I have had several jobs in my 58 years in Highland County. Most of those jobs did not connect to the next one. However, they all somehow worked together to get me to where I am today. One of those experiences, a one- to two-year span when I didn’t have a formal job at all, I bought and sold a variety of items. Now, it wasn’t very dependable income, but it did work, although, it did drive my wife almost insane.
It was during that time frame that I decided I wanted to be a salesperson.
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of books written on how to be a salesperson. I have decided it really comes down to a very simple thing. A salesperson must give the buyer the information they need to decide if it is the right purchase for them. The decision may be a yes, or it may be a no. The salesperson must respect this decision. It is not up to salesperson to pressure anyone to do anything. They are the deliverers of information, not the decision makers. This rule applies if you are selling real estate, cars, insurance, or even a new haircut.
For those that have not experienced it, a life in commission sales can drive the most sane person crazy. Some companies may offer a weekly draw against future commissions; however, most do not. In most instances, the salesperson will not receive a single penny until there is a sale of some sort. They receive no compensation for hard work or great effort. There must be results — a sale — for any money to change hands. The financial reward can be amazing if they are effective, or at times even lucky. At other times, the financial rewards are few and far between.
A salesperson must be self-motivated and very structured. This can be difficult to do when they are only accountable to themselves. The “be your own boss” way of living can be rewarding, but also very tough. It is not uncommon to work 70 to 80 hours one week and have no sales, then the next week work almost not at all and have several sales.
There are also several things people working on commission experience that others do not. First, how they spend their time is up to them. Appointments can be arranged to allow time for other obligations such as family events. While there is no whistle that blows when the workday is over, there is none that blows when it starts either. This freedom can be just too much for some people to handle. Those people do not last long as real estate agents.
If I had to sum up what I do for a living, I guess I would say my career pays me to help folks get what they want. There’s and old quote I have always liked. “People never like to be sold, but they do like to be helped.” That is my goal. To help match people with the right home — a home that fits all their needs.
Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest steps in a family’s life. Being a real estate agent lets me play a small part in that event. With all the pitfalls involved, I get to do something I love to do and even get paid to do it. To see the joy on someone’s face when they realize home ownership will become a reality for them is priceless. Also, I get to see a lot of houses, like the house that you drive by and think you would like to see the inside. Chances are, I have seen it.
As always, if you have any questions about the article or real estate as a career, feel free to contact to me.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.