EP 6: Anecdotal: The Hidden Parts of being a Property Agent
Previously I mentioned the 2 key things you need to survive as a property agent. Yes, I’ve been in this industry for 11-12 years. What can I tell you? IT IS NOT AN EASY JOB. Read on to find out some of the key experiences that shape my view.
I took 6 months to earn my first paycheck. That meant 0 income for 6 months. This may not be you, you may earn within 1-2 months, but be prepared for ups and downs in this industry. At the beginning, you’re still learning, so expect some of your earnings to go up in ‘school fees’. This is when you need help and your mentors will teach you and share your commission, so you don’t earn the full service fees.
One Anecdote: Listings were hard to find and non-exclusive. One of my early experiences, the owner promised me there were only 2 agents for his listing. Both of us marketed the place, and the other agent managed to sell off the place. So for both of our hard work, that agent earned the commission while I got nothing. BUT, 1-2 weeks later, the owner gave me a call. The other agent had burst the deal, and the owner decided to give me the listing exclusively. I spent close to $2000 in marketing for 5-6 months, before I finally got an interested buyer with an offer. I told the owner, he told me to come down to the unit so we can discuss how to close the deal. I still remember going up to the door with the cheque in my hands, super excited… But then the owner open the door, and told me these few words: “Sorry Aaron, I not selling already.” And then he closed the door.
I respect the decision of the owner of course, and I didn’t want to pry. But I was extremely sad because I lost so much money on marketing, and it was such a hard journey to even get to that point, full of ups and downs. Like some kind of rollercoaster. My family, who had been supporting me the entire time, were all with me and so upset also. My dad’s next words I will never forget, “Aaron, why don’t you find another job?”
In this job, you don’t have so much control. You can really do your best, pump in money, take so much time to market, but at the end of the day there’s other agents or the owner can decide not to sell and that’s it. You must really be prepared to have the grit to work through that at the beginning.
Choosing Clients Purposefully
Now that I’m more experienced, I only deal with clients and units that I’m confident will be worth it. Because this is really a job where you burn your own pocket – and you’re kind of your own businessman, no one owes you anything. You have to choose yourself what clients to work with, what units are worth marketing that will help you earn profit.
But say real, you cannot look at everything as just dollar signs. There’s a people aspect to it also – you will come across deals where the marketing effort is not worth the commission, but you really have a chance to help someone.
2nd anecdote: I helped someone solve her divorce problems due to the house and other financial problem. After the completion, she gave me a hug and thanked me for it. Her daughter even gave me a book that said I’m a good agent. That really warmed my heart and showed me that with my knowledge, I can also give back to the community.
This job is not easy and it’s a consistent effort (more on this in my previous article) to make it work. I hope these anecdotes gave you an insight into the different angles of being a property agent. This circuit breaker has brought on more changes; closing on Zoom is not easy. But still, don’t lose heart, and things will go up again!