Graham Wood is senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After 600 'No's, I Got a 'Maybe'
Bryan Maynard is in his first year as a real estate agent. It seemed like his career was going nowhere, with rejections left and right. Then he got a "maybe" client — and success came shortly afterward.
March 14, 2014
Bryan Maynard will be marking one year in the real estate business in April. But the Semonin, REALTORS®, salesperson in Louisville, Ky., probably feels like he’s been slogging it for much longer than that. It’s been a long enough road so far.
It started out with a bang, though. While in pursuit of his real estate license, which he earned in April 2013, “I started using social media to tell all of my friends and coworkers over the years what I was doing,” Maynard says. “By the time I got out of real estate school, I had two clients waiting on me to buy, both first-time home buyers. One of them ended up buying; one of them fell through the cracks.”
That’s a great start to a new career, but it set him up with false hope.
More 'First Year' Stories
We have a collection of stories from practitioners who faced all kinds of challenges in their first year on the job. Read all of them here.
“Having those buyers directly out of school made me feel like this job was going to be easy,” Maynard continues. “I was so confident. I thought people would just come to me. That is not the case. After the excitement of closing on my first client’s new home, I remember going home that night and thinking, ‘What am I going to do at work tomorrow?’”
He soon realized that his first two clients were flashes in the pan, and without a string of real leads coming in, he was back at square one.
“I would go out, talk to everyone I could about the market, make phone calls and follow-up notes, work open houses, take seminars — do everything I was told that would make a difference,” Maynard says. “I would talk to people in my sphere of influence every day. After 600 ‘no’s, I got a ‘maybe.’ I went above and beyond to try to get my first client approved and going, but the efforts weren’t paying off. After another 600 ‘no’s, I got another client, who didn’t really have to move and had unrealistic expectations.”
Days turned into nights, and it seemed he was going nowhere — until one day when it all came together at once. It may have taken awhile, but the rewards of endless correspondence with potential clients, friends, and family came in one fell swoop.
“In one day, a former employee listed her condo and a family member listed their home with me, and an investor I had met put a bid on one of my HUD properties,” Maynard says. “I was back in business.”
And with that came even more rewards. In what became his first five transactions, Maynard’s sales volume soared to more than $1 million in his first year, earning him a million-dollar producer recognition as well as the Semonin 2013 Rookie of the Year award.
“It takes the rises and falls you experience as a beginner to understand this business,” he reflects. ”I realized that it is a numbers game. The more people you put your face in front of, the more people will eventually come to you with their real estate needs. … I work for the same broker as my godmother, so I have been able to hold open houses in some of her listings that could potentially connect me with high-end buyers. I have found the trick is just to keep moving forward by staying busy. I still have a lot to learn, but I am out there every day, trying to find my next client. It’s not always easy to keep smiling and moving forward, but you have to.”