Last week we did a teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio on a rather sensitive subject - QUITTING. Yeah, quitting. As in, throwing in the towel and calling it a day. The goal of the show was not to talk anyone out of quitting, or shame them into staying or even to sell them a bunch of my books so they'll miraculously turn their career around; no, the goal to assure agents that IF quitting is right for them, there's no need to apologize, feel guilty or be ashamed. In fact, I believe it takes a lot of courage to admit that something isn't working and go do something ELSE!
During the show I described seven Reasons to Leave that I believe are perfectly valid Reasons to Leave. Not that anyone needs my permission or blessing, of course, but if you, or someone you know is struggling, and any or many or all of these apply, leaving might very well be the best course of action.
1. Your market truly sucks. Contrary to the rah-rah's and Pollyannas, there may NOT be enough business to go around and some markets are truly awful. If buyers aren't buying and sellers aren't selling, there's nothing we as real estate agents can do to change that. To determine if your market is viable or not - take a look at how the top five agents in your office are doing. If they're busy and seem to be going to closings on a regular basis, then there probably IS business to be had if you could figure out a way to get some for yourself. But if even the top dogs are struggling, your market may not be viable, right now anyway.
2. You aren't suited for self-employment. Not everyone is cut out to be self-employed. And there's no shame in that. Here's a great article about the entrepreneurial personality: http://www.bizoffice.com/library/files/entrepreneur.html
3. Your understanding of what a real estate agent does all day was wrong. Before going into real estate, many agent-wanna-be's think the job revolves around showing property, writing offers, attending closings, creating home brochures and holding open houses. Which, as we all now know, isn't the case at all. If you didn't realize how much of your time would be spent pursuing business, trying to solve unsolvable problems and dealing with grumpy idiots, and you don't particularly enjoy these activities, perhaps real estate wasn't a good choice for you.
4. You don't handle confrontation and conflict well. Most normal people would prefer not to have a lot of conflict and confrontation in their lives, but if you tend to avoid it at all costs and literally make yourself sick when in the middle of a disagreement, it's likely a career in real estate will be miserable for you.
5. It's simply time for a change. No one ever said real estate had to be your last career. Hey, if you're bored or burned out or ready to do something different, go for it!
6. Your lifestyle has changed. Perhaps you've had children since you got your license... or maybe your children are now at an age where they're more demanding of your time. Maybe you've gotten married... or divorced... maybe you're having health issues or are caring for an aging parent. Life happens... and sometimes a lifestyle change will also require a change in career to accommodate your new reality.
7. And my favorite... Real estate is just too hard right now. You know what? Selling real estate is freakin' HARD right now. And often not much fun. And often not too profitable. If you aren't having any fun; if you aren't sleeping well at night; if you aren't making any money and don't see that changing - GO DO SOMETHING ELSE! Life is way too short to get up every morning and hate what you do.
If you're struggling with whether Real Estate is/was a good career choice for you, you might check out a new (free) newsletter mini-clinic I just put together. It's specifically for aspiring agents (people who are thinking about going to real estate school), but it's a fairly hard-core look at the realities of the career - and might be helpful for you in making your decision. Just go here: http://sellwithsoul.com/sws-specialties/rookies/aspiring.html