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Starting Over in Real Estate

Why waste your time with activities that aren't productive? See how one agent prospered by making drastic changes.

DeniseLones.jpgby Denise Lones

Many agents have told me that if they had only known how to do things a little differently when they first started in real estate, that it would have saved them a lot of time and money in their business.

When the opportunity comes, some will seize that chance to implement those tools and systems they have always wanted. I have personally witnessed many these “start overs” by individual agents over the years. The impact of this type of business reboot can be huge.

A “start over” is when you decide to change the way you have been doing something and completely alter your game plan. I had a client a few years ago who was struggling to recover from cancer and she could not handle the physical strain of working with buyers. She was so exhausted from all the driving around with buyers and all the touring of homes.

She made a decision to never work with buyers again, but she didn’t know how to implement this new rule in her business and was considering just leaving the business as a way to solve her buyer challenges. I advised her to instead rethink the idea of leaving the business and instead to do a business reboot, a “start over”, and to change her business model to be that of a listing agent only.

At first she was VERY resistant. She truly thought it would be easier to quit altogether rather than to simply make a stand in her business and learn how to tell her clients that she only worked with sellers.

After the initial shock she thought more about it. I advised her to transition slowly and to simply tell buyers who wanted to work with her that she was not available, as this helped her avoid having to explain her business decision.

I also asked her to monitor her business for a few weeks to see if having no buyers for a few weeks fit better in her life. After a few weeks she contacted me and told me that she loved not having to worry about any buyers and was eager to see if this concept of working with sellers only could work.

Fast forward one year. Her business has definitely had a radical “start over” and she was a much happier agent working exclusively with sellers. However, this agent had also made another decision: She didn’t feel that her time was being used efficiently doing the research required for CMAs on different properties in different areas. She thought that since I had helped her with her buyer dilemma that I could also help her with this one.

At first I chuckled and asked, “Getting a little lazy are you?” But then I realized that she was just trying to use her time efficiently. I gave her the perfect solution. I advised her to become the area expert for three condo communities. Condos are easy to price because they are all so similar. By naming and claiming her expert status on those three buildings she continued to limit her driving time and research time. She did it, was successful, and enjoyed the quality of life she was able to get back.

If you are finding yourself at a cross roads and don’t know what to do perhaps you need a business “start over”. There may be some things you are doing in your business that are just not working for you anymore. Don’t be afraid to embrace a “start over” to either start or stop activities. Agents know when something isn’t working for them. I highly encourage each and every agent out there to look at their business and ask yourself these critical questions:

  • What am I doing that I absolutely do not like doing?
  • Is there an area of my business that I would like to expand?
  • Is there something I have wanted to do for a long time but have been putting off?
  • Am I missing out on business opportunities because I am not focusing on this area?
  • Is my personal life suffering because of my business?
  • Is there something I am doing in my business that is not an efficient use of my time?

How you answer these questions will determine whether or not you are ready for a “start over” and only you will know when the time is right. But if you find yourself in the position of wanting to start over remember that change is good and a professional “start over” can be exactly what you need to grow your business and give you back your quality of life.

Recommended Resources:
The Lones Group – Real estate coaching, free tips & tools newsletter, and branding services.

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