It's been 3 weeks since I started working in real estate, and I've made 3 deals so far. My co-workers say I'm doing great, but as July comes to a close, I'm eager to pick up the pace.
While I've had successes these first 3 weeks, there have been plenty of stressors. So I took some time to unwind at a rooftop pool party courtesy of my close friend and fellow real estate agent, Jane.
The view of the city skyline was spectacular and so was the sunset.
Here's a few lessons I've learned in this short time:
1. Keys. The right ones are hard to find. Sometimes they don't open the right doors, and there are just so, so many of them.
2. Subtlety. It's an art. You have to provide "constant gentle pressure" to your client. You can't be too aggressive because they already have an idea of a real estate agent as someone who's there to sell, not to help. I tend to talk too much and not ask questions and listen when I'm doing sales. I'm still learning what it means to apply "constant gentle pressure" and how to do it effectively, but as a first step, I'm working on asking clients more questions.
3. Trust. This is the number one thing between you and making a sale, and sometimes it's hard to get. Again, people have negative assumptions about real estate agents, and many of those assumptions are based on real experiences. For instance, the other week, I had a morning appointment to show an apartment to a client. The lead came from my friend and co-worker Jane. I went into the office early to look over the details of the listing. Lo and behold, the apartment had been rented. When I texted this to the client, she accused me of "baiting and switching" her. This is a very common practice in New York real estate. You tell one client you have a fabulous apartment and you direct them to the amazing pictures online. They make an appointment to see the apartment and all of a sudden it's mysteriously "unavailable." That's when they try to sell you on another apartment. That particular client might have already had this happen to her, so she wrote a bad review--under my friend Jane's name! That was the most disappointing part--Jane had almost no interaction with this woman, and yet she was angry enough that she didn't care whose name she wrote the review under.
4. Emotions. These are very hard to control, and they are directly linked to trust. This is the number two thing between you and a sale. If you don't know how to set expectations and redirect a client's emotions, you'll have a difficult time doing this job. For me, it's a welcome challenge. I have a hard time not just being "nice" but in this job it's always better to be more direct than it is to be nice. Just a few days ago, a client was upset with me because I didn't realize one of the apartments I showed her had been taken off the market. She had come to see it twice. It was an hour and a half out of my way on the train to meet her there. We finally made a decision on which apartment, and when she found out it was taken, she was devastated. She's a single mom and wanted a nice place for her and her son. She had already started planning where the furniture would go. In the end, she took another unit in the same building, but we parted on bad terms.
...but it's not all gloom and doom. I'm learning a ton about sales and I know I'll be able to bring back that knowledge to our business in the fall.