The Road To Experience...

Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group CT RES.0785956

The Road to Experience…


I wonder how many of us realize that our experiences did not come from sitting in class after class of useful but otherwise mindless tedium. I say that tongue in cheek, of course, because we all know that experience doesn't come from listening so much as it comes from doing. As the old adage says, experience is the best teacher...

There is wisdom to be gained from making mistakes. Do I sound cliché’? The truth of the matter is, without having messed up somewhere along the way, how would we have known that what we were doing, or how we were doing it, wasn’t quite right? And would we have recognized it ourselves? More often than not, it was the observation of someone more experienced than us in whatever endeavor we were engaged in who pointed out that there was a better way…

One has to be willing to try anything in order to become better at it. The willingness to take risks and be exposed to ridicule if one fails is at the heart of every person’s attempt to gain experience in whatever field they are in. Especially if they are in real estate


Everyone’s road to experience starts in the same place, but not in the same way. I distinctly remember my first experience as a real estate agent. I had an aunt who passed away two years prior to my becoming an agent and my cousin, her nephew, was designated as the executor of the estate. He wanted to get rid of the property, and fast. We listed it in July and it was sold within a month. Great, right? Nope. Within days of having received that initial offer, I received several more, at a higher price....but had already accepted the first offer. Lesson learned: when dealing with properly priced properties, never jump at the first opportunity.


The road to experience is different for everyone. As I continued, I started making cold calls…but it wasn’t a cold call to an expired listing that landed me my next listings. As soon as we sold my aunt’s first property, a property that her recently deceased niece had was also placed in my cousin’s hands to deal with…and we listed that one. Had a ton of showings, but it wasn’t until December that that one closed. In the meantime, I was riding around looking for FSBO’s and for properties that looked like they needed to be sold – abandoned properties that were an eyesore or just looked pitiful and in desperate need of someone to love them enough to fix them up. Sure enough, I found quite a few. There was one in particular I had found that I was lucky enough to actually speak with the owner, who was a local man who indeed wanted to get rid of the property. That one was listed at the end of October, and was sold before Christmas. Lesson learned: you have to try to get business in order to get business.

The road to experience often has unexpected twists and turns, and an occasional pothole or two. Or even more.   It was now January of 2008, and I was determined to continue making cold calls, and sending letters, to expireds and distressed property owners in the hopes that I could contact enough of them to have the same success that I had in my first 4 months as an agent. It didn’t happen. Oh, I got a listing – one that was so hopeless, that even after a price reduction and an extension, could not be sold. I let that one go. Another listing I got, the owner had needs that the market at that time couldn’t bear -yet I took the listing, and, with only three or four showings on it, when its time was up, we let that one go, too. I soon began to despair. Another listing was procured, but this one was hopeless, too, but for different reasons – uncooperative tenants. Upon the advice of their lawyer, the owners withdrew that one from the market…and at some point thereafter, it became a bank-owned property. December was now upon me, and I had nothing to show for it. I had buyers who wanted to buy a home, but were not able, or were not ready – and thus, no closings. Sellers? Forget it. It just didn’t happen for me in 2008. Lessons learned: nothing is certain in real estate; many variables can make or break a deal; I had to do something different in order to be successful.


The only way to gain experience is to stay on the road. Indeed, that’s exactly what I did at the beginning of 2009, and I am so glad I did. Our coach, Ralph Williams, gave me the needed boost that I needed, and it was that very day that I embarked on my incredible journey here on ActiveRain . I started doing less of what was not working for me as an agent, and started laying the groundwork for a spectacular year, with more to follow. I have picked up so many new ideas and tools to use in listing presentations, in my buyer consultations, and just for my business as a real estate agent in general that even though I have not yet gotten where I want to be, I am further along now than I have ever been. Lesson learned: don’t quit, even when it seems hopeless.


But I could be even further along if I had some help. I said earlier that it is usually someone else who points out to us where we can do better, and in real estate, having a mentor from the start is definitely the way to go. Sure, talking with your broker, attending meetings and training sessions are all good, but nothing beats having that one-on-one relationship with another realtor who has been where you are now and can show you, as you go along, what pitfalls to avoid (if possible). My particular situation– being a “part-timer” – was noted by a friend of mine recently as a detriment to having such a mentoring relationship (side note: He could be my mentor, but he’s the broker for a competing firm. Drat.), but I have made up in my mind to find such a one in my office. I should have done that a long time ago. That way, I can continue on the road to experience, and eventually get to the place where I can help someone else along the way.

