I’ve been in this business for quite a while now, long enough to have experienced my own peaks and valleys; felt the panic of uncertainty, not knowing where and when the next transaction would appear. I’ve seen agents come and go in droves and am well familiar with that rookie starry-eyed look, the sparkle of possibility and financial stability. A year later, it becomes one of desperation, the “thousand yard stare”, as the realization sets in a career in real estate is not for the meek and there’s no food on the table.
This is a tough game where the rule of thumb remains ten percent of agents are doing ninety percent of the business. The same holds true for those who invest, hoping to acquire multiple properties on the road to personal fortune. Many fail – over leveraged and under strategized. Witness the sub-prime lending implosion.
In Allbusiness’ “Big Business Contest”, Struggling Realtor Keeping Big Dreams Alive writes about his effort to keep investment properties rented and the phone ringing in one of the nation’s most depressed markets. On the other hand, he dreams of making investments nationally and on an international level. Which is it to be – fix the immediate problem or exacerbate it by expanding into other unfamiliar markets? Idea Man in Real Estate offers no shortage of personal energy and enthusiasm for leading readers to a new business while remaining unclear as to its very nature.
Whether pursuing a career in real estate as a sales professional or investor, there are no short cuts or roads to easy money. I take off my hat to all big dreamers. I have plenty of my own. But dreams are just and only that without plans for action and execution. Idea Man goes on to write, “The next level for us may be starting something completely new, but in a whole different way. Stepping out on faith, our goal is to create the business, not be the business. Set up a business that operates on its own without us in the daily activity. Conceiving an idea and giving birth to it, inspiring others to fulfill the vision.” It’s a great dream – building a passive stream of income, while leading and inspiring others in the process. But what does it really mean? What’s the proposition?
There is one fundamental rule in business – without a plan, no matter the goal, it will fail. Inspiration, hope and prayer can take us all only so far. In my own, I follow a strict system built on a very clear vision of where I want to go, how I want to get there and with whom I want to work along the way. I work it diligently, maintaining faith as I do so the system will continue to work for me. And it does. The minute I let up, however, it falters. So I don’t. I tweak and conform it to changes both in my personal goals and the market place.
While I commend both gentlemen for holding firm to their dreams, I encourage them to set forth clear, concise steps to achieve them. I am willing to bet there are real estate agent/investors in Struggling Realtor‘s market who are making money. He’d be well served to seek them out and research what’s working for them, adjusting his own strategy accordingly. I’d certainly do that before spending good money after bad in other real estate markets where my knowledge and expertise are less. As for Idea Man, get focused and speak concisely on the goal so others may know what it is they’re being asked to follow.