In the Pensacola Association of REALTORS® alone, there are over 2,000 residential and commercial members. Students often ask us if there is room for another agent; we always answer yes, there is. That affirmation comes with a caveat, however. The industry always has been and always will be flooded with agents who have great aspirations, but who miss the mark. To be one of the successful REALTORS®, you will need to make a difference. You will need to set yourself apart from others. You will need to be one of the best!

This country has its share of entrepreneurs, and sometimes it seems there is too much competition in one area, while other areas don't offer enough competition. The business that comes along and gives an existing business a run for its money is the one that has learned how to make a difference in that arena. In the practice of real estate, it's not easy to establish yourself as one of the good guys and consumers don't yet know you can make a difference. Getting that reputation takes time and effort, but consistency pays off.

One piece of advice I offer a new agent is simple and takes little common sense to figure out. My advice is never promise something you don't deliver! Many consumers have been left hanging out there by themselves because a real estate agent promised to get back to them. Listings are lost because a real estate agent doesn't follow through with promises. Sales fall through because a real estate agent doesn't pay attention to the contract and its contingency dates. It's easier to make a difference when you are on the ball!

In this industry, you will run across consumers who might say they had a good experience with their agent, but they just can't recall the agent's name anymore! The agent failed at follow-through, staying in touch and cultivating a relationship for future business. I remember one year I won an award for having sent out the most referrals. When I researched the parameters of that award, I found out that it wasn't that difficult to have won it. I was with a large agency, and only about 1% of the agents participated in sending out referrals! It was easy to make a difference in the referral world because the competition was scarce and I saw opportunities with every seller and buyer, even when they were not my own clients or customers.

Think about how you can make a difference in your real estate career. When you prepare your business plan, incorporate that difference into it so that it is committed to writing and make sure you follow through with the commitment. The ability to make a difference among 2,000 REALTORS®, not to mention the other licensed real estate agents in the area, will be one of your strongest assets. TEAM Hughes Real Estate School has developed its pre-license course so that we make a difference and soar above our competition. Check us out and you might find ways to use our philosophies in your real estate career.