Agent Appreciation Month: A Personal Gratitude

Life as a new Agent

“Agent Appreciation Month” was the headline as I was reading through some news the other night on Inman.com, and I noticed a letter they published about realtors appreciation month being January. So I felt compelled to write A personal gratitude for the occasion because so many people don’t get the thanks they deserve.
It made me realize the journey that Realtors are on, compared to the road that I have traveled so far.   From the sacrifices made for clients to developing professional skills, learning how to financially support ourselves with 100% commission based business, wearing all hats of business and adjusting to the massive learning curve.
 This industry isn’t like what is seen on tv shows.  We write contracts on vacation, miss out on holiday supper, (because our client was ready to write up his offer after we have been working with them for weeks) study the market hoping to become experts, stifle ours, clients and people’s emotions, balance a busy schedule while still remaining available; all of that while keeping an eye out for the next available opportunity to put a deal together so we can feed ourselves and pay our bills.

Then I went deeper into agent appreciation by thinking about some of the incredible people that I’ve worked with…

Five years ago, my first real estate transaction was with a local top producer in our area.  I was green as a spring twig, trying to negotiate a deal with a seasoned expert.  I was nervous as could be, but she showed me the level of service, skill, and knowledge one must possess to be successful in real estate.  A little later, another broker gave me a crash course in some technology when I was still learning our e-signature platform.  It was very kind of him to take time from his day to show me some things to make my life easier, and I’ll never forget it.  Seasoned agents were helpful in guiding me through paperwork and negotiations.
Even after closing over 100 transactions in the five years of business, I’ve endured some failure, which has allowed me to appreciate the patience necessary to maintain good working relationships with my peers.  The failure taught me grace and still keeps me on my toes.  Seeing agents’ hustle, receiving sweet and kind tidbits of advice from mega producers, learning about directness, candor, and strategy;  my peers and have positively impacted my life and my career.

Making Lemonade

Even the negative folks have inspired me, like the big franchise broker who talked down to me in front of my peers when our brokerage first opened, and to brokers and agents who told me (to my face) that I would never make it.  Those words drove me to work even harder as I was facing the biggest challenge I’ve ever put upon myself.  I learned that even though I’m small potatoes, they must have felt threatened.  When we do well we tend to upset others even though there’s plenty of business to be had; I can appreciate the competitive nature of the real estate industry.  Who’s fighting for the market share, and what ethical or unscrupulous things will be done to earn it?  Lessons about what other people have done and the reputation they have given themselves through their actions have led to appreciating the importance of reputation in general.
But It isn’t just real estate agents or brokers who deserve gratitude, even though this is about agent appreciation.  Affiliates such as lenders and title processors helped guide me through contract requirements to close a transaction. I learned how to best guide my clients’ financial strategy by speaking with lenders and learning about the products.
The life of an agent is full of twists, turns, and random opportunities.  It’s time to appreciate what real estate agents and brokers go through in order to make it.  The circle has come full swing.  I see transactions that depend on how the other new agents might handle it.  The struggle is real for those ambitious enough to try real estate sales.   Thank you, to those who have made an impact and choose to help others along the way.
What do you all think about this idea?  We have to go through a lot to make it in this business, and I’ve always thought that it takes a special kind of crazy to do it.  Please comment, like or share!
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