As I approach another anniversary in real estate, I always feel a sense of overwhelm as I look back and reflect on all the good that this career has brought into my life. It has taught me a variety of life lessons. I will try and highlight my favourite nine (for my nine years in this career) for now:
1.There is a solution to every problem
While the solution may not always be immediate or obvious, sometimes you just have to get creative and think outside the box. This is where difficult transactions or listings not only help us use our more creative side, but to also expand our professional toolbox.
2. Honesty is STILL and will ALWAYS BE the Best Policy!
I think I have highlighted this lesson in each of these annual blogs for the last few years, but every year it rings true for a different reason. This year, for whatever reason I decided to try and conceal in a lot of my listing presentations the fact that I was pregnant. Even though this is my third child and pregnancy has never held me back before, I would not mention anything to potential new seller clients. I thought it would give them the impression that I couldn’t do my job or was incapable of seeing things through to the end. Well guess what? I went on a huge losing streak in which for every 10 listing appointments I performed, I maybe got 1 listing. Maybe it was my lack of confidence because I felt I was hiding something, or these sellers couldn’t tell just how pregnant I was (I’m so huge with this third child), and they didn’t feel that they could ask. Either way, not being honest and upfront about the “elephant in the room” really did hurt my business for several months. The funny thing is, when I started talking to people openly about being pregnant – which was much further along in my pregnancy and when I was even larger – it turns out they didn’t care. A simple acknowledgment that I will be having a baby, that the majority of my career I have been pregnant or breastfeeding, and the fact that I have a team behind me in the event I needed them to step in, was all that these sellers needed to hear. Honesty (and openness) has always been paramount to success in this business.
3. Awards mean nothing
I swear, in sales there is an award for everything. They give them out like participation medals. Oftentimes they are used as benchmarks against your competition. They are often reflective of sales volume, but give very little insight to the quality of a business that one runs. You need to come up with your own metrics to measure what is important to you and your own business.
4. Respond but don’t React
This is an emotional business. People selling their homes often have emotional ties to their home and all the meaning it has held for them. As we become close with our clients during the process, we become emotionally invested in the outcome as well. However, the best agents tend to have an innate ability to keep those emotions under control and de-escalate any situation in an effort to keep things moving forward.
5. You are your Only Competition
I used to find myself looking to my competitors, both locally and in other markets and compare our numbers. I would track what they had done, what we had done, and see where we stand in the grand scheme of things. I would spend a lot of time doing this until one day I realized my focus was being lost on my own business. I realize now, that my competition is only myself. My daily goal is to just get a little bit better than I was yesterday. It’s that simple!
6. You either Win or you Learn
There really is no losing, in real estate or in life – unless you quit. Take each setback, each rejection, each disappointment and try and garner just one small nugget of learning from it. Use it as an ongoing feedback loop for improvement. We tend to grow more from our setbacks anyway than from our successes. So embrace them!
7. It Takes all Kinds to Make this World go ‘Round
Every year it would seem, there is one deal that just doesn’t go according to plan – or perhaps a transaction goes exactly according to plan and results in an almost too quick sale. Whatever the circumstance, I have had to learn to accept that with the volume of people I help, that not everyone is going to like me. There are people out there that simply, just aren’t my people. This was initially a tough pill to swallow – but I continuously remind myself that it is ultimately just a numbers game. If 1 person out of every 100 you help doesn’t like you, then you actually aren’t doing too bad.
8. Relationships are Paramount
To have any kind of longevity in this business, you have to form solid relationships with clients and the community in which you work. These clients will continue to refer you even in the toughest of times, and will trust your advice even in the most difficult of times. Even in a pandemic!
9. Invest in what you Believe
Logan and I have started building our own real estate portfolio. It just makes sense. As our business continued to expand and flourish, we started thinking about our investor clients and how we have watched their wealth grow through the years. We truly believe there is no better investment than real estate, and are putting our money where our mouth is and investing in rental properties. If ever we do want to retire, we will already have a nice portfolio of property that allows us to live on passive income. To anyone out there that finds they spend most of their money on daily expenses, I implore you to start setting some money aside and investing it in assets that will generate income instead. It doesn’t have to be real estate! The goal is ultimately to live off that passive income. Create a life in which you don’t need to work, but choose to work!
10. BONUS (I couldn't keep it to 9): Managing Expectations is Key
There has never been a more difficult time to sell a house than during the COVID pandemic. Not because homes weren’t selling. As it turns out, homes sold quite well and continue to do so. What was the most difficult in my experience, was managing the expectations for clients – particularly when we were in a position in which we didn’t know what we could possibly expect! I had many sleepless nights mid-March simply wondering what was going to happen – although my clients likely never knew that. At the end of the day, doing our best and demonstrating measures being taken, preparing people for what we thought could be a slower market, and providing them with the PPE equipment to keep their showings as safe as possible was all that we could do. Our weekly report cards became extra important as they included market statistics, newest recommendations from the Board and Province, and helped to keep our clients in-the-know. We had clients through the pandemic that were open and receptive to our advice, and had positive outcomes as a result. It truly was the finest compliment I have received in my career.
Next year represents my 10-year anniversary. Hard to believe! It will also represent the dawn of a new era for both Logan and I. We had always planned to have three children, as we were both one of three children growing up and enjoyed the dynamics of a family of five. So this will be the first time in my career in which our family will not have a focus on babies, but rather on toddlers and school-aged children. While we are still a few years away from having three children in school full-time, I realize it is quickly becoming a reality and that we will have even more time to focus on growing our business. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring!
Phone: (204) 797-7945