- Episode 34 -
I remember when I got into this crazy business we call our careers and received my first commission check – I went out and spent it like I had just won the lottery! I was so thrilled that I actually made money, after struggling through the inspection, appraisal and even finding my first clients, that it was time to celebrate, and celebrate I did.
After the dust of the “first one” settled, I quickly realized that I liked the feeling of doing what I loved, and getting paid for finishing it. But then as I looked at the blank calendar, the realization of that closing being “the only one for now” knocked the wind right out of me. How do you keep the flow going (and the money coming in?) week after week, month after month? There is no steady paycheck in the world of real estate, so how do you develop the closest thing to one?
You do it through a pipeline. Webster defines a pipeline as “a route, channel, or process along which something passes or is provided at a steady rate”. I have to admit I like the word “steady” in the definition so I set out to develop my own continual flow in my pipeline.
I began networking more, joining organizations and clubs, volunteering my time, and always following up when someone would merely ask me anything about real estate. I developed a great CRM system where I communicate at least once per quarter, with all my “A, B, and C” contacts and remind them that I’m still here, in the trenches, as their neighbor, that I can provide any sort of information on the community we live in, while telling them how the prices are rising and interest rates remain low. I go back to my past clients and my Sphere of Influence and stay in constant contact with them to hopefully get referrals. I look at present clients and after hitting milestones along the way with them like successful appraisals or approvals for their loan, I ask them if they know of anyone else that might need a Realtor to get them through their own milestones. Strike when everything is positive and the results will speak for themselves.
I also plan out the month on individual calendar pages, showing when bills are due and then base my closings around those expenses. I monitor the monthly income possibilities and know that if I do a certain number of deals at an average price point, the bills will be paid and I will have money to spare.
But what happens when one of those deals falls through? What if it doesn’t close in the 12th hour and you are without that commission check? You never want to get yourself into that sort of situation where one deal will make or break you. You always want that cushion of a few rentals, a relocation referral, or deals that are being worked on by loan officers that will get the loan approved, to ensure you land on your feet every time.
Very early on in my career, a trainer told me to always juggle at least seven to ten deals at any given time in any given month. That way, if one falls through the cracks, then the others will carry you through and you won’t be eating Ramen Noodles, 10 for a $1.00, to survive. I have “steadily” lived by that rule every since.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›