What My Mom Taught Me About Real Estate



March is dedicated to celebrating women through International Women’s Month. As I consider my role as a realtor, one woman I celebrate is my mother. She encouraged and supported me along the way. So this March, I am thankful for my mom, an amazing woman and realtor.


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The statistics are staggering – nine out of ten realtors who get their licenses quit before the first year is over. Nine years in, I am thankful for the guidance I received from my mother, along with all my first year in real estate taught me to help me beat the odds!


Growing up with a realtor mom meant a lot of things for me. Dinners were often interrupted by phone calls, and a quick shopping trip often involved a stop at a house to pick up a sign or a quick run to the office. I definitely saw my share of houses!  Mom was a successful real estate agent, and I had the privilege of learning many of her tools for success first hand.


When I started selling houses in 2007, as a new agent, my mother was right there to share with me the valuable lessons she learned through her experience in real estate.  Here are some valuable lessons I learned early on.


1. No deal is worth a bad deal

This is a mantra mom lived by. Things can go wrong in real estate, and in fact, they usually do. My job is to stay calm, analyze the situation, figure out the options, and come up with a solution that works for all parties.

I never want things to be adversarial between parties just for the sake of getting a house sold. My focus is to always treat others well and to look out for their best interest in a real estate deal.


2. Staying hopeful

Real estate is full of ups and downs. The 2008 market downturn happened about a year into my career. It was a hard time for buying and selling, but I didn’t let it get me down.

Helping navigate my clients through the disappointments that come with buying and selling homes matters to me. So despite the rocky real estate market in my early years, my business continued to grow each year. Being an optimist has helped me ride the waves in real estate.


3. Buyers are liars

This was another lesson my mom stressed. I know it sounds awful, but I have found it to be true. Buyers typically start out asking for one thing in the house they hope to buy, and by the time I find them something, their needs and wants may have changed completely. This is where listening comes in! 

My job as an agent is to listen to my client’s needs and wants – both what they say, and the things they don’t say, reading between the lines – to get to what is truly important to them.


4. I want to be a realtor for life

I never want to help people walk through a real estate transaction and never talk to them again once the deal was done. I get to know my clients really well during the buying and selling process and hope I am able to continue to serve them even after the closing. I want to be the first call for my clients when they think real estate, being a resource for all their real estate needs. My mother modeled this well for me.


5.  Referrals are key

Like my mom, most of my new business comes from referrals from my past clients.  I hope my buyers and sellers are so pleased with their real estate experience they will want to refer me to their friends and family. There is nothing that says achievement to me more than hearing someone I have worked with has shared my contact info with someone who is looking to buy or sell. That to me is true success!


Real estate is never boring. Every transaction is unique. Every client. Every house. No experience is ever the same. As you look to buy or sell your home, I am ready to help you navigate your own unique real estate experience.

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2020 by Sarah Milligan, Realtor®