New agents enter The Twilight Zone

Real Estate Agent with The Virtual Real Estate Team 104556

After owning retail electronic stores for 16 years I entered the brave new world of real estate in 1989. I brought a lot of sales and management experience with me so my first year was very successful with 46 closed homes. I am not saying that I made no mistakes, I made a lot of them, but none fatal or the kind that get you in trouble. Now almost 29 years later what can I do to help out new agents find their way. Let's start with the way back machine to the first full year of 1990:

What I should have known then that I know now: It is easy to get sidetracked and work like a crazy person on marketing, open houses, and every kind of prospecting but there is one direction you need to go, continuing education. I would also not limit this to real estate, for sure if there is a good GRI program go for that, you will learn a lot and share information. Also read everything you can on being a business person from budgeting to marketing to what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Did I have doubts? The answer may surprise you but I did not. After dealing with banks, manufacturers, attorneys, CPAs, landlords, and of course the IRS, I saw real estate as simple. You have one on one relationships with a  buyer and seller and every successful sale is a victory. Never lose your confidence even when something goes wrong.

Your first broker can make or break you: I got a break on this. My first brokers were honest, hardworking, detailed, and took and interest in my welfare. Don't get caught up with some of the cult like mentality especially with a franchise. It is that main broker you need to focus one. If they don't live up to  expectations then leave and find another. One warning, they are not there to spoon feed you, they are there to have your back and mentor you.

The Power of Observation: When I entered real estate I was pretty well broke, Oklahoma City was still in a deep recession, and there were more agents than listings, and sales were hard. I wanted the shortest distance between my start and my first commission so I analyzed the market. I saw that forclosures were in great supply so I sat on open houses on HUD repos for the first two years, sometimes three times a week. Look at your market and know competition is fierce but there is always a niche that is ill served.

Pride and Ego are your enemies: As I stated earlier, I was broke when I got into the business. To get the best open houses I would drive my car to the Murrah Building on a Thursday afternoon around 3 and stay in it until HUD opened the next morning to book open houses. That was the building Timothy McVeigh blew up. We had an honor system and i wasn't the only one doing this. Here I was, someone who had a 7 figure net worth before sitting in an old beater car to get an open house. Pride would have been a luxury and ego will kill any deal. 

How do you know you have made it? Most agents are going to fail for all sorts of reasons but let me give you the 30,000 foot view from someone who still has gas left in his real estate tank. I don't need awards even though I have them. I want to help new agents rather than deride them, that is why I teach a lot of real estate classes now. I care about leaving this business better than I found it so I need to do my part with others to make that happen. I understand that in ten years when people may see my picture on a wall they may say Joe Who? The joy is in not caring. For all of you who have joined this brave new world, welcome. Don't expect the road to be easy because there are many potholes along the way. Your great joy will be the journey that you have just begun.


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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Joe, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Jan 08, 2018 04:04 PM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Joe Pryor ,

You nailed this one..great advice to new agents. I love that you care about leaving this business better than you found it so you need to do your part with others to make that happen! Kudos to you!

Jan 08, 2018 07:45 PM #4
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I had a new agent a few weeks ago ask me why it would take so long to sell his first house.  this  guy was going into the profession with no idea of how it worked.

Jan 08, 2018 08:30 PM #5
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Joe.

Well sir I wish I would have had a broker like you did.  All my first brow wanted to know is how any listings or buyers I had.  In the end that broker wanted to know how much money they were going to make, not about my welfare or learning the business.  Carol Williams here you go.

Jan 09, 2018 02:11 AM #6
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Joe Pryor - I hope many new agents see this post and can learn from your wisdom. 

Jan 09, 2018 07:44 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Joe. Like you I didn't lack confidence or ever think I made a mistake. I enjoyed your story very much.

Jan 09, 2018 08:37 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Joe, why am I not surprised to hear of your success in Real Estate. You offer sage advice in this post and anyone who has an opportunity to learn from you is a lucky person. 

Jan 09, 2018 08:50 AM #9
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

The advice to find a niche is excellent. In 2005, I found my niche, short sales. I remember calling an agent at Remax and asking him how to do a short sale, and he was kind enough to give me a 15-minute recap. I took the ball and ran with it. Now I have sold more short sales in a 7-county area than any other agent in Sacramento. And those sales have brought more sales, especially as those sellers return to the market.

I don't really do short sales anymore because there aren't any. But my career has taken off.

Jan 09, 2018 02:53 PM #10
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Joe, there is much good advice here. You had to work hard and failing was not an option. Those HUD open houses were not the thing in my area so I find that somewhat fascinating.

Jan 09, 2018 07:02 PM #11
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

What a great post, Joe... it was like you were reading my mind or accompanying me on my journey in the real estate world for the past 25 years.

Jan 10, 2018 01:53 PM #12
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Joe, there is so much truth in this post and I saw myself in much of what you wrote.. I could comment on every one of your paragraphs. Thank you!

Jan 10, 2018 05:54 PM #13
Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149
K1 Realty Group - Miramar, FL
No Compromise When it Comes to Our Clients!

Joe Pryor I enjoyed reading your article, hearing your testimony and great tips for new agent

Jan 12, 2018 08:21 PM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Smart new agent will follow your path to great success.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Jan 13, 2018 03:04 PM #15
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

joe, great advice to new agents. Enjoyed reading this post and how you succeeded. I like the last sentence here...

"Don't expect the road to be easy because there are many potholes along the way. Your great joy will be the journey that you have just begun."

Jan 15, 2018 12:54 PM #16
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Great advice Joe Pryor Wise words and they reflect a lot of my mentality.  I am starting a new company and have hired a newly licensed agent and will share this with Lindsey Haden 

We will begin marketing MACH1 Realty as soon as the final papers are finished on the LLC.  Please wish Lindsey well in the future once she starts blogging!!

Jan 16, 2018 07:39 AM #17
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The first brokerage is the key to one's success. My wife worked at this place years ago and some agents are still there. I had the unfortunate experience to learn location location and cultural is the key to one's success.  Actually I am the only one survived. The secrete is find a better office and quality realtors.

Jan 16, 2018 04:38 PM #18
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Joe Pryor - You consistently share the gift of who you are in the most positive way. Your stories always makes me sit up and pay attention. I hope new agents are too. When I got to the part about the Murrah Building I got shivers up and down my spine. Joe, I'm convinced you were born to live a full life, walk beaches, travel to many lands, sell Real Estate and have a life partner who supports and loves you very much. What a blessing!

Anyone in Real Estates travels many miles. Yes! They cross many bridges and fall into many potholes too. But you always keep your head up. With that great head on your shoulders you went from broke to riches yet you never let it get to your head. At one time you were on deaths bed and then you were soaring, slaying the Real Estate Market in a very good way. So many people have you to thank. You'll never hear all those thank yous. But you can be proud of your accomplishments. Life is not over. You still have a long,  long, long way to go. Wishing you all of life's blessings. 


Jan 17, 2018 02:01 PM #19
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

What a wonderful post. I totally agree with your points, especially the one about selecting the right realtor up front.

As for 46 homes in your first year, wow. That is all I can say.

Jan 20, 2018 03:32 AM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joe

I really enjoyed reading this. There are some valuable lessons for new agents here.


Jan 21, 2018 08:08 AM #21
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Beautifully and honestly stated Joe. Real estate is not instant coffee, more like a slow brew! Love your quote: "Pride would have been a luxury and ego will kill any deal." 

Jan 21, 2018 04:10 PM #22
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Joe Pryor

REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties
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