There’s Only One Way to Go (Thoughts of a new agent)

I received this letter from a dynamic, hard-working, new agent in our company. Thought I might share it with you all:

“Is it ok to write about your job when you’re in a really bad mood about it (among other things)? I think so…it’s why they call it editing.

So I’ve been thinking about what to call my renderings. Here are my choices:

“Tales of a Frustrated Real Estate Rookie”

“There’s Only One Way to Go From Here”

“Seven Months in and not a Dime to Show”

I haven’t decided yet because all of these things keep running through my head, so I’ll let you know when I’ve realized the most apropos description, which may only come after I’m done writing down my thoughts regarding the first six months of being a realtor.

Seven months in and I have yet to make a dime! It’s true—I got my license in January and began my post-license training in the middle of 22 inches of snow and temps that fell below Alaska’s. Wonder how the real estate business is doing up there? Anyway, in March I sent out 127 “farming letters” to a neighborhood across the highway from me, only to be called by a realtor who shall remain unnamed, who informed me that she lived in the neighborhood; therefore, it belonged to her. I used the only techno-jargon I knew and told her I had done my “Market Analysis” and had discovered that no realtor owned a “20% or better market share” in that area which made it free game! She also worked for another agency, so it didn’t matter anyway. Then she offered to “work WITH ME!” I told her, “Snooze, ya loose, sister,” in so many words. That was the only phone call I got.

I then went on to FSBOs, (about 6) and actually got a call from 1, whose house I listed in May, at a price much higher than I wanted, but it was my first. I needed a sign in someone’s yard and name recognition, so I was willing to pay for it. Turns out, this person works a job that produces many referrals of those needing to sell their homes. So I got my second listing off of referral, which felt fantastic—finally!

Also in March, I began working floor hours answering the phone (when it rang) and I learned a great deal by answering the questions of realtors calling in saying, “HURRY…look up such and such a house and tell me such and such!” And I got really good at it. Then one day I got a call from a woman who wanted to place a bid on a HUD home and I went through the roof with excitement! My first buyer! Wow… And… the house was a $22,300 bungalow that was going to prove a really good investment for my client, but not much commission for me. Again with the name recognition. She made the bid in April and here we are in July, hoping and praying to close on the deal by the end of the month. With a few dozen unpleasant surprises behind us, it will be worth it. But the next HUD buyer who comes along, I’ll probably refer. We’ve got a new rookie coming in the next couple of months—she can have him/her. OK, not really. Remember…“not a dime so far…”

I am now up to 5 listings, 2 active buyers, 3 “hot” buyers, and about 20 “working” buyers. Given those numbers, I would agree the saying has rung true… “Buyers ARE liars.” They don’t mean to be. Everybody wants to buy a house. Just not everybody CAN buy a house. And not everbody INTENDS to buy a house. LOTS of people want to LOOK at houses. Aggravates the daylights out o’ me, but what choice do I have? And most buyers want something for nothing—one of those awesome HUD deals that their cousin got. Or they want a 3BR 2BA brick home with a fenced yard, an attached 2 car garage, and wood floors in Owasso for $70,000. Me: I’m not sure that exists but I’ll look! (Bright cheery smile with gritted teeth) Them: But I’ve got CASH!! (Pride written all over their face)

Sometimes I ask myself, “What was I thinking?” I mean, the economy is the absolute worst it’s been in decades, and I go into Real Estate? People giggle or offer me sympathy and both are warranted. But…I’m about to help a single mom with a daughter in Afghanistan close on her very first home, and I’ve helped a childless widow list her home so she can move into a much-deserved and much-needed retirement community. I even took her 4-wheeled walker to her after a friend had borrowed it, and she cried. I am helping a couple who have re-united purchase a new “start-over” home, and have listed 2 inherited homes after the passing of a loved one, thus taking a huge weight off the shoulders of the new owners. I had no idea. No idea. After having taught school for 10 years, I was afraid I would not be “helping people” as much in this profession as I had in the past as a teacher. In the words of my 7-year-old nephew, I was “Wrong-O!” I absolutely LOVE this job and I know I’m doing exactly what I have been purposed to do at this point in my life. God has certainly shown me that I can serve him ANYWHERE and doing ANYTHING!

Soooo.,.poo on “not a dime yet,” and “frustrations of rookie-dom,” I’m picking “There’s Only One Way to Go From Here!” as my title. It’s already actually pretty darn good, and I like it, and I know the Lord will provide if I honor Him in my work and serve those He brings to me. Besides, I haven’t had a paycheck in 4 years—why start now? We’ll be okay till a little lagniappe starts rolling in. Until then, I’ll focus on the positives and reap the rewards of a job I know has been well-done thus far. Got to go…Open House at 2:00 and showing another at 4:30. God is good… “

Thanks to Stephanie Wideman for sharing her thoughts and experience with us all.