Since I recently entered my 40’s, I reached out to friend of mine who’s about a decade older and asked for advice. What did he wish he’d known at 40, but didn’t?
His answers were enlightening, and helped me cast a vision for my next ten years. In this post, I want to do something similar for new real estate agents.
I’ve been an agent for 15 years. When training new agents, there’s something I advise them never to neglect as they launch their businesses.
Build relationships. If you don’t, you’ll look back ten years from now and wish you had.
If you’re a new agent, I know what you’re thinking: I’m too stressed out to build relationships!
That’s normal and understandable. Most new agents feel stressed about making sure their bills get paid and there’s food on the table as they get their businesses rolling.
But if you don’t start building your relationships now, you might never.
After a couple of years in the business, you’ll probably still feel stressed. But this time, instead of worrying about putting food on the table, you’ll be stressing about time.
Suddenly, your day is packed with appointments and phone calls, and keeping up is a challenge! The stress you felt at the start has changed, but it’s still there—and it still makes building relationships feel impossible.
So you run your business day by day, instead of thinking about your long-term plan.
But building relationships is essential to your long-term plan.
Here’s why you should build relationships, even when you feel like you’re too stressed or you don’t have time: They’re the key to flourishing, instead of burning out, ten years down the road.
By building relationships, you’re laying the groundwork for a valuable network of people: friends, community members, and colleagues who know you and trust you.
Because you’ve spent years demonstrating your expertise, trustworthiness, and willingness to lend a hand, these folks think of you when they need an expert. They also recommend you to their family, friends, and coworkers.
Over time, the work you do building relationships brings you genuine, authentic leads.
Your relationships will elevate your business to a platform where it sustains itself. Rather than grabbing at every opportunity, you’ll be helping people in your community who reach out to you organically.
The niche you’ve carved for yourself empowers you to help the people around you.
Of course, reaching this platform takes time. It might even take years before you begin to see the rewards of your hard work.
But think of Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.
In the pyramid, you have to do the work at the bottom before you can earn the rewards at the top.
Building relationships is one block at the bottom of your Pyramid of Success. It’s an essential undertaking that, with a little patience and faith, brings you to that place in your career where you’re no longer running on the hamster wheel.
So my advice to new agents is this: Tackle all of those everyday stressors, but make sure you’re not missing the essential building block of building relationships.
Ten years from now, you might just look back and realize it’s the best decision you ever made for your business.
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Matt Mittman and Eric Rehling are the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, PA. See articles from them about Freakonomics, simple business planning, generating leads, Zillow, the weather, Chip Kelly, RESPA, and more.