Fixin' To Get Cooked In The Squat

Real Estate Agent with 1st Action Real Estate
I was inspired by Lenn  Harley's recent post "Get Out Of Bed And Go To Work In The Morning, Even If It's Just Down The Hall" . In it, Lenn gives us ten ways for Realtors to get back in touch with the basics of our business and how to weather the current housing market. But of the 10 excellent suggestions Lenn makes, they all fall apart if we don't do the first one - get out of bed and go to work in the morning even if it's just down the hall.

Real estate isn't the right job for a lot of people, even though a lot of people seem to think it is. If you're not a self-starter, if you can't motivate yourself and monitor your own activity - then this might not be the business for you. Many of us got into the business because it affords us a certain degree of freedom and flexibility. We can set our own hours, if we need time off we take it, if we need more money we make it, if we prefer to wear Hawaiian shirts instead of suits (one of my top motivations) we can. 

But all that comes with a price - discipline. If you lack it - you will fail, it's just that simple. As Lenn notes in her post, be prepared to put in at least the same amount of time you would on a regular job - at least 10 hours a day including travel time. If you work 6 days a week, just look at it like overtime. If you work 7 days a week you'll soon have more business than you know what to do with - even in this market. Or maybe especially in this market - since so many agents are just laying around the office pissing and moaning about how bad the market is. That's why my office is so great - if there's any talking going on it's me talking to myself and, as they say out on the range - 'never is heard a discouraging word.'  

And I was reminded of a story I heard years ago from that old master motivator himself, Zig Ziglar. Zig would tell the story about growing up in Yazoo City, Mississippi. "we lived next door to some rich folks. I know they were rich because they not only had a cook, but the cook had something to cook. In the 1930's that was a sure sign of wealth. I was there for lunch one day, as I tried to be most every day. On this occasion, the cook brought out a pan of biscuits. Since they were no thicker than a silver dollar, I asked, "Maude, what happened to those biscuits?" She reared back, laughed, and said, "Well, those biscuits squatted to rise, but they just got cooked in the squat."

If you've ever watched scratch biscuits cook, you know the first step is they kinda settle out a little - squat down as it were, before they rise up and get all golden brown delicious. But how many of us get cooked in the squat? How many of us are 'fixin to' rise up and do something, knock on some doors, call some past clients, do an open house, and never get past that 'fixin to' stage? Or we're 'fixin to' do something when everything is just right. We're 'fixin to' do an open house but it's a little cloudy today, probably nobody will be out. We're 'fixin to' call some past clients but it's too early or too close to lunch time or Oprah's on so the people are probably busy, or out, or or or. We squat down to rise but get cooked in the squat. 

You've heard the term 'analysis paralysis'. In my previous life in the corporate world we saw that a lot. People can get too much information these days and mistake the safety of gathering information for real action. We do need to know our local market cold, but we also need to get out and communicate that knowledge to other people. Just knowing it all ourselves doesn't pay the rent. Knowing everything about our market but doing nothing is no more effective than knowing nothing. 

Truth be told, even the guy who knows nothing will do better because at least he's out there doing something. How mant times have you asked youself "Who on their right mind would do business with that guy"? Yeah, but they're out there doing business aren't they? Which is more than the guy sitting at the office computer all day who knows every house for sale in 3 states and has the caffeine buzz to prove it. 

Success is not a destination, it's a journey. It's the direction in which you are traveling.
                                                            Zig Zlglar
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
                                                            Benjamin Disraeli
You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
                                                            Somebody Smart

Well, at least that's my $.02 worth. I could be wrong.
Gene Wunderlich - Selling Southwest California Homes including Temecula, Murrieta & The Southern California Wine Country
subscribe to my blog

Remember, Don't wait to buy real estate - Buy real estate and wait.
' Fixin' To Get Cooked In The Squat'
The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich's personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of SRCAR/GADBLOG, ActiveRain, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, The Valley Business Journal or any local or state government or other mental institution.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 03/01/2009 12:42 AM
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
The Lounge at Active Rain
Dedicated Bloggers
The Optimist
zig ziglar
real estate
gene wunderlich
cooked in the squat

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

Hi Gene, At first I thought you must be a Texan or from elsewhere in the South.  But now I'm thinking you got your colorful language from Zig.  I wrote a short post about your post before I went to bed last night. :-)

Mar 01, 2009 01:47 AM #42
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Gene - Great post - very true and inspirational.  It all starts with positive thinking and goal setting I believe. In turn, that creates action and being proactive.  Taking action steps creates results !  Lenn's post was a great one too and I love how you added those quotes.  I love Zig Ziglar too !

Mar 01, 2009 02:29 AM #43
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

What a fun post! It is amazing how all the people that get "lucky" in this business are also the hard-workers! I am "fixin to" call some clients today- even on a Sunday! I loved your quotes, they are some of my favorites.

Mar 01, 2009 02:42 AM #44
Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

It is hard to keep going when you dont have anything tangible to work on. But if you give up you will never succeed

Mar 01, 2009 03:15 AM #45
Lisa Udy
Platinum Real Estate Group - Logan, UT
Logan Utah Realtor


Great post. You have to be disciplined to do well in this business. If you are not able to motivate your self into action you will have a hard time being successful.


Mar 01, 2009 03:28 AM #46
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

First off - I grew up in Southern Colorado and now live in Southern California. That's as much Southern as I've got in me.  Though I speak relatively unaccented English, I can slip into some version of the old south pretty easily. I remember reading a book back about 30+ years ago about the myth of the slow Southerner. Easterners, and especially New Yorkers, tend to take you much less seriously if you speak with a Southern Accent. So while they're busy chuckling about how dumb you are, you can outflank them and hand them their head while they're still laughing. It does work.