Posted by

Greater Waterbury CT Real Estate FaceBook William James Walton, Sr. on LinkedIn William James Walton, Sr. on Twitter William  James Walton's videos on YouTube 




Courtesy of William James Walton, Sr. , Realtor, WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group

Serving northern New Haven and southeastern Litchfield Counties (Waterbury, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Southbury, Watertown, Thomaston and Plymouth)


Call William James Walton, Sr. Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group (203) 558-7463 for help with your real estate needs -buying or selling -  in Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Middlebury, Southbury, Prospect, Naugatuck, Plymouth and Thomaston

Buyers - Search for Greater Waterbury, CT Area Homes For Sale

Sellers - Request a Free Home Evaluation, Look at Recent Home Sales


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
Real Estate Rookie
Diary of a Realtor
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
real estate agent
life lessons

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Vanna Siackhasone
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska 907-720-4663 - Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Real Estate 907-720-4663



What a great post. I too, have had quite a journey in the year that I've been in Real Estate. Real Estate is certainly not as easy as it looks. I wish you all the best. And a I like the part that says you have to look for business to get business. Right on!

Nov 04, 2009 12:03 PM #30
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

I have gone to the school of hard knocks my whole life and I still have not graduated.  It's a tough route but I still enjoy the school.

Nov 04, 2009 12:21 PM #31
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

HEy William,  this is a great story/post and I've really enjoyed reading it tonight. Thank you for getting it out for us on AR....I always enjoy seeing the photo you guys.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Nov 04, 2009 12:24 PM #32
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!


You have the attitude which is taking you to the altitude to soar! 

True wisdom comes from analyzing your experiences and then learning from those experiences to modify  behavior!  You have demonstrated that you are a very wise man! 

Unconditional sharing is what you are doing here in the rain and many agents reading your post are going to learn from you!  Hence!  The GOLD STAR!  Way to go!  

Here is my funny story in being a Rookie! My biggest mistake was calling a relocation buyer in Florida during a hurricane... the buyer told me specifically they were preparing for a hurricane, boarding their windows etc... BUT me... being the eager Rookie, said "I just wanted to verify your housing specifics so I have the right property before you arrive next week... was that 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with the 2 car garage?"  The buyer again told me she was preparing for the hurricane and could not talk then... You guessed it... she never called back... SOOOO I learned to ALWAYS ask permission to talk with a buyer or seller and see if it is a good time to speak before I ever say a word on the call.  I do that today.. 30 years later!

So William.. you are on the right track and we all appreciate your sharing! Please feel free to call me or e-mail me ANYTIME you want to bounce something off someone. I will try my best to help you.

Your friend in the Cosmic Cow Pie!  We will feature your post there too!  Thanks for stopping by!

Nov 04, 2009 02:04 PM #33
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi William -- There is no experience like being in the trenches.  Having a mentor who can help one see the forest and the trees completes the circle.

Nov 04, 2009 02:12 PM #34
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

William, I think some people see formal education as the end product whereas it had better be looked at as getting us to the point where we can teach ourselves.  The best teachers are those that end up with students better than they were at whatever they were teaching.

Nov 04, 2009 02:29 PM #35
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

William, great job explaining your journey. The photos are incredible and add so much to it.

Experience takes are building your future...not a fly in the pan...bye bye.


Nov 04, 2009 02:35 PM #36
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Charles - Bingo!!! How I hope to be in that category one day, both as a teacher and as an agent...not that I'm in a position to teach anything about real estate...that'll take many more years and much more experience than what I have now...

Chris - I love the way you put that! And lucky me, the mentor I chose said yes! and has helped me so much already.

Carra - Indeed. We need more sharing like this, like what you have done in your comment. Hmmm. Maybe you could turn that into a blog post? Hmmm...

Patricia - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it..

Russ - I think that what you just said was a better ending to my blog than what I came up with. We are all there, at some stage or another, I think.

Vanna - Keep it up. Trust me, as you gain experience, some of it will be great, some of it will not be so good, but togther it will make you a better agent, and you'll appreciate it!

Richard - this, coming from one of the best writers here? Thanks for the compliment.

