10 lessons in 10 years as a Realtor

Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Big Hill 2002018135


10 lessons in 10 years as a Realtor


Ten years in this crazy business has taught me a few tough lessons, and here are my top ten!



There is ALWAYS a NEXT.  I once had a week where 5 deals all fell apart.  5!  This was early on in my career.  So naturally I had already banked on the money, pretty much had it spent.  Ouch!  But one of the greatest gifts of real estate is that there is always a NEXT.  A next deal, a next floor call, a next client popping up out of the blue needing to sell or buy.  Yes, it still stinks when a deal falls through.  But just say NEXT…because more will come, I promise.


You never REALLY get a day off.  I hate to tell you newbie’s this, but no, there isn’t really ever a day off.  Maybe you think you can take a week off from real estate for that family vacation, but you will find that even with the most adept agent covering your business, you still need to check in and make sure there are no fires to be put out.  I have taken plenty of “serenity” days as well.  But the phone will still ring.  The email lead will still come in.  It’s going to be up to you if you heed the call or not.  I am not saying I work Christmas day or anything like that.  We should ALL set limits that work for us.  But don’t fool yourself into believing you can take time off and people will respect that.  People don’t care!  And I don’t mean to be harsh or scare anyone, but if someone is concerned about a purchase or sale, they are going to call.  And hopefully, you will answer.



I DON’T DISCOUNT!!  Admittedly, I used to.  As an agent, you are faced countless times with this question…”Will you reduce your commission?”  And yes, I have.  But I don’t any longer.  I used to do it out of fear.  Fear the client would drop me and get another agent who would accept such terms.  Fear the deal wouldn’t close.  Fear I would lose future business from the person asking for a cut-rate fee.  But I think with time comes a turning point.  A point in which you realize more business will come.  A point where you KNOW you are worth every darn penny, and probably more.  A point where you aren’t afraid to lose to another agent on such terms, because upholding YOUR OWN standards means more to you than just one deal.


Don’t do it yourself – save your butt! – From pure experience here…if a client tells you to sign something, ANYTHING, on his or her behalf, please take heed.  DON’T!  Just don’t do it.  Make the trip to get the signatures.  Whether it is a block away or halfway across the state.  Fax it, email it, snail mail it.  Just do it!  STOP being lazy or thinking it doesn’t matter.  Maybe it doesn’t this time.  But sometime it will.  And you will be so happy you made the extra effort.



Nothing is as obvious as YOU think it is.  I have good friends that I like to spend time with on the weekends.  I don’t talk about work because they know what I do.  I know what they do.  It’s supposed to be downtime for heavens sakes!  I think it’s pretty obvious what I do and that if they know someone who wants to buy or sell, that they would mention my name.  NOT SO!  What we do for a living is not as obvious to others as it is to us.  People forget.  People don’t realize that we continually need to be bringing in new business and need those referrals.  Don’t be a pest to your friends, but DO remember to remind them now and then that you are still in real estate, and appreciate referrals.


Be honest.  Seems like this would be an obvious one, but it isn’t always the case.  Just be honest, and it will take you far.  I once read a contract wrong and quoted the seller a much higher net price than what was really the case.  So, I fessed up.  I also paid the difference, because it was MY goof.  But those folks have referred me so much business over the years because I was honest.  We are human, and we all make mistakes.  Fess up, fix it, and move on.  And sleep much better at night my friends.



Family and friends are going to screw you over.  –It’s best just to learn this as early on as possible, and save yourself a lot of tears.  Some will do it unintentionally, and sadly, some will do it knowing full well how it will affect you.  If you do real estate business with family or friends, it WILL happen.  It’s a hurt like no other, let me tell you.  There will always be folks that don’t quite GET what we do, how we get paid, or anything else.  Friends and family are NOT immune to this.


Your spouse and kids will support you (sometimes)! – I have two teenagers and a husband of 19 years.  When I started this, my youngest was 3.  My family has supported me and been my own personal cheering section through good times and bad.  BUT, sometimes even they don’t quite “get it”.  That even though I have taken the “day off” to go to the water park, I might still have to answer a call.  That even though we are in Disney for the week, I will have to take a few moments time out to check in at home base.  That sometimes Mom is home and available for days on end, and other times Mom isn’t even around to cook supper and take out is as good as it’s gonna get.  But they try.  And I love them for it!



