Bed Rock Business...How to Thrive while Travelling the Tide of Shifting Sand!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

Almost 16 years ago, I obtained my real estate Salesperson's license.  So much has changed!  I can still remember buying my first laptop computer.  I couldn't access the Internet and the dial up connection to the real estate MLS system was at best a hit or miss proposition when I connected via a land line. bedrockThe listing agreement back then was two pages of it is six! The leading real estate companies all advertised in the paper.  Hardly anyone had a website. No one had heard about a blog.

But in spite of the dramatic shifts in the business, I think there are are things that will not change regardless of how drastically technological advancements redefine the real estate business.  

As a new agent in the mid 90's, I profited from the wisdom offered by experienced veterans in our industry.  Today, their advise still resonates as true and their longevity in the business is a testament to the validity of their convictions.  Here are some of the lessons I've learned along the way.

The Code...

Have you read through the Code recently? The first core foundation for the real estate professional is the REALTOR Code of Ethics, a standard which defines the rules and practise of professional behavior for real estate practitioners.

The Code of Ethics stands alongside the laws of each State to support the ethical conduct which should define every real estate transaction. Although the Code of Ethics is modified from time to time to encompass new arenas such as the Internet, it remains the bedrock solid foundation which defines the conduct of the well mannered agent.  An agent who thrives on repeat business and the respect of peers & colleagues.

As new agents continue to funnel into the business and more experienced practitioners find themselves working in unfamiliar territory, here are some additional qualities which will continue to provide solid guidance for success. I refer to these as theThree P's of Priority, Perseverance and Patience.

Proper Priorities...

Knowing what your priorities should be is the biggest single factor which determines success or failure for many agents. There are only a few things that actually make money for a successful agent. These are: listing or selling a home, prospecting for new business, following up on leads and asking for the appointments necessary build relationships and build our business. Everything else that we do, including attending closings, is a result of the above activities. When we loose sight of this and spend little time on these basic activities, our business is bound to suffer.


Persevering involves keeping on, in spite of, not because of. The old saying 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' is true. Many agents give up far too quickly. This is where it can be helpful to talk to other successful people or read their books. One will quickly discover that everyone has struggled in one fashion or another. It's a fact of life. Persevering is a pre-requisite for success because it proves that you are willing to do what it takes to get the prize...your goal of a successful career.



Patience develops character. I'm often amused to hear the term 'overnight' success. To the individual who supposedly achieves this feat, it most often feels like a very long, long, night! We tend to refer to the achievement as an overnight success because we are unfamiliar with the journey that enabled someone to gain the status that they now enjoy. Upon closer examination, it is often revealed to have been a far longer more involved process than a cursory glance would suggest.  

A well known author recently wrote a book entitled Outliers which highlights the fact that it takes almost 10 years to become an expert in anything! Patience is what enables what you are doing to mature to the point where it becomes a fruitful endeavor.

A wise man was once quoted as noting that 'there is nothing new under the sun.' Knowing HOW to do something is as important as having a clear understanding of WHAT one should actually be doing. Success follows from following through and being consistent in the effort required to achieve true competence.

So, regardless of how quickly technology shifts our business, the solid foundations of a business built on Right Priorities, Perseverance and Patience are the tools that a determined professional will need to cultivate in order to thrive and succeed



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Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Priorities, Perserverence, Patience - very crucial 3 "P's.  Thank you for the post. 

Jan 29, 2011 09:42 AM #4
Muhammad Mushtaq
Weichert, Realtors® - SBA Group - Fall River, MA

Professionalism speaks for itself. In last few years, many people came to this industry only to take a quick ride and make some extra money. Those people are now history. We may only see them like mushroom. People who devoted to this field are still here and will be here. Those are the people who take this field is a zeal. Lola, a very good post. I need to frame it for my office associates.

Jan 29, 2011 11:05 AM #5
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Lola -- I loved the Outliers book, so informative.  Glad to hear you are doing well, and your perspective is spot on.

Jan 29, 2011 11:35 AM #6
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I was thinking that we need WAY MORE people to read the code. Maybe once a week for a few years & it would sink in?

Jan 29, 2011 11:48 AM #7
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I'll tell you how much I value perseverance: I once had a cat name Perseverance, Persy for short. GREAT post Lola. 

Jan 29, 2011 12:12 PM #8
Jayne Williamson, REALTOR, Broker, GRI
Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners, Hendersonville, NC - Hendersonville, NC


Great post and so relevant to today.  Maybe we can require that the people getting a license now have it tattooed on a body-part?  I think the road ahead is going to require a lot of Patience.

Jan 29, 2011 01:31 PM #9
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

You have hit the nail on the head.  These 3 p's will make one a success  Right Priorities, Perseverance and Patience

Jan 29, 2011 02:24 PM #10
MeLisa Minter, Realtor
Minter Real Estate Services - Taylor Lake Village, TX
Bay Area Houston Real Estate Agent

This is so true.  I sometimes lose sight and start focusing on the cutesy stuff, but I have to reel myself back in and get my phone to ringing again.

Jan 29, 2011 02:59 PM #11
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


I'm tickled to see that this got featured!  "Patience."  Thanks for including that one.

Mike in Tucson

Jan 29, 2011 03:33 PM #12
Harry F. D'Elia
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

It is nice to have all the tools in real estate. However, it still comes down to the basics when it comes to real estate sales. Paitence is a must.

Jan 29, 2011 04:23 PM #13
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA

Real Estate and the market will always shift, but being able to change with it is very important!

Jan 29, 2011 04:52 PM #14
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Lola, well said! The three P's are a valuable asset for all real estate agents. Great post and congratulations on the feature.

Jan 30, 2011 02:07 AM #15
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


These are much better than the 3 P's of some listing agents - Put in MLS, Put out a sign, Pray!

Jan 30, 2011 02:35 AM #17
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Congratulations to you for being able to persevere in the market for 16 years.  I aspire to be able to adapt and change to go to that milestone and beyond.  Thank you for the inspirational post.

Jan 30, 2011 03:19 AM #18
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Lola -- What a fantastic post!  Without a foundation built on the three P's, things will crumble and fall apart.

Jan 30, 2011 06:02 AM #19
David DeBruyn GRI CRS

Just yet another great post from you Lola>> Patience>>> indeed is one of the three Ps that is needed by all now

Jan 30, 2011 08:40 AM #20
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thank you for your comments.  I am reminded that although this seems like 'basic' stuff, the DOING of the 3 P's is the work of life and requires a great deal of sustained effort and practice on a regular basis.  I find myself talking to a number of people in various walks of life including real estate and these principles are bedrock anchors which are applicable across a wide range of life experience.

Jan 30, 2011 09:36 AM #21
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Lola...I often think of how important patience is in some markets such as mine.  Second-homes and retirement homes do not have to be purchased quickly.  They may be but they do not have to be.  Patience pays in this way also.


Jan 30, 2011 01:26 PM #22
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

Great post Lola. 
Malcom Gladwell has written a number of good books, outliers is one of my favorites. 

Knowing the basics is good, beign an expert at them - GREAT!

Jan 30, 2011 04:29 PM #23
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thanks for dropping by Eloise!  Hope all is well.  Have a wonderful week. :)

Feb 21, 2011 08:10 AM #25
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