Hey new agents, take a little advice from my experience

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

The thing I wished I'd known:  reaching out to other agents. I spent a lot of time tryi8ng to figure things out that other people had already figured out. ActiveRain is a great resource for that.

And while I can't say that I ever really spent a lot of time questioning if I should have gotten in this business early in my career I certainly did during the crash.  I was making a mortgage payment on a new office and I was pulling money out of my 401K to keep a child in college and I had a little envy of my friends with better income in those years and still putting money in their retirement account.  But I learned more about saving and I learned more about putting away from a rainy day and I learned I didn't really need all those cable channels.

I have thought about this all month long and I did some things right and other things wrong.  But the three things I've learned and think would be helptul to you ...  I'm going to start with what I did right.  The best thing I did and suggest new agents do is go to work for the right kind of broker. What you ask, is the right kind of broker?  Well many might say one who doesn't "compete", but I believe you should work for a broker who is still in the trenches and has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in the industry as a whole and on the local market. 

The broker I went to work for still did about one personal deal a month, but gave leads that came into the office to the agents that worked for him. He worked just prior clients and his sphere of influence.  He had enough time and did take me under his wing to learn the business through example.  I got to accompany him on listing appointments, watch him prepare for showings and see how he communicated with people during the process of buying and selling.

When I started to take on clients of my own he was there to guide me. If I made a mistake he gently guided me back to the best way.  He embraced what was new in the industry and held on to what was right in the industry. No one in our market had websites when I started and all agents were working for sellers as direct or sub-agents of sellers.  When things changed in 1994 with agency in Georgia he was on board with representing buyers and other firms were soon gone as they didn't understand how they could work FOR a buyer.   He was an educator and trainer and having a broker who believes in continuing to learn in this industry is key to success.

Other brokers in my market believe in quantity not quality.  They simply were looking to collect as many "desk fees" as possible and not available and new agents flounder and many fizzle out after a short time.  So the number one thing I advise is the right kind of broker. I believe that is key to a successful career.  I am grateful for my former broker/mentor more than I could ever express.

The second bit of advice I'll give took me years to develop the right balance. It's emotion.  This is a very emotional business.  People WILL get angry with you and people will take out emotional stress on  you. It took me a long time to find the balance of dealing with it and not passing it on to my family when I would get home at the end of a day where people got angry with me.

Sellers will get angry when their home doesn't sell, sellers will angry when their counter isn't accepted and buyers move on, buyers will get angry when they are outbid. None of these things are within your control and you can NOT take that anger personally.

However, you cannot approach people who are emotional about buying and selling without being a compassionate and understanding listener. You cannot be without emotion and you cannot tell them they are not entitled to have the feelings they are feeling.

Last year my sellers included:

  • a former agent in declining health wanting to get his wife in place she will be able to live alone
  • the widow of an agent who died
  • the son I met just before his mom passed away and she was a close enough friend we'd had thanksgiving together the year prior
  • a surviving co-owner with the children of her deceased partner's who were asses
  • a couple no longer able to take care of home she'd built with her first husband and lived in for nearly 3 decades
  • a son handling his parents estate (his parents were my former neighbors)
  • a couple who moved and then the contract failed and they were frustrated of having an empty lake house
  • a couple moving to take care of aging parents
  • the brother of dear friend who died after a length battle with cancer 20 years after he was my buyer.

So can you tell from that list that my last year was filled with emotional sellers. I had to be very compassionate and I also had to battle my demon of depression that can come from being a very compassionate person and lot let it affect my general well being.

My advice for finding your balance is to learn to be a compassionate person without letting the emotions of this business get to you. For you it may be a tough workout at the gym or talking to a friend over coffee.  My secret is the lake.  I can do and sit on a dock and just let the waves of calm take over my mind and wash away the feelings and getting on with things.  But there will be emotional people. You have to find your own way to deal with it or it will burn you out and eat you up.

My last bit of advice for a new agent is 2 part.  A- Tell everyone you know and people you don't know you're in the real estate business.  Talk to strangers in line at the super market about real estate, talk to people in FB groups about real estate, talk to people you meet at social gatherings about real estate. But also listen.  This business isn't about selling houses so much as it's about people.  People want it to be about THEM. You have to learn to listen and let it be about them.  B- Don't get your feelings hurt when your friend does not hire you. (this one was also difficult for me to embrace) Your friends will want to ask you advice and then not hire to represent them. And sometimes it's best for your friendship if that's exactly what happens. 

But you can't terminate friendships because people don't work with you.  Consider if you have two friends who are mortgage brokers and you buy a new house and get a mortgage that you can't use both of them.  Should one terminate your friendship because you didn't hire them?

I'm also going to toss in a bonus #4 tidbit.  You are obviously on ActiveRain if you are reading this... my bonus tidbit is to embrace it.  Make friends who can help you through the emotional crap, learn from others who have walked in your shoes, read, comment and make friends here. ActiveRain changed my business at a time when the market was crap. I have learned some of the best marketing strategies, tips, tools and current industry information here and I believe with all my heart it helped me survive the crash.  Make time to be here and you won't regret it.  

 

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Rainmaker
1,363,270
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

lol at the noob that said 'embrace it'. Yeah, we'll see as that will be one of the toughest things you'll do in your lifetime.  Congrats on the feature.

