Nobody likes failing. Watching deals crash and burn can make you depressed, anxious, and just plain miserable. Not exactly a recipe for success in a relationship-driven business like real estate. Luckily, you can make failure your servant instead of your master. All it takes is a shift in mindset to jump-start your real estate motivation.
When I was an agent in New York City five years ago, I failed. I was making good money, but in the end, my failures outweighed my successes and I decided to switch careers and start The Close. This move gave me a golden opportunity to work with some of the most talented and successful agents in the country. That’s why I decided to reach out to them to get their take on real estate motivation, and how to bounce back from failures in record time.
Work on Your Psychic Well-being Like It’s Part of Your Job … Because It Is
What most people don’t get about happiness and well-being is that it takes work—hard work—to maintain. Yes, some people lead charmed lives and seem to never get stressed or unhappy, but for the rest of us, it takes work.
Manhattan Global Real Estate Advisor Nicole Beauchamp is no exception. She knows that building and maintaining the psychic well-being she needs to stay motivated is crucial for her success. That’s why she works wellness practices like meditation, movement, Barre Pilates, spinning, and yoga into her weekly routine.
“Working in real estate is not for the faint of heart, and if one is not careful, it can literally be all-consuming—like any entrepreneurial endeavor. It is important to try to integrate practices into one’s life to help mitigate the inherent stresses of the business.”
Remember Your M.E.D.S. & Barbara Corcoran’s Rule
“Over the years, I’ve found that focusing on M.E.D.S (Meditation, Exercise, Diet, Sleep) has been a game-changer for staying motivated. All are massively important tools to stay on top of your game during trying times in the business.
“I also learned an important lesson from Barbara Corcoran that I still use today when faced with a setback: If you fail or lose a deal, you get ONE day to feel sorry for yourself. Then you need to pick yourself up, get out of bed, dust yourself off, and get back to work.”
Remind Yourself That Your Other Clients Still Need You
This might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to increase your real estate motivation after failure is to take on more responsibility, not less. Of course, this is easier said than done. The temptation to crawl into bed with a tub of ice cream and hide from the world after failing is perfectly natural. However, if you remind yourself that this is not an option because other people still need your help, you might find yourself bouncing back quicker.
Here’s Warburg’s Allison Chiaramonte, a Manhattan luxury broker and new mom, on how keeping your chin up and focusing on service can help you bounce back:
“I used to let every deal, every offer, every setback determine how I felt and let it affect everything in my life and career. Now, I don’t get as caught up in the highs or lows. It’s my job to be steady when my clients are not being steady and to remind them that the only constant in this business is there is no constant.”
Start Team Meetings by Having Agents Talk About What They’re Grateful For
While it can be hard to focus on your blessings when you’re still reeling from a setback, studies from the University of California at Berkeley and elsewhere have shown that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. So if you want to level up your real estate motivation after losing a big deal, work gratitude into your professional life.
After losing a $25,000,000 deal, Broker and Team Leader Scott Harris decided to work gratitude into his weekly team meetings:
“First, I’ll say that I’ve lost at least $250,000,000 in deals in every sort of way imaginable! Bad behavior on the part of buyers, sellers, and brokers, dumb luck, plenty of people who just couldn’t get out of their own way. For instance, I had a seller who wouldn’t even respond to my calls when I had a $25,000,000 all-cash offer for her. Imagine my consternation when she sold for $20,000,000 two years later—I’m writing a book about it!
“But for every time something ‘bad’ happens, there’s much to learn. I stay motivated and keep my team motivated by starting every meeting having everyone talk about what we’re grateful for and what we’re proud of. There’s always something in either category. The worst-case scenario is that we get to know each other incredibly well. The best case is that we can quickly shake off whatever challenges our high-wire business throws at us!”
Just Keep Swimming
After surviving a childhood of poverty and even homelessness, Sean Moudry has gone on to achieve greatness in real estate. He was a Realtor Magazine 30 Under 30 agent, ran a successful brokerage, became a “Mega Agent” and top recruiter for Keller Williams, and most recently a highly sought-after speaker, author, coach, and writer at The Close. No matter what you do, chances are Sean Moudry has failed more than you have even tried.
Here’s Sean’s hard-won advice about agent motivation that he learned from the most prestigious school in the world, the school of hard knocks:
“If you have ever experienced a serious setback or colossal failure, you may have noticed it felt a little like being shot out of a water slide into a deep pool of water. You probably found yourself disoriented, spinning, kicking, and reaching for something to guide you to the surface.
“People don’t drown from water. They drown by not swimming, and the same is true with success. You don’t fail because of a setback—you fail by not getting back up and trying again. Like being disoriented underwater, you must reorient yourself quickly.”
Fail Every Single Day
“As someone who had made cold calls almost every single day for the last decade, I learned to bounce back quicker from big failures by failing a little every day. No, really! The more often you get hung up on, told off, or ghosted by cold leads, the easier it is to deal with.
“Rejection just becomes a normal part of your everyday routine. So my suggestion for new agents who are having problems with motivation after setbacks is to fail more. It gets easier, I promise!”
Use the Navy Seal’s AAR (After-action Review) to Learn From Your Setbacks
Wait a second, you might be asking yourself, didn’t Emile just admit to failing in New York City real estate and running off with his tail between his legs to become a writer? What does he know about staying motivated as an agent?
Simple. Getting a startup off the ground with pretty much zero experience has been one of the most humbling things I’ve ever done. I’ve failed so many times building The Close it’s hard to even count anymore. Figuring out what agents want is hard work, and yeah, I screwed it up in the beginning. Over, and over, and over again.
But the reason you’re reading this article right now is that I decided early on to at least try to learn from my mistakes. Luckily, I stumbled on a method that Navy Seals use to do just that. It’s called an AAR (after-action review) and it’s how these elite fighters learn and improve after setbacks.
You can do your own AAR after a setback by asking yourself five questions:
- What were we trying to accomplish? What was the main objective?
- Where did we hit (or miss) our objective?
- What was the root cause of our result? (Ask the five WHYs.)
- As a team, what should we stop, start, or continue doing? (Be specific.)
- What are our key lessons learned? (List up to three.)
If you want to try this technique, you can learn more about AARs in this excellent article from Forbes.
Over to You
Have a great real estate motivation tip for new or struggling agents? Let us know in the comments.