About once a month I get asked to meet a friend of a friend, an old classmate or honestly - someone from Instagram. Each time the request is the same, "'So and so' told me you'd be the perfect person to talk to. I'm interested in getting into real estate. Do you have time to sit down with me for lunch or a drink? I'd love to pick your brain."
These messages are honestly my favorite! The first time I received one I was shocked. I have so much growth I still expect from myself and my business that the thought that someone would want to hear what I had to say absolutely floored me. I was so used to thinking of my business as a small little baby I barely was keeping afloat that it never occurred to me that people aspired to have their own little business babies. And so I sat down with Jack. (His name wasn't Jack but we'll call him that.) Jack had been a previous client and had worked with a few brokers before meeting me. Though the meeting was for him to pick my brain I started off by asking why he chose me to speak to. His response I will never forget. He basically said I was a straight shooter and had a low BS tolerance so if he was going to uproot his life and career for a dream he wanted to know the true dirt and grim just as much as the sunshine and rainbows.
And so began my true understanding of both my business and the winding 6 year path I took to become known among friends as the entrepreneur of the group. I'm also sure it helped that I started a non profit along with my real estate business right out of college.
So you want to be a realtor... Here are my TOP 6 things to think about before quitting that corporate job and jumping in. But please, jump in!
1. Starting a business is hard.
Not just work load wise, it's mentally hard. Most of us are wired to like stability and safety in our lives. Starting a business is anything but that because all businesses including real estate rely on an outside market. So be kind to yourself and your emotions because this will be an emotional roller coaster.
2. Your lifestyle will change.
I don't mean you will suddenly be taking pictures with Lamborghini's. I mean you will be attached to your phone from sun up to sun down, Monday through Sunday. There is no "out-of-the-office" automatic email blast on vacation and there are very few uninterrupted dinners. Make sure the important people in your life are ready for this too, because they too will feel the change.
3. You will have to sacrifice - financially.
Along with the life style change of your nights and weekends no longer being in your own control, starting a business, any business including real estate takes money. I worked two jobs for 3 years to get on my feet and lived in a 300 sq ft studio for half of that time. I promise if you stick with it, there is a huge upside and you are in control of it but you must understand rule #4.
4. Be patient.
To this day I have trouble with this one but know it's essential. Building a brand, any brand, takes time. People need to hear about you from multiple sources to associate you, in their brains, with you new business. Your business is your brand so again, be kind to yourself. Put in the work and have faith because the results won't appear right away. I do however promise, if you put in the work, results will always come.
5. Find what you love.
In the beginning you will have to fill all the roles: accounting, management, client acquisition and "the face". No one likes every role but they are all essential. Find the role you love the most and use that to push your business forward. The rest of the roles can be done behind closed doors, in your pj's, in bed, with a cup of tea.
6. Don't hesitate to jump in!
Remember as a kid we would hold our friends hands and count to 3 before jumping in the pool. Don't be the friend that lets go of everyone's hands and stays on the pool deck when the rest jump in. Take the leap and don't look back. Feel yourself hit the water, go completely under and then come up in a fit of giggles. It was the best feeling as a kid, and it's just as great now!