Real Estate Professional vs Hobbyist: Which One Are You?
May 15, 2022

Real Estate Professional vs Hobbyist: Which One Are You?

When a family or friend hires another agent, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions – are you a real estate professional or a real estate hobbyist?

I recently had a POWER AGENT® ask me a question during our Mindset Monday Coaching Call. She wondered why her friends and their referrals have all been hiring other real estate agents, someone they didn’t even know, rather than her. She was frustrated and a little hurt, and asked me, “Am I missing something?”  

Unfortunately, the answer to that is “Probably.” 

The Bad Relationship Cycle 

I think we all have THAT friend…you know that friend who keeps getting into bad relationships over and over again? We wonder how on earth they keep finding these people, and even more, why they keep dating those people! However, it’s not an accident…they attract those terrible relationships. They keep choosing to get into these bad relationships rather than breaking the cycle because it’s familiar, and they know what to expect. Maybe they think they don’t deserve better. There is a lot of psychology to it, but the truth is, it’s the old, “It’s not them, it’s you” thing. 

When something keeps happening repeatedly, you have to stop looking at the other party being the problem and start looking at what you are doing to create this problem. Now, I’m not equating this with a lousy relationship exactly, but sometimes, when things consistently don’t go the way we would like them to it’s because there is something we are doing (or not doing) that is creating this result.   

There is a phrase that most of us have heard (though it remains unattributed): “When you point your finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you.” Even Jesus, in the Bible, had his own version: “Don’t point out the sliver in another person’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own.” When trying to figure out why something isn’t working in your life, your first step should always be to look in the mirror. Ruthlessly judge your own words and actions so you can know what part of the responsibility lies with you.   

When you put the blame or responsibility on everyone else, that’s it. There is no way to move past that. But, when you accept responsibility for your part in it and take the power back, that’s when the breakdown becomes the breakthrough. 

The Advice 

When your friends are consistently hiring other agents, and referring their families and friends to these other agents, you need to ask yourself this: “What am I putting out to my family and friends (and the Universe) about me as a real estate agent?” Are you putting it out there that you are a real estate professional, or a real estate hobbyist? 

TIP: Read this related article: “Share Your Passion To Better Connect With Homeowners 

Time to Talk Real: Real Estate Professional or Hobbyist? 

Why are you in real estate? Answer honestly. Go ahead; I’ll wait.   

If you said, “I’m trying to make some money”, you are a hobbyist. There’s nothing wrong with being a hobbyist, so no judgments here! There are plenty of agents in real estate that look at this as just a business, and it’s something they fit into their life, alongside their families and their social life. It’s just one puzzle piece among all the others in the jigsaw puzzle of their lives. 

Then, there are those people who fit their life into real estate because real estate is just who they are. It’s not a puzzle piece; it’s the whole picture that the puzzle makes. It’s serving, not selling. Coaching, not closing. It’s a whole new mentality because real estate penetrates every part of your life.  

 The people in your life can pick up on your mindset and what you are putting out there. If we’re going to be painfully honest, your friends and family don’t owe you anything. They aren’t going to hire you just because you are a friend or family member. They will hire a real estate professional who’s whole-heartedly committed to helping them buy and sell their homes and move up in life. They love you, but they want to know that the person managing this transaction is in it, heart, mind, and soul. 

TIP: Check out this related article, “Why Serving Means Fighting For Your Client’s Best Interests.” 

Communication is Like an Iceberg 

Communication is like an iceberg. When we look at an iceberg, we see the tip of the iceberg above the ocean, representing only 10% of the whole iceberg. The other 90% you don’t see is below the ocean surface. The words that we use are only 10% of the real communication. It’s the other 90% of non-verbal communication that comes from who we are. That is where real communication exists.   

If you have ever been in an argument with a spouse or family member, you know how this can happen! There you are, going at it, and someone says, “But you said this and this!” And the other person said, “No, I didn’t!” And the first person says, “Well, no, but that’s what you meant!” We aren’t just arguing about what is actually being said; it’s what’s underneath the words that we are reacting to.  

So, I ask again, as a real estate professional, what are you putting out into the world? Are you committed to building a real estate business and serving your clients? Or are you a hobbyist? 

The Mental Trap 

 A lot of agents think, “I just don’t want to bother them”, or “It’s family time, I don’t want to talk about real estate”, or “they wouldn’t be interested in hearing about my job all the time”, or “I don’t want them to feel like I’m trying to get money out of them.” Any of those sound familiar? The Universe knows that stuff is in your head, even if it doesn’t come out of your mouth.   

If you are talking about not shutting down possibilities, but subconsciously, you do exactly that because you don’t want to be a bother, then your family and friends pick up on that. In fact, it’s even harder to get your family to think of hiring you because of this: they don’t think of you as a real estate agent because they think of you as a family member or a friend. The fact that you are a real estate agent is a secondary thought and one that probably doesn’t occur to them because you aren’t talking shop.  

That being said, if you are a real estate professional and real estate is one of the most important assets that a person has in their whole life, how could you be a bother if you’re a valuable asset they can tap into? Wouldn’t it be better for them to have you as their real estate resource than someone else? 

TIP: For other ideas on why Friends and family might not be hiring you, read “Should Friends and Family Hire You as their Real Estate Agent?” 

A Personal Story 

So, my family tree isn’t really a family tree; it’s a bush. My step-sister-in-law, Kelly (married to my stepbrother, Pascal), is also a real estate agent here on Long Island. Sometimes, Pascal would get upset because our family gatherings would inevitably turn into real estate seminars. Kelly would ask me a question, and that was it. We would talk for an hour about various things, and sometimes we would even head up to her home office, where I would be writing all over a whiteboard, giving her strategies and ideas. Why? Because real estate is who I am. It’s my reason for getting up in the mornings. My family knows that I’m their best resource when they have questions.  

When you believe in your heart that what you do is making a profound difference in the lives of your clients, family, and friends, how can you NOT talk about it? A doctor isn’t just a doctor from 9 to 5; they are a doctor 24/7. There is no off switch. If you don’t want to be a hobbyist, but a full-blown all-out professional, you can’t have an off-switch either. 

So, let’s look in that mirror and ask ourselves again: Are you a real estate professional, or are you a real estate hobbyist?  

What’s Next? 

Are you ready to start taking things to the Next Level®? It’s time to find a comfortable balance between “staying in your lane” and “off-roading” when it comes to pre-qualifying clients and showing homes. 

POWER AGENTS®, you can check out the Webinars-On-Demand tab in the Classroom for more training of all kinds, and don’t forget to check out the Time and Money Management tab too! Whether you need help with dialogues, or to be more confident and skillful in starting up conversations, we have the know-how to help! 


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