I am a long-time player in the daily real estate game, but I try not to spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror at the roads I’ve traveled. I’m simply too busy keeping my business in the lane(s) I’m cruising down at the moment. If I could have a conversation with my younger self it would go something like this:
Older Self: Hello Younger Self, (but not too young as I was already the mother of four when bitten by the real estate bug), let’s share a hot cup of tea and a long talk about this real estate career you’re about to embark upon.
A real estate career looks glamorous from the outside, especially if you live and work in a high-end location like we do. In reality, it’s so much more than tooling around town and up and down Pacific Coast Highway in a luxury sedan. It can be uplifting; it can also bring you to your knees. Based on my experience, it is 5% glitz and glamour and 95% hard work.
Younger Self: I’m not afraid of hard work.
Older Self: That’s good, because there will be plenty of it required to succeed in this very competitive biz.
Younger Self: I’m pretty good at balancing life–four kids, big house, family, friends–(Older Self interrupts)
Older Self: Wonderful, because real estate is extremely tough to balance. It becomes more about a successful blending on most days. The hours you work will depend more on the day you’re having than the hands on the clock. Some days you leave early–some days you leave late. No two days will ever be the same. Each client and transaction will have their own unique dynamics, and their own energy. Your mission is to unravel the secret to finding your place in the mix in order to bring the transaction to a successful close.
Younger Self: Sounds intriguing. I’m not good with mundane routines anyway.
Older Self: Oh, you won’t be bored. You may be frustrated, challenged and stressed at times, but there will always be a huge element of the unknown. For some agents it is exciting and adventurous not to know when or where the next deal is coming from. For others it is an untenable situation and those agents leave the business in droves. They can’t get out fast enough. It takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude, faith and belief in one’s self to suit up, show up and not give up day after day and year after year.
Younger Self: I think I’m well-prepared for this job. I’ve bought and sold several houses, I’m a former teacher and I look forward to educating consumers rather than be a pushy real estate salesperson.
Older Self: There is no way to prepare for this job, yet everything you’ve ever done will add to your expertise. Those years writing for your high school newspaper will make ad copy easier to write and blogging will be a breeze after all those novels your wrote and never published.
Younger Self: Blogging?
Older Self: No time to explain, you’ll find out if you don’t quit.
Younger Self: I’m not a quitter.
Older Self: Good, because there will times when you question your decision.
Now back to things you’ve done and thought you’d never do again. Yearbook staff, modeling and making commercials? Those past experiences easily translate over to ad layout, and yes, you will be posting videos on Youtube–(Younger Self interrupts)
Younger Self: You what?
Older Self: Never mind, you will find out. So remember your best side and get ready for your close up. Oh, remember that statistics class you took in college and wondered if and when you would ever use it? Wonder no more.
Younger Self: This is sounding harder than I thought. Maybe I’m not ready. Should I take some more classes? Maybe get my MBA in real estate?
Older Self: You can’t learn real estate in a classroom. it simply cannot be taught. it’s learned in the trenches, in the field and at the feet of experience. You have to get out there and do it! You have to want it, work hard and enjoy the journey. Only then will it be worth it.
You’re in for a big adventure!
In closing, think back to your days as a young mother and elementary school teacher. Kids greet each day with a sense of adventure and without fear. That’s a winning approach for handling each day you spend in real estate.
Going On A Bear Hunt
Traditional, adapted by Michael Levine and Eric Litwin
We’re going on a bear hunt!
We’re gonna catch a big one.
What a beautiful day
I’m not scared.
Older Self celebrating 21 years in real estate and a 21 year friendship. We were newbie agents in 1992!