What determines whether someone entering the real estate field will enjoy success? You probably already know the answer.
When I began my training to become a Realtor in late 1989 the economy was just beginning to turn south and a recession was on the horizon. In my city, home prices had already peaked and were on their way down. Much like the situation in many cities in the US today, most homes were worth less than what the owners had paid for them. To make matters worse, mortgage rates were in the mid teens! In my city house prices did not recover for over ten years. Of course, most of us who began the real estate course were unaware of what the market was like and what the future may hold. Memories of the late boom market were still fresh and many of my 70 or so classmates entered the course thinking selling real estate would be easy.
By the second week of the course I had formed some opinions about a few of my classmates. There was James who had just sold a multi million dollar business and lived in a large house in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. He was well connected, smart, and had the gift of gab. I suspected he would do well. At the other end of the scale was Tony who previously worked in an auto body shop. Tony wore an ill-fitting cheap brown suit, drove a $500 car, and lived in the city’s worst neighborhood. Tony seemed barely able to string two sentences together and clearly he felt he was a bit out of his element. Many of us silently voted Tony the “least likely to succeed”.
The course was not easy. Only about half actually passed – including James and Tony. James enjoyed success relatively quickly. It seemed that he had a few wealthy friends lined up ready to sell their homes the day he was licensed. After that he went about aggressively pursing expired listings of which there were many because of the declining home prices. Tony did not enjoy immediate success but he too pursued expired listings and FSBOs in his part of town.
After 5 or 6 years there were only a handful of my classmates still in the business including James and Tony, who had moved up to a nicer car, a nicer suit that fit, and now had a confident manner about him. Today, some twenty years later, there is just one of my old classmates still selling real estate – Tony – the fellow voted least likely to succeed.
Tony succeeded where others didn’t simply because of persistence. It doesn’t matter where one lives, what one drives, how connected one is or how well educated. It doesn’t matter how much money you begin with. Success really just requires that you persist.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.