By Dan St. Yves
If you’ve been a Realtor for any significant length of time, you’ve likely gone through some highs and lows in your career.
In your early years, the lows might have been the balance in your bank account, but I’m sure everyone who has helped clients for a greater length of time accrues many high points as well.
From fresh-faced rookie to grizzled veteran, organized real estate offers more plot twists in the course of a career than your average soap opera. I offer you a glimpse, in “Arc of a Realtor”.
Flush with enthusiasm after passing the written exam, the rookie Realtor arrives at his new office to much hoopla during introductions at the weekly sales meeting, balloons at his new (cubicle) desk and a shiny new World’s Best Real Estate Agent coffee mug.
After a meeting midweek with the company’s trainer, the tone is dampened slightly by the awareness of management fees, licensing fees, weekly World’s Best Real Estate Agent coffee club fees, professional insurance fees, bumblebees and bumble fees and yet-to-be-disclosed surprise fees. Prospecting for clients overtakes getting to know your new colleagues in the immediate urgency category.
Grizzled veteran kindly offers to take you under his wing, as an apprentice assistant. You agree to look after his files while he is on a three-month vacation in Bora Bora. Oddly enough, while he typically brokers some $1 million plus per month, your potential share of commissions is based on running around straightening real estate signs and listening to customer complaints. Potential new business for you to share in: $500 from a rural vacation property lease. High point of this 90-day stretch: a disgruntled client brings in the front door of his home to have you remove the lockbox from the handle.
After trying a variety of assistant roles, you strike back out on your own, flush with the sale of several long-held personal investments, to refresh your day-to-day ability to gas up your vehicle and eat something other than wieners and beans.
You discover the concept of “geographical farming” as a prospecting opportunity, but upon further consideration, you dismiss the concept after viewing your reflection, wearing less-than-flattering bib overalls and a straw hat.
You reflect outside the courtroom on the nuances of your first Errors and Omissions claim. Who knew the adjacent neighbour’s driveway ran over the property boundaries of your own recently sold listing?
Despite a few bumps along the way, you still enjoy going on the weekly tour of new homes for sale, relishing in your inner lookie-loo as you view fancy properties with amazing views.
You have also discovered your inner Felix Unger while viewing sub-standard properties that really should have been fumigated before they were put on the market.
A milestone! You have just removed the conditions on the biggest sale of your career. You are in euphoria.
Four years, six days:
Euphoria has cancelled your passport. You now have the dubious distinction of the biggest collapsed sale in the office. You still plan on getting aboard that flight to Bora Bora later in the afternoon, but mull over cancelling the return flight.
You’ve earned a number of awards, developed a speaking career based on your successful sales program, and many new Realtors have put forward their names to become mentored by you and your team. This real estate thing is a pretty enjoyable endeavour, all things considered.