Realtor, a job like no other
I really like being a Realtor. It’s a job completely unlike any other I had before — and I had quite a few including: beekeeper, farm hand, hotel staff, kitchen staff, stage crew, construction worker, advertising sales representative, mover, editor, delivery driver, stock boy, english teacher, security guard, factory worker, tax preparer, and store clerk…that’s a lot, but most of those were before I was thirty years old, very short-lived and ‘what job can I get here and now’ type. I grew up working. I worked through university. I worked while travelling. I worked in Amsterdam, Israel, Australia and Taiwan.
Those jobs are all different from each other and different from being a Realtor. I suppose the life experiences of the different jobs have helped me become an effective communicator — communication is the key to a successful real estate career.
Why I love being a Realtor
I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there were essentially twelve different types of people — twelve personality types. I’m always meeting new people and basically trying to see if there is a good fit between my personality type and theirs — to see if I can help them accomplish whatever it is that they are tying to do, we have to understand each other. I’ve never had a job that has worked quite so closely with individuals, sharing so much personal (and financial) information. Real estate is a very personal job.
You are what you is
In a related thought, being a Realtor forces you to become who you really are. Because the job puts you into so many different situations, with different players, playing different games, Realtors really have to learn to trust their instincts. You cannot hide behind a suit, a fancy car and a facade of knowledgeable professionalism. You have to be able to communicate effectively to understand and solve problems
The real estate business is also always evolving, so Realtors have to be resilient, adaptive and sometimes somewhat fatalistic — at least I do.
A day like no other
Before I became a Realtor, I worked in big offices for more than a decade. Offices are a lot like factories. There is start time, break time, lunch time, meeting times, quitting time. There are daily cycles, weekly cycles and quarterly and yearly cycles. Top-down management and routine are big parts of big offices. With real estate, no two days are the same. When the sun comes up on the Savana it doesn’t matter if you are a gazelle or a lion, you better start running.
Real estate is the last frontier of free enterprise. Realtors are independent contractors, looking for business, handling incoming business, taking care of business, following up on old business. I hate this expression but we ‘eat what we kill’. And we are out there alone, like the early fur trappers or gold prospectors.
Rewards are great
It is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. When you work for a big company, you are just a little part of something big, a cog in the wheel, a replaceable resource working for the shareholders’ and investors’ bottom line. But when you work with people, real people helping them sell their family home, or understand the value of great neighbourhoods, or relocate from outside of the region or move into another stage of life, that’s rewarding.