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Your environment is...lonely :-0

being a professional Feb 11, 2023

Real estate is a lonely business.

I know some people will argue about that statement. Maybe you are one of them. However, when I say 'lonely' I mean solitude, or isolating - I don't mean being affected by depression or being lonesome. My experience is that real estate agents (including me) are mostly on an island by themselves - even when they are on a team.

Consider our compensation. We only get paid what we sell - and close. No one is giving us a paycheck, so by definition our livelihood, our survival if you will, is based on this fight to survive. We survive (so to speak) by closing a transaction. And no one else is doing that for us. No one else is finding those clients and serving those clients. Sure, we may have help, but really, we are doing it all, and it is all on us. We need that next deal to close.

Every day we wake up in fear, scarcity, panic, anxiety, depression - you know, the usual feelings of being a real estate agent. Okay, maybe not you, and maybe not every day, but surely those feelings are not unfamiliar to you.

It is up to us to develop and nurture relationships. When we are not with a client / prospect / sphere relationship - we are often alone, wondering about how we will get more business. That moment, the moment we are alone wondering what to do next - is isolating. It is us and our thoughts. And those thoughts are typically not very uplifting.

The other side of this coin is that it feels like we are in competition for business. If we don't get that client to do that deal, someone else will. And that is true - if we were to fall off the face of the earth, that client will still buy and/or sell, and they will do it with someone else. But that's not my point. Because it feels like we are in competition, we generally put distance between ourselves and our peers. We hold back. We aren't vulnerable, and we don't have deep and meaningful connections "at work." (I am generalizing - this is not true for everyone)

To complicate matters further, think about your office environment - the brokerage where you hang your license. What happens every month/quarter/year? Rankings! Who were the top agents, what was their production, etc? And usually, you were not where you wanted to be. So how does that environment/situation feel?

What about your managing broker? What is their job? Well maybe first it is to keep everyone out of legal trouble. But beyond that, would it be unfair to say that a manager's job is to recruit and retain agents? Then it is to "help" agents do more deals. Like 'more' is the answer (a whole other topic).

By the way - I am NOT making managing brokers wrong. There are many amazing, supportive, caring managers out there. All I am saying is that they too have a job description - and their job doesn't always (didn't say never) correlate with creating an environment that supports your well-being. Sometimes the issue is simply they don't know how to create an environment that best supports you because they are merely doing what has always been done before.

This brings me to the point that I always come back to:  the real estate industry does not have your best interests at heart. Real estate thrives on more. It is a black hole, with an enormous gravitational pull that is almost inescapable. The pull is for you to be in fear and scarcity, to be available 24/7, to lower your standards to work with any one at any fee and to believe that more production will solve your problems.

How's that going?

Your environment is one place to start. Who do you surround yourself with? Who are the people you look up to? Who are your mentors? What do you listen to and watch? Is it chasing the illusion of more, or is it about having a fulfilled life? (Consider those two are mutually exclusive)

For me, what worked was being part of a group - and environment - that was committed to my overall success. A place where I could plug in every week and get sourced, and reminded, of what was most important. Where I could get saved from being sucked into the black hole of the industry. Real estate is lonely. To get out of the loneliness, to get around other people is not bad or wrong. But with whom are you hanging around? Is your environment - including the people in it - supporting you? Because sometimes being by yourself would be better than hanging around certain people! But of course, then you have the problem of hanging out by yourself...

This business is hard. Don't make it harder on yourself. Pay attention to your environment, and find awesome people to hang out with.