You know the feelings you have when riding a roller coaster? The anxiety you feel standing in line knowing you could plummet to your death. The nausea that ensues both on and off the coaster due
to mental panic and actual physical sickness. The excitement of taking a risk. The butterflies that swarm when going up the hill. The adrenaline that floods your body on the way down. The laughter once the big hill has been conquered. The panicky screams you let out when you realize there’s more than one big hill. Good lord if this isn’t a perfect metaphor for my life this past year, then I don’t know how else to describe it. 😬
A Wild Ride
Real estate is crazy. In one short year, I’ve been at the bottom of the coaster more times than I can count. Last summer, I was fired from my very first listing. 😱 I’ve probably shown 1000 houses to various clients who just up and changed their minds about buying. I’ve driven all across creation for months on end for clients who will probably never make a decision. I’ve paid money to help clients in need, only to have them not follow through with the sale. I’ve worked so many hours in a week that I swear my wife was going to divorce me a few times. And I’ve charged the entire last year to a credit card because I’ve spent way more money to be a real estate agent than I’ve made as one. 😅
But you know what? I’ve also been blessed to experience the top of the coaster. I’m not gonna lie...I’ve had the time of my life this year. I switched from a career of hostility, backstabbing, and just utter nonsense to one of never ending support, teamwork, and exhilaration. We are all in literal competition with each other, and yet the camaraderie just blows my mind. I get to work as much or as little as I want, with my income depending on that equation. I get to exercise endless creativity. I get to learn, constantly. I get to wake up to a different schedule each day….and I’m the one who gets to determine that schedule. I get to go to countless networking events and parties….as my job. I get to meet the coolest clients and ride with them on their emotional rollercoaster, sometimes joyfully hugging, sometimes drying their tears. I get to see all the interesting ways people live. Most importantly, I get the privilege of experiencing immense growth every single day. I don’t think I’ve felt this alive since college. Who knew, but I am in love with selling real estate. I actually think the ups and downs are what do it for me. 😜
What I’ve Learned
The first ten years of my post-college life were spent teaching and coaching high schoolers. To my surprise, the skills I honed in the classroom transferred quite nicely to real estate. Not only did teaching help me master the art of keeping 100 balls in the air at once, but it taught me people skills, relationship building, the importance of boundaries, tech skills, the knack for calming people in high stress situations, the importance of over communicating, and the ability to understand complex topics and then convey them in understandable and relatable ways….all skills I overlooked until just recently. For the majority of the year, I was focused on how “unsalesy” I am, how I’m not a smooth talker, how I just can’t find it in me to force myself on others, and how wheeling and dealing just isn’t in my nature. Focusing on what I lacked led to zero deals. Literally zero in the first eight months. 😩 To be honest, I wondered how long I’d last in this business. I definitely thought about quitting probably twice a month. Eventually, though, I found areas of real estate that I was good at…..like being genuine, actually caring about people, communicating, following through, keeping to my word, serving others even when it didn’t directly benefit me in the moment, and creating some decent video marketing. Once I started focusing on the skills I do have, I went from zero to eight closed and pending in four months. Am I still operating in the red? Yup. But business is steadily increasing. I may not be the typical salesperson, and operating in an atypical way has made business a super slow go. However, I’ve never lost hope that all of this will pay off. As I used to say in coaching, I’m just building a program.