When I started my real estate career in 2002, I was 20 years old. I had no idea what a wild ride I was in for. The market surged strong and then crashed hard. I made a million and lost it faster than I made it. I was forced back into roofing houses until the market recovered. It was during that time that I experienced the most personal growth. I took a close look in the mirror, and reflected on every decision I made that got me where I was. I was at the lowest financial point of my life and I really didn’t care. I was fine with it. I knew that the lessons I was learning at the time would help me some back stronger than ever, and put me in a position to not only make it, but to completely dominate my market one day.
During the crash, roofing was not enough. I landed a job on an oil rig in Hattiesburg, MS. This was a very well paying job for someone who had nothing, and it was every other week. This was a perfect scenario for me as I could make more money and have every other week off to work my way back into real estate. Although the oil rig was a very dangerous job, I knew it was temporary. It was obvious to me that I would work my way back to the top and beyond. Heck, in my mind, I was already there. I didn’t mind working 12-14 hour days. I still work the same way now, just not on a roof or on an oil rig.
I took my weeks off from the oil rig and focused on real estate. And, not just trying to sell real estate, but also learning and researching. I read over 100 books on the subject of self-development and real estate. I watched other agents in my market through the crash. I watched the ones who survived and the ones who did not make it such as myself. I paid close attention to what each did. I asked myself, “Why did they not make it?” or “How did they survive?” What separated the two? I also watched the market very closely as I never let my license go inactive and continued paying my MLS fees. I witnessed the prices of property in my area slowly decrease year after year during that time. The number of transactions bottomed out in 2007 and started back up in 2008. Prices bottomed out in 2010-2011 in my area as 2012 was the turnaround year for us.
I am a stubborn real estate agent. I have to learn everything the hard way. Which is good and bad. Its good because I am willing to do anything at a super high level to see if it will work, and I am a very quick learner. It bad because I won’t listen as much as I should because I have to see everything for myself. You really need a good mix of these two to really excel at a high level in the shortest amount of time. If you want to know how to be successful in real estate, here is a breakdown of my thoughts:
- Be willing to work 12-14 hours a day focused only on real estate
- Adapt to every situation as in learn from everything and mold yourself everyday into a better person and agent
- Study other successful agents in your market
- Hire a real estate coach
If I had hired a real estate coach from day one, I might not of had to go through the rough times that I went through during the market crash.
Here is the Deal on Real Estate Coaches
There are good ones and bad ones. How do you know the difference? Well, most of them try to teach you how to list FSBO’s and Expired Listings. Although these can be a source of good income, they are not the best. And, you can find a real estate coach for this anywhere. They are a dime a dozen. Other coaches will try to teach you how to use social media or the internet to magically bring you thousands of great leads. There again, this could be a good source of income as well. However, online/social media leads convert to a closed client 0.24% of the time. Which means you have to go through 400 of these leads to find just one who will do a deal. Again, these coaches are everywhere.
Another thing to watch out for is coaches who have never sold real estate before. They are out there so watch out.
If you want a coach, you should pick a coach who is currently selling real estate and knows the current state of the market. If you choose a coach who is selling real estate right next to you, you can follow his lead. He will help you navigate through the market better because he is also going through the same market as you. This creates a situation where the coaching is in real time as opposed to a generic, cookie-cutter version of a coaching program designed just to make money for the coach. Pick a coach who has accomplished the same goals that you want to achieve, and who is willing to spend the time with you to help you get there.
I am currently one of the top producing agents in Alabama as I have closed over 100 deals per year for the last 4 years in a row. I am also coaching agents all over the world through my new coaching company, Zero to Diamond. I have written two books for real estate agents, Zero to Diamond and List to Last. Both are changing the lives of agents all over the world. I am also doing a LIVE Q&A for agents all over the world, #AskRickyLive, on the Facebook group and started a new show to give you an inside look at my business and life, Ricky Carruth’s The Daily Grind Show. My coaching program is only $47 a month and gives you direct access to me anytime as well as my entire business plan with scripts, videos, action plans, past coaching calls, etc. Find my coaching programs here.
My Vision for ZTD
First and foremost, my mission is to reduce the failure rate in the industry. But to do that, I must build a coaching program in which is incredibly affordable and brings more value to agents than any other real estate coaching program on the market. So, that’s what I have done. I created a program focused around building lifelong relationships with property owners in niche markets, and doing so in a way in which I am able to maintain my personal real estate business at the same time. Caring about people and helping in every way possible is the key to success in any business. When you genuinely care about people, they genuinely care about you back and will be happy to do business with you time and time again.
Ricky Carruth, RE/MAX of Orange Beach