Can I Succeed in Real Estate?

 Posted by at 8:44 am
Jul 252011

As an instructor of pre-licensing courses, I’m of course intrigued and interested in the future of my students… I’ve not done any scientific analysis certainly–partly because success is one of those spongy terms that people actually get to define for themselves.

My sense is that many of the students who go on to acheive some level of success (defined here as staying at it for more than a year or two) do have some common characteristics:

1. Most have at least SOME experience in a service oriented job working with the public… waitressing, hair styling…they’ve learned a service mindset and how to deal with the public.

2. Most have a large degree of self-responsibility… they realize that success and failure are not things created by the brokerage company or employer. They have trouble whining.

3. Most have a decent sense of self-awareness. It may not always be accurate (“Will there be much math? I’m bad a math!”) but they are at least thinking about themselves and their skills. (As an instructor, one of my greatest joys is watching a student discover he or she can do something they thought he or she couldn’t.)

4. Most are almost obsessively curious… they WANT to know things well beyond the requirements for any state or course exam. I will always remember the returning licensee who matter-of-factly cited a large number of closings his first year. He later cited an equally large number of continuing education credits he’d earned even though they weren’t required. Gee, you don’t suppose there’s a correlation here, do you?

5. Most (particularly in the current market) are not dependent on real estate income for their survival. (My prophecy to future sales agents is ” the biggest mistake you will make is to not have money because it will make you stupid.”) Maybe a more accurate way to describe this is that most have a value system that forces them to put their clients’ needs first consistently.

Some would say you have to be an entrepreneur, but there is a difference between being self-employed and being in business and, at some level, successful people come to understand this… what I find interesting is that some  alumni start out being self-employed and end up with a business. But I also know licensees who’ve been at it for a lot of years who are really still just self-employed–they leave the business to the agency/brokerage, ride along, apply their social and interpersonal skills and make a living. I’m not sure one approach is right and the other is wrong.

Can you succeed at real estate? For most the answer will be “yes,” once you determine how you will define that success.

Many recent students have said that they think it’s a great time to get started. They understand that while the market is tough, that also means they will have to truly earn the business and they’ll have time to learn and develop at a slow and deliberate pace. That makes a lot of sense if you think about it. We might illustrate this with a “learning to drive” example. Would you rather get spend some time in class before getting behind the wheel or jump into a car that’s already traveling down the road at 50 miles per hour?

Classes are starting this fall!