A wish, a time and three things.

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Active Rain has asked us to answer the following questions to help counsel new agents. I thought I'd hit it head-on:

  • What do you wish you had known the very first year you were in the business that cost you lost business or income?
    What do I wish I had know?  Oh, so many things.  I came into this business with my eyes open.  I was aware that I should have enough money stockpiled just in case I made zero the first year.  I knew that buyers and sellers would not come find me at my desk. I knew that I would work long hours, evenings and weekends.  I knew that I'd have to update my cellular plan.

    What didn't I know that might have cost, or lost, me business/money?  I wish I hadn't spent so much time chasing relocation business and giving away such a large portion of my commission.  I could have/should have been concentrating on my full-commission clients and building that side of my business... but I just didn't have the confidence to walk-away from relocation, until much later in my career.
  • Was there ever a time you questioned whether you had made the right choice of being a real estate agent? What events caused you to stick with it and succeed?
    I question my decision all the time.  Anytime I find my pipeline empty I start to second-guess myself.  My internal dialogue includes phrases such as: "I'm a fraud..I'm a failure... I'll die alone"... you know... that kind of stuff.  I always work through it, and as soon as I get that next listing, or next buyer I come back to the planet we live on.  But do I question my decision to be a Realtor??  Each and every year of the last 30 years.

  • What are 3 things you have learned along the way that have positively affected you and helped improve your real estate business?
    Three things that I've learned that have helped...
    1) Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you know.  A lot of this business is about common sense, and if you have some... trust it.  If you don't.... you're in the wrong business.
    2) Treat it like a business. If you really want to be successful, work it every day.
    3) Find yourself a managing broker that you 'click' with... or a mentor who'll guide you along.

Oh... and #4... just to add one.... blog.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

well said, Alan!!! This is what new agents need to read and hopefully will take to heart. "Treat it like a business" is something that all of us could have used when we started out in our businesses. 

Jan 02, 2018 06:46 PM #1
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Great post -- I can relate  ... #4-- I call it blog time 

Jan 02, 2018 08:19 PM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Alan

I can definitely relate to a lot of what you said, especially question 3!! No argument from me with #4!


Jan 02, 2018 08:53 PM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Alan. I enjoyed this and would expect nothing less than you hitting it right on.

Jan 03, 2018 06:19 AM #4
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Of the 3 things you learned, I like the fact that trust yourself is #1. Until you learn to do that and have confidence, it's hard to make it at anything.

Jan 03, 2018 07:28 AM #5
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

That #4 can really make a difference if done to attract business. It's a cheap way to get in front of local buyers and sellers, and time invested today can work for us years later.

Jan 03, 2018 11:07 AM #6
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Great post-Alan and you really pulled back the covers. Treating it as a business is exactly what we should do. Blogging is a way to carve a niche and be found.

Jan 03, 2018 11:29 AM #7
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Alan-Good common sense advice.  I definitely agree that you have no place in this business if you treat it like a hobby.

Jan 06, 2018 11:01 PM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

There do seem to be quite a few folks who treat it like a hobby. I also concur, if you don't have common sense, this business isn't a good fit. ( Will anything be a good fit?)  Just thinking out loud...

Jan 09, 2018 08:09 AM #9
Bill Dean
Haggerty Team St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

Trusting yourself and treating it like a FULL TIME business are paramount to having any degree of success esp. in this business!   As far as common sense, sometimes you need to have an excess of that, since it is often lacking in others!

Feb 03, 2018 11:23 AM #10
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Alan May

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