It didn’t sound like me in the least and when she made the suggestion I thought it was ludicrous, regardless of her reasons. She kept insisting, getting in my face with the idea repeatedly. Finally I gave in. I told her I would go to school and get my Real Estate License. This was my best friend. We lived a few houses from each other, our children played together and within a short period of time we were both divorced and single moms trying to find our way in an era that still believed in lifetime marriages.
She had found a way to have some freedom and make as much money as she wanted. In Real Estate it is your business, to a certain point. You still work under a Broker, and you do split the commission, but it is completely different from my idea of working in an office doing a job, and being paid a certain amount, which was never enough, for a certain amount of hours.
I know she was thinking of my well-being. Trying to make sure that I understood the benefits of being a Real Estate Agent, of having freedom and the potential of making a lot of money. It would be more than I was making in an office, as long as I was willing to work hard selling houses. She assured me this was the absolute best choice to make. It must be, she loved it and from what I can remember she was doing well financially.
RELUCTANTLY I TOOK THE FIRST STEP
I agreed to follow in her advice and attended a Real Estate College in preparation to take the State examination. We were told that the test was difficult and most did not pass the first time. It was pretty common to have to take the test a second or third time. When I was told that, I thought to myself, no way am I going back to school to study for a second or third time. I’ll pass it the first time. And I did, barely. But I did it. This was a huge turning point for me and gradually I became more excited, and a little bit overwhelmed.
The next step was to ‘hang’ your license at a Real Estate office. I decided to go to the office that my friend worked from. In I went all proud and ready, for what I had no idea. I sat down and talked to the Broker thinking that all went well and I assumed it did for he agreed to let me start. What I didn’t know, until my friend volunteered the information, was that he didn’t think I would make it as a Real Estate Agent. I wonder why my friend felt the need to tell me.
It burst my bubble. I thought I was wonderful. I thought I could handle anything and I thought I could easily learn to be a successful agent. Obviously, I was mistaken and he knew I would fail. I began doubting myself, doubting my abilities and wondering why I was there. My fragile self-esteem was taking a nosedive.
I knew I had to do something and do it quickly. My job had ended, actually the company had moved out of state so there I was a single mom with two kids, a mortgage and all the other expenses, and a small amount of money to tide me over. I was excited to get started selling houses, that is until this man offered his opinion and said I would fail.
I knew I had to keep my spirits up. I tried to find someone in the office that could help and teach me. Even my friend did not have time to help me. She already had a partner and was extremely busy being an agent.
They suggested that new agent’s partner with other new agents. That meant that two people who knew nothing about working the field were partnered. It was not an ideal situation and actually led to a lot of frustration. Now I understand why Real Estate has such a high turnover of new sales agents. No one tells them or shows them what to do. They are just told to go out and list homes or work with buyers. Sure they give a few hints, but if you have never sold anything to a stranger and don’t know how to close a sale it can be both overwhelming and frustrating. When I started out, I had noidea what they meant when they said ‘close a sale’.
I PICKED UP MY SELF-ESTEEM AND DUSTED IT OFF
I had to have an income and after a period of time I was not earning as much as I needed, so it was up to me to decide what I was going to do. I had to let it go and get on with my life, that much I knew.
I may not have been successful in Real Estate, but later on I did learn to sell. It was at a diet center where you were taught to close the sale, you role-played until you dreamed the scenario, and in the end, I was very successful. It was this information that I am sure, if I do decide to go back into Real Estate, I will use it to my advantage. I also will spend more time searching for a Broker, one who will be supportive of my willing to be successful.
What it did for me was to let me touch base with that part of me that was my innate ability to sell. I just needed guidance and support.
Talk to anyone who is in the business that interests you, those who are seasoned and those who are just getting started.
- Specifically ask questions about the methods they use to prepare you for success; the guidance they offer, hands-on training or a mentor.
- Tell them you are interested in doing what they do and would like to ask them questions, over a cup of coffee or lunch.
- Create questions in advance that focus on the realities of what it takes to become successful in that business.
- If possible tell them you would be willing to volunteer to learn the business.
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