So you think you wanna be a Realtor?
After 26 years in the business as a residential real estate agent, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned along the way, what’s worked what hasn’t and everything in between.
Before I share anything let me first say my passion was always to be a teacher. I didn’t grow up wishing or having a goal to become a Realtor. No, I wanted to be an English teacher. I wanted to teach,give back, and make a difference for others.
But, life got in the way. When I was a senior in high school the doctors told my dad he would be lucky to live to see me graduate. He did, he barely made it physically to see me accept my diploma. But he even held on for a few months after. He told me on his hospital bed at 37 years old that he had made peace with everyone except for me. He said he couldn’t come to terms with leaving me.
I listened in disbelief because somehow at 18 years old I just knew he wouldn’t really go, that somehow they would fix him, heal him, and make him better. But, they didn’t that November he left.
Knowing he wasn’t doing well I decided to go to community college at night instead of leaving and work a full time job during the day.
My first job was a receptionist at a local real estate company. I was driven, focused, and voted most likely to succeed by my senior class. I caught on quickly at running the front office and was soon promoted to helping with more important stuff like assisting the owner.
I did somewhat important stuff like writing commission checks for his agents, ordering supplies, editing his letters, making his travel plans, and some girl Friday type stuff like getting his BMW washed, taking his dry cleaning, buying his wife’s gifts, and answering his voice mail messages.
After working for about six months I went to school to get my real estate license for more understanding and knowledge of the business. I was already in school taking classes full time at night so figured why not take get that done while I’m at it.
I stayed with him about a year before accepting a position at another local real estate company as the front office manager.
Here I learned so much more as I assisted with a few major subdivision developments. If you know Richmond then you likely know Woodlake , Summerfield, and Brandermill. I was an intrical part of helping with the development, new construction, and sales of these subdivisions.
I was later promoted to personal assistant to the owner of the company and became his right hand man in selling hundreds of homes and managing upwards of 30 agents.
I was still trying to do school at night while working this fast paced ever changing full time job. Honestly, I saw the income I could make, the cars I could drive, and the homes I could live in after working for these companies and decided to jump all in the real estate business and put college and becoming an English teacher on the back burner.
And so, that’s as simple as it all began. I’m now 45 years old living in Virginia still full time in real estate, coaching, writing, in my second marriage with two teenage kids, four goats, two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and a team of five including myself. We work for RE/MAX and have our own administrative office that our team works from in an up and coming downtown location.
Just last week my broker congratulated me on surpassing an income amount that no other Remax agent in our area has done. We also surpassed selling 163 homes which was the most we’d sold before the market crash in 2008, my divorce in 2009, and almost losing my mom in 2010 to necrotizing fasciitis with 18 surgeries and four months in the hospital.
I’m blessed with where I am in life now after all that and despite my grandfather deciding to take his own life in 2015 on the first day of spring in his pick up truck in his driveway.
I’ve come through a lot both personally and professionally and have a bunch to share, give back, and contribute, so here’s goes!
First things first
So before you decide to get into real estate because you think you’re gonna make the big bucks drive the fancy car and live in the big house let me tell you it doesn’t come without a price tag on every level you can imagine. Including but not limited to your bank account, health, time, well being, and family.
Like anything else truly worth having it doesn’t come easy, free, or without risk, dedication, discipline and an unwavering commitment on all levels.
And let me forewarn you, what you learn in real estate school will give you lots of information but little about what to actually do to develop and sustain a successful real estate sales business.
Rather than thinking you’re getting into real estate it would be better for you to think like you’re essentially opening your own business. Even though you’ll have a broker and they will be there to support you and even in some cases train you, in the end it’s YOU, incorporated!
In fact that’s the name of my real estate coaching company, you’re the difference real estate coaching. That’s one of the common denominators you’ll find through the years if you are able to get it off the ground and sustain it. You’re The One and You’re The Difference. When life comes at you, you gotta keep on keeping on. When times get tough, ya gotta buckle up and get back to the basics. When you learn something new you have to take it on. There is no magic pill and no quick way to get there. It’s hard work, lots of time, and for lack of better words lots blood sweat and gears. I rode a 90 mile bike race a few years ago and that’s what they called it. After over 9,000 feet of elevation climb, more than three mountains and 7 hours on the bike I see why they named it that. And as I went through just about every emotion you can imagine I noticed the similarities of the race to the real estate game. It’s up sometimes, down sometimes, it’s exhilarating at times and sometimes the worst thing you can imagine. It takes training, it takes winning, it takes losing. I hated the losing part of the bike race when others flew passed me about as much as I hate losing a listing to another agent.
I ran a full marathon in 2013, The Blue Ridge Marathon. Google it and you’ll discover they call it one of America’s toughest road races. And that, it was! I crossed the finish line in 5:17 minutes at 41 years old and I wasn’t an athlete in school of any kind. In fact I wasn’t an athlete at all. I worked and took care of my dad and family growing up. He was diagnosed when I was 12 so my family spent all of our time taking care of him and each other, not ball fields or in stadiums of any kind. Anyway what does the marathon have to do with selling real estate? Well in completing the marathon at 41, having never ran a day in my life before a few years before that, never playing sports and being able to complete it, I noticed the similarities to the real estate business. I’ve taken many individuals over the years from knowing nothing at all about real estate to winning at real estate and having highly successful sustainable sales empires.
Basically If there’s a will there’s a way! But the will is so much more important than the way. You’re The Difference.
So, you think you want to get into real estate? First question I have for you to answer to yourself is why? Second question is how much money do you have to live on? And third question, how many years can you commit to getting it off the ground and up and running?
“Christy Crouch is the co-founder of You’re The Difference Sales & Life Coaching, co-author of the highly acclaimed real estate objection handler book, Now What Do I Say? a collection of more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections faced in the real estate industry. She has been in the real estate industry since 1991 and is still an active Realtor in Virginia with RE/MAX and leads her team of 4 in selling 100’s of homes a year after year. Christy has participated in closing thousands of transactions during her career, was inducted in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for her production, awarded with an excellence award from RE/MAX International for being in the top 10 for the Central Atlantic Region, The Lifetime Achievement Award for production and longevity with RE/MAX. She recently received the Chairman’s Club award from RE/MAX, is in the top 2.3% of her marketplace, the mother of two adoring children who are involved in Soccer, Marching Band, Boy Scouts, and both honor students. Christy is a runner, cyclist, Spartan racer, and enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family in her free time.” Visit more information at www.yourethedifference.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.