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4 moves to get back in the real estate game after a career pause


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The 2017 real estate market is a great opportunity to get back into real estate if you have been out for some time, taking a career break.

Whether you have been working another career, building another business, stepping back to assess where you are going or thought real estate was too hard and gave up, this is the year to get back in.

Consider it a chance to create a solid business plan that will net you more money than you ever made before and be the best real estate agent this market has ever seen.

Is it going to be easy? No, there is still work behind these words — but if you have the right plan, it should not take as much time to be profitable, and you’ll avoid questioning whether you are on the right track.

When you have the right plan, you just have to put the energy into working it, rather than starting over new, month after month.

1. Get up to speed

Although you might think the market is better and that jumping back in after a few years off should be easy, take time to find out how things have changed in your absence — and how you have changed, too.

Are you wanting to specialize in a different geographic area, a different type of sale, or maybe a different aspect of the real estate business?

Immerse yourself in that area, the locality, those new things.

Get a staging certification and subscribe to Inman and other outlets and keep up to date with what is going on in the real estate market daily, until you are ready and confident to jump back in with a plan.

Make sure you are aware of all the ways you can automate your business and service your clients digitally (for example, dotloop, auto feedback on listings, auto-texting to web leads, landing pages that collect leads and auto-email).

2. Network smarter

Don’t just go back to the previous brokerage or groups you left simply because that’s what you know.

Look around and watch the social feeds of brokers you admire or are considering for your next step.

Research groups that may be outside the real estate industry could boost your new found career, such as Lean In Circles, local entrepreneur meet-up groups, environmental groups and builder groups. Visit credit unions and become their no. 1 business partner.

Use LinkedIn to your advantage, and call five new connections each week for a quick coffee.

Find a charity you believe in, and give back, meet people and network while helping others.

With all these ideas, I would stress to pick one or two to focus on daily, weekly, monthly until you see success so you can give it 100 percent.

3. Craft your narrative

What did you do during your break from real estate? How can that help you in real estate now?

If you took care of a sick relative during your break, think about the skills it took to do that and how that can help your new passion for real estate.

Maybe you took a salaried position and are ready to go commission-based again, but this time you have the financial buffer to get started or a business plan that involves excellent time management that you will not let slip.

Decide what is motivating you and make a mental note of it. Write your goals down on a piece of paper, and tape it somewhere that you will see it daily.

4. Explore your options: assistants, interns, teams

It is possible that you have decided to go with the team mentality this time around and that learning from someone with a proven record is just what you need.

There’s no doubt that you will learn more about yourself in a support role, and it will help you decide if going full-time is what you want. You’ll better understand the systems that keep deals going and the processes that you may not have had locked down before.

There is no shame in being a part of a team as a single component versus doing it all as a one-man or woman show.

You might find that having less responsibility provides more happiness, motivation and inspiration in your life.

Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Email Cheryl Spangler

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