Do you ever feel like the Gilligan of real estate?


My wife and I have had a long-standing joke about Gilligan's Island (which I mentioned on a previous post): "Do you remember that episode of Gilligan's Island when they were poised to get off of the island, but then Gilligan screwed something up and they were forced to remain there?"

If you have seen this show, and I think I saw every episode multiple times when I was growing up, then you know that almost every one of the shows revolves around the premise in the question above.  Basically, Gilligan ALWAYS managed to find a way to mess up their plans of being rescued.

When I first started in real estate, I didn't have any listings, so I tried working with buyers that first year.  I must admit, I felt very much like Gilligan.  Every time I would get close to writing an offer or closing a sale, I would say or do something wrong or circumstances would just come together badly and things would fall apart. 

At one point, in late 1997, I distinctly remember questioning whether I wanted to work with buyers ever again, since they seemed disloyal, difficult, and disheartening (I wasn't attempting to force alliteration with the three "D's", but it seems to work).

My broker at the time was very wise, and he told me that in the first year, things are just harder to close.  Some stray detail is overlooked, or clients can sense that you don't really know real estate all that well yet, so they get a bit skittish.

Since about 1999 or 2000, I have closed the majority of my sales with buyers, which would have seemed impossible to me back when I had those self doubts. 

I also remember taking a walk around the neighborhood with my wife in 1998, when we were expecting our first child.  I expressed to her that I wasn't sure if I should continue in real estate at all, considering our finances back then and the fact that it was difficult to be self-employed with no regular income. 

Her question to me that evening during our walk has resonated for the past ten years, through good times and tougher times,

"Well, can you think of anything else that you could do with a higher earning potential?"

"No, not really," I replied.

"Then… you need to keep doing it."

That was easy!  Now you can see why I married her.  I am glad that she has always been there to support me, and things (of course) improved for us.   

We are blessed to be able to homeschool our three children, and my wife has been a stay-at-home mom for about seven years now.  I started my own brokerage here in Austin just over three years ago.

So, if you feel like Gilligan sometimes – maybe a little clumsy as you are starting out, finding your way and trying not to embarrass yourself with clients, just know that everyone starts somewhere. 

Copyright 2008  Austin Real Estate

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