CHARLIE HAWKINS – Leather is peeling off my dress shoes. Sweat is pouring through the back of my dress shirt in the 100-degree Texas summer heat. Alas, the American Dream. Analysts estimate that anywhere between 75% and 90% of all real estate agents fail within the first five years of starting their real estate career. Most would agree that the first year is the hardest. However, I have learned a very important lesson, to replace rejection with value.
In the words of Tiger Woods, “Conditions are really, really tough out there.” Like golf, real estate brokerage is a game of misses and an endless pursuit of excellence. Mark Twain also quipped, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” I would add that a cold call is a good walk spoiled by a fiercely protective receptionist. There are many reasons to say no to someone you don’t know. Whether it be, ‘We own the building and aren’t looking to sell’, ‘We already have a broker’, or ‘We just signed a 10-year lease’. All are euphemisms for “No. You can go kick rocks.”
So how do you get past the gatekeeper and mosey your way through the labyrinth to the ultimate goal that is winning the decision maker’s business?
Replace rejection with value. Continue following up with calls, emails, industry articles, flyers, and business cards. Knowledge is power, but the most important factor is timing. You must be prepared. Either by doing research, digging through LinkedIn, understanding what the client wants, or finding mutual points of interest. They are all as important as the execution of the actual call.
In 2 months on the grind, I’ve come to a level of unbelievable grit and intestinal fortitude required to make it in the real estate business. It takes a certain blend of countless hours, innate ability, competitive nature, and luck.
You have to have a killer instinct, trust the process, be patient, and be better today than you were yesterday. You can’t become discouraged by rejection and need to recognize the small victories while cold calling. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game: a marathon, not a sprint.
Judge yourself by the number of calls made, and the results will take care of themselves. Control what you can control, and when you’re not working to improve, your competition is.
Expect the unexpected, and be ready to improvise. Mike Tyson said it best. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Charlie Hawkins is a broker associate, specializing in commercial leasing and brokerage in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. His duties include Tenant Representation, Project Leasing, Brokerage and Sales of industrial, flex and office properties.