Thursday, February 25, 2016

Real Estate Professionals - What Have You Learned This Week?

Lifelong learning for your career and personal growth

There was a period of time that I was constantly searching for learning and growth opportunities. Learning by doing has always been my preference and that is not always the best method. Unless you are doing something very innovative and new learning from those who have gone before you, learning from their mistakes can save time and aggravation. My learning by doing style taught me some tough lessons.

From 1998 to 2005 I sold real estate. A lot of real estate. It was a boom time in my area and it was also a time when many companies were growing in leaps and bounds which meant they were bringing in new employees. The tech companies of the late 1990's and then the pharma companies were all planting roots in and around Boston.
My work as a real estate agent in the burbs had a sharp learning curve. Luckily I am a quick study.

18 years have passed since I had a freshly minted real estate license and since that time I have seen many agents come and go. There have also been many success stories. Mine being one of them. My first year in the business I grossed almost 100k in commissions and from year 2 on I won sales award after sales award at the big blue company where I was affiliated. My last year exclusively selling real estate I was in the top 25% of agents at that large company, which was no easy feat. Many of the other agents in the top 25% sold homes in areas that are much pricier than mine which meant I had to sell twice as much.

One lesson I learned that is still true today is that there are no shortcuts. Talking to people, showing them homes, giving them information on how you can help them get their home sold and writing contracts is what real estate agents get paid for. Lead sources come and go, stay on top of those trends but nothing will ever replace talking to people and developing relationships.

I will be very interested to watch what happens with the new company, SoloPro. The company reminds me of agents I have met (more than one) along the way who have some money to invest in starting a real estate business. Instead of talking to people those agents pay for services that they feel will bring them quick business and success. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not work. One common theme I have seen is that if the agent has not taken the time to learn the real estate business no matter how much money they throw at it it is very difficult to build a sustainable business.

It is critical to know, from talking to clients and consumers individually, what is important to them. Making assumptions about what is important to the client without seeking first to understand their unique situation is a recipe for losing clients.

What do I hope you can learn from this post? It is important to look every day for opportunities to grow and improve as a professional and as a person. Soak up everything you can from the successful agents who have gone before you and from the companies who are doing it right. Training takes time. So does trial and error. Don't get me wrong there will still be situations where you are learning as you go but by taking the time and investing in yourself by investing time in training you will cut down on the trial and error and experience real growth.

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