A good office, a good BROKER, will take you far.  Don’t be afraid to make changes.  At ten and a half years in, I am at my third office.  When I started real estate, I was with a company I couldn’t ever imagine leaving.  They were my family, so to speak.  But it became a sinking ship, and I realized this almost too late.  I lost money because I was afraid to change.  My switch last year to my current company wasn’t as fraught with emotion.  I knew this time it was a good choice.  And I am now off to the best start in a New Year of my entire career.  Don’t be afraid to change.  The support of a good office and the training and back-up from a good broker are PRICELESS.  Not just to your business but to your LIFE.  Weigh the pros and cons of moving.  But above all, listen to your gut. 


You will LOVE real estate.  You will HATE real estate.   Maybe this is just me.  I have had moments where I questioned with every fiber of my being what the he%$ I was doing in this business.  I think this question came up around the time of 2006-2007, the market crash.  I have also had moments of exhilarating highs, where no drug in the world could make me feel as good as real estate made me feel.  I have had clients I honestly couldn’t wait to be done with.  Where I would cringe seeing their names pop up on my phone.  And more often than not, clients I love, who have become friends and folks I truly have a bond with.  I have loved the sound of my phone ringing.  And despised my phone with every fiber of my being.  I have had clients lie to me, leave me for another agent, and even try to sue me (unsuccessfully I might add!).  And I have had clients cry from happiness; give me flowers and gifts, and even clients who became best friends.  And I can’t wait to see what the next ten years holds…


Posted by


Thanks for reading!

Kelley Weimerpink flower

 a house "SOLD" name!

Kelley Weimer is a full-time Real Estate professional serving the residential and light commercial needs of Southwest Ohio, including Preble County, Montgomery County, Butler and Darke Counties.  She serves the needs of today's home buyers and home sellers, working for one of the area's top real estate brokerages, Preble Plus Realty, LLC. Making real estate dreams come true since 2002, Kelley prides herself on honest, friendly service; staying on the edge of technology yet always keeping the focus on good ole' communication.  For your real estate dreams, please contact Kelley today!

Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Real estate can definitely be challenging.  I hope you never have another week with five deals that fall apart.

Mar 14, 2013 04:09 PM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Great list of hard earned lessons learned.  

Mar 14, 2013 05:03 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

It can be very distressing to have the kind of week you describe.  Yet, over the years I've found that this kind of thing is usually cyclic.  And can just as easily be followed by a week of 5 new sales.

Mar 14, 2013 05:33 PM
Fathom Realty Group Inc.
Fathom Realty Group Inc - Orange, CA
Get Paid what your WORTH!

Wow that is just up my alley 10 years next month!  Great post Thank you  Capo

Mar 14, 2013 05:47 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

This is a wonderful post Kelley.  I can relate to every singe one of these items listed.  Real estate is tough.                                                                                

Mar 14, 2013 10:24 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

"Family and friends are going to screw you over"

True words. .

You do not have enough years if you did not experience this . .yet

Mar 14, 2013 11:39 PM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

What a beautiful post!  Every newbie should read it.  This week, even after 20+ years in the business, I felt beat up.  Nothing was going right.  Everyone was angry (and none of what they were angry about was under my control).  Things were falling apart-cracked slabs, qualifications, endless short sale paperwork and one miserable person who was determined that the whole world needed to be just as miserable as she.  But, you know what?  It all got better.  Ms. Miserable couldn't get her financing and her agent withdrew the offer.  The slab isn't as cracked as we thought and the bank representative on the short sale is doing her best to expedite.  It's a roller coaster, this business, but I love it.

Mar 14, 2013 11:42 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Kelly, you've pointed out some truisms here. This business is tough. It is a new agent's best interest to work with a mentor to avoid these pitfalls. Good Post!

