7 WAYS TO KNOW YOU HAVE “MADE IT” IN REAL ESTATE SALES

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At what point do you know you’ve really “made it” in real estate?  Is it once you make a certain amount of money? Is it when you quit your “real” job and become an agent full time? Once you get repeat business?
Below are 7 things that changed within my business that helped me solidify the fact that I had finally made it in Real Estate. They have nothing to do with making money.
1. You look forward forward to the winter season instead of fearing it
When I was a brand new agent, I would pillage and hoard like a bear on his way into hibernation. The winters were the worst as my business would slow while at the same time I had to buy presents for my entire family. (Just an FYI – coupons for a discounted commission don’t go over well… especially to kids.)
Now, I love the winter season. I get a break from the craziness and look forward to spending more time at home. I take this opportunity to re-charge my business and plan new strategies for the upcoming year. Plus, I can afford to give real presents.
2.  You actually rely on your calendar 
Oh how I miss those days when a calendar wasn’t necessary. When you only have 1 or 2 appointments during the week, it’s not hard to keep it all straight. Once I screwed up my third appointment, I knew Google and I had to take our relationship to the next level.
Now, I can’t imagine not having a calendar on my phone. In fact, I have 3 calendars. One for my real estate business, one for Nekst and one for my family.
3.  You are able to take a vacation, like, for real
I’ll admit it, I took my laptop with me on my honeymoon and occasionally snuck some work in with my smartphone when my wife wasn’t looking. Even to this day I still feel better keeping an eye on my business when I am supposed to be vacationing. But my vacations have improved dramatically now that I’ve hired an assistant and have a team of agents who can cover my clients.

Vacations are important and healthy. It is possible to disconnect from real estate once the right systems and people are in place.
4.  You have to worry about payroll deadlines
One thing I learned right away is that you CANNOT screw up someone’s payroll. There is stronger fury than that of an employee who wasn’t paid on time.
As you shift from worrying only about yourself to having to worry about others, you know that your business has grown to the point where you’re a heavy hitter in the industry.
5.  You pay annually for your technology tools instead of monthly
As a new agent, you would never pay for a full year in advance for a real estate tool either because you knew you would suck at implementing it or you simply had no money.
Now, you’re having conversations with companies like Boomtown or Zillow and offering to pay THOUSANDS of dollars per month because after all “one sale will pay for the system for the entire year”.  When you’ve made it, you look to shed costs any way you can, even if it means paying a full year in advance for a 5% discount.
6.  Your friends stop hiding from you
As I have written about in other articles, watching your friends and family transition from “Why the hell you are getting a real estate license?” into a “trusted real estate expert” is a beautiful thing. Every agent must work through the heartbreak of having friends and family choose another agent to work with to buy or sell a home because they didn’t have faith in you.
But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have worked with me either when I was first in the business! I had no clue what I was doing. My first client was my wife (at the time she was my girlfriend) so she HAD to work with me.
Eventually, friends and family will see that you are successful and be totally open about real estate matters. Going so far as to even saying things like “When you list our house…” and “When you find us a house…” which is so totally awesome.
7.  You go to a conference or training session and actually have work to do during the breaks  
This one is my favorite. Whatever event you are at for real estate, once a session concludes people instantly go to their phones because they have so many “urgent, pressing matters” to deal with.
During my first couple years in the business, I had no urgent pressing matters but I couldn’t let everyone else at the conference know this. So I would check Facebook to see what my friends were up to or write some completely pointless email. Perhaps I’m just weird, but these breaks were totally awkward for me.
Within a few years, I became that person who had try and squeeze 15 minutes of phone calls into 5 minutes. I felt important.
Fast forward to today and I have even more going on, though I’m back to having nothing to do during the breaks except stretch and drink my 19th coffee. I’ve made it though. I am lucky enough to have an awesome team maintaining my business while I am able to focus on how to make it bigger and better.
Do you remember when you finally realized that you had “made it” in real estate?  Share with me and others how you knew!

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