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Inside Story: A broker's mind after 100 days without a closing

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The ABC’s of selling real estate go like this:  Always Be Closing.  Whether prices are up or down or sideways, as long as you’re always closing, you’ll do fine.

The scary thing is when you haven’t had a fucking paycheck in 100 days.  

It can happen even in a growth year. This year I’m doing $800,000-$900,000 gross commission, which nets $500,000 and after expenses, $300,000.   It’s a great year. But there was a period this summer and the summer before where I didn’t get paid at all for 100 days. This business is a roller coaster, especially these days.  Every deal this year has been a nail biter. Just because you have a signed contract and co-op board approval doesn’t mean it’s going to close.  

If you’re not getting paid, there are days where it’s like, oh my God, how are you going to pay next month’s bills, and waking up at 4 in the morning and sweating and going I just don’t have the money, what am I going to do. It affects your health, your mindset, your relationships, if you’re not closing.

A lot of brokers act like the sky is falling, and if you do that, you’re fucked.  The desperation rolls off of you, and customers feel it.

I try not to let the shit hit the fan, because the bottom line is I have to keep doing deals or I can’t live the way I live. That’s what motivates me and everyone I work with.

I try to stay positive. I look at different motivational speakers on Twitter and even read fucking Tony Robbins once in awhile.  You have to understand, before I became an agent, I never believed any of this motivational shit ever. I always believed you work really fucking hard, you hone your skills, and you become successful.     Now I read excerpts from this book called A Happy Pocket Full of Money—it’s about manifesting what you want.  If you dream that you already have it, you’ll get it.  I look for quotes that just get me going.  I listen to gangsta rap like Victory by P. Diddy—it gets me pumped up, it gets me fired up.

I also start looking at my assistant differently. She makes $900 a week so if I’m not getting paid for 100 days that’s like $9,000-$10,000 she’s getting paid.  It starts to make me mad.  I treat her differently.  I make sure she is aware we haven’t closed a deal and she needs to bring more business in.

My darkest thought is that my wife and I might have to sell our apartment and move into a smaller one.  But I don’t consider going into a different line of work. 

I’ve never considered it, because I’m really good at this.

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