Over the course of 15 years of selling real estate, I've made some mistakes. It's easy to do when you don't have a "How-To' manual or a Mentor to guide you. I thought I'd share a few of my blunders... just in case there's a newbie out there who could benefit.
1. Branding your email. The first brokerage I worked for was Windermere. I picked a cute name for my email address: BuyAHome@Windermere.com. Big mistake! Three years later, I left Windermere and moved to RE/MAX. An agent at Windermere quickly snatched my old email address and benefited from my SEO. I learned my lesson and started branding my 'virtual' email to my personal url (Info@BuyInOregon.com).
2. Discovering your success. When I moved to Southern Oregon, I didn't know a soul. I got my real estate license and hit the ground running. My Principal Broker asked, "How will you get business?" I'm going to buy a website, I replied. He said, "that will never work." He told me I needed to knock on doors, so I listened. I canvassed a neighborhood, passing out chocolates and business cards. After 8 hours of sweating, and lots of melted chocolate, I got zero leads! After that, I bought a website (www.BuyInOregon.com). Within weeks, my phone started to ring ;-)
3. The art of persuasion. There have only been a handful of times in my life when I didn't trust my gut. As a newbie Realtor, I was offered a position as a Buyer's agent for a successful Broker. She was stylish, fast-talking and very convincing. I was new to the area, and her fear-based persuasion told me I needed her. Five months later, and numerous arm-wrestling matches in between, we parted ways. I knew we were ill-suited from day one, but I allowed fear to guide me. From then on, I followed my heart!
4. Assuming too much. I learned pretty quickly that buyers are like wild ponies. After expending much time and energy, not to mention several tanks of gas, a few of them galloped out (without me) and bought a FSBO. Oops! I assumed they knew I could help them with FSBO's too. However, I made a huge mistake in not communicating that to them. After a couple of lost deals, I created a fact sheet describing my services which I began providing to my clients at the first point of contact. I haven't lost a buyer to a FSBO after that. Never assume your clients can read your mind!
5. Saving for a rainy day. It's easy to spend big when you're making big. 2005' was my best year in real estate, grossing over $450K. If I knew I was going to lose my skirt in the coming years, I would have set aside more of my earnings for a rainy day (more like a 7-year storm). Business is cyclic and down times are inevitable. Saving is a smart thing to do no matter what your profession. I'm happy to say that I'm getting smarter in my 'wiser' years ;-)