Earlier this week, I had the honor of being part of the John C. Maxwell “Leadership Through Adversity” zoom call.
It was organized and sponsored by Movement Mortgage, and I was one of the “chosen few” lucky people to ask him a question live. Maxwell is a speaker, author and businessman renowned and respected all over the world, so for me, this was an incredible honor.
So which question did I ask?
I asked Maxwell what advice he’d give to a brand new real estate agent who is just starting out, just as our economy and the housing industry is being flipped upside down.
What about an agent who was just now starting to gain traction and having success, and then everything switched on them?
I asked him what he’d say to a real estate agent who is frustrated, worried, feeling uncertain or even on the verge of leaving the industry over this fundamental shift.
His answer was fairly short and to the point, but I thought it was incredibly impactful and profound:
“It may look like a bad time to be an agent, but it’s a great time! You’re going to learn the hard lessons on the front end!”
He’s so right. When I started out as an agent in January 2011, the recovery was already underway. Sure, there were still short sales and REO’s everywhere (bank-owned properties aka foreclosures for all you new agents who have never seen such things!) but for the most part, home values held firm and had started their slow creep upwards.
For me, and countless agents and lenders like me, the economy and market would do nothing but get stronger and better as time went on. I’m not complaining, of course, but one major thing was missing from these last nine years… economic adversity!
So now, nine years later, we need to learn the hard lessons that a shifting economic landscape teaches us all. But those who learned the hard lessons at the beginning of their career actually came out stronger and better prepared for the next big economic shift or downturn.
During the panel, Maxwell also said “You don’t truly know someone until you see them go through adversity.”
But we also don’t truly know ourselves either. Preparing for adversity, and making decisions and moves to be in the best position to thrive in a downturn is one thing; actually going through it is something different. Here were some other notable takeaways from our talk:
1. “Getting hit hard when you have nothing is GREAT versus getting hit hard when you have so much to lose.”
If you’re brand new, you likely don’t have a huge team to support or insane overhead and expenses to cover. You also don’t have the same emotional investment in your new real estate career that a twenty-five-year veteran agent does. So if it just doesn’t work out for you in the end, your losses are small compared to someone with decades of their life invested in this business.
2. “Everything worthwhile is uphill.”
We don’t truly value what was given to us, what we got for free, or what we didn’t have to work our asses off for nearly as much as what we had to make major sacrifices for. Anything worth having is not easily attained, or kept. Many of us are now facing an uphill climb. Good. We’ll be better for it, and so will our industry, and our clients.
3. “People are quitting all around you, and you get a bigger piece of the pie”
Hell yes, I’ll drink (coffee) to that! I’ve been saying this for a month or two now, but the sad fact is that many of our competitors are quitting, or at a minimum, they’re sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing.
They’re uncertain and scared about what the industry looks like in one, three, six or 12 months down the road, which causes many of them to do nothing. They’ve paused their ads, scaled back their marketing, and they’re basically pushing pause. Many have quit, or are about to in a month or two.
Look, I don’t want anyone to fail or go through financial and emotional pain. I’ve been there, and it’s not pleasant. But this is a business, and anytime we can have our competition reduced naturally, that’s good for the rest of us. As Maxwell said, those of us still hustling will get a bigger piece of the pie.
If you’ve been feeling down, negative or pessimistic, please snap out of it! You’re just looking at it the wrong way! Cut the negativity, and focus on being productive.
Focus on building. Focus on what is working well in this environment. Take action and do the things.
Personally, I’m having one of the best two month periods in business that I’ve ever had. My national eXp Realty team has doubled in size in just the last 30 days, and we may double it again in the next 30-60 days. My coaching and training business has grown dramatically, and even my local real estate business has seen a healthy uptick in new clients.
Which is weird, because the news tells me that the sky is falling and that we’re on the verge of a depression. We may be, I don’t know, but what I do know is that we can choose our reality in this business.
Change your perspective, plan massive action, and then start doing it. Those who do will likely look back at 2020 as one of the best years of their career, in spite of all the negativity and craziness happening at the same time.
Hear more of my thoughts on my latest podcast episode.