I remember the day I passed the real estate exam. I was on top of the world and over the moon; I was so extremely pumped to have that license and shout out to the world, “I AM A REALTOR, COME TO ME FRIENDS, FAMILY AND EVERYONE! BUY AND SELL YOUR HOMES WITH ME!”.
About 3-6 months after I passed the state exam, my enthusiasm for my newfound career plummeted. People weren’t knocking on my door, but then again, I wasn’t knocking on theirs. My phone wasn’t ringing from friends and family members looking to buy and sell and I couldn’t seem to figure out why people weren’t lined up ready to work with me. Nothing was happening. My dream was dead and like many, in the first year of thinking I was going to conquer the world of real estate, I quit the business. It was so difficult for me to get my license and it was so easy for me to give it up.
Fast forward to today where I can now say I’ve established a very successful real estate career of selling, buying and owning many, many homes. And while there’s no special sauce to making the magic happen, there are a few things I wish I knew about my industry before jumping in.
Nobody cares that you’re a Realtor
I wasn’t sure how to phrase this one but if you know me, you know I’m very, very blunt. And I wish I could have told my younger self this from the start. I’m not entitled to anything, and while I may have lots of friends and contacts, that doesn’t mean they’re going to want to work with me. Nobody cares that I am a Realtor because literally everyone knows one. There’s over 250,000 people in the state of Florida with a real estate license. Florida leads the nation, it’s completely and utterly nuts. So out of all these hundreds of thousands of agents, why should they work with me? I ask myself this everyday and I am able to answer this question everyday. If you can’t answer that, then keep digging to find that answer. Are you a stellar negotiator? Prove it. Are you able to sniff out off market deals that nobody else can? Show me. Always remember, nobody cares that you’re a Realtor, they care about what value you bring to them. And once you figure out that value, make it your basis of your marketing and advertising platform.
What can you do that they cannot?
#RealtorLife is 85% service and 15% sales.
I transitioned into real estate from being in the wonderful world of hospitality managing nightclubs. How the hell does managing nightclubs translate into being a successful Realtor?
Real estate is mostly a service-based business. If you don’t like people, this is definitely not where you should be. But if you do like people, make sure you like all different personalities and understand the ups and downs and whirlwind of emotions that come into play with buying and selling homes. A lot of what I do doesn’t seem to be what most would consider being a Realtor. Many times I’m sitting with clients just listening about their life plans and goals, and helping them figure out how buying, selling or investing in real estate fits into this. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Always be prepared and accepting of the times that it doesn’t. I’ve spent as long as a year and a half helping some clients search for a property and at the end of the long road, they decide they want to stay put in their current home. Situations like this happen all the time and it’s all part of the business. However, some of my best clients have been those that do the least amount of business with me; while they don’t personally buy, they send great referrals over to me who do.
Be patient and treat everyone like they’re worth a billion bucks.
Never be afraid to ask
If I knew this early on in my career, I would have gotten so much more business.
You know the conversations that go on and on and you know what the person wants from you but they seem to dance around the question and you don’t want to be rude so you continue on the charade with them? That’s what I used to do. And then I grew balls.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to work with you. It took me a couple years to gain enough confidence to finally quit the games and just be direct with what I wanted. I would reach out to different people asking if we could network over breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’d learn about them, they’d learn about me and then I’d go for the ask. “I would love the opportunity to work with you and your contacts and assist them with buying and selling.”
I didn’t have a ton of sales behind me when I worked with my first client or even when I worked with my first billionaire. But they never once doubted me or my abilities because they saw I knew I knew my business.
If you know your sh*t, people will work with you, plain and simple. It’s not always about the years of experience, how many bus benches you have advertisements on, or the creative social media ad you just boosted; it’s about knowing your craft inside and out, backwards and forwards.