One of my most popular posts on this blog is “I Used to Be a Pure Romance Consultant, Ask Me Anything.” Not a day goes by that I don’t receive a phone call to see if I still am in or a request to go back into the direct sales business. I must have been doing something right if a year and a half after I quit, I still have people wanting to book parties with me. And I loved that job so much. I remember the day I decided to switch things over from being a direct sales consultant and part time office assistant to being a full time realtor. There were a lot of tears that day, and I was genuinely worried that this new realtor job was never going to be as fulfilling and fun as “slingin’ dilders” as I used to say.
My first 4 months in my real estate job were desolate. I was working my tail off but I felt like I was just treading water. I was freaking out! The sales and the listings were just not coming, and I felt like I had made a huge mistake in leaving my direct sales job. In a moment of madness, I seriously considered getting a part time job and calling it a day. Then Spring came. And with Spring, the buyers and the sellers came. A few clients trickled in to the office in the rhythm of ice sickles slowly melting after the winter frost. And then there was a waterfall. It was insane. All these people to work with, to show houses to, to sell houses for. I invested my time, my heart, and my sanity into every one of them so that they would never have to worry about anything during the transaction.
I remember one young lady Facebook messaging me during “the dark days” and asking my advice about joining the business. I went on this long winded tangent about all the hard work you have to put in in the beginning and the coin toss of actually getting anywhere with it. Feeling bad at the end of my tirade, I encouraged her to try me again at the end of the year and see how I’m doing. Nikki, I am doing great now. Just took some hard work, patience, and time. After a year in, I have picked up on a few things about being in the business of selling homes. Little tidbits of wisdom from a kid who went all in and decided failure was not an option.
- The more you come into the office and actually work, the more successful you’ll be. Even if you don’t have anything going on that day, you should still come in. Putting in the hours makes you available to phone calls, emails, and walk-in customers that could eventually become clients.
- You are going to have crap days, push through them and promise yourself tomorrow will be better. There are only two people on this Earth who will ever know how hard this job has been for me to break in to: my mom and my Tim. My mom knows better than anybody. After 13 years in the real estate business, she has seen the highs and the lows. I ran into a former realtor today while pumping gas who noticed my company face plate on the front of my car. He told me he just decided to quit during the recession. I watched my mom work hard, cry, fight, and come out ever the better during that recession. I learned from the best that the bad days have to come with the good days, and the good days are beyond worth working for.
- Keep a smile on your face, whether you like it or not. Mom and I work in close quarters. If one of us is not doing so hot, it rubs off on the other and then both of us are responding badly to high pressure situations. But if one of us can smile through it, it usually gets to the frumpy one and then we are both plugging away and being so chipper that you’d think we are in a Disney movie. And those days usually are our best ones business wise. And it’s true what they say about “smile and the world smiles with you.” On the days I am happy and excited, my clients are too.
- Don’t neglect family and friends, but know when work has to come first. I will get calls on my days off, and I will have someone that has to see a house that very day. I schedule the appointment, throw on some presentable clothes, and I go to it. You work hard, you get stuff done, no excuses. Luckily, I was brought up in a family with a realtor mom. There were some nights where she would be home early and there were some nights she wouldn’t be home until about 8 or 9 o’clock because her job came first some days. But she was there for every big event in my life. Never missed a thing. She was able to find a perfect balance between work and personal life. Tim and I have adopted a rule called Phones Off night. We both turn our phones off and just have an us night. When I get home, I can check my messages and make calls or send emails but for that moment, my total attention is on my sweetie.
- Every one is a future client. I have known realtors who will blow off a potential client because they weren’t client potential in the now. I work every single thing that comes through my inbox or my phone. Just because someone may not be ready to take that big step in life right now, they could be one day. And maybe they NEVER will take that step with me. But I made up my mind a long time ago that this job would pay the bills and hopefully set me up on a bright future, however, that’s not the main reason I chose the job. I chose it to help people. I chose it to meet people and forge relationships that would go beyond the transactions I work on and become great friendships that are fulfilling. I have several great friends I have met through being a realtor who will probably never be able to work with me directly, mainly because they’re outside of my region. But I am always going to be there for them to help whenever I can when it comes to answering questions or needing help with anything life throws at them. As cheesy as it sounds, I am not in the house business, I am in the people business.
After one year, I have learned so much. I am not done learning yet, though. The next few years are going to be big, though, I can really tell. I owe so much to my mom who is also my mentor, and to my partner in life Tim who makes me feel better on the bad days and celebrates with me on the good ones. I owe so much to my clients who put their faith in me, despite my age and lack of experience in the beginning. They have made everything worthwhile to me. I look forward to the people I am yet to meet, the houses I am yet to see, and the lessons I am ready to learn. Here’s to one heck of a year. 🙂