You invest countless hours and other resources to win the business. For a while, it looks promising. You build a trusting relationship with the primary decision maker and have demonstrated how your offering perfectly fits their need. The prospect starts using phrases like “When we work together…” and “You will be responsible for…” and “We really need you…” You now consider the decision maker to be a friend.
Then suddenly your main contact starts being vague and evasive and is slow in returning calls. Two weeks later, the decision maker, your new “buddy,” sheepishly tells you they chose a different broker. It makes no sense to you that the other company was chosen, because they don’t provide the things that the prospective client originally told you were the biggest priorities. You feel frustrated and misled. Worse yet, you were counting on the commission and it vanished.
You’re incredulous and wonder, “Why did they lie to me?”
If this hasn’t happened to you, consider yourself lucky and know that it will probably happen in the future. Working in real estate can be very frustrating. One of the most important skills a broker can possess is the ability to bounce back when life punches you in the gut.
Given all the pressure in this business, here are a few ideas to help you handle stress, avoid burnout and stay motivated:
- To cope with the inevitable rejection in a brokerage career, concentrate on your victories. Celebrate each one of them in your own way. Some people will tell you that if you simply expect success, you don’t need to celebrate victories. I disagree. Appreciate everything.
- Keep in mind that commercial real estate is a noble profession. Without broker activity, the wheels of commerce grind to a halt. Your work creates jobs and feeds families.
- Remember that character is king. Focus on people – the hopes and dreams of the clients you serve. Draw inspiration and motivation from the people who surround you. When you remember that the work you do has real impacts on real people, it helps you ride through the rough patches.
- Embrace the competitive side of being a broker. Real estate is game. Try to accumulate little (and sometimes big) victories each day. Playing to win removes the drudgery of day-to-day work.
- Take pride in your resilience. It feels good once you have successfully persevered through difficult times. Remember that feeling anytime you feel hopelessness and then do what it takes to feel that way again.
- Make it fun. Those who don’t ﬁnd ways to enjoy their work typically don’t survive long in a brutally competitive industry. Find the joyful and positive aspects of your work and focus on them.
- Tell the truth even when it hurts. Integrity leads to success. You will be rewarded with high levels of client retention. As the old saying goes: “client before commission.”
- And finally, as you work today, imagine what your legacy will be years down the road. Your work in commercial real estate literally shapes the future. I’d say that’s rather significant.