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Pump the well or die of thirst

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty, Westport CT

I recently experienced something I never want to experience again.  And here's the thing:  It was all my own doing.  No one to blame but myself.

Ok, that was my mea culpa announcement.  Now let me tell you what happened:

After almost 20 years as a real estate agent, I recently had my banner year for income.  It was a wonderful year of working with both buyers and sellers.  Most of these clients were personal referral and their price points were well above average for my area.  My marketing systems, CRM, on-line presence were also performing well.  I was busy and really feeling in control of business.  Then towards the end of the calender year I started to get a bit burned out and decided to slow myself down.

It started with taking full weekends off and avoiding hosting public open houses--let the new agents do that.  They're just starting out and need the business, right?

After that came what I now call the "picking and choosing" of business that I wanted to work on.  The rejected business would be defined as:  not offering enough money; more aggravation than what it's worth, not my specialty, etc.

Prompt follow-ups on leads started becoming lax.  I wasn't adding new prospects to my drip campaigns and I backed off on marketing expenditures merely because the holidays were approaching.  Who's making real estate decisions during the holidays?  Would have been a waste......

As I welcomed in the new year to being I was optimistic about my business.  After all, I had turned the corner and was on a roll!  And then I ate humble pie.....

I had nothing.  My phone wasn't ringing, no leads to follow-up on, no listings to promote. I watched my colleagues input their new listings, arrange their buyer tours,  secure their deals.  My office was busy but I wasn't.  The thirst began.

I felt like a new agent starting over.  Doing the uncomfortable "101" basics just to get some piece of business to work on.  Something that would make me feel like I could hold my head up again.  Frankly, any piece of business.  I just wanted to work! 

The year was one of my worst--as far as income was concerned.  However, I like to think of it as one of my best years as well.  It was a reflective year.  It taught me many lessons.  Here is a brief re-capp on what I learned.  (I hope it can help my fellow Rainers):

1.  Never think you are "busy enough."  If overload occurs, than input systems and/or resources in place to eleviate the stress.  Never turn away business.

2.  Don't anticipate business coming into your pipeline.  You have nothing until the paperwork is signed or countersigned.  Projected listings or buyers is just that--hopeful projections.  You can't pay your bills today on projected income for tomorrow.

3.  Vacations and breaks are deserving but need to be brief.  Define and enjoy the time your taking off.  When it's over,  fully plug-in and get back to work.  Plan your vacations and breaks in the future so you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

4.  Explore and be willing to try new marketing avenues for both your listings and self-promotion.  I am new to ActiveRain and wanted to give blogging a try.  

5.  Business perpetuates more business.  Keeping a constant flow will ensure that you can be found--everywhere.  If you don't have something signed by either a buyer or a seller, you are basically unemployed.

And most importantly:  never stop pumping that well!  





Posted by

Nancy Manby  203-856-7069

Serving Lower Fairfield County CT

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nancy Manby, Love it  "Never stop pumping that well"   Hope you have a great day!

Aug 04, 2016 12:16 AM
Nancy Manby

Thanks Will!

Aug 04, 2016 06:05 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nancy you learned a hard lesson through you mistake.  That is a lesson that unfortunately many sales people have made.  This is a business that we can never stop working at, when we stop the business does not just slow down, it stops and it is twice as hard to get it started up again.

Aug 04, 2016 11:32 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Nancy Manby so true, when self employeed you constantly need to be on the look out for new business.

Aug 08, 2016 02:04 AM