Erick Huntley, MBA Candidate
Oftentimes, life provides us with challenges, some of which require life-altering decisions just to get back on track and start living life again. A number of circumstances could occur; for example, you could lose your job, lose a loved one, or you may just need a change in purpose, work, or lifestyle. There may not be a clear-cut answer to solve these problems, but one possible method for recovery is through what best-selling author, Fawn Germer, calls a reset in her newest book, Work-Life Reset. This is not simply a do-over, i.e. attempting to make a situation right, but rather start-over, that is a conscious and deliberate choice to take charge, change paths, and do whatever calls your soul.
One reset in particular may require you to change careers leading you to the decision of whether to become a real estate agent. It is important though to keep in mind that just as with a life reset, it is important to weigh your career options seriously and fully commit. Becoming a real estate agent, similar to resetting your life, requires commitment, community, and preparation to ultimately be as successful as possible.
THINK POINT #1: Are You Committed?
Whenever people are faced with decisions that alter their life path, there will be questions addressing whether or not they can achieve success. The biggest disservice you can do to yourself in this situation is to hesitate and give up due to fear and insecurity. Without taking a leap, nothing in your life will change and you may be stuck in a rut until you take the onus upon yourself to change for the better and let go of anything holding you back. Fawn Germer experienced a year of tragedies and decided to reset her life by walking 70 miles along a beach, alone with her thoughts. Initially, when the forecast showed stormy weather, she postponed her walk and postponed resetting her emotional health. The forecast ended up being wrong and her postponement resulted from a lack of commitment.
In a similar facet, you must commit to the tasks within your real estate position or else you may find success to be elusive. A key example, where many agents find that they fall short, is in the area of prospecting for new clients. It could be a fear of knowing what to say or just an aversion to being rejected and hearing the simple word “no” over and over. You cannot, though, let this be a deterrent because real estate, in a nutshell, can be a numbers game. Increasing your sales and achieving your desired profitability requires the commitment to push through rejection until you hear that magical three-letter word, yes.
In conjunction with prospecting, you must be willing to follow up with your clients in order to create a sustainable business and referral network. If you are committed to your client and promise that you will follow up with a lead or list their house, keep your promise. Maintain a calendar through a service like Outlook or Gmail to schedule appointments with your clients. There is no better way to build a referral network than being able to lean on success stories of how you were openly communicating with your client to produce an optimal outcome. Another opportunity to follow up occurs when your client chooses to go another direction to work with a different real estate agent. In order to improve yourself, you must first humble yourself and ask your former client what different approach to take that would have maintained the business. This process may seem painful and uncomfortable, but the information you take away could be the difference in your next sales opportunity.
THINK POINT #2: Who Are You Surrounding Yourself With?
When your life requires you to reset, it is essential to be surrounded by people who provide support when you need it. Germer illustrates this point through a life situation when she was moving into a new house and realized her father was about to die. Through a simple e-mail to her close friends, she was able to move all her boxes in a few hours rather than a long, arduous process alone in her cloud of grief. She was not too prideful to ask for help, which is essential for you in your career as a real estate agent.
You have pursued this career as an opportunity to be self-employed because you may want the independence and flexibility that the career offers and you believe that you can do anything that you set your mind to. This attitude is important to have. Being confident and successful will only carry you so far. Building a support network comprised of mentors, business partners, and clients will provide you with people who will challenge and support you and provide knowledge that will help you advance your career through new opportunities. One way to build this network is through attending conferences such as the Keller Williams Realty International Family Reunion. While this may not lead directly to a sale, it will provide you with the opportunity to meet people in a similar place in life and others who have experienced similar client situations.
You’re also in the residential real estate industry to help people in the largest acquisition that they will make. You don’t take this lightly because you know the people you help will often be the referrals who help generate your business. In addition, transactions can be multifaceted and require you to help guide the client through the process. Take advantage of your interpersonal skills to provide open communication and be a resource for your client to lean on. The ability to build trusting relationships will only strengthen your network and allow you be successful in the future.
THINK POINT #3: Separation is in the Preparation
The opportunity to reset should not be taken lightly because this is your opportunity to change the state of your emotional or financial health. Without putting a structured plan into place, there will be an inclination for you to revert to your previous state. Therefore, it is essential to visualize your end result, give yourself enough time to achieve that result, and then commit to your plan of action. Preparation sets the foundation for success, giving you a firm point to fall
back on in times of obscurity. For Fawn Germer, she planned her reset, what she would do to overcome her emotional struggles. She planned her 70 mile walk along the beach, walking a planned distance each day, so that she would achieve the end result of a healthy emotional state.
Just like Germer, when it comes to your career, you must invest in yourself by setting that foundation that will put you on a path toward success. One way you could increase your return on investment in choosing this career is through staying educated. In this way you are setting a foundation on which you can build by keeping up-to-date on laws and regulations as well as economic trends. Using a resource such as Realty Times enables you to stay current on market trends and seek advice from agents or consumers, which allows you to better serve your clients.
In addition, planning your business involves developing a client base, holding open houses, negotiations, property and listing management, and providing guidance to buyers and sellers. Without structure for your plan, how will you achieve success? Building a comprehensive plan may be very difficult, but a plan will give you guidelines for achieving your objectives. Tap the myriad resources available to you to build your planning toolkit including online templates as well as advice from colleagues and mentors. Just as Germer took account for her emotional health, you must do the same for the health of your business.
Whether you are new to the real estate industry because of a career reset or you are in need of a reset within your current career, it is important to be committed, surround yourself with a supportive network, and plan your business development. A reset allows you to take a new perspective toward yourself and your business allowing you to reset your trajectory toward a more successful outcome that will benefit you both emotionally and financially.
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Germer, Fawn (2015), Work-Life Reset, S.I.: Boulevard Books.
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About the Author
Erick Huntley, MBA Candidate
Erick Huntley is a graduate student from Lynnwood, Washington. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Whitworth University and his master’s in biochemistry from Baylor University. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Baylor University and plans to leverage his skills in both chemistry and business to great value.
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