You may have read my recent post about why 2023 is the year you quit real estate. It might have sounded harsh, so I’m following up with some insight into why it’s true— and what you can do to survive real estate this year if you genuinely think you have it in you. 

Recently, a friend asked me what I thought about the idea of her getting into real estate. And my reaction was so sudden and viscerally negative that I knew I had to write a blog post warning starry-eyed hopeful agents. 

Right now is not a safe time to switch careers into real estate.

It might look nice, but competition is at an all-time high, inventory is at an all-time low, and after the pandemic, I don’t think most people can handle the stress and crushing disappointment that comes with trying to start a real estate career. 

However, if you are undaunted and think you have what it takes (or are some kind of psychotic masochist), here are some tips to keep you in the game through what may be the hardest real estate market in history.

What Makes Today’s Market Different

To succeed in real estate today looks different than it did even just a few years ago. Consistency and hard work will always be the theme, but what will work has changed. 

We’re still only a few decades into the Information Age, marked by an unprecedented ability to share information. But we are still driven by the basic human need for connection. This epic explosion of virtual connection has taken the basic human need for connection and amplified it by an immeasurable factor. 

Advances in technology have changed how we operate our real estate businesses—yet most real estate training is based on pre-internet-era sales philosophies when information moved slowly and was easily controlled. Consumers often think that the agent’s greatest value is in finding the house or the buyer. In reality, it’s now the least valuable and easiest part of our job due to technology. 

Many of us are also stuck with the idea that we have to constantly present a sterile, curated version of ourselves to the world in order to get hired. That was a lot more important when personal connections were easier to control. Now, a consumer can pull up your entire personal history (for better or worse) in about 0.05 seconds, and even pinpoint your location in real time. 

Furthermore, building a real estate business can actually be hard on a person, their family, and their finances. It is not always closing days and champagne. I’m not suggesting that we broadcast every disappointment and failure, but an occasional peek behind the curtain can make you much more relatable, and in turn, trustworthy. If you don’t show up authentically, you are going to have a hard time building the trust that leads to business.

This is not me debating the merits of direct mail vs. Instagram. In fact, in today’s culture, a piece of handwritten mail has more impact than it ever has. 

This is about understanding that people think and act differently now. 

Information is easy. The cash is in the connections.

Create More Connections to Survive Real Estate in 2023

So, what do you need to do to create those connections and survive as an agent?

  • Be yourself. You’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll always be someone’s shot of tequila.
  • Have a plan to build and maintain your business AND a plan to build and maintain yourself.
  • Humanize people. Your friends, your enemies, your family—everyone. Instead of, ‘Do you or someone you know have a need now or in the future for buying or selling residential real estate?’ Try something like, ‘Hey, I noticed that you’re into [yoga, model trains, quantum physics]; tell me more!’
  • Look for trouble. Everyone has a problem all the time. Find out what it is and solve it. A friend needs to be picked up at the auto mechanic? Pick her up. Neighbor can’t find her cat? Get online and create an APB. Someone on IG is looking for a good painter? Share your guy’s name. Givers get.
  • Talk intelligently and enthusiastically about your work, the market and the neighborhood. There’s no shame in your game. While you’re out there being a force for humanity, it’s ok to let people know what you do and why you love it. Do this consistently, and you will build a fan base like no other.
  • Be attached to the activity, not the outcome. Do not ruin a perfectly good day of community service with, “By the way…” People can smell a transactional relationship a mile away and will distance themselves from it immediately.

2023 is going to be a hard year for everyone, but if you’re here, you’re already on the right track.