Stan Albert – Guest Column

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Seven ways to alter your career

WARNING: Reading this article may enhance your bank account to the point where you will be put into a euphoric income tax bracket — six figures! Please consult an accountant prior to implementing these strategies.

You know what? Your methods, your attitudes, and your resume all need a tune up. Yes, a tune up. Many of us go through our careers in real estate thinking that what we’re doing has no “date of expiry.”

Here are some thoughts to ponder:

1. Is the resume you include in your handouts up to date? When was the last time you updated your resume and your photo? I am always amused at the photos of my colleagues that belie their current visage. When updating your resume, do you include all of your achievements, your community work, and special events that you have hosted or helped raise money for charities? Have you added members to your team, and added websites of note to the consumer? What new educational courses of note have you recently taken or conferences have you recently attended? Broker-owners take note – this applies to you as well.

2. Give yourself a test. Write down the following: a) What have I been doing differently that makes me more money and creates more referrals? b) Where could I go to learn more about my industry to make me a better agent overall? c) How much time have I been investing in my career to make my life easier and make more time for my family and recreation? d) When do I do most of my constructive work? e) Why am I in business? Is it to be independently wealthy; is it to better myself overall? Am I leaving a legacy that I will be proud of at the end of my career? f) Who would I sell my business to if I decide to retire and how will I do it?

3. Another idea to kick-start your career all over again is to join a professional association, or even better still, become active in your board. Doing either of these things will give you a different outlook on your career. It will enhance your education as well as create additional spheres of influence. At least, if nothing else, you will see how the leaders in your area perform all the tasks necessary to run a board in a business-like atmosphere. You may become so imbued by attending meetings that you might decide to run for director or even as president.

4. References from past clients. Oh my gosh! Have I said this before? It is amazing to me, after so many years of doing sales presentations and courses, how many of us neglect the people who we have helped sell or buy properties. Out of sheer neglect or absence of a program to maintain our relationship with them, we find they’ve moved. By establishing a continuous program of staying in touch, you will be amazed at the business you can create.

5. In your careers, you should be looking to develop an ancillary business that is related to and within the confines of your licensing – such as property management or a concierge service, or buying income property.

6. When is the last time you attended a conference other than a real estate conference? Broaden your horizons and your ideas. You may actually learn something new and revolutionary that may alter your life and your lifestyle.

7. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? If you are overweight/underweight, get yourself to a doctor and then to a gym. If you look good, you’ll feel good and better about yourself. Remember that you never get a second chance to impress someone.

These are all interesting and thought-provoking ideas to test out every year. Make up the list and review it with your family, friends, colleagues and broker. Remember this, my dear readers: Change is constant. If you don’t review your career and what you’re doing about it from time to time, watch out for the “newbie” fresh out of the courses. He’ll overtake you eventually, unless you prepare yourself as a professional.

Take nothing for granted in this business of ours. If you prepare for the worst that may ever happen, you will survive.

At least, that’s the way I see it from my desk this month. Thanks for the over 100 emails that I received for my Two views on SPIS column in August. It is always encouraging to know that my articles are read.

My good friend and colleague, Barry Lebow, along with Ron Abrahamson, will be hosting a cruise for CEU courses January 5-12. I’ll be along too! For details: http://www.jm7seas.com/cruise. Thought for the month: “The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadfastly and aims for it unswervingly.” – Cecil B. Demille 1887-1959

Stan Albert is celebrating his 36th year in active real estate, and is with Re/Max Excellence in Woodbridge, Ont. He serves on committees at RECO and at the Toronto Real Estate Board. He is an established trainer and business consultant and can be reached at salbert@trebnet.com.

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