I have been a Realtor® for 6 years, which is a drop in the bucket compared to a lot of my colleagues. As a fresh-faced youngster entering the business it felt like I was joining a private club where new members were frowned upon. It was as if I was to face off in a competition against seasoned pros, many of whom had a sense of entitlement to a geographic or socio-graphic target market. Faced with a difficult decision on how to fit into the marketplace, I made a choice that allowed me to catapult my real estate career; I joined my local real estate board.
My real estate journey started as a member on the MLS committee. Instead of battling these competitors in our marketplace I attempted to befriend them and work towards a common goal. My hard work paid off and I developed great friendships with a lot of Realtors® and built a mutual respect with many of my colleagues.
Now I know it sounds like a strange concept, the fact that agents who compete so fiercely in the marketplace, agents that share no common brokerage or bond can put aside their differences and recognize each other for the great work they contribute. But would you believe that I actually made some great friendships with other agents? As I continued to become more involved with our local board, first as a director, then part of the executive committee and all the way to board president; these friendships and bonds continued to snowball.
My confidence with other agents first paid off when I was in a multiple offer scenario. I was able to sit at the table with the seller and their agent and ask genuine questions about that agent’s family and personal life, which instantly built a rapport with the seller as well. After a successful transaction I looked back and realized that it was a great benefit being a newer agent to be able to have a level of respect and admiration for each other.
I make the comment to colleagues all the time, you can have a willing buyer and a willing seller but if the agents who are representing the parties hold a grudge against each other, even the simplest of deals can be thrown off the tracks.
Take advantage of opportunities to get involved and meet the other agents in your board outside of the office setting. Try joining your local YPN, or get involved on a committee, or at the very least attend your annual general meetings. The simple act of getting involved can go a long way to building your personal brand as a new agent.
David Kurt, YPN Committee Member and OREA YPN Guest Blogger