Square Pegs in Round Holes

J Philip Faranda September 18, 2010

Cross the bridgeThis post is inspired by Brittany Rollins thought provoking post. It struck a chord. 

Real estate is  a hard business, especially right now. You have to love it. If you don’t, you should probably get out, or at least get out of the part of the industry you don’t love. I know many people in the industry who were once licensed salespeople who found their niche in other parts of the business: loan officers, title, and stagers, to name a few. There is no law that says after a year of being a licensed salesperson that if you don’t stick it out you are a failure. This is especially the case if you aren’t the primary breadwinner. 

If one of my agents walked into my office and said “I have been doing this business 9 months. I’m pretty good, but I hate it. I get nauseous when the phone rings. It isn’t fun,” I’d ask them what part isn’t fun and see if there is something they can do that is fun. Maybe they love marketing and can keep their license and get a referral fee if they market and I follow up. There are tons of possibilities. 

You might also examine whether the company you are docked with is the right fit. I interviewed a lady recently who didn’t fit into a rigid, meeting oriented office laden with paperwork and protocol. All she wanted to do was run leads and operate a small scale with a mentor available. She was in the wrong place. Smart for her to be looking. 

There are, of course, other possibilities: The convent, teaching, art, grad school, insurance, home remodeling, and dog grooming, to name a few. There is no rule you have to be in the industry. Follow your heart. 

I am blessed because, in large degree, I am where I wanted to be as a teenager- my own boss. I even live in the neighborhood I rode through on my 5-speed in the 70’s, daydreaming that I’d bump up here someday. My wife is different- although she has an artists’s heart, her parents pushed her in other directions: first pre-med, then an MBA. Not long ago, my mother in law admitted she should have let Ann pursue art. In Korean culture you can’t question your parents. In America, we rebel. Ann couldn’t win, and her mother’s admission was small solace. 

So the point is that this isn’t your practice life. Carpe diem. If you like real estate but hate real estate sales, go walk into a title company. Find out what it takes to be an underwriter or loan processor. Look into staging. See if being a marketing assistant or marketing consultant works. Don’t be miserable! Look for your niche. Don’t be a square peg in a round hole. 

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