Things They Forgot to Teach in Real Estate School!

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

When I got into the business, many things were different, but many of the basic truths about the business remain the same.  So here is what I would share with me preparing for my new career, or perhaps some of the younger people coming out of the real estate schools in Utah and around the country:

You don't have to work with them all!  This was my first lesson learned at my first listing appointment - a referral from a friend.  I just had a sense that this seller had a strong need for a really, really bad real estate transaction.  He was a high powered TV news producer who seemed pretty dour and cranky.  He said some mean things about a few people we knew in common.  Try as I might, I couldn't connect with him or his condo.  I told him I thought we were not a good fit,  wished him well and left.  I wanted a more auspicious beginning to my new career.  Sure enough, I was at a cocktail party a few months later and he was regaling the guests with tales of what a total, incompetent idiot he'd just fired as his listing agent.  It took years to sell.  Select your clients as carefully as they select you.  You can refer the ones that don't work for you.

A "loss" is often a win.  There will be lots of times when you don't get a listing you really want, or when your buyers lose their Dream House in a bloody bidding war.  Then a few days or months later the phone rings, and you get a second chance.  So don't gloat when you win or pout when you're out, because this is a business full of surprises (usually good ones) and second chances. 

It's not about the number of people in your contact management system, but the number of appointments on your calendar.  You have to step away from your computer and get into your car to go to listing appointments and show property to buyers.  Real estate is a contact sport - and I'm not talking just texting and emails!

Don't focus so much on the number of homes you sell or your dollar volume, but about your net!   Once I went on a date with a guy who was the Numbero Uno producer for a huge big box outfit. He boasted of his paid staff of agents, a home inspector, mortgage broker and the fact that he had just rented his own office space. But he didn't mention an accountant, and with a little quick math, it dawned on me that I netted more than he did.  In figuring out a business model that works for you, overhead should be a major consideration, especially if you are paying salaries to anyone other than a personal assistant.

You don't work for your broker; your broker works for you! Yeah.  That's right.  You're the boss!  Your broker will likely have some ground rules and office standards, but they have to work to support the agents with training and support.  It's really important to work in an office that works for you - the atmosphere, the training and the marketing support.

Never ever keep your client information on your broker's computer, and never ever use the broker's email address - the one ending in! Some day you will wake up and discover they've just been sold to a big box, and it will be a bad corporate marriage you will want to leave - usually in a hurry!  And your database becomes their database.  Today with MacBooks that weigh less than a pound, there is no excuse!

Finally, I'll share some wisdom from my father, who told me that to be competitive, you have to first be competent. 



Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 06/29/2016 10:01 PM
  2. Kelly Turbeville 07/01/2016 05:23 AM
  3. Ginger Harper 07/06/2016 07:43 AM
  4. Fred Griffin 07/06/2016 11:24 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 10/05/2016 12:25 PM
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Archita Gunturu

Thanks for all the great points, Patricia!.
I especially can relate to #2 as a buyers agent. Realized that there are always second chances and everything happens for a reason.

Jul 02, 2016 12:05 AM #71
Archita Gunturu
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Real estate agent serving Austin area

Thanks for all the great points Patricia!. 
I especially can relate to #2 as a buyers agent. Realized that there are always second chances and everything happens for a reason.

Jul 02, 2016 12:08 AM #72
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

We will all be thrilled that we have several appoints for listing in a week.

Have a restful July 4th weekend.

Jul 02, 2016 08:21 AM #73
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

So true about the brokers.  If the broker is not creating and nurturing an atmosphere of respect, team work, support, and professionalism, it is time to take my sales elsewhere.  

Jul 03, 2016 11:42 PM #74
William McIntosh
McIntosh International - , CA

Great post full of great advice Patricia! Thanks for sharing.

Jul 04, 2016 12:36 AM #75
Lynn FISCHER Phoenix, AZ West Valley, Sun City, Active Adult, Sun City Grand
HomeSmart - Sun City, AZ

Great points!  Especially on the email address!

Jul 04, 2016 12:52 AM #76
Greg Mona
RE/MAX Platinum Living - Scottsdale, AZ
YOUR Local Real Estate and Design Resource in AZ!

Great post Patricia Kennedy! So many good points you raise. I'm glad I was told very early on to grab my own name for a domain name and run my business email through that. Never did use an @(brokerage name) email addressand glad I didn't after moving around several times!

Jul 04, 2016 06:52 AM #77
Joan Valverde
Synergy Realty Group Inc - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu

Great post!!!  You are so very very very correct about the email address.  I was at a BIG company for awhile (4 years) when I left good thing I mentioned to my son my plan, and he said Mom secure all your contacts first...  I did, he worked in the office of a BIG builder, and knew the system pretty good. 

I moved all my contacts to MY EMAIL deleted everything off BIG email and then left.  I have not regretted my move..... esp when I look at the bottom line!

Jul 05, 2016 03:18 AM #78
John Nash
Solutions Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate sales and investing

Good advice.  Thank you for the post.

Jul 05, 2016 04:23 AM #79
Pam Orzan PA ~ Delray Beach Realtor Property Matters LLC
Property Matters LLC - Delray Beach, FL
Selling Delray, Boca Raton, & Boynton Beach

Good list! Especially about using your broker's e-mail address. One of my past brokers used to get annoyed that I wouldn't put the office number on my business card and that I used gmail. I always want my customers/leads to be able to get me!

Jul 05, 2016 05:34 AM #80
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Some good advice here!  So true that a loss...can be a win. That's happened to me a few times...lose a piece of business, then a day later get an even better lead!

Jul 05, 2016 11:17 AM #81
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

(202) 364-1700 Patricia KennedyReal Estate Agent with Evers and Company in Washington, DC.

Jul 06, 2016 02:01 AM #82
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Great advice.  There should be a class as part of the initial training that goes over all these nuggets and more.   :-)

Jul 06, 2016 05:42 AM #83
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

A lot of very powerful, very practical advice for beginners - and for veteran agents - is packed into this post.  Excellent!

Jul 06, 2016 10:46 AM #84
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren

I also believe your experiences hands on gives you knowledge. Although, I still take classes year after year.

I'm guessing no second date? 


Jul 06, 2016 11:41 AM #85
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Funny, you are in my favorites, but I first saw it as a reblog by Fred. Excellent post. And I loved, loved, loved this line "to be competitive, you have to first be competent"

Jul 06, 2016 11:41 AM #86
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Patricia Kennedy ,

I caught this on a re-blg from Fred Griffin but realized I did read this..I love your fathers words of wisdom..makes perfect sense!!

Jul 06, 2016 11:51 AM #87
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Pat Patricia Kennedy I thought about "commentong" on your post when you first published it,but I didn't.

So today Fred Griffin re-blogged it, I get another bite at the apple.

When I first read this I took exception to telling "newbies" that they don't work for the broker. Maybe you think because you are an Independent Contractor you don't 'work" for the broker, but in most states you would not be correct. It is matter of LAW not just broker rules.

In all other respects I like your post and you did a great job.

Bill Roberts

Jul 07, 2016 12:21 AM #88
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Pat, I came over from Fred's reblog. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your post. Great job!

Jul 09, 2016 12:01 PM #89
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Pat

Important bits of wisdom here that apply to more businesses than Real Estate.  Have learned many of these in my business too.

Oct 06, 2016 02:57 PM #90
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Patricia Kennedy

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