If there is any professional in the world today who knows about change – often times wild and drastic change – it is the real estate agent. The last few years have been more than enough proof of that. For those of you who’ve weathered those weighty winds of change – congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back.
But I suspect if you’re like me, you’ve been at this business long enough to know its always changing. There’s no rest from change. Mr. Asimov would tell real estate agents they have to understand that all of our decisions have to be made with the future firmly in mind.
I was recently reading about the decrease in foreclosures. Two years ago plenty of agents were making good money in the distressed property arena. That work is now drying up. We’re also seeing fewer big investors in the market. If history is right (and often it is), investors will wait until the time is right to sell. Change … always change.
Picture the poor weatherman in a torrential downpour yelling into his microphone as he leans 30-degrees against the wind just to keep from being swept away into the darkness.
So the question becomes: What do we do to prepare ourselves to make the best possible living we can in real estate in this ever-evolving line of work we’ve chosen? How do we handle the rain, wind and lightening?
Maybe you’re seen this quote: “Success isn’t surviving the storm; it’s learning to dance in the rain.”
The good news is we’re in a profession that offers a lot of ways to dance in the rain and still make money. Several pillars, if you will, that give us a sturdy and steady foundation to keep the bills paid. I’m sure you’re familiar with many of them: property management, traditional, commercial, buyer agency, investments, REO and short sales. Then there are plenty of areas of specialty - check out NAR’s website and see what’s new.
But beyond these specifics, I’d like to share some other thoughts that might help serve as an anchor for you:
1. Understand the value of the services you bring to your clients, and how you’ll be compensated for them – Step back and look at yourself and your business from a distance like I mentioned earlier. Reassess your desires, skills, services against the marketplace where you live. Think of yourself as a beautiful lake on a mountainside. What are the streams (of revenue) that will keep you full and beautiful?
2. Have a business plan and a vision – Anytime you begin a new venture (or add more to your existing one) think everything through on paper. If you’re entering property management for example, determine how many properties you can take on? What will make your services different and better than the competition? How will you advertise? Who do you need to know?
3. Have a servant’s heart and a thick skin – Never forget that first and foremost, real estate is a service business. That’s where you can stand out – service. Full on, all out service at every step of any transaction with a client.
4. Realize you can’t do it all – Even the best agents can’t go it alone. That’s why I suggest building a team. Maybe start with a virtual assistant to handle your non-dollar productive duties. Then add on slowly. Think of it as creating a small army of employees to leverage your economies of scale for your business. And, of course, as a coach, I’d be remiss in adding that you should consider bringing in a fresh set of eyes to help you see things you may have missed in building a solid business.
Let me hear from you. What do you think about this article? Please email any comments or questions or visit me on facebook. Diva Marie is a coach at Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies. To find out more about upcoming Corcoran Consulting & Coaching events, click here.