By James Boyer
Eleven years ago, at the tender of age of 14, my life changed forever when my father passed. My mother powered forward from this tragedy with remarkable strength, and from that day until today, her primary goal in life has been taking care of me and my siblings. On that sad day in 2010, and by watching my mom in action since that time, I knew my “why” in life was to earn a solid enough living so that I could financially support her.
My mom loves living on a farm in Ohio, and as a farmer, she can use support. The good news is that my chosen career as a relentless real estate sales professional with CENTURY 21 Sunbelt Realty in Cape Coral, Florida, has afforded me the opportunity to reach that goal and many others.
Real estate is a rewarding profession and one that truly allows you to manage your own business. My first piece of advice, therefore, is to treat real estate sales as a business. That means you will need upfront money to invest in yourself and your business, including money for technology, mobile services, marketing, training and coaching, and lead generation. Finding a brand to affiliate with, such as CENTURY 21, that offers you access to a lot of these resources and a network to tap into, is also a great way to go.
Second, as a millennial, my experience shows that the best way to approach your (hopefully growing) sphere of influence, peers in your office, and other real estate pros in the industry, is to always be genuine. You’ll learn and hear a lot about scripts. To me, they tend to be a bit cookie-cutter. I prefer to tell and listen to stories. When getting on the phone with either buyers or sellers, I listen for their stories or tell them mine. That way a connection is made and a relationship formed.
People today do not want nor care about a sales pitch. What they really want is to see is who you are. One of the best ways to communicate that is through content on your Instagram, Facebook, and other social media profiles. It serves as an introduction to who you are—both professionally and personally. For example, a recent buyer client found me through my Facebook page and then clicked onto century21.com to read my profile. They said, “You have a really good feed. You seem like a guy that knows the area. That’s what we are looking for.”
The lesson here is that our social media presence, or personal brand, if you will, is going to be even more important further down the road, especially with younger generations.
Third, real estate is not a sprint; it’s a marathon that you can win with the right mindset. It could be months of not having a closing when you’re first starting out. There will be times when you will not want to get up in the morning. You see people all the time just working their job, unmotivated. They’re not excited; they’re just punching in from 9 to 5, doing the minimum and that’s it. Real estate is not one of those careers. You have to be passionate about it. You will need your “why” during the dry seasons, especially at the beginning of your career.
Fourth and lastly, do not listen to the naysayers who will tell you, “You’re too young for real estate.” Let that negativity drive you forward. There were three big things that kept me going: 1.) Having the upfront money to last six months. 2.) Getting a thorough understanding of how real estate works. 3.) Having support. And like my “why” from the very beginning, it was my mom who has always been my biggest supporter.
James Boyer is a sales agent with CENTURY 21 Sunbelt Realty, in Cape Coral Fla. His motto is: “Helping you find your first, your investment, your last, and everything in between. Getting it right every time.”