Is there ever a “right” time to quit as a Real Estate Agent?
This is a very difficult question to answer. I’ve been in sales all my professional life and I have seen many people come and go into the profession. I’ve been a Realtor with RE/MAX Alliance since May, 2003 and I have seen a lot of Realtors come in and out of the business.
Since I wrote the first edition of my book: “The Honest Real Estate Agent” a few years ago I have made friendships with a lot of new Realtors around the country and the world even. What hurts me the most is when I find out somebody had to quit and move on to a different career.
Financially this is a very challenging career to break into. It’s a commission based compensation and at the same time we have costs to get the business started. This is why I am such a strong believer in doing so much “FREE” online marketing when you start.
I remember my first job out of college back in the old days of the mid 1980s. I got a degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado. I had to get a job when I graduated and at that time the best options for me were direct sales positions. I got a job at local computer software company selling turn-key computer systems with the software. I remember my monthly salary was $1,000 plus commissions. My first year I made $18,000 where a lot of my student friends were making $40k or more a year. It was very depressing for me at that time. But, I stuck with it. I worked hard because I had no other options. I grew to like the job and by my third and fourth year I started making good money and then over time I started going past $100k in compensation.
The high tech bubble burst in 2000 and this is when I made my transition into real estate. I worked at a Corporate Housing company and I learned the relocation business. I had a great background when I became a Realtor in 2003. I had a solid background in sales and relocation so I had a niche that was very strong when I started.
I know a lot of you don’t have the same background as I do but I feel having the sales background that I did helped me get my real estate business going in the first few years. I knew the cycle of sales where you might have months go by where you didn’t have a big sale and then it all comes together in a rush. I was confident in my abilities as a Realtor when I started out so I never had a doubt in my mind that I would be successful. And I loved the job from the very beginning because helping people buy or sell their home is great because I am adding real value to my customer. I was energized and engaged because I found my job fulfilling. I remember being on such a high the first couple of years when I started as a Realtor.
I know if you stick with it you will succeed but if it’s not happening for you then I think you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are you energized being a Realtor? Do you love closing deals? Do you love helping your Buyers find a home? Do you love helping your Sellers?
2. Do you enjoy the marketing end of the business? Sales and marketing go hand in hand in small business. You will not be successful as a Realtor unless you keep the marketing engine going–phone calls, emails, blogs, hosting Open Houses, direct mail, videos, networking, and just putting yourself out there.
3. Do you have the mental fortitude and strength to withstand the slow times? This is so important because you need to maintain a positive attitude and exude confidence when business is slow. Do you have thick skin? Can you bounce back from losing deals? You will lose deals and you will lose clients. This is a part of the business. You have to have the ability to deal with it, let the emotion go and move forward.
4. Do you have call reluctance? This is where you avoid making phone calls, avoid hosting Open Houses, avoid coming into contact with prospective customers. If you have call reluctance then you have to snap out of it. I remember early in my career I had it at times but I got over it by reading “The One Minute Salesperson” and believing in my heart I was HELPING my customers by making the calls and doing the work. By HELPING my customers get what they wanted and needed in return I would get what I wanted and needed.
5. Do you procrastinate? Do you continually put off sales and marketing projects? If you continually have procrastination then you need to find out why. Dig deep.
6. Do you have a BIG enough reason why you want to succeed as a Realtor? Do you have goals that are pulling you to the future? Do you have goals which excite you and motivate you to do a good job? When I became a Realtor I had a number of personal reasons which drove me to succeed. I find I have done best in my life when people doubt me and I prove them wrong. You need to have a reason and goals driving you to succeed. This is not the type of career where you can float by and just put in the hours.
7. Are you making progress? Get a review from your Managing Broker. A reality check is always helpful.
8. Do you have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your customers? For me I love going out and looking at houses with Buyers. I love writing contracts and putting deals together. I love going to Closings seeing my clients buy or sell their home and seeing them so happy. I love marketing, doing videos, writing blogs, creating direct mail pieces, having lunches with past clients and my sphere. I love the different Continuing Education classes I get to take. If you don’t enjoy the job and are not having fun then that is a red flag.
9. Are clients walking all over you? Do you feel you have no control over the process? To me this is a sales issue and you haven’t learned how to be strong and direct the process.
10. Are you begging for business? This to me is not a position of strength. Prospective customers need to come to you and ask you to be their Realtor. If you’re begging then that is not good.
Go through this list. Think about where you are in your life. If you stick with it you will being a Realtor find being a fulfilling and satisfying career. I wish you the best in life. Let’s do it together!