Short version. If it feels icky, don't do it!
Patricia Kennedy’s October Challenge asks: “If you are an Oldie, think back on your own career. Write a post about the very best advice you got that could help a rookie become a rock star.”
First off, I am not sure what being a rock star really means in real estate. If it means top producer … I never wanted to be one. I never wanted to be “one of those” or “like them.”
What I saw as a rookie in the real estate industry turned my stomach. I did not like being around other real estate agents, aka “Realtors”. Coming from Corporate America I felt like I was in a foreign land and I had NO DESIRE to want to learn or speak the language.
I won’t mention any names because I don’t want to give any of the so-called "gurus" juice with the search engines but I participated in just about all of the well-known real estate training and coaching programs lead by the “gurus” who never sold a home in their lives.
The training seminars were loud and the tactics were offensive. They all teach the same thing … they just package it differently.
- It’s a numbers game! You need 500 NO’s to get a yes.
- Door knocks! Be intrusive and get in people’s faces.
- Cold call! Call like a ninja. Be an obnoxious ass and overcome those objections!
- Pop-By’s! - Stop by unannounced and uninvited (likely unwanted as well) to see a past client or sphere. Present them with a meaningless “gift” and pretend you are really only there to see them … all the while knowing you are there to ask for REFERRAL.
- Oh by the way …. Need I say more?
No one, NOT ONE of the gurus taught to be true and genuine to our own values and beliefs. Not one taught if you are uncomfortable and it does not fit you then don't do it. They all taught if you want to survive and be successful (a Rock Star perhaps) then this is what you have to do to get business. AND, for a mere $1,000 a month we will help you by holding your feet to the fire and holding you accountable.
All of it repulsed me.There just had to be a better way.
Initially I found my way to doing variations of what the “gurus” taught but the truth is, I was wildly uncomfortable doing it. It just was not me.
- I don’t like people calling me trying to sell me shit I don’t want or need. So why would I be doing that? It feels desperate.
- I don’t like people “popping by” unannounced and uninvited. So why would I be doing that? It feels so desperate.
- I don’t like people knocking on my door telling me they have a buyer who wants to buy my home. How pathetic is that anyway? How desperate is that? For the record, I NEVER did that.
The short answer to the question is … I did not get any advice that I used to be successful.
Whatcreated my success, what made me a “rock star” was saying no to crap that did not fit for me! It was not an overnight thing … it’s been a 13 year journey. I practice this “saying no” thing every day in a multitude of ways. I will never have it perfected because I am human and as such, I am not perfect.
My success was found in saying YES to finding another way … a better way. I had to explore what I liked doing and what I enjoyed doing.
That, for the most part, was by way of the Internet. My way was to let people find me. And find me they did. And, I must give credit where credit is due. ActiveRain played a HUGE part in all of that. I became a blog posting machine. I learned SEO. I learned hyper-local. I practiced discipline and consistency.
- People found my posts and they called me. I actually got a referral from an agent in Los Angles who found a post I had written just 45 minutes prior to his calling me. That referral resulted in two closed sales.
- I got referrals from other agents in the ActiveRain community.
- I was able to serve my clients better by referring them to other members of the ActiveRain community.
- For the first time in my real estate career I found real estate agents that I liked. Oh my gawd … they do exist in this place called ActiveRain. They were not like any of the other agents at the many offices I had affiliated with. “These people” are different. Why heck, they are a lot like me. We think alike. We are good people. We do the right thing. We focus on serving the needs of our clients.
- I found a real estate home filled with like-minded, and very helpful, likeable people in the ActiveRain Community
I said no to all the crap that repulsed me! If I had to do crap that I do not like or want done to me then I’d rather go find something else to do with my life. Crap has become one of my top favorite words. Heck, I even created a group in ActiveRain … Crap-Tacular. Although creating the group was inspired by Carla Muss-Jacobs during one of our marathon phone calls, I have to admit it took some “courage” to create the group because I knew felt it would be judged by more people than those who would join the group and post to it. But, (no pun intended) I digress.
I am not going to be, or try to be, all things to all people. I am not a one-size-fits-all person. That means, “I” will be the judge of my success in real estate. I don’t want to be, never have, never will, be a “mega” agent. I am not interested in building a team or selling 1,000 homes a year. Never have been. Never will be. It’s just not me.
And, you know what? That’s okay with me.
I focus on:
- Starting every day being thankful and show gratitude for everything.
- Serving others and making a difference in the lives of those I serve and in the world.
- Being 100% honest with people, at all times, at all cost. Even if it means the transaction does not close and I won’t be paid.
- Never. Never-Ever compromise my moral integrity for a paycheck. Ever!
- Being harmless every day in every way.
- Leading with kindness.
- Reserving judgment – this one challenges me every day. See above - being 100% honest at all times.
- Helping others in every possible way.
- Treating others the way I want to be treated.
- End every day feeling grateful and blessed … because I am truly blessed and I am truly grateful.
There are no measuring sticks in my success. The number of closed sales, gross commissions, net income, and most definitely not the number of calls I make, or the number of doors I knock, define me, or my success.
That only happens in the eyes of others who believe their success is measured and defined in such a way.
And, you know what? That’s okay with me too. I just refuse to wear the judgment or dance to the beat of their drum.
What has made me rock star in business and in life is being true, authentic and genuine to my-self and others. My focus is on making a difference. I do that in a multitude of ways none of which are focused on real estate sales.
My Beat. My Drum. My Dance.
My journey in real estate has been a costly one. All I ever needed to know about being successful I already knew.
My advice for Newbies in real estate. Just be REAL.