Nov 04, 2009 02:44 PM #37
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


Good post. I do a 5 pronged approach to business: FSBO's, Expireds, Clients lists, Lead programs and face-to-face. As well as referred business. But you need systems set up for them all.

Nov 04, 2009 04:28 PM #38
Robert Savage
Bakersfield Property Solutions - Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield Short Sales, Property Management, Cash

William, thanks for sharing your story. Making mistakes is painfull but it is the road to growth.

Nov 04, 2009 04:43 PM #39
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

Nice feature William and some nice motivational stuff here too, thanks.

Nov 04, 2009 04:44 PM #40
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING WILLIAM!  This was a wonderful feature!  It something that I try to teach my child everyday - we learn by mistakes - we learn by trying - we learning by being out there.  I once heard from a real estate teacher "the only thing power point has taught me is how to use it - if you want experience - get out there and find it!" -- congrats to you for a wonderful attitude! -- Gabrielle

Nov 04, 2009 09:22 PM #41
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Willian Thanks for sharing your journey.  Persistence is vital to acheiving ones goal.  It seem that you have picked up many great ideas which you have implemented and is already seeing results.  With your motivation you will reach that goal.

Nov 05, 2009 01:47 AM #42
Eddie Arnold
Real Living HER - Canal Winchester, OH

Great post, thanks for sharing.

Nov 05, 2009 03:44 AM #43
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Jennifer - Trust me, I'm trying and trying. Everything that I have experienced on this journey was worth it, I must say.

Gabrielle - Indeed. Sounds like that teacher knew what he/she was talking about.

James - Motivational? Wow, I hadn't thought of it that way. I'm glad you found something in there.

Robert - It's the only way to grow that I know. Thanks.

Terry - I think I was looking at my business activities in the same light, as far as what has worked and what isn't, and focusing on those events as the stepping stones to my success for next year. It's the systems part that has me hung up. Or maybe not...hmmm...

Nov 05, 2009 04:20 AM #44
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Missy - Time is what it seems that I don't have enough of, but you are absolutely right, gaining experience does take time, and lots of it.

Jessica - Isn't it interesting when we hear something in one place and then read or see something about the very topic we've just heard somewhere else?

Lina - In this market, being relatively inexperienced, I have no choice but to roll up my sleeves and dig in. Thanks for the encouraging words, much appreciated.

Terri - Me? Inspiration? Seriously, this reminds me of all of the times that former classmates of mine from high school walk up to me and say "Hi, William!" - with a smile on their face, like they are genuinely happy to see me, and for the life of me, 9 times out of 10, I have no recollection of who they are. I try not to let on that that's the case, but sometimes I do, and even then, it isn't taken badly, for they'll see me again with the same exuberance. I guess some things are not meant for me to see, but for others, and for that I am grateful. That was a long way to just say thanks, wasn't it?

Laurie - It was meant to help. I hope that it does in some way.

Aaron - I liked that "Zig here, zag there" comment. It fits perfectly with how our experiences often turn out - not planned at all.


Nov 05, 2009 04:32 AM #45
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

William- I think you'll stay at this until you get it all figured out.  You are right, no classroom is a substitute for experience, but at the same time, classes where you learn new, better, more can really be helpful too.  Good luck on your journey.

Nov 05, 2009 04:43 AM #46
Jane Cross
Homes By Cross serving Charlotte NC Real Estate Needs - Charlotte, NC

William, Great Post!

This business has drug me along on the bottom at times...other times sitting on top of the world! One thing for sure, it is alway evolving, and so we have to try to keep up with it...constantly in hot pursuit of the prize. Loved the post...I felt like I had been in your shoes during some of those moments in time.

Nov 05, 2009 11:05 AM #47
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

I too am happy that you got featured - great post and well written. It will work out for you, you'll see, and you can now see it too. ~Rita

Nov 05, 2009 02:25 PM #48
Nancy Deichman
Re/Max Premier Realty, Inc. - Ocala, FL

I have seen people that learn everything and do nothing. they are afraid to make a mistake, so they don't do anything, which is a huge mistake!

Nov 05, 2009 06:41 PM #49
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


William James Walton Sr.

Greater Waterbury Real Estate
Have a real estate question? I can help. Call me!
Spam prevention

Additional Information