Services for Real Estate Pros

Baby crying

“Take one single moment to feel sorry for yourself, and then bounce back better than ever.” Barbara Corcoran

I’m a big fan of real estate icon Barbara Corcoran and saw her post this on Facebook this week. It’s timely, because recently I’ve had a lot of real estate agents talk to me about how to cope with the losses in this business.

Real estate is tough, of course. Maybe you spend every day for a week putting together the perfect listing presentation, go over and over the pricing data, rehearsing your answers to the seller’s anticipated questions. You may work hard, stay up late, and feel ready to land that client. And then all of a sudden, despite your preparations, you fail. The seller chooses another agent.

Or, you work hard at establishing a solid relationship with a buyer. You show them everything in their price range, spend Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons with them. You take their calls in the middle of dinner. You become their trusted real estate advisor. Or so you think. Then they call to excitedly tell you they’ve just made an offer on a FSBO out of town, and that it was accepted.

These losses hurt. You’re a human being, and it’s natural to have expectations. And when those expectations don’t pay off, it’s natural to feel frustrated and upset, especially when you’ve worked so hard.

But of course, that’s only half the equation. After all, in every challenge there is also an opportunity. In the words of our friend, Barbara, go ahead, take a minute to feel sorry for yourself, that’s okay. But, after that moment, pick yourself up and brush yourself off.

After all, these kinds of losses result in opportunities for growth. What have you learned? What could you do differently next time? You’re no quitter. You work hard and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But, you know you are only going to get the wins if you keep on working at them.

So when you fail to land a seller, ask for feedback. What made them decide to go with another agent? What might you have been done differently or better. And that FSBO buyer? Well, maybe the experience leads you to make the subject of FSBOs a regular part of your meetings with prospective clients.

But no matter what, always remember that dwelling on bad experiences should never take up more than a moment of your time. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn from the experience, and get back out there.

Comments (122)

Althea Kippes, Esq.
A.T. Kippes, Real Estate Broker - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco to Silicon Valley!

Thank you for the excellent post.  I had great results with the buyer's agreement as well.  It establishes me as a professional and the buyers or sellers as my clients. 

Also, the pity party doesn't just happen when buyers tell you they bought with someone else.  In real estate, it can happen over a number of different things--leads not coming in, the market is really competitive, didn't get the listing...  It goes on and on.  Whenever I feel down, I like to get on Activerain and read posts or post a question.  I am ALWAYS supported by this group.  I also realize that the things I am experiencing are shared by everyone in real estate at one time or another.  It helps keep things in context and gets me to move on.

Feb 27, 2015 08:45 AM
Alan Grizzle
Chestatee Real Estate - Dahlonega, GA
Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega

Thick skin is a requirement to be in the real estate business. 

Feb 27, 2015 11:03 AM
Brenda Gunderson
Portland, OR

When I was a new realtor I admit to shedding some tears and too often my husband (who is not a Reator) was my sounding board for the deals gone bad. Poor guy. No matter how long we've been in the business, there will always be those situations that rub us wrong or hurt our feelings. I know it isn't a good idea to go around complaining or dwell too long on the negative, but I do think sounding off to another agent who understands can help us maintain sanity, find the humor in it and keep our spirits up.

Feb 27, 2015 07:17 PM
Susan Alvine
Nest Seekers International - East Hampton, NY

Great Post! Skip the pity party!

"Every adversity, every failure, every heatbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit" Napolean Hill

A must read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

Feb 27, 2015 09:39 PM
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Thank you for this!  We will always have disappointments.  It's how we deal with them that counts.  As my mother has always said, "You have 24 hours to feel sorry for yourself...then get over it, learn from it and move on!"

Feb 28, 2015 12:22 AM
Chris Mamone
Keller Mortgage - Tacoma, WA
Senior Loan Officer

Best rule I've heard. Get it all out and say "next." It'll make you feel better. I've had a client I've tried to connect with for over a week because were half way through the process and no response. I had my pity party, called and said I need an answer by Monday or I have to close your file due to non-response. Next.

Feb 28, 2015 03:39 PM
Andrew Scherer
Approved Mortgage Group - Doylestown, PA
Real Estate Representation At It's Finest

Absolutely love this post!  Taking 100% responsibility is key - stop reaching into the arsenal of excuses that you've accumulated over the years and breakaway with your actions and activities.

Mar 01, 2015 07:08 AM
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

I respect anyone who has been in this business long term.  It is difficult and one does need to know how to bounce back.

Mar 01, 2015 08:11 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

These days you need to be tougher than ever.  The internet and smart phones are really changing our industry. I hate to use the term that we are in "sales agents" because we are so much more.

Mar 01, 2015 02:53 PM
Anna Valencia Tillery
White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery - Vero Beach, FL
"Moving Made Easy at Prices that Make it Possible"

Well said. I was recently given a jar of minitiature envelopes and in each one is a motivational/insprirational pick-me-up line that is particularly useful when I feel a pity party coming on. Makes a great gift and hits the spot each time I have neeeded it thus far.

Mar 01, 2015 10:35 PM
Suzie DeYoung
Fridrich & Clark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN

A timely post and much appreciated!

Mar 02, 2015 12:19 AM
Geoff Grist
Mosman Neutral Bay Realty, Sydney Australia - Sydney, AU
Author of Sold Above Market book

Real estate is always going to be about hills and valleys so we have to take the good with the bad sadly the bad sometimes lasts longer than the good moments but I usually find the start of every new day is the leveller to just get on with doing what we love, if you don't love it anymore, find something else to do.

Mar 02, 2015 07:26 AM
Hank Dugie
Brockway Realty, LLC - League City, TX
Mr. League City

Great quote to live by... not only in real estate, but in life!

Mar 02, 2015 12:03 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Excellent Post.... you got to be a little tough to make a living selling real estate... when the going gets tough the tough get going.... thank you

Mar 02, 2015 05:38 PM
Pam Bechard
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage - Newmarket, ON

Thank you for the excellent Post!... this business is rough you alway have to come out running in your A game. 

Mar 03, 2015 03:11 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Great post Pauline, having a thick skin is required in this business. We weren't promised a rose garden when we first got in the business, we must take the bad with the good.

Mar 03, 2015 04:43 AM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

No doubt, we all experience that pain and it can be very frustrating.  I agree though that they are all learning experiences for us to get better.  Terrific post :)!

Mar 03, 2015 11:12 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Amen!  Love the title of your blog.

Mar 04, 2015 01:50 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I really enjoyed coming across your blog among the many archieves. Thanks for being apart of Active Rain.

Apr 09, 2015 01:57 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Barbara is great. I watched many of her videos and would not mind to read her books.

There is no point to feel sorry for yourself. I like this quote.

Apr 09, 2015 04:50 PM