The 12 days of Christmas is a long-standing practice embedded in Christian beliefs to symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ to the world. As the famous Christmas carol relays, each year beginning on December 25th and ending on January 5th, there are 12 days when symbolic gifts are given. On the first day, a Partridge in a Pear Tree, Two Turtle Doves, and so on. All are symbolic and hold their own stories. As consumerism would have it, this is a HUGE opportunity to capitalize on the old tradition Now people start buying gifts from December 13th through Christmas Day. If you find any of this interesting, there are copious amounts of research on the topic.
As we wind down the year, I tend to reflect on the past months, where I was a year ago, the resolutions I set forth for 2022, which ones I achieved, and which I let go. I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my role as a Real Estate Broker, business owner, and Mom. The career we have chosen offers us many gifts. Sometimes it can be very hard to see them as we layer stress over the current contract, anxiety over the doom and gloom chatter regarding market shifts and juggling all the holiday demands with kids home from school for a long 14 days, while continuing to be present in our businesses. I quickly jotted down a list of 12 gifts of being a Realtor and I am confident that there are many more gifts for each of us.
May I present, The 12 Gifts Of Christmas – The Realtors’ Edition!
- TIME. I often find myself saying that I wish I had more time. More time to work, more time to play, more time to sleep, I just want more of it. Well, the truth is, all we have is time. It is what we decide to do with it that matters. We have the blessing of choosing what our days look like, from taking a mental health day, leaving early to meet up with a friend who is visiting from out of town, planning a spontaneous vacation, or chaperoning the field trip. We have the time to go to Costco in the middle of the day if we want to. It is all ours, and it is an absolute gift not to have to clock in and out and work for someone else on their time.
- AUTONOMY. It belongs to you and me. The business that we created is OURS. I can work today or not. I can decide to switch gears and focus my energy on networking versus cold calling. I can make decisions that benefit my family and me over all other things. I get to do what I want when I want each and every day! That’s powerful. I’ll take 2!
- FLEXIBILITY. Balancing the time can be challenging as we tend to eagerly work to please our clients and their schedules while managing our own. The fact of the matter is that being a self-employed Realtor allows you the opportunity to be flexible with your schedule and time. For example, my kids don’t have to go to before- or after-school care as I can bring them up from school daily. Early dismissal, no problem! If my client works during the day, I can be flexible and accommodate their evening availability because, as mentioned in the above two gifts of Real Estate, we have the time and autonomy to do so. Being flexible helps us to be better moms and agents as we bend and stretch to meet the needs of our families and clients.
- WORK FROM HOME. That’s right! You don’t have to rush in the morning to get ready and dressed before carpooling unless that’s how you roll. On the days you don’t have appointments, you can work from home, a car, a coffee shop, or wherever your little heart desires. No one is waiting for you to clock in or out. Throw some laundry in the washing machine, grab a cup of coffee in your leggings and slippers (maybe I am projecting because I am doing this now), and start working!
- BUILT IN CLIENTS. I said it. The job comes with a built-in client base. That’s your database. Whether you are new or seasoned, you know people! You don’t have to work with strangers because the people who know, like, and trust you will be your greatest source of referrals. I can’t deny that it can take time, effort, and energy to nurture them to this place, but they are all there, waiting on you! It took me way too long to understand this piece. But once I did, my business blossomed!
- COMMUNITY. This is the gift that keeps on giving. Being in a community with others, especially in your geographical area, is never wrong. The role we play as property experts is very valuable to your community members. Building your business with your community is a huge bonus to this job because we are all working toward a common goal – investing in our community. Get involved in neighborhood organizations. Find the non-profits set up in your community and volunteer for them. Find a mission close to your heart inside your community and serve as a board member. It will keep you grounded in what matters and help you grow your business organically. This one is a twofer!
- NO INCOME CEILING. The sky is the limit here! You financially gain what you put in on this one! Sure, there are elements of this industry that we don’t control, but we always control this piece. The above gifts of autonomy and flexibility offer us the option to scale as needed with market shifts, interest rate hikes, and insurance debacles. At the end of the day, you should see a direct correlation between the input of time, energy, and effort to the output of a healthy checking account. Set your income goals and perform the action steps to see them realized! While you are at it, give yourself a raise next year! You deserve it!
- CREATIVITY. Maybe the requirement of being creative isn’t your favorite part of the job. It can be a great challenge even for the most innovative individual because it challenges us to think differently and often to be bold and a bit vulnerable. Maybe the requirement of being creative isn’t your favorite part of the job. I think it helps sharpen the old brain and makes us better thinkers as we age. I think I read that somewhere! Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”! How could that be bad? Seriously though, having the freedom to be creative with your work, marketing, and activities and create your own business plan is a gift I will take every day!
- TAX WRITE-OFFS. Yep, also a gift! Being a 1099 independent contractor allows you to write off expenses such as lunches or dinners when with clients, car expenses, coaching, etc., and gives you significant savings when taxes come around each year. I see this as a gift because I like driving nice cars and love working on myself to step up my game through the advice and counsel of my coach(es). Also, wining and dining is legit and just happens to be one of my favorite past times! A gift that keeps on giving!
- SERVICE. “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge. Calvin said this so well. If we aren’t coming from a place of contribution, then we aren’t coming from the right place at all. The service that we give is of utmost importance when it comes to the longevity of our business. Being in service to others is what we do. Each and every one of our clients must satisfaction. I don’t know one Realtor who does not want their clients to be satisfied at the end of a transaction. That idea that our jobs are centered around servicing others is a beautiful opportunity to impact lives and help others. How lucky are we?
- EVER-CHANGING. That’s right. This job we have never stops changing. And as it changes, whether we like it or not, we must make some changes too. From one day to the next, throwS curveballs you weren’t planning for, and you are now challenged to adjust. As situations change, we have a new opportunity to try something new, to help someone out, to be the voice of reason in a bad situation, to utilize our gifts, and to exercise our strengths. The roller coaster of a transaction, of the market, or our cyclical selling seasons keeps things interesting and requires us to stay on our toes. There is nothing ordinary or mundane about the role as a Realtor! We have to ride the waves, which builds experience and resilience, and fosters focus and endurance. What other jobs do all those things, along with the other gifts already named? I can’t think of many!
- FREEDOM. We have the freedom every day to show up or shut down. And I am not talking about emotional, although that is also required for the job! I mean, we can wake up in the morning with a bright and shiny outlook to carpe diem or wallow in doom and gloom and play the blame game victim role. We can choose to work or take the day off. We can choose to fire a client because they are disrespectful and unreasonable, or we can continue to represent them and hope that we can improve things. We can cancel showings because we don’t feel good. We can set a goal, stop working once achieved, or forge ahead to test the limits. We can choose to do and be and feel whatever we want about our job, which can change from one day to the next! We have the freedom to choose, the freedom of time, the freedom to increase our income, the freedom to work from home or the office, the freedom to work with strangers or the people we already know, the freedom to work inside of our community, it goes on and on. Countries were founded on freedom as their motivation, and we have it every day, inside the career we have chosen for ourselves. WHAT A GIFT!