Raising a Puppy and Your Real Estate Career – by Dana Sparks
So I got a new puppy two weeks ago…. a 7 month old Doberman! I have always had dogs my entire life but I have not had a puppy in a while and I forgot how much hard work AND intense joy are involved to raise a puppy! I started thinking about the similarities between raising a puppy and having a successful real estate career and realized they are exactly the same! (Well may except for the “teething” part!)
Your career and your new puppy require:
Lots of Attention: You cannot ignore your career. There are many aspects of real estate to which you need to pay attention… just like you cannot leave a 7 month old 45 pound pup alone in your house without paying attention to her! You need to attend to lead generation, lead conversion, client servicing, your marketing, your contracts, understanding the inventory, your Broker, your paperwork, etc.! Each of these aspects need your consistent attention to learn your craft and serve your clients so that you may close more transactions and make more money! How do you constantly pay attention to all of these issues when there are only 24 hours in a day? The answer is organization, time blocking, routine and scheduling.
Patience: So you teach the puppy how to sit and she’s housebroken – hallelujah! No accidents and she sits upon command beautifully. On to the next trick – down and stay! All of a sudden she has an accident and you’d think she never heard the word “sit” in her life! Arrgghhhh!!! I KNOW she knew how to sit… what happened?!?! You ran out of patience is what happened! The puppy has started focusing on new things in her surroundings and new commands you are teaching. Just like the myriad aspects of real estate, there is a lot to learn and sharpen. Patience in this profession will serve you well! You need to be patient with yourself, your clients, the market and your co-op agents.
Discipline: When you raise a puppy, you feel like “no” gains an inordinate amount of prevalence in your vocabulary! The discipline required to have a well-trained, happy dog with polite manners requires a lot of discipline (of the dog and your temper! … remember the patience thing?!?!) To begin to experience success in real estate and sustain a professional career to help a lot of people & make a lot of money, you need a lot of discipline to achieve your goals! Many enter this field due to the “freedom” you have over your time and schedule. To be a successful entrepreneur, you work for yourself and must be extremely disciplined to do your job everyday! Without having to answer to a “boss,” it is really easy to not “go to work” one day, two days…. which turns into one week, a month, and more! The answers are easy: Have a business plan as a blueprint for your achievements for the year, a schedule to support this plan, an accountability partner to remind you of your goals, dreams and aspirations, and the self-discipline to generate new business EVERY WORK DAY – even when you don’t feel like it!
Education: There is so much to learn! The market continually changes, the mortgage industry continually changes, your clientele continually changes, the procedures and systems you use continually change, the contracts continually change, your marketing techniques continually change, and so on and so on! A puppy has an entire world about which to learn and relies on YOU to teach her what is expected of her, what is safe, what is forbidden and what to do to please you. A dog only wants to please her owner – and get rewarded with food, play and affection. When you stay in curiosity and continually stay on top of your field and learn what is expected of you to help your clients, you too will be rewarded with clients, closings, ease of business, familiarity with your industry, lots of commission checks and more ways to bless more people and make more money!
Nutrition, Exercise & Rest: For a healthy, happy, prosperous and growing career, you must nourish your mind, body and spirit. Being a successful real estate entrepreneur takes a lot of work, time and persistence. You must keep your body healthy and strong with proper nutrition and exercise. Plan your meals, pack a healthy lunch at home and bring it with you to the office – chances are it will be healthier than what you would grab on the go (& cheaper!) East a good breakfast every day so that you will have the energy every morning to solicit new business – that is what you should do every morning you go to work! Throughout the day and at the end of the day, take some time for yourself to rest and relax. You must keep yourself strong in order to be strong for others. Schedule a deadline each night for working – in other words, after 7:30pm, my time belongs to myself and my family – no calls and no emails. My new pup goes FULL OUT from the time I take her out of her crate and feed her breakfast until she collapses with exhaustion for a nap! (Oh how I treasure those nap times!) When you step away from work for an hour lunch break and in the evenings and throughout the weekend, it gives you a chance to re-charge your energy and re-new your enthusiasm and vitality towards your profession and your current clients.
Love and Kindness: Any animal, or anything for that matter, entrusted to your care deserves your love and kindness. All that a new puppy wants to do is please you in order to seek your love, appreciation & approval… and perhaps some food! Your approach to your career should be one of love and to all of those involved in any transactions you should be kind. At the beginning of every transaction, this is typically not an issue; as time goes on and the parties move towards closing, issues tend to arise that make you a bit hard-pressed to continue this kindness. Remember that the practice of real estate is unlike any other profession. There are two separate parties represented by two separate firms yet all are working towards the same ultimate goal. We use terms such as negotiate and counter offer which seemingly imply opposition, yet the end result is always the same goal! Unlike other professions that use these same tactics and terms (i.e. representing parties in a lawsuit where the goals are very opposed) it will serve you well to show kindness to your own client (especially when they are being difficult) and the co-op agent so that you may actually get to the closing table! Being kind and professional does not mean you have to like the person.
And of course a Camera: Besides the obvious use of a camera in real estate, you should metaphorically document your real estate career to recognize how much you have learned and how far you have come! It is also important to document your initial reasons for choosing real estate over any other career path you could have chosen. Write down what got you excited about getting into this profession and remind yourself of these reasons when you are having a bad day! Would you really rather go get a “job” or put some energy, discipline and training and focus on becoming a more successful agent? If you do NOW what others Won’t, in 5 years you can do what others CAN’T!
Now speaking of cameras…….
Look at that face!!
September 28, 2014