Doing the Little Things
Deciding whether or not to become a real estate agent can be a difficult decision. Many agents don’t start out in real estate but come to the profession after attempts at other careers didn’t work out and the lure of working for yourself becomes too tempting. I wrote for a newspaper for six years and have degrees in journalism and history, so real estate was not on my radar until six months ago. After losing my job with the newspaper in 2009, I floated around for another six years doing part time work because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I considered going back to school for another degree, going into technical writing and starting my own writing business. All of these ideas sounded great at first but as time went by, the passion fizzled and I was back to square one. Also, applying for hundreds of jobs and never hearing back can get very tedious and heartbreaking not to mention stressful.
So one night while me and my wife were lying in bed, we were brainstorming on what I could do to take control of my situation. She said if she wasn’t a teacher, she always thought being a real estate agent would have been a fun career. No light bulb went off in my brain, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize this is a career I could really see myself in. Showing houses, selling houses, meeting great people and making fat commission checks would be awesome. Just like on the TV, right?
Well, after my first three months training, I realized that these television shows aren’t exactly showing all sides to real estate. They don’t show agents writing thank you notes, working the phones, knocking on stranger’s doors and working open houses. Now, I’m sure this wouldn’t make for enticing television viewing, but I felt a little mislead. Where are my palatial mansions to show and happy customers to take to fancy lunches?
The reality is, six months in, I have yet to sell a house or have someone buy a house through me. I have had nibbles and bites but nothing substantial of yet. What I have had though, is the experience of getting into the nuts and bolts of real estate and finding out what makes a good agent, which is invaluable knowledge. I have learned from fellow agents and brokers that the little things are what matters, not the splashy sales you make or the money that comes in.
Writing notes and making people feel valued is what matters in the long run. The little things like following up with interested leads and offering your services without asking for anything in return are what people will remember, not whether or not you sold eight houses in your first year. Don’t get me wrong, sales are what puts food on the table but if you don’t treat people right and let them know they are important, your business will dry up.
So while a camera probably won’t be following me as I make another call, I know that these are the little things that add up to big things.