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Holy “change in the weather” Batman!

In real estate I find myself searching for sunny days.

We all want to go back to the glory days of real estate when transactions were as plentiful as bailouts seem to be these days. I wasn’t around for those days, but like anyone with a license, I’ve heard the stories. Agents, kicked back in their chairs, surrounded by their office plaques for “Rookie Of The Year” and “Top Producer”, telling me about the good ‘ole days. Sharing stories of how they juggled 20 closings in a week and still had time to take the family to Disneyland. How they listed a property at 9AM only to have multiple offers by sundown. How they couldn’t even use their transaction software to write up contracts, because there just wasn’t time to type that much info and still call their clients with the offer.

Although I have not seen that sort of activity lately (wish I had that news to deliver), I have seen a subtle change. For me it seems as if I’m juggling 50 clients (even though its considerably less) and I couldn’t be more happy about it. I’m busy. I’m answering phone calls, sending email, and showing properties. Its all coming together suddenly and I love it. I have far to go, but I am moving in the direction I always intended to go.

So what caused this change?

I attribute it to a bunch of factors. One, the news is finally sinking in that San Antonio isn’t going to fall off the face of the earth in real estate terms. We’re performing better than most. I’m not going to lie and say its all sunshine and roses (it snowed here last night and all plant life in my yard is dead from the drought), but we’re holding our own. Two, I’ve been diligently chipping away. Instead of crying that I had no clients, I’ve been out and about…finding them. I’ve spoken to anyone who looked at me. I’ve spoken to some who didn’t. I’ve done open houses, made phone calls (not cold calls…ewww), and followed up with everyone I knew. I sent out letters to some expired listings (and currently have one of them listed). I tried to continue blogging as much as I could to get better at it and read more than my fair share of educational materials. I’ve made my moves with my website (which is still incomplete but making my phone ring) and tried Twitter and ActiveRain as outlets for myself (I am of the “be yourself” variety and if a client comes from that, great…if not, I’m learning new things everyday). Its been a blur of activity and I’m not ready to stop anytime soon.

Doing all this brings new questions to my mind.

Of course, with my new found workload I find myself learning quickly about time management in order to stave off the problems of “there’s not enough hours in the day.” Having said that, I’m a day late with this post. Why? I took time off last night to spend time with my wife (well, time off after a long evening of work). As much as I love my work, I love her more. I had to stop work, walk away from my computer, and sit with her and talk. It was wonderful. A few stolen moments from work only served to recharge my batteries and bond me with my wife some more. Sorry readers, you come second. With the work load, I am trying to find balance and still work harder than the average agent. Being newer, it still takes me a little while longer to do the things some of you could do in your sleep.

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New questions leads to new learning opportunities, so I’m excited by it all. When I stumble, I look to the blogs and read stories of agents facing the same things I do. Agents who have years more experience than I do, but face the same things I do. I guess this post is a bit “preaching to the choir” for many of you, but for those that are just getting started or facing a new challenge, I wanted to write this, so you know the things I have learned…there is change in the air and although the national news is depressing most nights, there are people coming off the fence. They are coming off the fence, you just need to find the right fence to be next to. The easiest way to do that is to go to every fence you can find and let it be known that you’re there, ready to catch buyers and sellers as they slip off the fence and help them down safely.

When the rainy season begins, where will you be?

I’ve seen several agents leave recently. Agents who I never suspected would walk away from the business. Those agents gave up hope and stopped trying. They have their reasons, I’m sure, and I’m not knocking their reasons, but I know that I made a decision to be an agent and I will do so with the same passion I went at playing guitar in a band for 14 years. I loved what I did and I now love what I do. I will do what it takes to succeed and build a business that sustains itself even when the weather shifts once again. The weather in real estate is about as reliable as the weather forecast in Philly (not very). I will go through droughts, floods, snow storms, and hail…but there will always be sunny days.

Written By

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Steve Mattison

    December 11, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Well done Matt, honest and encouraging, keep on keeping on man, you have the right attitude and perspective. Thanks for being real and telling it like it is!

  2. Matt Stigliano

    December 12, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Steve – The way I see it we all get discouraged at time, frustrated, mad, whatever. As long as I keep trying I can’t say I’m not doing what I can. Much like music, real estate is what you make it. A little luck (finding great clients) is a good thing in both, but no matter what, you’ve got to work it.

  3. Missy Caulk

    December 12, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Matt, I am seeing it too, one guy last year who sold in a rural area, with 19 listings said, “I’m done”.

    In a way I wish I had started in a down market because I still long for the glory days being primarily a listing agent.

    But, we don’t control the market we just adjust to it and do what is necessary to keep rockin’.

  4. Gary McNinch

    December 12, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Matt,
    Great job and it will get easier as you get smoother with your systems after you get the client. Experience will help.

    And you already have the BIGGEST part figured out. Your wife is way more important than work.

    Oh and give yourself credit, there is no LUCK in getting clients, you are putting yourself out there with your eyes and your mouth open.

    List and Sell (you are getting there quickly) Gary @ RentonHomeFinder.com

  5. Steve Sherron

    December 13, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I am one of those new agents that started in the worst economic periods of human kind. I’m keeping my license active, but I have walked away from actively working the business at this time. I simply had to face reality in able to try and earn an income.

    I was an extremely busy agent with limited payoff. Agents who can hang on right now, will benefit if this market ever recovers. My advice to any agent right now, new or veteran, would be to make darn sure you are not spending all your time on “wild goose chases”. The public is very knowledgeable as to what is going on in this market and they will use and abuse an agent nowadays. An eager agent will end up spending hours of research, emails and property reviews only to discover they are working with bottom-feeders who have no intention of buying.

    I refuse to work with buyers right now because there are too few out there. I will only list properties. The following is my opinion, if you can survive for the next year and you want to prosper, List, List, List. If a buyer contacts you, send him to another broker in your office under a referral. The other agent spins his/her wheels and if they buy, you still get paid. Spend your every waking moment on listings only. Disregard everything else.

    When this market breaks, you will have a sales force of hundreds of agents in your area selling your listings that you have worked while everyone else was working with so-called buyers that never materialized. Then you will be sitting back with your Agent of the Year awards.

  6. Matt Stigliano

    December 13, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Missy – I refuse to be a new agent that drops off the face of the earth. Let me do it after I’ve succeeded, then I won’t mind so much. I’m actually happy to have started when I did. It hasn’t been great for the wallet, but it has taught me a lot and allowed me to focus on things so I can learn more while I have the time. If I was swamped with business from day one, I might not be where I’m at learning-wise.

    Gary – I notice how each little experience I go through makes me a) better at what I do and b) more confident in doing it. My wife is always more important than anything. She’s been by my side through a lot of good and some bad even. She never flinches and always keeps me going. She supported me through the biggest decision of my life (walking away from music and into real estate) and it wasn’t an easy time. There was a lot of emotion and psychology tied up in that (it was like getting divorced), but she supported me the whole way. I am one hell of a lucky man. My reference to “luck” was more about if you and I both went out and met 100 new people, you might find three clients, I might find none. The luck of the draw was in whether those people you’re meeting and getting to know are actual willing and able buyers. There is skill in there too, but there is an element of randomness to meeting a client blindly.

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