4 Ways to Lay the Foundation to Your New Career in Real Estate

Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to help thousands of people launch their real estate careers. This experience has allowed me to witness firsthand not only success stories, but also more unfulfilled potential than I care to talk about.

We hear all about people who do not succeed. People LOVE to warn us of negative. If you are getting divorced, people will tell you how much money you will lose. If you are moving, people will tell you how hard it is to make friends in a new place. And if you are starting in real estate, there will be plenty of people to tell you how many agents never succeed.

Some of you reading this may be on the verge of succumbing to the negativity and giving up. Whenever I am in that dark place, motivational speeches annoy rather than help me. During those times I need solutions, not speeches about rainbows and sunshine.

Being successful starts with a desire to endure a process that is not fun. But if you break it down, step by step it becomes much more doable.

So let’s go over 4 things that will help get you on the right path.

1. Save the word “trying” for food and clothes.

Take the word “trying” out of your lingo as you pursue your real estate career. You are not “trying”, you are “doing".

The notion of trying something implies that you are not committed to it.

Ever hear somebody say, "I am going to try to live a healthier lifestyle?" Those people will eat some broccoli, go to a yoga class, and be back at the burger joint in a week, as opposed to the person who says, “I go to the gym” or “I eat healthy,” where there is a commitment in their phrasing that becomes action and finally results.

Nobody—potential buyer, seller, or fellow real estate agent—wants to work with somebody who is just “trying” to be a real estate agent.

2. A little desperation is good, but don't lose sight of the fact that you need to eat.

I see many agents get started in real estate with the best intentions. But if you are lacking the financial stability to get started, you may find it a tough go.

Even the best agents only saw a few commission checks in the first year. It takes time to build relationships, market yourself, show houses, and go through the process of a transaction. This can be crippling when you are depending on the house closing to pay your bills.

Can you live 6 months with no money coming in? Try to get a part-time job a few hours a day that requires nothing from you when those hours are done. Show up, get money, and leave. You want the rest of the day to focus on your real estate business. Having those few dollars coming in regularly will give you the stability to focus on your real estate career. Bonus: there are many jobs that will not only give you some cash but also help build your network of people.

3. Lay out what you're working with.

Making a plan of how to succeed does not start after you pass the exam! This is my biggest frustration with people. They get so caught up with passing the exam that they lose sight of why they are actually trying to pass the exam. If you ask them why they are trying to pass the exam, they will answer “To sell real estate." If you follow that up with, “How is that going to work,” they will say, "Let me get past the exam first."

Can you imagine stepping into the kitchen for the first time and trying to make a cake without knowing any of the ingredients? I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s exactly what you do when you try to start a business and with no concept of what you can and cannot do.

Here is are examples of what I am talking about:
- Do you really understand social media? Are you willing to learn about it?
- Where are your networking events? Can you create one?
- How strong is your email list? Are you willing to build it?
- Who out there can help you? How much would it cost?

Those are just a few ideas, but the list can go on and on, and each one of those things can be broken down into much more detail.

You need to assess where you are now and what you are working with before you can follow a plan that gets you where you want to go.

4. Say hello to old friends.

This is probably the easiest thing to do.

Technology gives us the opportunity to check in with an incredible amount of people. Go through your old emails and messages on social media. Start out with something as simple as, “Have not heard from you in a while, I wanted to say hello and see how you are doing.” Just get the conversation started! You can then inform them that you are starting a new business. If it does not grow your business, then at least you have reconnected with an old friend. It is a win-win scenario.

Designate a time every day to do this. Make it part of your daily routine. Remember that real estate has been and always will be a business where personal relationships matter, so maintaining a good social circle and good business contacts go hand in hand.

In conclusion, following these steps in the early phases of your real estate career will help you lay the foundation of your success. Keep in mind that much of this can be done before you pass your exam, so the time is now! Let's get moving toward our new life!