“You should get a real job”
I have heard this quite frequently over the years ‘being a real estate agent is not a real job’. (I shudder as I write the words)
In 2010, the decision was made to become an agent. Goodness knows what I was thinking at the time. I was 40, not from #Halifax, therefore I really did not know anyone . My rolodex consisted of local real estate agents as in my previous career I sold them advertising. Really? What was I thinking?
Initially I started with a small brokerage. The broker at the time was an amazing agent, who was just not ready to direct a team and especially train a new agent. I lasted a few months until I decided I needed a mentor and training. There were at least 3 brokerages locally that I was attracted to. I decided upon one of them and never looked back.
As an agent, you wake up every morning unemployed. There is no mandatory sales training as you would have in corporate world. There is no salary, no medical plan…. no nothing. Just you, the wifi, a cell, trying to live the dream.
Sales in a corporate world will have mentorship, training and targets to reach. From the very beginning I attached myself to a top agent who I met with every 2 weeks. Whatever he said I followed religiously. If I was asked to jump, I wanted to know high I should, how long and what do I do when I am there. Every lead I was given, I latched onto like a hungry dog on a meat truck. I wanted success and didn’t want to stop at medorocity. There was a mortgage to pay and a retirement plan that I did not have in place.
Everyday when I woke up I had 3 things to accomplish without a budget.
- Lead Generate
- Follow Up — Follow UP
How in the heck do you do this with out money? My first plan of attack was to use Social Media, after all it was free. In 2012 I started my first business page on Facebook. I posted religiously and grew my profile. Referrals started trickling in. Deals were happening that allowed me to invest in marketing. I worked more than I ever did when working “for the man” 40 hrs turned into 50 and 60. I answered calls after 9pm, worked at my desk some nights till midnight. There wasn’t enough time during the week to accomplish everything that I had set out to do. Was I stressed? Yes. But… I had freedom and it was my choice.
In 2013 my mentor had sold the brokerage and changed career paths. I panicked as I valued his mentorship. I quizzed him on what my next move should be, he said Sandra “get a coach” so naturally I did. My philosophy was, if Tiger Woods has a coach, I should too, otherwise how in the heck will I know what to do. The commitment was made to attend 2 seminars a year and speak with my coach for 30 minutes each week.
Each year I have grown my business by 26% or more. Time management I was soon able to get under control by hiring the best assistant ever. I was able to time block when I saw clients, become pragmatic when homes were to be listed and I was able to schedule a development day each week. My entire business became systematic with a personal touch. I went from doing 15 transactions the first year to a total of 60 plus per year as time progressed. My best year was in 2017, I completed 81. For 2019, I suspect to do the same. To reference this, there are currently 1300 agents in the city of #Halifax. There has been YTD 5997 transactions, meaning the average agent is completing 4.6 deals per year.
Do I have a real job? I would like to think that it is more real than most. A business was built without any foundation. I have been able to employee 2 full time staff for the past 3 years and develop a team of 6 agents. I have spoken internationally at conferences to audiences of 6000 agents.I became a video influencer. As well the first agent in the world to use Messenger on their Facebook for websites.
For those of you who think we are just sales people, we are from it. Each day we have to be innovative and not afraid of hearing the word “no” Perseverance. Persistence. Consistency. Key ingredients of success, is what we are made of.
Remembering one of my childhood stories, I leave you with this.
Real Estate is my #velveteenrabbit