The phone rings and it is the daughter of a friend. Or maybe an old highschool acquaintance. Neighbor. Past client. They are interested in doing what I do. Full of energy. Almost all of them tell me they watch most of the HGTV house buying/selling/flipping/designing shows. They love looking at houses.

I have to pause and remember what I promised myself a few years ago.

When I first got into this business it wasn’t long until my old brokerage asked me to mentor new real estate agents. The same demeanor that helps me form successful working relationships with clients today led to a thought that I would be a great ambassador for new Realtors 20+ years ago. Think again.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that in 2023 they lost over 26,000* members. How does that happen? While there are some other factors (ie, selling real estate without being under the NAR umbrella, retirement, etc .. ) a reasonable assumption is an overwhelming majority of Realtors left the business in 2023 because it just wasn’t working for them.
The fact is that being successful in this sector, especially for an extended period of time, is very difficult. Income can be dependent on weather (yes, weather), interest rates, unemployment, supply and demand, government policies, and more that is largely out of your own direct control. You might think that is the same for many businesses. A home builder. A restaurant owner. A brewery. Exactly! Being a self-employed business owner (most Realtors are self-employed) is a BIG challenge.
A few years ago I realized a negative attitude like this wasn’t fair to me or the person that trusted my opinion and guidance. I started seeing people that I thought would fail become well respected successful Realtors. Despite my doom and gloom.
This led to all kinds of changes with me and how I work. If I was wrong about the people coming to me for advice on a career, what else was I doing wrong?
Back to that promise: I started listening more. Almost immediately I noticed a change in my relationship with my clients. This snowballed into being more open-minded about how I run my business.
Almost without fault, the most successful and (in my opinion) respectable people in my line of biz always have a plan, are open to changing that plan if it makes sense and most importantly they listen to their clients.
When people call me now with an interest in doing what I do, I answer their questions and then listen to them because I know I’ll always learn something.
*Source: NAR

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