It’s no secret in my office that I’d rather do anything else than paperwork. If I had my way, I’d spend all day talking to people, showing homes and introducing them to my favorite parts of Greensboro. The reality is, though, that there’s more to real estate – or any career – than just the parts of the job you love.
Tasks or situations that aren’t your favorite can make you feel stuck. I know this firsthand. Over the last 30 years, I’ve learned a few truths about working in real estate that were hard, but necessary, to accept. I knew if I wanted to be a successful and confident real estate agent, I had to face these things and move on.
So a long time ago, that’s what I did. I decided for myself that I wasn’t going to let these things get in the way of being the best agent and supporter of my buyers and sellers.
Here are three hard truths of real estate and how I’ve moved past them:
Truth #1: You won’t be good at everything.
Like I said before, I hate paperwork. Forms are not my strong suit, and I used to get frustrated and end up procrastinating that part of the job. What changed? I know this is part of my profession and an important one at that – so I accepted it. I chose to be okay with paperwork. I’ve figured out ways to make it easier after recognizing what I need to work on. I train my mind to be more detail oriented by spending more time reviewing documents. I lean on my strengths. And most importantly, I have surrounded myself with a great support team who excel in the areas where I’m not as strong. It makes us a well-rounded group who can support each other and keep us focusing on the parts of real estate that we all do best.
Truth #2: Conflict and mistakes are inevitable.
Real estate isn’t just business. When you work with people, it’s always personal. I’m very relationship oriented so if I’m faced with a negative situation or a client or fellow agent who’s feeling stressed, I’ve learned to take a step back and reflect on the fact that their stress or worry is probably not about me. They could be upset about anything from the typical challenges of the home-buying process to something happening at home. With this in mind, I respond with compassion and open communication, and subtly remind the person that we have a common goal so we can get back on the same page.
Working with people means mistakes happen, too, and in real estate, a mistake can be costly and especially impactful. It’s been liberating to realize that I’m not perfect. Instead of blame shifting when I make a mistake, I try to take the high road by admitting it, owning it and then doing whatever I can to make it right. It’s also important to remember this when buyers, sellers and other agents make mistakes. Every real estate experience will present its challenges, but having a collaborative and supportive mindset and knowing that we’re all trying to achieve the same goal is essential. Some newer buyers and sellers worry they will make a mistake along the way — that’s OK. Every mistake can be overcome and I value the opportunity to problem solve and put clients’ minds at ease.
Truth #3: You’ll have to face your fears.
If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that ticks and snakes scare me even more than paperwork. Sounds like a funny thing for a real estate agent to worry about, but it actually can be a hazard of the job. When I’m walking a yard or piece of property and I’m close to the woods, ticks are always on my mind. To help me face this fear and not let it stop me from doing my job, I focus on what I can control, like keeping a close eye out and then making sure I have time to shower soon after I spend time scoping out lots near the woods.
Want to hear more? Listen to the episode “Parts of Your Job You Love to Hate” of Melissa Unscripted on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio and other platforms. Then, join the conversation with me on social media! I love hearing from you.