By: Jennifer Weinberg
Real Estate is a people business. Your days are filled with conversations with other real estate professionals in your office, affiliates at your association, phone calls with lenders, and hopefully, lots of client meetings.
But here’s the reality: practicing real estate can be kind of lonely, especially as a solo practitioner. As you build your career, you may not need the technical support of a transaction coordinator or social media assistant immediately. You manage everything: communications, files, finances, appointments, showings, negotiations, and lead generation.
How do you take care of YOU while you’re caring for everything and everyone else?
Build Your Professional Support System
You need people to lean on, guide you and hold you up. Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs feedback. And everyone needs fun.
Your family, close friends, and your partner, if you have one, care for you and they fill your emotional bucket. They tend to be the people who understand your wants and desires, goals and aspirations from a personal perspective, which is vital to your success. In fact, studies show that a support system can improve mental health and increase vitality.
A professional support system serves a unique purpose as well. Many of us spend 40+ hours per week at work, and it helps to have a group of people who understand the ins and outs of the work. In real estate, that system is made up of people who understand the ups and downs of a real estate career because they are in your shoes. They’ve weathered market shifts and complex transactions. They’ve built businesses just as you have. They know the trials of an ever-changing schedule and the feeling of always having to be “on.” Building your professional support system ensures that you have a circle of people around you who support and guide you as you grow your career.
Where to Find Your Professional Support People
Now that you know why having a professional support system is essential, it’s time to figure out how to cultivate one. The good news is that your peers are everywhere and usually easy to find. Start with what’s closest to you.
That brokerage you are a part of is a great place to start. You can find other real estate agents there, and it’s typically a good place to find a mentor as well. A mentor could be your broker or another real estate agent running a business similar to what you want to create for yourself. Information is valuable. People are usually happy to share their knowledge if you are willing to learn and do the work.
Join an Association
Joining an industry-specific association and being an active member of that group is a great way to meet like-minded professionals. YPN-specific events or CE classes geared toward newer real estate professionals are ideal places to start. In these settings, you will find other agents who are beginning their real estate careers and seeking out their own professional support system.
Call on Professional Associates
Did you click with a mortgage lender or an insurance agent at a recent event or during a transaction? Your professional support system is more than just other real estate agents. Professional associates who are a part of the business but not agents make for a great source of support. Title, mortgage and lending, insurance agents, tradespeople, builders and office personnel in your brokerage—all of these people make for great support when you work to establish a relationship.
People in Similar Life Stages
As a wife and mother to two boys, my professional support system is filled with other working moms who understand the trials and triumphs of working and raising a family. We’re in similar places in our lives, so we relate to each other well. Expand your professional support system to ensure you are surrounded by pros with similar interests, like your favorite sports team.
A professional support system is a two-way street. Just as you need others, they need you too! One of the most rewarding aspects of real estate has been to cheer on my friends and colleagues as they reach their goals. And they’re right there cheering me on too.
Jennifer Weinberg is a licensed real estate professional, REALTOR® and partner in Living True Home Group at MW Real Estate Co in Nashville, TN. Living True Home Group empowers homeowners by offering real estate information and services in an approachable, compassionate and fun way. Their motto: No egos here. This women-led partnership makes sure all their clients feel listened to and cared for and well-informed.