I have been a Greater Sacramento Realtor for 36 years. I made the choice to enter this profession for a couple reasons. (1) As a woman, I wanted to find a profession where gender was not a handicap. I wanted to be compensated for the service I provided and not penalized for being female. (2) I had owned homes in the past, and had become fascinated with the home buying and selling process.
What do I wish I would have known the first year that cost me business?
When challenged to remember things I wish I had known my first year in real estate that could have cost and lost business income, I really couldn’t recall any. I was exceptionally fortunate when first licensed back in 1981. I had chosen an office with about a dozen really experienced agents. They took me under their wing and contributed to my being successful. I will be forever grateful to all of them. If I had been elsewhere, I do not know if I would have quickly learned to network with people within my community, or create effective market materials. I doubt I would have had the rapid quick start. I also believe new agents have an advantage when they associate with a brand name (or big box) company. While I currently work with an independent brokerage, my first office, a Century 21 office, provided excellent training and marketing tools. These are essential to early success.
Did I ever question my choice of career? Why I stuck with it?
Have I ever questioned whether I made the right choice of being a real estate professional? Not once! There can be stressful times in our profession, and there are often long hours. However, there is the opportunity to forge lasting relationships while assisting home buyers and sellers in their real estate needs. I especially enjoy witnessing the joy first time homebuyers experience when purchasing their first home. That said, it is important to understand real estate is a cyclic business. In the course of my 36 years as a Realtor, this country has experienced 3 significant downturns. These events are a cautionary tale about the importance of setting aside funds during good times to weather depressed cycles.
What three things have I learned that have affected me positively?
(1) The real estate profession is an ever changing landscape. Continuing education is vitally important in staying current with the evolutionary process. Computer and tech skills are an especially vital business tool. It’s important to learn and utilize these tools to best advantage.
(2) I have learned to build on what has already been built. Stay in contact with past clients. They are a strong link to future growth of your business.
(3) We cannot close transactions alone. Each sale takes a battery of auxiliary professionals to successfully close. These include mortgage lenders, title people and inspection services. Any one entity among these can create havoc if their professionalism is weak. Maintain ties to strong professionals, who can assist in bringing your transactions to a successful close.