Life lessons after a decade in real estate
Today is my 10 year anniversary of being in real estate. I truly can’t believe it. I was 35 when I earned my license and the year was 2006 - probably the worst year ever to get into real estate. I started out on my own and after about 3 years, I decided it was time to grow. That’s when I started The Wendy Slaughter Team.
Over the past 10 years, real estate has taught me a ton about myself and life.
Here are my top 5 takeaways:
1 - Your values are clarified.
Do you really value your family or are you just saying that? Your health? Your home? Your friends? Look around you. What do you see? You made this life with your choices. Your priorities are reflected by what is physically around you and by the relationships you have with people you love.
Real estate asks a lot of you. You have to be firm in setting boundaries.
2 - Thicker skin is a must.
I came into this business as a “pleaser.” I had a hard time with the hard conversations. I wanted everyone to like me. I know it sounds immature and, at the same time, it rings true for many people, no matter what your age. No one wants to be disliked.
This quality made real estate difficult for me in the beginning. It took a lot of work in the early years but I’m a much better realtor because I pressed on, learned, and grew into my thicker skin. I’m still caring and kind but I’m much better at having the hard conversations. You learn fast that you owe it to yourself and your clients.
3 - Buddhists are right: nothing is permanent.
Change is a standard in this industry and in life. Regulations, technology, processes and forms change all the time. Contracts have grown to 70+ pages and we learn something new every day.
You have two choices: complain and try to fight the changes….or learn what the changes mean to your clients and the process and then adjust your systems to address the changes. Don’t waste your precious time and energy acting crazy about things that change and are out of our hands.
4 - Life is better if you are a Lifelong Learner.
I love learning. I was a good student and I still love reading and listening to good books, attending webinars, watching TED Talks and documentaries. It sounds nerdy and I don’t care. Learning is fun. It keeps life fresh.
One of my favorite TED Talks is about changing your body position in order to positively affect your body chemistry. This is great information for all us, especially teens.
5 - You can’t do this alone.
I spent 3 years as an independent agent: 2 years at Long & Foster and then my first year at RE/MAX.
I realized that if I wanted to increase my production and still take great care of my clients - AND take vacations (and stay as sane as possible), I needed to build a team. I am forever grateful that Debbie Gottwals took that plunge with me when we started the Team back in 2009.
#5 has been the best thing that I’ve learned.
Working with a Team allows me to live my work life with wonderful human beings. They are smart, funny, kind, supportive, energetic, motivated and their smiles and laughter make this work richer. My life is much more fun because I work with a really great team.
Support comes from home too. My husband, Jason, is committed to my work. He and the kids are the best squad I could ask for.
This list could be 150 items long. I tried to stick to the important stuff. I’ll check back in when I’m 55 and let you know what else I’ve learned.