In this week's episode, Jennifer will give listeners 5 tips to learn how to ride the highs and sail through the lows of working in real estate.
This episode is one of my quick tips. I know you’re super busy and sometimes you just have a few minutes to kill in the car between appointments, so these episodes will be easy to digest, quick tips, motivational pick me ups and sometimes reality checks because it’s not always sunshine and roses in real estate..
Alright ladies, let’s go ahead and dive into today’s episode…
Anyone who has spent time being a Real Estate Agent knows that the highs can be really high and the lows, really low. You need to have some pretty thick skin to survive in this business. We have a lot of things working against us. The public generally doesn’t like us – they think we’re mistrustful and overpaid. We have to deal with a lot of rejection, which can be tough on the self-esteem and we don’t always have complete control over the outcome of some deals. So how to we ensure we not only survive, but we thrive? Today I’m going to give you 5 tips to help you ride the highs and sail through the lows.
Tip number 1 - When you secure a new client or close a deal, celebrate! Take a moment to appreciate your accomplishment and show gratitude to the Universe. I get a rush when I land a deal, win a house in competition or sell a property for $200k over the asking price and I want to celebrate! To encourage this among all of our agents, I installed a cow bell on our office wall at our Real Estate Brokerage. Every time someone has a success, I make them ring the bell! So come up with a tradition to celebrate your successes, however little they may be. A word of warning….on our very first Listing Presentation (which we thought we nailed), we got in the car and enthusiastically high-fived, only to look up and see the client watching us through the window. Needless to say, we didn’t get that listing. Ouch. Note to self, celebrate after you secure the deal.
One other quick side bar before I move on to the next tip. Is that it’s really nice to have someone to celebrate with. In my case the natural person would be my husband but I learned pretty early on that he’s the worst celebration partner ever and it has been a real bone of contention for me. I don’t know if he’s just bored, but whether it’s winning my first listing or my 400th, it still feels like a great accomplishment and there is nothing more deflating than not being able to share that rush, with your partner in life. I tried everything, but nothing changed him and as I have come to learn and try to accept….you can’t change other people, you can only change your response to them. So now I avoid him like the plague when I have a success and I’m actually much happier this way.
Alright moving along. Now you do want to celebrate, but the 2nd tip I have is that you do not want to overspend. So many realtors have fallen victim to the trap of thinking their real estate career has taken off after a great year, only to be shocked when they only make half as much in their second year. I also see them take their foot off the pedal, assuming business is just going to flow to them now. It doesn’t work that way. Remember that you have to completely re-engineer your client base from scratch, every year. Sure you might get a repeat client, but on average you’ll have to wait 5 years for that to happen. Just because you had one good year, has no bearing on what your next year will be like. Until you’ve been in the business for at least 3 years at consistently the same level, assume nothing. There’s actually a stat somewhere that unless you are really committed to marketing, it takes an average of 7 years in the business before your phone will start to ring from people who don’t know you. That’s a long time to wait and a long time to rely on your sphere of influence for business by the way. All the more reason to make marketing a huge priority. In my opinion digital marketing - which is much more affordable and affective.
So my point here, is Don’t go spending money you don’t have yet. Save a minimum of 6 months of income, before you spend a penny on anything you can’t necessarily afford. I personally save longer than that and have never spent to our means. I take a consistent salary out of my business and that’s it. The rest goes into savings and that strategy has allowed me to acquire a vacation home and next year I will likely be buying a an investment property.
Alight my next tip is that An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure . One of the worst lows that can happen in your real estate career, is when something goes wrong on a deal. Whether it be a lawsuit or a legislative complaint, unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea how incredibly stressful and awful it is. Sometimes these things happen through negligence, sometimes through another nefarious agent trying to save themselves and sometimes through just plain bad luck. Either way, you’ll need to expend a ton of energy and time trying to prove your innocence. This is where prevention is your best friend. Not being negligent should go without saying, but always do the right thing, always have integrity, always keep your client’s best interests the only priority. Not your commission.
For the other times when things go wrong, come back swinging! Keep as much communication as possible in writing, save all emails and voicemails, take notes anytime you suspect another agent, client or buyer/seller could be upset about a situation and have a witness whenever possible. This will help you immensely detail your defence and often will prevent any further action. I have been taken to RECO (which is our legislative body here in Ontario) twice in my career and both times it was because another agent had messed up and tried to protect themselves by lying to their clients. Both times their clients filed a complaint against me. Can you imagine how infuriating that is? I was just innocently going about my business only to find out some agent had completely screwed me over. Thankfully I am a control freak and had so much documentation to prove my innocence and both complaints were dismissed. But had I not been that diligent saving emails, text messages, voicemails, etc. I would have had no defence. And remember, in both those situations, I wasn’t even aware that someone was thinking of filing a complaint, so it wasn’t like I had a heads up to keep diligent records.
Up next, tip number 4 is to thicken up! It is inevitable that you will get rejected in this business and have people be incredibly disrespectful towards you. It will likely happen many many times. We all know the feeling of driving by a past client’s house, only to see someone else’s For Sale sign on their lawn – you didn’t even know they were thinking of selling and you’ve been sending them Christmas cards for 5 years! Ouch. How should you handle it? With utmost grace! Either don’t do anything at all or, you could send a message politely and humbly asking why they didn’t consider you. Often you’ll be pleasantly surprised that their sister is now a realtor and they had to use her. Although the courteous thing would still be to let you know. Either way, I usually allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself and then I move on. Do whatever you can to thicken your skin and not let it affect your self-esteem, self-worth and self-love. When your business is yourself, it’s tough to separate the two. But for your emotional and mental well-being, you must. Find ways to compartmentalize the business and put it in a box at the end of your day.
Last but not least, When all else fails, keep the faith. Real estate is notoriously an up & down business. It’s cyclical, it’s seasonal and is very momentum-driven in either direction. Having business begets more business and having nothing going on, begets more of nothing. Throughout all of this, you have to have faith that it will turn back in your favour again. Focus your attention on your gratitude and use visualizations, affirmations or mantras to keep you staying positive. But whatever you do, don’t stop working! Just because you’re not actively buying or selling real estate, doesn’t mean there’s not lots of other stuff to be working on. Stay busy and use this time to work on all the ways you’re going to grow your business with your marketing.
So that brings us to the end of this quick tip episode. If you want to ride through the highs and sale through the lows in this business, 1. I want you to remember to celebrate all your successes, 2. do not over spend, 3. always be prepared for things going wrong by keeping diligent notes 4. Thicken up and learn to separate yourself from you business and 5. Have faith that everything is going to work out and learn to stay positive.
Next week’s episode is going to tackle the number one fear that I hear most agents have. It’s probably not what you’d expect, but I’m gonna guess that you can relate to it….and that is a fear of being asked a question you don’t know the answer to. You wouldn’t believe how much this fear can paralyze some agents, so I’m going to give you 5 strategies to stickhandle questions you don’t know how to answer.
Ok to wrap this all up, I’ve got a question for you. Are you subscribed to my podcast? I want to encourage you to do that right away, like this minute. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of my bonus episodes or mini trainings, subscribe now so you won’t miss out. Ok ladies thanks so much for being with me here today and I can’t wait to see you again next week. Remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
Until next time!