Were You an “Order-Taker” During the Boom? I wasn’t!


posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

Every once in awhile I hear or read something along the lines that those of us who worked in the real estate industry during boom years (or even stable ones) were simply “order-takers” who showed up to work most days and cashed juicy commission checks. That all we had to do was put a sign in a yard and voila! Perfect offers from well-qualified buyers poured in, we sorted thru them at our leisure, selected the most perfect one and scheduled the closing. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am and we were off to our next sign-in-a-yard installation and another easy payday.

Um. Well.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I remember it. I worked damn hard in the 1990’s and early-to-mid 2000’s to earn my paydays, while agents all around me were dropping out like flies – perhaps not in the numbers they’re dropping out today, but certainly in the 80% and higher range. I had my share of difficult sellers and demanding buyers and remember, the flip side of a strong seller’s market is the challenge of trying to even GET to a new listing to show it before it’s under contract.

Was it “easier” to make a living in real estate back then than it is today? Yes, it was, absolutely it was. But it was never easy and the abysmal drop-out rates from the time attest to that.

What’s my point? I dunno, really. Maybe to ask those within our own industry to stop publicly disparaging and disrespecting what we do. Maybe to assure those who were successful in years past that it wasn’t just luck and good looks. Maybe to alert the agents who have entered the field during these tough years that when things improve, this business will continue to require hard work, creativity and a willingness and ability to deal with frustration and disappointment.

There’s so much more to enjoying a successful real estate practice than simply being able to find clients to serve. And a heck of a lot more than just putting a sign in a yard. Don’t insult yourself and your colleagues by implying anything else!