After moving to South Florida from Chicago just about two years ago, I of course jumped both feet into the real estate business in Fort Lauderdale.
But whether I was uncomfortable with the local customs, or my unfamiliarity with the marketplace, or even perhaps just because entering a new marketplace was a daunting task, I got cold feet.
It was just about 13 months ago that a friend of mine recruited me into the car biz and I found myself selling for Toyota in Fort Lauderdale.
Well I’ve worked my ass off for a year, and put in a boat-load of hours on the sales floor. But just last week I resigned and have jumped back into real estate with both feet.
I have a myriad of take-away experiences from selling cars.
First of all the work ethic is strong. The minimum day is around ten hours, and many days stretched to 13 or more.
The work WEEK is also long – with six days as the minimum and often seven days of selling.
The car business also makes you brutally efficient on the phones. Days with over 100 phone calls were not uncommon at all. We worked the telephones from early to late. If there was a hot prospect we could not reach, we would often call as many as five times a day.
(As an aside here, it’s likely I’ll be calling YOU one day soon!)
But coming back to Real Estate, and to my home at Keller Williams in Fort Lauderdale, I have found myself feeling like I’m back at home.
I’m paraphrasing from author Dave Ramsey, but I’ve found FIVE THINGS here that were either missing or lacking from my experience in the car business.
- People Matter – Everyone has a story and I enjoy sharing mine just as much as catching up on my colleagues, and my clients.
- An incredible team and a culture of excellence matters – You would think that working for such a respected brand as Toyota would instill the culture of excellence, and I truly believe this is what Toyota strives for. But the message gets lost at the store level and the drive for production on a daily basis sometimes buries this message.
- Slow and steady matters – the sales cycle in the car business was often only a few hours from beginning to end, and the opportunities to cut corners were rampant.
- Financial principles of discipline matter – I really had not complaints here as the rewards could be great in the car business.
- A higher calling matters – this one really resonated with me. My personal beliefs and the Keller Williams organization really instill a value system that is more than just trying to accomplish one transaction after the next. This seemed to be lost on my mentors in the car business as each week the pitch at the sales meeting to the sales force focused entirely on how much money would be made if we only put in the extra hours and devoted the extra effort to this next sales cycle.
All in all, I think I’ve learned a lot. And I’ve fulfilled a fantasy. I had always wondered how much fun it would be to sell cars for a living. And now the dream is satisfied!
I’m very glad to be back where I belong and am looking forward to making your dreams of a home in the Sunny South Florida a reality.