As a professional broker, manager, real estate coach and trainer for the past 20 years, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with thousands of real estate agents and have noticed one major difference between those who will be successful and those who probably will not.
Successful players in the game of real estate burn their boats from the start. They have no other options – they’re not testing the waters or trying it out. They’re in it for the long haul. For them, there’s no such thing as quitting. When these people enter the profession, they give it more than 100%.
These people behave distinctly. They consider themselves true professionals in the same way a lawyer, doctor, dentist, accountant or engineer might. They act as if they belong in the realm of professionals who went to university and specialized in the industry. Their reputation is everything to them, and they stand behind it. They are not confused or unclear – they are clear about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and they are prepared to give it all they’ve got. They are willing to invest time, money and their complete focus into their profession and treat it like a long-term business, rather than a short-term sales career they’re willing to drop if things don’t work out.
The most interesting thing I’ve witnessed is that even if they don’t have the qualities that a salesperson is expected to possess in order to succeed, they flourish nonetheless, because the depth of their commitment and the level of their professionalism ensures they can learn and develop any required skills.
And perhaps most important of all, these are the people who actually thrive in a difficult market.
We have recently seen some major and unexpected changes in the industry at both the national and provincial level. This is the time when consumers will be crying out for someone who is a true professional: a representative who is in the industry long-term, takes their business seriously and holds themselves to the highest standards.
In a hot market, when properties routinely sell within hours of listing, the public doesn’t value real estate professionals. This vibrant setting creates the perception that properties sell themselves; it’s little wonder that our importance is reduced in the public’s mind. More people enter the profession during these markets because there’s a perception that it’s easy money and anyone can do it. In extremely hot markets, sellers are more likely to hire a friend or family member in an effort to reduce the commission payable since the value of the profession is much less apparent.
The great thing about a normalized or cooling market is that uncommitted people are weeded out of the market once it becomes clear that professional skills are necessary. Also, buyers and sellers become aware of the fact that they need the help of a true industry professional who is committed long-term, knows the business and is able to use their expertise to their advantage. Finally, the public remembers that they can’t just have anyone helping them buy or sell their most valuable asset – and this realization is great news for real estate professionals.
Here’s some more good news: Anyone taking the time to read an industry publication already falls into this category. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re going the extra mile. If you are wholly committed to this industry, you can thrive in uncertain market conditions. We are likely entering a growth period for true professionals, because they are finally going to be valued the way they deserve to be. Times like these represent an exciting opportunity as both buyers and sellers come to the belated realization that not just anyone can do this. Fear and doubt often accompany changing times; use this to your advantage. That same fear and doubt will have the public seeking you out and respecting you for the true professional you are. It’s your time to shine!
Giuditta Gareri has more than 20 years of experience working in real estate as a broker/ owner, manager, coach, trainer and speaker. She currently works at Chestnut Park in Toronto.