Friday, November 18, 2005

Getting It Out of the Way Fast

Well, I have now passed the two-month mark at Citi-Habitats, the largest (volume-wise) real estate agency in the city. Unfortunately, things are not going as well as I would like. There are a lot of things about the rental business at CH that are very different than they were at Wenton Realty. My major problem is TIME MANAGEMENT. Now, I went through the "First Things First" course that Stephen Covey taught years ago, but somehow I am still not really able to get this done. Sure, I am able to define two or three things that MUST get done on a certain day, but I never seem to get past those things - and on to the true "Quadrant II" activities that really set you up for success.

At CH, marketing is important, but it is much more time consuming. I was able to post some 25 ads per day at Wenton Realty with the click of two buttons to craigslist. People search these things, if you can believe it. At CH, even if I do have more than the 6 ads that I'm allotted (I currently have 10), they take FIVE clicks to get into craigslist. And since I only have 10 ads online (whereas at WR I had some 60-70), I would have to post some 15 more manually every day - that would take me about two hours. So quite frankly, my marketing has suffered.

Plus, my commute has more than doubled. My previous office was in Union Square, about 2.5 blocks from the nearest F line subway stop. Now, I must transfer from the F to the V or E, which can take 10 minutes, then I have a 6 block walk to my new office which is in Midtown East. I can't just work from home as I don't have the access to the rentals database that is required. When it turns over into the new database, I theoretically should have this ability and that will cut down time. However as far as I am concerned, that conversion will not happen because, as in all my corporate experiences, these things never happen on time. Currently I believe they are six months behind. Hmmmm.

Yesterday was what could be called a "character builder". Two very annoying (and finanacially detrimental) things occurred. First, an exclusive listing that I had signed on Saturday was negated by a judge, who gave the husband of my client (they are getting a divorce and it is nasty) the right to choose a broker. Naturally he doesn't want me. So, there went a $700,000 listing down the tubes. Part of me selfishly is hoping that he'll get lost all this weekend and fail to execute an agreement by Monday, but I know that it is unlikely that will happen. There is a very slim chance of recovering this exclusive.

Then, I found out that a certain listing that was the first desire of a buyer I have been working with now has an offer on it, a decent offer that is likely to go into contract. I have no other listings to show this buyer at this point, so I'm screwed. Hopefully she will stick with me and will become more serious about buying. The industry addage is that all buyers have to lose one before they really start playing the game. This never happened to me. I was always lucky enough to get exactly what I wanted exactly when I wanted it. Maybe this is why I am having such a hard time.

I call these painful experiences "getting it out of the way fast". I'm trying to gain lessons from each one - it's the only silver lining I can take out of them. I feel like people all around me are making deals and that things just aren't happening for me, or perhaps are happening TO me. But I can't give up. I've just put too much time and effort into this. I know if I can survive the first year that I will make it eventually, but I feel like the counter has started all over again.

Boy, sometimes I feel like this blog sounds really whiny. Do I sound like this all the time?? I know I have spine and resilience - everyone says so, but I feel like a fake. Does everyone else feel this way and hide it?? I tell myself that is the way of things. But I have to wonder. People seem to be succeeding all around me. What are they doing that I'm not?

I worry that I don't love this business enough. There's not really a business that I love so much. They say to really succeed that you can't just be in it for the money. Well, I'm in it for the money. Perhaps what they mean is that I need to focus on doing what I love doing best. I love investing best. Citi-Habitats isn't the best place for investing. Would I be happier working for an investor? Someone who could teach me more about investing? I have been successful at investing. Quite frankly, it is what is keeping us above water right now - our two investment properties are holding their own and starting to pay some of the bills for us with the cash they are throwing off. I knock on wood and pray that this continues. Thank god I managed to do this before I left my job. Where I would be if I hadn't I shudder to think.

I'm very jealous of my boyfriend Michael's blog Michael finally has some good following, whereas I don't really. He does manage to post more often which helps things. I'm going to try. I'd love to get some more discussion, but then again I need to focus less on me and more on how my experiences can help other people.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hi Hanna....Greetings from the Great Northwest. Yes a little whiny!! You have to love the business first or it doesn't work. The money will automatically flow from the love. If you angst on money making side and worry about keeping your head above water it comes across in very subtle ways to your clients. Take it from a ex "New Yawker" who is 15 years in the biz. Hang in there and Good Luck.