I find myself with mixed feelings and emotions as I compose this blog to recognize my anniversary for 15 years in the real estate business. As I write this, the world is in the middle of the COVID 19 pandemic, which is likely the largest global event to happen during my life.
Having the chance to reflect during this catastrophic event has not been easy. As a team, we are busier than ever. Not just with real estate sales but with projects. When the COVID closures and restrictions were announced by the government, I took a pause and thought, let’s go all-in no matter what everyone else was doing. I told my team that I would not lay anyone off and that we would use this time to play catch and get ahead. I consider myself lucky as an entrepreneur to be able to do so while many are not as fortunate.
Some people might suggest that business, in general, has paused. I would say, not necessarily. While we may not be making as much money, which is typically the definition of economic activity, the amount of unpaid work we are committing to is climbing. Business is now filled with running teams from a distance, creating a process to get things done thoroughly, being unaware of how your team is feeling, and most of all, doing this all in isolation.
At Knowledge Broker, we have stepped up our game as an organization. We have moved to virtualize almost every aspect of our business. Although we already ran lean with team laptops and cell phones for administration, we are now utilizing those same tools to show houses and meet with clients online. The reality remains that homes and real estate are very much a traditional form of buying based on emotion rationalization. To be able to see, touch, and envision a home for your family comes with walking through a home with a Realtor discussing the space as a good fit. While technology offers many workarounds, face to face business is still what real estate is all about.
This business is not easy. Not now, not ever. Nor is any business really. It takes the right attitude, a huge commitment, and most of all, grit. You could be the best real estate agent ever but if you don’t grow your brand, it means nothing. Sticking it out with long evenings, draining mind dumps with your teams, and patience is the only route to growth. Beating your head against the wall until it hurts and realizing you cannot go around it is sadly a part of the journey. Hiring coaches and consulting professionals to help organize your ideas into strategies is necessary to find sanity in our ever-expanding and creative minds.
I have experienced a lot in my time in the real estate industry and consider myself someone with unique expertise. At the same time, I feel as though I just started. Every house, every client, every partner, and every day is different. These fifteen years have flown by. I remember the sense of eagerness as a newly licensed real estate agent in 2004. I knew that I wouldn’t have a huge book of business for quite some time. So, what was I to do? I kept my full-time job at the hospital in town and focused on learning. I knew that education and knowledge were the most beneficial use of my time. I studied hard. I signed up for every class and course possible. I completed my real estate brokers course after only 15 months in the business. I completed my mortgage broker’s license. I completed my MBA at night all while working two full-time jobs. Needless to say, I burnt out. I realized that we are humans and not robots. We can only maintain that type of regiment for so long. Since then, I have made some changes and remind myself to take a pause and enjoy the ride. To this day though, I still sign up for more and more courses to perfect my skills and trade (haha).
Getting paid what I was truly worth has been very important to me since day one. I noticed it in school and while working at earlier jobs that while taking pride and finishing things faster and better than anyone else still only pays the same. I realized early that the only way to get paid your worth was to work for yourself.
I knew I wanted to work with people. I wanted to be considered an expert. I wanted to be trusted as a professional. In all, I wanted to provide a service and not have to push a sale. After the professional services industry, I realized that real estate was everything I was looking for. To be able to support clients and be lifetime partners in one of life’s most difficult decisions excited me. I like taking nervous situations and calming them. I like educating and teaching to reduce fear. I like finding the silver lining in the details and harnessing creativity. A home is where it began for all of us. I want to be a part of that. This is my passion.
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