Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Road Ahead

Two roads diverge in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                                Robert Frost

            I did something really exciting.    I started a journey to become the best real estate agent in coastal Southeast North Carolina.   I know, I know.  That’s a tall order since there are some great real estate agents here in the Cape Fear region.   Here’s the thing -- I don’t need to be the agent with the most sales (although obviously that would be super!) – but I do want to be the agent that sellers and buyers truly love working with.   Yes, I’m a newly minted licensed agent and I have plenty to learn, but I have an amazingly helpful group of experienced, professional real estate mentors to call on, and, of course, a lot of fired-up enthusiasm.   I plan to share with you my experiences, as I become the agent I want to be in this exciting new career.  (Cautionary note:  Hopefully this will be educational for all, but I’ll probably also include the occasional trials, tribulations and embarrassing moments.  My niece seems to think if I include my embarrassing moment, I’ll never run out of topics to write about!)

            I interviewed quite few broker agencies trying to decide where to hang my Realtor hat.   They all had good things to offer to a newly licensed agent and I met some wonderful people.  In the end, however, I signed with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Realty in Carolina Beach, and I couldn’t be happier with this choice.   (FYI, Carolina Beach is a lovely seaside town about 15 miles south of Wilmington NC and just south along the coastline from Wrightsville Beach.  Much more on what makes this area so terrific later!)  Among the things I like about Coldwell Banker is they provide great professional development for their agents and are the industry leader in real estate marketing and new technology.    Given my own international background, I also like their national and international breadth.  Of course, they’ve also been number one in sales in SE North Carolina for 14 years in row, which is a pretty good recommendation, too.

            One of the first things I was advised to do is embrace the fact that, as a contracted agent with Coldwell Banker, I have a business, not a job.   As such, I need to prepare a business plan, complete with financial goals and a fairly detailed plan of action to achieve those goals.     I’m doing that, of course, but I decided I wanted to develop different kinds of professional/personal goals as well.  Here they are so far:

  a)  Devote myself to serving the needs of clients before, during and after each sale;
  b)  Be that Realtor who gets the best referrals because I provide fantastic service;
  c)  Become an expert on my community – and more importantly, know, love and give back to my community;
  d)   Provide useful information – up-to-date local market analysis and statistics, community info, how-to advice, etc. (website/newsletter, blog);
  e)  Always be honest with both my clients and myself;
  f)  Maintain a healthy work-life balance.