Jan 26, 2018 10:13 AM #31
Rainmaker
337,806
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Tammy, you gave us some great advice in your post.

New or seasoned agents will benefit from your encouragement.

Selecting the right Broker is very important.

Thanks

Jan 26, 2018 02:23 PM #32
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Tammy

I really enjoyed this but especially liked the focus on the emotions that inevitably come along in this business, whatever the source.

My first broker was fabulous and WAS in the business. Not only was he a great mentor but I teamed up with him on a couple of transactions and it was a great learning experience.

Jeff

Jan 26, 2018 02:32 PM #33
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Richie Alan Naggar I try.

Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker it makes a world of difference

William McClain yeah I know a few "people collectors", can't say I'm a fan of the business model, but in the end I only worry about my bucket of rocks.

Jan 26, 2018 08:06 PM #34
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD well I wish I could say it was planned or by design, but what it was ... dumb luck when I got mad one day and quit the job I had before real estate and walked into his office because of a want ad for a secretary.

Lillie Painia, ABR, NHC, TAHS it many matters when it comes to contracts you have to go to a broker, but for so much other agents are great to help you think of something you might not have on your own.  I've learned so much from a few small groups of agents I'm in on line and even call and ask other local brokers their opinions sometime.

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® I don't think I would be a stronger broker in that scenario.   But different things work for different people.

Jan 26, 2018 08:16 PM #35
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Thanks Sharon Tara 

Lyn Sims thanks.  You know... I'm on year #26 and last year was one of the most difficult for me emotionally.  Two of those estate sales not only were former buyers, but dear dear friends and a third also a close friend. I have learned to handle everyone else's emotions, but find I still sometimes have trouble with my own.... But that's another blog post.

Jan 26, 2018 08:19 PM #36
Ambassador
2,702,875
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

John Wiley made a world of difference for me to have a really great mentor/broker

Jeff Dowler like you working under/with mine was some great hands on education.  When he retired I bought his firm and have strived to keep the great reputation it had when he handed me the keys.   Last year I struggled with that list of sellers.  Three were such close friends, but at the end of each deal I felt I'd given it my best and it was successful 

Jan 26, 2018 08:25 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,160,242
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

What a wonderful post! I do think selecting the right brokerage right off the bat can be very helpful in making it in this business (or not). I agree with everything else you mentioned also!

Jan 27, 2018 03:26 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,602,315
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Tammy, I'm happy to see your post featured. Cautioning people not to let emotions get out of hand and affect you is a super important point, as are the others. This is an emotional business, and taking care of yourself has to be #1.

Jan 27, 2018 07:34 AM #39
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Kat Palmiotti made a world of difference in my career.  I feel like not only did I learn to be a good agent, I learned to be a good leader, team player and broker.

Lottie Kendall I've seen agents just lose it over something totally out of their control and to a point it affected their physical health.  I am a pretty emotional person and I really know how difficult it is to find the balance of compassion that i think is necessary and personal stability and well being. I think feeling personal vulnerable to said emotional distress over "real estate" helps me to keep others from being overwhelmed by it.

Jan 27, 2018 04:38 PM #40
Rainmaker
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Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

A great post and a constant reminder for all of us ... New and "Old" -- or should I say "Mature" Agents ... Congratulations on the FEATURE!  Well deserved!

Jan 27, 2018 10:06 PM #41
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

This is a beautiful post that comes from within Tammy. Avoid taking things personal and controlling emotions are two things that some people just cannot master and can alienate people. Like you, I am an emotional person who feels too deeply at times but through the years, I have learned how to tamp it down from the best, thankfully! Happy 26th Business Anniversary to you!

Jan 28, 2018 10:29 AM #42
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Diana Dahlberg I resemble that remark.  LOL  Mature is such a great word for it too.

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! I think the best in the business are emotional to a point, but that control and not in front of the client has to be mastered.  Not always easy, but (heavy sigh) a must.

Jan 28, 2018 12:45 PM #43
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Fabulous post, Tammy! And, I have to agree - that 'marketing' group of 'rogue' agents...saved the lot of us! 

Jan 28, 2018 09:16 PM #44
Ambassador
2,702,875
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Debe Maxwell, CRS and created some very treasured friendships as well.

Jan 28, 2018 09:29 PM #45
Rainmaker
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You write a great list for any new agent to consider.  I'm going to copy your link and send it to my daughter who is getting her license in a different state than you and I.  Great post Tammy! 

Jan 30, 2018 07:08 AM #46
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Makes me happy that you think it's good enough to want your daughter to read Jan Green .  Thanks so much.

Jan 30, 2018 08:43 AM #47
Rainmaker
449,825
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

There's so much we can learn from each other, Tammy. Congratulations on being one of twelve posts selected to be among the best by the ActiveRain staff. Well deserved!

Feb 10, 2018 02:59 PM #48
Ambassador
2,702,875
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Thanks Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS it was a nice surprise, I read lots of great entries.

Feb 10, 2018 05:17 PM #49
Rainmaker
2,437,245
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Congratulations on the Feature Tammy! This was a great entry for Debbie's fun contest. 

Feb 13, 2018 07:55 PM #50
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