Krisit - another old favorite saying - maybe Zig too, the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Shirley - you can't read or hear a Zig story without picking up some accent just by osmosis. Talking about gettin cooked in the squat just doesn't have the same affect when spoken in a high-falutin English accent.

Christianne - while our statewide agent count has dropped about 15%, locally we are addding more than we drop. We do a new Realtor orientation every 2 months and we consistently have 150 - 200 new mouth breathers in attendance. We budgeted for a 15% drop last year and ended up maintaining our count. We budgeted for another 15% drop this year and are already running ahead of that. Of course our region also posted record sales last year. Our prices are off 50+% but our sales were 3 times what they were in 2007 and higher than any of the previous 5 years.

Bruce & Mary - always gotta take a little time for yourselves. If you don't relax and recharge the batteries every so often you can't keep up the pace or the focus. Reminds me of the old woodcutter story - but I'll save that for another time.

JB - multi-tasking is vital. We've all seen the agent who gets ONE place in escrow and life grinds to a halt until that one closes - no prospecting , no letters, no nothing. The it closes and they have to start all over again on the next one. Keep a couple balls in the air at all times. The more the merrier.

Kelly - keep it up. Once it starts to fall into place you'll be busier than a one armed paper hanger.

Mar 01, 2009 04:10 AM #47
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

Cool post!  And I love the orange poppies on your page!

I completely agree that we do need to get out there and show ourselves to be in the game!  And hard work in this market goes A LONGGGGGGG WAY!!!

Mar 01, 2009 04:48 AM #48
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Cooked in the squat.  I just had to stop by and find out what the meant, and I'm glad I did.

Mar 01, 2009 05:22 AM #49
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy there Gene

I sure do know what ya mean, seen that I'm a Southern from the Grand State of Missouri. I'm always haven folk's say, you are not from here are you. But ones they get to know me, they find me to be a good guy, that know's what he is talken about. I lived up in the Mountain's of Colorado for a few years. Real fine country.

Home Inspecror

Mar 01, 2009 05:30 AM #50
Monica Bourgeau
Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Great post, I agree, if you want to succeed in real estate, you have to take it seriously and dedicate the time.

Mar 01, 2009 06:47 AM #51
Dee Nofziger
|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog - Toledo, OH
Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty

The best thing about real estate? You get to be your own boss.

The worst thing about real estate? You have to be your own boss.

Mar 01, 2009 07:36 AM #52
Dan Magstadt
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc - Lake City, FL

Very good post Gene - The first step is to get off your butt & get to work!! This will produce results!

Best, Dan

Mar 01, 2009 08:29 AM #53
Kristina Yorke ~ FL FHA Mortgage Expert - Saint Petersburg, FL

This is the hardest part of my job since I too work from home but also the biggest luxury.  It does take a certain person with the right mind frame.

Great quotes and thanks for your .02 cents worth =)

Mar 01, 2009 11:54 AM #54
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Good Post Gene, I have found that most stop looking for work when they find a job. For all the reasond mentioned is the reason I love being a Realtor.

Mar 01, 2009 12:08 PM #55
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Just listen to any farmer or any rancher and listen to their work ethic.  Are they getting up at 8am?  I think not....  Are they done at 5pm....?  I think not.  Spend a day with any farmer or rancher and it will change your life and increase your income substantially..........

Mar 01, 2009 12:50 PM #56
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I think it was Woody Allen who said that 90% of success is showing up.

Mar 01, 2009 01:11 PM #57
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

Dale - thanks for the clarification. From your photo you don't look like what I'd expect from New Hampshire or Vermont - but there's a little of the South in all of us I think. It's a good thing.

Dee - you got it. Some days he's the nicest guy oin the world - other days he's a cranky ole SOB. Gotta love him though.

Tim - those biys are some of the hardest workers around and they're still at the mercy of nature. They can work 20 hours a day and if the weather don't cooperate it's all for naught. At least if we work 20 hours a day we can expect some decent results - hopefully.

J. I dpon't know who said that but he was right on the money.

Mar 02, 2009 01:47 AM #58
Anne Bourne
StagingWorks - Toronto, ON

Thanks for this.  I'm a home stager and I needed the inspiration.  I'm cold calling today and boy do I hate it.  I took a break to visit active rain and I'm glad I did.  Okay, back to the phone.  Wish me luck.

Mar 02, 2009 04:55 AM #59
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

Good luck. There may be more effective ways to prospect than cold calling but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the next - it works. It's just a numbers game. A friend of mine was building his business years ago and was a Mike Ferry fanatic so cold calling was a major part of his day. He figured out how much he wanted to make, how many deals it took to make it, how many appointments to get a deal and how many calls to get an appointment. Thereafter, every call became worth XX amount of money and every NO brought him closer to the money call so he could face rejection with a smile on his face (and in his voice) because he had the numerology down cold. He eventually drove off the Long Beach pier but... No that's not true. Today he owns his own ERA brokerage and has been very successful for years. charicuela

Mar 02, 2009 05:42 AM #60
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Gene,

Lenn is a wealth of knowledge. Listen to her and you will go far in this business! Good Luck and get busy!



May 02, 2009 01:31 AM #61
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Gene Wunderlich

Realtor & Legislative Liaison
Ask me a question

Additional Information