9 things I learned as a “covid” REALTOR
First, let’s just get this clear — the term “covid REALTOR” is kind of rude (IMO) and really, what does that mean?
Someone decided they wanted to try something new, take their lay-off and turn it into productive time spent studying their butt off, learning, growing and bettering themselves to give the great world of real estate a try? Maybe. Or maybe the alignment of someone finally after being a “This Old House” (thank you Bob Vila and team for showing how it’s really done) addict for as long as they can remember, many, many years of being told how good of a real estate agent they’d be, they bit the bullet, shelled out the small investment, got to studying, and passed the state licensing exam on the first try!
Whatever the reason, becoming a licensed real estate agent is never for the faint of heart but even more so during a global pandemic. Did many think, oh, it’s easy, I’ll give it a try? Probably. Especially if those around them that have been in the industry make it look easy. Let’s get this clear — it is NOT easy…but it is SO worth it if you’re willing to WORK! Here’s 9 things I’ve learned myself as a “covid” REALTOR…
- There is strength in having a compassionate, empathetic heart as a REALTOR and that ability to truly care about clients and their best interests will take you far.
- Just because you’re “new” to the business doesn’t mean you’re not as good (or even better) at it than someone who might have been “in the trenches” for 20+ years. Have faith in your wisdom, the unique traits and education you bring to your business and always always be learning.
- It is NOT an easy business to be in. Personally, I knew this from essentially managing a small brokerage office as a marketing and administrative assistant. I saw the day to day. I saw the frustration, the stress, the running all over the state for clients, and definitely saw that any transaction can crumble at any moment…even up to closing day! So, if you think it is going to be easy, or at least easy in the beginning, think again.
- Being a “covid” REALTOR means you have to train your buyer clients to be resilient, if they aren’t already, and that the home buying process is a MARATHON — well, you gotta sprint to the newly listed or coming soon homes and then put your best foot forward EVERY time you submit an offer. And be cautiously optimistic each time an offer is submitted. Is this market for the “I think I want to buy a home now-ers”? NO. So please, for the love of all that is Holy, do not monopolize a real estate agent’s time if you’re a looky lew. This market is only for serious buyers who need homes now…even if it is beginning to shift a bit.
- Listings are GOLD — This business is time consuming, time-sucking if you let it become that, and challenging. It’s also a fun, amazing, rewarding and lucrative business if done right and treated as a BUSINESS. Listings are my personal jam — I absolutely love marketing, being creative and advising my sellers of best practices for getting from for Sale to SOLD. And if you’re an “on the fence” seller, you better leap that fence, get yourself a marketing-focused licensed real estate agent that is a member of the National Association of REALTORs, knows how to market homes and get them under contract and to the finish line aka closing table efficiently, with a stellar behind the scenes team and collaboratively with co-op agents.
- There are a plethora of lazy real estate agents out there. Yeah, I said it! Listing photos with toilet seats up — gross! Listing photos with blurred out blobs in the middle of the room because someone was in the room — weird. Listings with no description / story of the home — now, this might be on purpose in some cases, but in many it’s just plain lazy. Getting a property under contract then going MIA and communication becoming little to none; not good. If you’re in need of a REALTOR be sure to do your due diligence and check their Google and other reviews. And make sure you choose one with heart that is also tenacious in the pursuit of YOUR best interests.
- The public has many, many misconceptions of REALTORs — what they do, how they make money, how they work and what their value is. This definitely is a product of a lot of misinformation and a product of attention paid to those lazy real estate agents that give the industry a bad name. Bottom line — this is a BUSINESS. It is the livlihood of many, many human beings that have children, homes, bills, dreams, goals, aging parents to care for, and activities outside of the business to tend to and pay for. For some it is the only avenue of income for the whole family, for others it is the vehicle to paying off student loan debt, saving for their very own home or simply socking away money for a kids college education.
- There is beauty in volunteering and giving back to the REALTOR community by being on a committee at the local and/or state association of REALTORS. We only get better if we devote the time and effort to do so. Being on a committee not only gives back to the community, but it gives you the opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals in the business and share your fresh ideas with others.
- Even through the mayhem of covid and all the challenges it has brought — I still love real estate. At the root of it all is this — you are helping others with their biggest investment in life and one of life’s most important assets — a home! I love, love, love homes (especially the old ones with character and stories). Being the trusted advisor to someone selling their home and heading on to other adventures is so very rewarding. Marketing and telling the story of someones home is fun, challenging and invigorating to me.
It all boils down to this…Because I Love Houses. Is the #realestatelife easy? NO. Is it worth it? Like training for and running a marathon — YES!!!