t keep secrets – and keep your partner in the loop.
The purpose is to be on the same page, but more importantly, to keep your partner excited about the vision so it’s not a set-and-forget kind of thing. You have to keep reminding them what the goals are, and how well you are doing to get your family there.
5. Fill your family’s emotional bank account
We all have an emotional bank account and people are both making deposits or withdrawals. If you need your partner to be there for you and make deposits into your account, aka – support, direction, love, patience — you had better make sure they are getting as much or more in return so that they can give.
Therefore, make sure you take the time to let go of your stress and worries and check in with them. Find out how they are doing. Learn how you can best support them. Be sure to help replenish their emotional bank accounts.
This can be an extraordinary journey, but like any, it’s not without its detours or roadblocks. Giving yourself and your family the tools to navigate your road is the best thing you can do to feel supported, support them, and set everyone up for success.
When everyone’s on the same page and rowing in the same direction, then when that late call comes in to negotiate an offer, or a potential listing comes through with a short window to write a contract, you’ll bypass some of the resentment and fatigue that can happen in a family when it sometimes feels like it’s “all work and no play.”
Don’t let any of it scare you. Don’t let it keep you from what is possible. It’s all possible. ESPECIALLY when your family is right there pulling for you every step of the way.