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By Troy Tornatta, Hahn Kiefer Real Estate Services

Last time, we talked about the steps you must take to get your own real estate license.  And although that is a great accomplishment, we need to talk about what to do with it.

Eighty percent (80%) of start up businesses go out of business in the first two years.  Coincidentally, seventy five (75%) first time Realtors® fail in the first year, while eighty seven percent (87%) fail within five years.  This is a business, folks, and the moment you forget it, you will have a chance to be the twenty five percent (25%).  My goal is not to scare you away but to encourage you to take steps to insure that you will have as successful of a career as you envisioned.

So, if you were like me, I had the license… and the will…and the drive… and an office… and a rolodex (for those of you who don’t know that last term ask your parents).  I packed with me a twenty-plus-year retail family owned business career, ten years in politics and a list of boards that I served on throughout this time.

I had almost everything but…

  1. a working knowledge of real estate
  2. how it was priced
  3. how it was sold, or the biggest one was
  4. how to find the leads

Most instructors tell you to look for the for sale by owners and do a lot of cold calling. While I don’t disagree with making that a portion of your outreach, we might have skipped some steps.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, we need to back up a minute.  We can’t forget that success breeds success, and you are associating with companies, or better yet individuals, in those companies that can mentor you.  I was a sponge in our office – asking to sit in meetings and learning how deals get done.  I asked about follow up and was even given old clients that needed a contact in the firm.  I started looking up properties that were vacant and called the owners.  I found a couple of groups that wanted to do business in my town and did some legwork for them and earned their business.  And last, but certainly not least, I called my friends and family just to let them know that I had moved into real estate and if they had anybody that might need some help…I was their guy.  You will be surprised, how people that like you, will remember that call and strive to make a connection for your benefit.

Yes, I know that we still work for a firm and they set policy, that we may sometimes question, but we run our business!  Time management, organization, budgeting:  we work as hard as we want and our salary is reflective of the transactions we put together.

We really set our own value for ourselves, but in turn have no one to blame but ourselves.  So here are some numbers to think about so you can find your niche.

Plenty of room to carve out your own space, we’ll be expecting you.


National Association of REALTORS, Research Division, February 2017 Commercial Real Estate Brokers Fail/98736512 Tanner McGraw
National Association of REALTORS, New Faces in Commercial Real Estate,

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