The Case For Full-Time Professionals

Buying or selling a home ranks in the top five most stressful events in a person’s life. On the emotional ladder, it sits right up there with divorce. As a Realtor you are responsible for one of the biggest decisions your clients will make now or over the next few years of their lives.

There is an emotional nature to the residential real estate business due to the stress levels of the Buyer, Seller, and the other agent. Often, sadly, agents can fuel negative emotions if they don’t have control of their clients, if they don’t have time to do the job right, or if they are motivated more by the need for a commission check to cover a past-due car payment than by the successful outcome of the real estate transaction.

Lack of training: I personally believe that lack of training is the cause of our industry’s low success numbers, low customer return rates, and low per agent income. Most companies offer only a couple of weeks of introductory training for new hires. After that, for the most part, it is, “Here’s your desk and here’s your phone…go get ’em!”

Agents look to their companies for success and motivation tools, while companies (somewhat rightfully) say, “Hey, you’re an independent contractor so it’s your obligation to build your strengths and pay for your training.”

I think the ball is in the agent’s court. It’s your business; you are the one who needs to invest to make it grow. The best money you can spend is on training to improve your skills, knowledge, attitude, philosophy, and business skills.

24/7 work hours: As a residential Realtor, you can count on having to work some nights and weekends. Some agents follow a round-the-clock schedule for the duration of their careers; a select few bring their night and weekend hours down to almost zero as their success takes hold.

By my third year in the business I was down to a four-day workweek. I was able to sell 150-plus homes annually while working Monday through Thursday and taking Friday, Saturday, and Sunday completely off, with no interruptions from the cell phone, pager, faxes, or e-mail. On Thursday, late afternoon to early evening, my wife, Joan, and I would get into our car and drive to our vacation home in Bend, Oregon, some three hours away, for three days of down time in a recreational paradise. On Sunday afternoon, we would head back to Portland refreshed, relaxed, and ready to go. I only worked one evening a week, on Tuesdays, when I met with clients or caught up on prospecting with people I couldn’t reach during the day.