Dear 18-year old agent,
I remember the day I got the results of my real estate license exam in the mail. It was just a few weeks after I’d turned 18 and as I slid the single piece of paper out of the envelope from the Texas Real Estate Commission, it said simply “PASS”. I was looking out from my third floor apartment balcony and felt like I was literally on the top of the world. After working at the Texas Association of Realtors throughout high school, I was convinced that I would soon become just as rich as I assumed all the Realtors around me were.
Now that I’m 45, with full knowledge of what it really takes to make it in this business, I envy the hopeful, newbie energy you no doubt have. I encourage you to hold onto that excitement and hopefulness as long as possible. We can never be certain about the future except to know that challenges and adversity will come.
This morning I realized that the September 11th attacks on the United States happened 19 years ago, meaning if you’re getting your license at 18 years old like I did, you are among the first group of agents who weren’t alive when our country was attacked. Everyone just a few years older than you will have some memory of that time and an answer to the question “Where were you when the planes hit the towers?”.
I was seven years into my career at that point and headed out on property tour, excited to be showing my personal home to fellow agents. I was certain they’d have a buyer for me right away but sadly, no one saw the homes on tour that day. When we heard about the planes hitting the towers on the radio we all went home in shock and stared at the news for hours on end.
All of this got me thinking about how much the industry you are entering seems to have changed since then and how, when you strip away the noise, the most important factors that contribute to your success have not. While you were growing up, not only did we navigate the uncertainty of the market after the terrorist attacks, we made it through the dot com bust, several rounds of panic that the internet would disintermediate agents and the great recession. We adapted as advertising and lead generation shifted to online platforms and as consumers were flooded with more information about real estate than they’d ever need. We learned to incorporate social media and we even adapted to the ways reality tv has portrayed our work to the average consumer.
There’s no doubt the world has changed quite a bit since you were born, but there are five things that haven’t changed and if you focus on them now, you’ll build a solid foundation to support your career no matter what life throws at you in the future. Here’s what I’d tell myself if I were 18 today and starting my career.
Now, take these five thoughts and go conquer the world. Become the top producer I know you can be.
PS. The pic is me with Gary Keller sometime around 2001 before selfies were a thing...🤠
Information in this post is adapted from the upcoming book The Top Producer Life, How To Build The Real Estate Career Of Your Dreams In Any Economy by Jasen Edwards that will be available this December.