Your Real Estate Career: Time For a Change Or Time to Bail?

career moves Oct 14, 2018
Recently, I was asked a question by an agent: “When do you know if you need a break or it's time for a real change?”. By digging a little deeper, I uncovered that she had been working harder than ever before in her career as an agent but with so few results she was beginning to think it was time to bail and get a steady paycheck kind of job. During the last shift, with the real estate nose dive and accompanying economic conditions, I saw many agents leave the business and even the industry all together, so this is not an issue I haven’t run into before. Yet, during the shift, I knew other agents who had their best year ever, in spite of everything that was happening. So how do you, as an agent, know which decision to make when you're facing the choice of changing things up or bailing out? 
Here's my advice... 
Ask yourself a few questions like:
  • Am I in touch with the latest ways of doing business or am I still plugging away with the same tactics that were working for me 5 years ago?
  • Am I willing and flexible enough to learn new ways of working and doing business that will put my real estate business back on track to success?
  • Will I be comfortable and satisfied giving up the schedule freedoms and unlimited income potential that being an agent allows in exchange for a 9-5 desk job and a steady, albeit limited, paycheck?
  • Why did I get interested in real estate as a career in the first place and is it where my passion truly lies?
The reason I want you to ask yourself these things is because your answers will tell you a lot about what you really want and need and how committed you are to your current career as an agent. The agent I spoke with (who sparked this post) told me about how she was going after business today. Turns out they were things that worked well a few years ago but just don't jive with the way things are happening today. Learning how to do things differently is not always easy. People tend to get comfortable in their routines and will continue these same routines even after they stop producing. Ask me how many agents I knew who still advertised in the newspaper years after it was no longer an effective means of lead generation. Learning something new is tough, letting go of the old ways can also be tough, but how happy will you be when your efforts actually start paying off?
Being an agent does allow a ton of scheduling flexibility. You're not tied to a desk, you are able to fit your personal life into your business one, you are your own boss and your schedule truly belongs to you. Trading that in for the 9-5 does not always work for agents. It's the personality type. Agents tend to be the types that crave a little chaos and a little adventure. They like that their day keeps them moving, that little unexpected things pop up, and that they never know what tomorrow will bring (a great new listing, a contract, a new buyer to work with, who knows???). Going to the same place day after day and doing the same thing with no surprises can drain the life and passion right out of most agent-types. What about the thrill of a closing?? Yeah it can be stressful because the typical scenario involves some last minute crisis but how awesome do you feel when you manage to keep it all together and get handed that nice fat commission check? Not to mention getting the praise of your clients as you hand them the keys to their new home and new life and everything that promises...That would make anyone feel amazing! Knowing you made someone's dreams become reality? Do you really want to give all of that up?
The key to knowing, really can be found in why you got interested in real estate to begin with. Was it something you thought might make you a few extra bucks? Maybe somebody said to you one day, "Hey go be a real estate agent, they always make a ton of money, do you ever see one NOT driving a mercedes or bmw?" and your thought was, "Yeah, I'll do that". Or did you fall into it because you truly loved helping people realize their dreams, loved looking at homes, and when you got started just truly felt like you were living out your life's purpose? Perhaps it was a little bit of both but the point is... you know if it's your passion or if it's just a way to earn money. If it's your passion, find a way to roll with the punches of the market, no matter the current conditions, because nothing else, including a steady paycheck, will ever measure up to leading a life where your passion is in everything you do.

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