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  • Writer's pictureDave Fuller

I Turned 58 and Started a New Career in Real Estate - What I learned after 1 year.

I know that there were some people thinking that I must be crazy, taking on a new career at the age of 58, and they could be right. In 2023 after 28 years in retail and 8 years as a business coach, I started my career in Real Estate. Throughout the year I learned a considerable amount about myself and the industry including: 


  1. Real Estate is a harder job than it looks and the money isn’t always great in the first few years.  As an outsider, you might think that your real estate agent is making piles of money by simply listing your property. I can tell you that after a year in the industry and watching the other real estate agents in the office, I saw that they are working hard for their clients and not always making great money. In fact, if I didn’t have a nest egg and other income, I would have had great difficulty getting started and sticking with it if I was  supporting a family. 


  1. The need to pay attention to details.  Ironically, not one of my strong suits. I made some embarrassing mistakes this year because naively, I did not attend to significant details as I should have at times. This year, I have had to double down, read the fine print, and note with intention, the fine details that protect my clients and their investments. Fortunately, I had Donna, the office manager, review my work for each project and this forced me to up my game. 


  1. Use Past Experience in your New Job.  It doesn’t matter if you are embarking on a new midlife career in real estate or any new endeavor, your past work experience can give you an advantage over more junior competitors.  This year, I dug deep into my background to use some of the marketing skills I acquired over the years to give me an advantage and spur my career on. 


  1. Make Friends and Be Humble. One of the best things I did this year was reach out to the movers and shakers in my industry and learn more about how they became successful. When I asked questions that exposed my weaknesses, I was surprised at the amount of people that offered to help me and gave me tips that made me a better realtor.  Making friends with smarter people in the office than myself such as Janine, Mark, Holly and Michelle, as well as regular realtors in the firm, not only inspired me but kept me on track this year. 


  1. Do things that others are not doing: There are some fantastic realtors in my market place who have years of experience and most of them don't seem to have to work as hard to be successful as I do as a rookie.  As a result, I tried some marketing strategies that others are not doing like circulating flyers, newsletters, and hitting the pavement to  knock on doors. “Cold calling” isn’t comfortable but, taking a risk and getting out of my comfort zone, led me to create wonderful connections with people, even if they were not in the end clients. 


  1. Communicate Often!  While I learned this early in my retail career working with staff, I realized that clients need regular feedback about how their listing is going and what is happening in the marketplace. Even if the news wasn’t always good, people seem to appreciate that I made the effort to make time to provide an update.  This is something that next year I will try to do even more consistently. 


  1. Leads, Listings, Leverage.  I read a bunch of books this year to help me comprehend the  real estate industry and one of the books specifically suggested that a successful realtor requires: leads, listings, and leverage.  This truly applies to any sales or consulting business but really made sense for me in the career of a realtor. I worked tirelessly on building my leads, securing listings, and hiring help to leverage my business.  Ultimately,  this enabled me to do what I enjoy and effectively am most comfortable doing, which is interacting with people.  Thanks to Mary, Alina, Freddy, and Emily, I was able to leverage the business this year due to their contracted support. 


  1. Persistence, Patience and Tracking Pays Off.   I can proudly say that I have the biggest whiteboard in the office and it is covered with notes and tracking information. I head into the office every work day and each week I meet with my team and we monitor together, how we are doing.  They keep me on track by providing accountability each day and week to perform tasks  that will one day produce results that will lead to success.  I have learned in the past, that persistence does pay off and that it often takes 3 years in any profession for one to hit their stride.  


The year has been a blur and it hasn’t been all fun and games. It was work, it has been difficult, I did not make a ton of money but, I can say that I have enjoyed myself and the challenges this new career brought.  I am working hard to become a successful business realtor because it ultimately enables a lifestyle to make connections and differences in the lives of the people in the community as well as those I am privileged to call clients



and friends. 


Dave Fuller, MBA, is a Licenced Commercial Realtor with Team Powerhouse Realty, Award winning Business Coach and a business author.  Dave can be reached at dave@businessrealtor.ca.

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Guest
Jan 19

Fabulous article, Dave! I know you will be very successful in your new career and I look forward to following your progress. Remember, the devil is in the details! I see that all points in this article are labeled #1... (there are 8 in total). All the best for 2024!

Tim

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Guest
Jan 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love this, Dave! Can't wait to see what you have to share after year 2 :)


~ Janine

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