Mar 14, 2013 11:47 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This post reveals a true professional at work navigating successfully and getting things done...Good post and thank you

Mar 15, 2013 12:29 AM
Patti Irwin
HomeSmart Lifestyles-Fountain Hills AZ Real Estate - Fountain Hills, AZ
No Pressure, No Sales Pitch, Just Expert Advice!
You have described the real estate business perfectly! People don't realize what a tough business this is.
Mar 15, 2013 01:08 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Excellent post. Yes, family and friends will screw you over. Don't do business with family and friends. Because of short sales I worked Christmas Eve day for 3 years in a row. There was no way I couldn't unless I wanted the transactions to fall apart. We do what we have to. Thanks for your post today,

Mar 15, 2013 01:45 AM
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

I think I've experienced every one of those in the first 9 years so far.  Great post, definitely hits home.

Mar 15, 2013 03:08 AM
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

Kelly, this a wonderful post that I think not only real estate agents can learn a great deal from , but also service companies. Heck, for tht matter, anyone working could appreciate your insight. There will be highs and lows and everything you mentioned with most any job. It is important to impart that wisdom to others, such as you have done. Thank you for sharing your experiences

Mar 15, 2013 03:15 AM
Mike Warfel
Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC - Avoca, MI
Associate Broker

That is a great posting, all good points and well written. This is my tenth year, I work with my wife who has been an agent for 25 years. So we do a lot of real estate, if we are both busy it can become very hectic. Yes to all the points you have brought up, I really cannot think of any to add. Problems are never as bad as they could be and wins are never as great as they should be. 

Congratulations on surviving.

Mar 15, 2013 05:12 AM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Kelly ~> Looks like you had a very cathartic moment while writing this blog! Whew, can we all relate to this one? We know we can!

Mar 15, 2013 10:18 AM
Kelley Weimer
Better Homes and Gardens Big Hill - Eaton, OH
Preble County Ohio Real Estate & beyond

Wow!  I don't even know where to begin here folks! :)  THANK YOU to everyone for your awesome replies.  I wish there was a "like" button for each and every one of you!

I'll tell you where this blog stemmed from - 

There is a new agent in my office who I have sort of taken under my wing.  I have watched her go through a tough week.  A deal fell apart, a client fired her.  I have tried to be her cheerleader.  Because I know all too well how things like that just happen.  And how much it STINKS!!

So I started thinking about some lessons I have learned in ten years of real estate.  I don't pretend to have all the answers.  Believe me, I don't think I even WANT all the answers, lol!  Life is a continuous learning process.  And so is real estate.  But in the ten years I have been doing this, I guess there have been a few things that have just STUCK.

Being honest, NOT being lazy, continually (but gently) reminding people what I do...seems like pretty basic stuff right?  Amazing how the opportunity to make these choices comes up so much!

Being screwed over by people close to me?  Staying with a brokerage that was clearly sinking because I was afraid of change?  Losing business because I won't discount?  Thankfully these challenges don't come every day.  But they do come along.

I'm sure everyone of you can come up with your own great top ten.  Any amount of time spent in this business will give you plenty of material!

THANK YOU again, to all, for your kind words, encouragement, and fellow woes of life "in the trenches".  :)

Mar 15, 2013 10:42 AM
Judith Ritter
Dirt Road Real Estate - Prescott, AZ
Rural Land & Homes Specialist

Thank you for the helpful, heartfelt and honest post.  Keep them coming.

Mar 15, 2013 11:56 AM
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service

Hi Kelly,

I think we can all relate to your top ten blog.

This is a good motivational blog.

Have a fabulous weekend!


Mar 15, 2013 12:55 PM
Peter Gibaud Team
BHHS Homesale Realty - Chambersburg, PA
Master Marketers. Trusted Advisors.


Don't do it yourself, save your butt and be honest. If every agent who reads this takes away only one thing, I hope and pray it is one of these, because if it is they will live to practice real esate for a long time.

Thanks for putting your personal thoughts out there for the rest of us to relate to and learn from. 

Mar 15, 2013 07:23 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

All very good points and if you have been in the business any length of time you know these way to well. Thanks for sharing

Mar 16, 2013 01:14 AM