June marks my seventh year in real estate! This is hard to believe, as it feels like just yesterday when I received my letter from the Manitoba Securities Commission! Although in this time I have had two babies, received my MBA in Marketing from the University of Manitoba, bought and sold my own home, become an aunt two times over, and got my broker’s license. So I guess more time has passed than I realize! Anyways, to commemorate this anniversary, I thought I would put together a list of the seven things I have learned in my seven years in real estate:
1. Real estate is a relational business, not a transactional business
People truly don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. For the first few years of my career, I was so focused on being professional. Rigid would be a good way to define my personality in the early days. Sorry to these clients, it must have been very boring to work with me! Realizing that you can be professional while also being personable was a game changer. Now, sharing my life with my clients, as they share their lives with me has made my job much more enjoyable, and resulted in many long-lasting relationships!
2. There are two ways to build the tallest building in town
I know, this sounds weird, but there are two ways to look at business: 1. You can tear down all of the businesses around you to become the tallest building, or; 2: You can just build the tallest building. This can be a tough industry as my colleagues or friends within the business are often my competition, and an industry set up such as this can lead to dissension amongst peers and sometimes downright dirty tactics to obtain clients. But karma exists. Always choose to build the taller building.
3. Build a solid team around you
Amy started with me after my first year in the business. It helped that she had some knowledge and experience already in real estate. However, had she not, recruiting her still would have been an easy decision. You see, I truly believe that anything can be taught. However, character cannot be learned. So build your team with quality people that want to see you succeed, and the rest can be figured out as you go! As we have continued to grow the team, and form partnerships with others, this strategy has remained at the forefront and it has not steered us wrong yet!
4. Communication is Key!
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. A lot of the time silence is mistaken for inactivity. Whether it be good news, bad news, or even no news, keep in touch with your clients! Sometimes it may be uncomfortable, but people will appreciate you for making the call.
5. Honesty is the best policy
For most people, a home will be the largest asset they ever own. So be honest in your dealings with the public. Throughout the buy and sell process there are a lot of questions and decisions that will come up, so delivering truthful information is key so that buyers and sellers can make informed decisions. Sometimes the truth isn’t what people want to hear, and delivering it can be painful. But your clients and fellow Realtors will thank you for it in the end.
6. Education is paramount
Goodness, the things that I didn’t know when I started are scary to me. But the only way to learn is to latch onto every education opportunity you can find. Whether it be following a home inspector around, to tricking other Realtors to go for lunch with me so that I could pick their brain, to enlisting in webinars from other Realtors, to reading a new book, to enrolling in courses (online and offline), or to deciding to take up an MBA in marketing mid-career, there is an abundance of things that we can all learn. Always be willing to share your knowledge and education with others as well.
7. Trust that life usually works intelligently
Over prepare then go with the flow. If things don’t seem to work out at first, there is usually a good reason for it. Things will inevitably go sideways. Buyers will get declined for financing, home inspections will fail, you will have clients get outbid on a property. But after doing this for several years, I have learned that if it is meant to be, it will be.
Looking back, it all seems like it went by so fast! It has been quite a ride, many happy and hilarious memories have been made, and many life milestones achieved. I wouldn’t have it any other way and can’t wait to see what the next seven years will bring!