Did you know that when I started out in real estate I joined at the height of the housing crisis? Yes, it felt like my career was doomed before it could even get off the ground. The gears were locked, people weren’t buying houses and brokers didn’t know when they were going to be able to close their next deal. I felt trapped in what was a financial winter and was starting to doubt if real estate was going to work out for me at all.
But I eventually found my way through, creating opportunities for myself and making the best of the situation.The truth is as starry-eyed and excited as you may be to get started in a new career or industry, like anything in life, unfortunately your path will not always be filled with sunshine and roses. No matter what, you need to have the conviction to keep going, work hard and do what you need to do to build momentum and courageously forge forward to cultivate success and productivity.
It’s not easy, but when you really want something, you can’t let anything stop you or get in your way. This is your life we are talking about after all, and the more you put in, the more you will get out of it.
So, without further ado, here are some of my must-know tips to help you get started in your real estate career.
1. Go For It No Matter What the Current State of the Industry Is
Like I mentioned before, when I began in real estate, I joined at the pinnacle of the housing and financial crisis. It was awful. I felt like I was trying to paddle uphill without oars. People weren’t buying houses, and my team and I at the time couldn’t close deals and we were barely making any money.
Sure, the circumstances surrounding my situation when I started were unusually difficult, but the point is you never know what the state of the industry will be when you get started in a career, and you can’t count on the industry to always be at the height of growth and peak productivity. Like any business, there will be fluctuations, and highs and lows, and you can’t shy away from a career because you’re afraid of the “what ifs” or weathering less financially fruitful times. Especially, because you never know when the next invaluable opportunity will come your way, if you can just stay in the industry and stick with it.
2. Run With Real Estate Opportunities as They Come
You can’t be afraid to take chances, put yourself out there and create opportunities for yourself. When I was first beginning in real estate, the man I was dating, who is now my husband, was a house developer and at the time, he was considering becoming a broker. It seemed like that could be a better option for him as he obviously wouldn’t be able to build too many houses during what was a housing crisis. So I got him an interview with the manager at my office who happened to be a very successful real estate agent. He ended up deciding that being a broker wasn’t for him, but then I decided to interview with the same woman and became her assistant.
I had the choice to keep trying to go the entrepreneurial route with my team at the time which was unfortunately amounting to nothing because we were unable to close deals, so we weren’t making money or work for an established broker who could be my mentor, get paid something and learn the ropes of the business. So, I took the plunge and decided to work for her, and it turned out to be the best decision for my career, helping me build a tremendous foundation of knowledge and experience in real estate that I still draw upon and use to this day.
3. Put Your Head Down and Get the Job Done
So, there I was assisting this very successful real estate broker, and my work was anything but easy. I was essentially a runner for her, doing all the behind-the-scenes administrative and grunt work — you know, not exactly glamorous. And I continued this for about 5 years, keeping my head down and staying in my lane as her assistant. It was frustrating because I was helping her grow her business. It wasn’t mine as I was working for someone else. The hours were long, and I couldn’t take vacations because it was difficult to take off in such a small office where it was essentially just me and the main agent.
When you get started in a new industry, sometimes you have to make sacrifices and do the hard work and understand that it will pay off in the end. As I mentioned earlier, working for this broker who was doing such a high volume of massive deals was an amazing, invaluable experience for me. Why? Because I learned how to do my own massive deals and generate a high volume of business. I also was awakened to my own abilities in real estate, deepening my understanding of the industry, and realizing what I wanted out of my own career and that I had what it took to get there.
When you are starting out in real estate, I recommend that you seek out opportunities to work under the guidance of a mentor to learn industry best practices, and gain from their years of experience and knowledge. It is without a doubt one of the most important things that will help you catapult your career forward.
4. Know When to Move On to the Next Chapter of Your Real Estate Career
Before I started working for the real estate broker, I was working with my own team trying to close our own deals. I wanted to work for myself, but I was paralyzing my own growth as we couldn’t generate any business in an industry plagued by a housing crisis. I was faced with the decision to continue trying to ride it out as an entrepreneur and just try to keep afloat or move on to the next opportunity. So, I left the team and started working for someone else, who as I said turned out to be an incredibly successful, masterful high volume broker in NYC.
It’s difficult to know when something isn’t working out and recognize that you need to leave and find the next opportunity, especially when you have already invested your time, money — whatever the story is. But in order to put yourself in a situation where you can fully realize your growth and potential, you can’t be afraid to follow your gut, maybe even swallow your pride, cut your losses and move on to the next chapter. As that next chapter can be life-changing for your career, or will at least be another experience of invaluable learning that will continue to enrich you both as a professional in business and a person.
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