I started in real estate in 1991 when I found myself a single mom. I hadn’t worked in years and knew I needed to make a living and I didn’t want to go back to teaching or retail management.
What do I wish I had known the very first year in business that cost me lost business and income?
Years of volunteering at the kid’s schools and local charities gave me an instant audience to tap but I was embarrassed my husband left and I had to move to a rental. In my first few years in the business I should have swallowed my pride and told everyone I was in real estate instead of being a secret agent.
I was good about telling new acquaintances and everyone I’d meet that I was a real estate agent but I should have tapped my friends and neighbors and been ahead of the game instead of searching for new business.
Was there ever a time I questioned whether I‘d made the right career choice?
My first year was scary and I had to dig down deep to find the resolve that I could make it in this business. There was a lot to learn: subdivisions, forms, contracts, builders, how to establish a team of professionals, how to learn to brand myself but I knew if I surrounded myself with optimistic people and a good mentor I could be a success. It was going to take hard work but I was willing to give it my all. My first year was the hardest but I stuck with it. Be sure and give it time and don’t give up early on being an independent contractor.
What three things have I learned along the way that positively affected me and helped improve my real estate business?
1. I took the Floyd Wickman course and was a sweat hog for weeks! To this day I still remember things I learned. More than anything the course gave me structure and defined how I wanted to conduct business. I learned to set goals and measure them. I discovered the “why” I was in real estate and who I wanted to work with to maximize my talents and ability.
2. I started my career in a boutique firm and had some awesome mentors but when my broker closed I joined the NW Coldwell Banker office and knew I had found home. Finding the right fit is crucial!
3. Having a winning attitude and conducting your business like your personal life, doing things for the “right reason” is the only way to operate! Consumers can spot a fake a mile away. Teddy Roosevelt said it best “nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
“There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” Colin Powell