To survive in this business of real estate you have to know a few things. It’s probably about 100 times harder than anyone ever can tell you. Sure, they’ll tell you real estate is hard, but they won’t tell you how hard because they can’t. There is no way for another person to tell you what its like because you can’t be told, you have to experience it. It is kind of like pregnancy. Sure they’ll tell you labor hurts but it isn’t until the baby arrives that you really realize what a pickle you’re in.
They can’t tell you that to be a success in this business and have any amount of longevity you have to have a will of steel and be more persistent than a fruit fly. All eyes are on you so if or when something “hits the fan” it will likely be all your fault and when a transaction goes right no one will realize how much work you did to save it or that you were up at 6:00 meeting your “special favor” carpet guy to fix what wasn’t done right so the home would be ready for the walk through.
They won’t tell you the strange hours you’ll keep. They (me) will tell you it is pretty darn easy to rearrange your hours to be at every school function and not miss a beat. Oh, and your kids won’t thank you for that, either. They’re ungrateful little buggers. They won’t know until they have their own “ungrateful little buggers”.
Recently, a commenter on my column in the Naples Daily News accused real estate agents (I think they really meant me) of only wanting to pick “low hanging fruit”. I’d like to say my feelings should be hurt, but they’re not. First, anyone worth their salt usually calls or emails me. I have some great readers and loyal pen-pals as a result of my articles. Second, I’m still in business in one of the worst real estate cycles. It wasn’t by accident either. My parents aren’t wealthy and totally "set me up", I didn't marry well, I am not lucky and sales aren’t a fluke.
The sales I make are almost never low hanging fruit. I’m the go-to person in my office that will take a dinky lot listing, manufactured home listing or a million dollar listing that seems to be cursed to not sell. I do it because nobody else does it. Yeah, they all still have to be priced right. When the others complain of not having listings or making sales I wonder if they had been called to list a $40,000 lot with no beauty involved to make it appealing, if they would take it. Ok, so sometimes I privately mumble a little about it. It’s not glamorous. It’s not fish-in-a-barrel sales but its work.
So this is what I have to say to anyone that is thinking about working in real estate:
- Listen to all the people in the business that are smart and do what they say.
- Prepare for battle.
- Shoes may be required.
- Don't be afraid of going barefoot and getting splinters.