lessons learned

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10 Lessons Learned After 10 Years in Real Estate

Read the most significant lessons one Canadian broker-owner has learned after a decade in business.

February 12, 2019

As I celebrate a decade in the real estate business, I’d like to impart some motivation. Here are 10 of the most important lessons I’ve learned, which I hope will help other broker-owners and agents navigate their own hurdles.

1. Follow your own agenda. If you want something, go get it. Don’t let anyone stand in your way or tell you otherwise.

2. Stay kind. Some people are ruthless. If you have not been disappointed with an agent, broker, customer, or even a friend or family member yet—it’s coming. You must stay kind, always, but also incredibly strategic as you follow tip number one.

3. Remain calm, cool, and collected. Sound cliché, right? But this simple, learned skill helped me sell real estate even when I didn’t own a home and still lived in my parents’ basement. Never lose your cool and continually educate yourself. Knowing your craft and what you’re talking about brings value to your clients and agents, but also gives you peace of mind at all times.

4. Don’t pick up the slack for others. This was an issue for me. I would do other people’s work assuming they would “eventually come around one day.” They don’t. If you find this happening with agents or team members in your office, drop them immediately.

5. Don’t idolize what you think should be—or should have been. I have spent countless hours obsessing over things out of my control. Live in the moment; the past or future is neither here nor there.

6. Remove negative people from your life. Don’t empower people who show negative intent. You and your business have no time for it.

7. Demand respect. Never allow anyone to walk over you.

8. Celebrate the small steps. The steps you take toward your end goal shouldn’t go unacknowledged. They are laying the foundation for your business, and for your life.

9. Set clear expectations and deliver. Admittedly, this has been one of my biggest learning curves. I now understand that not everyone is a performer.

10. Own your mistakes. Everyone messes up from time to time, but when you do, own up to it.


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Ian Charlebois

As owner and founder of IAN CHARLEBOIS & Associates Real Estate & Mortgages in Ottawa, Ontario, Ian works alongside sales associates specializing in residential and commercial real estate. Ian has sold more than 2,100 properties since 2008 and was REALTOR® Magazines first non-U.S. 30 Under 30 honouree. You can learn more at www.iancharlebois.ca.

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