What My First Year In Real Estate Taught Me

If you’ve been following my journey at all, you probably know I am a rookie in the real estate world. I got my real estate license on November 1, 2018 and have spent the past year with my nose to the ground. I’ve faced challenges that I didn’t know could possibly exist. Most of these challenges have been mental and emotional. I’ll get into that soon. Some challenges have been financial, and others have been social. If you are someone who has considered changing directions in your life, leaving the security of an hourly wage job for a purely commission-based one, or are just someone curious about what I’ve experienced over the past 12 months, keep reading!

Challenge #1: Mental

I am someone who does well with routines. I was so accustomed to the 7:30-5:00 Monday through Friday work schedule that when I left my hourly wage job, I felt a little lost with my time. I knew that being a Realtor® meant that I would likely be working nights and weekends, but what I didn’t plan for was scheduling time for myself. I would feel extremely guilty if I took a few hours mid-day on a weekday to relax or take care of myself. To tell you the truth, I still feel that guilt sometimes. I was so used to the “typical work day” hours defining when my free time was and, more importantly, when it was not. The mental guilt that I felt and still sometimes feel can be overwhelming, but I am starting to get better at not caring what others think. I work very hard and do my best in my business. That’s all that matters.

Challenge #2: Financial

Aside from the routine challenge, I felt so much pressure to perform well. I had heard horror stories of people getting started in real estate and not making any sales in their first year, which translates to having no income. This wasn’t an option for me. I am lucky to have a strong support system at home, with a partner who could take on more of the financial burden than before, but the pressure to be bringing in my own stream of income was and still is very apparent. I have learned that the typical amount of time it takes for someone new in real estate to feel comfortable with their income can be anywhere from three to five years. That’s a long time to feel uncomfortable! I am learning to cope with it and be grateful for what I have. So many people often think that all real estate agents immediately make large amounts of money, and I am here to tell you that it’s just not true.

I also had not fully taken into account just how expensive it can be to get started. Marketing and advertising is so expensive, and it is incredibly important to get your name out there as fast as possible to generate business, right? I would recommend saving at least 6-8 months in expenses before making the jump to a fully commission-based job like real estate. Having a sizeable cushion will help alleviate some of the financial stress and allow you to focus your energy on kicking ass in your business! One of my first clients told me, “You can’t afford to worry about money in the beginning, just focus on taking care of your clients and the money will follow.” Good advice from a very wise man.

Challenge #3: Social

I don’t have a large amount of friends. I have my small network of my closest friends and I pretty much stick to those people. I have had to step really far outside of my comfort zone, not just with clients, but with new co-workers, other Realtors® and affiliates, industry peers, etc. I can definitely say that it was not easy, and it probably never will be for me, but I feel so good about the progress I’ve made in creating new relationships with people! A quote I heard from my sister recently sums it u: “If you are comfortable, you’re not growing. If you’re growing, you’re not going to be comfortable.” -Unknown.

Real estate is my passion, and the past year has definitely taught me that even through the ups and downs, I love what I do!