Should you work smart or work hard? There are two schools of thought. One says we need to work smart; the other says hard work pays off. In a real estate career, I think we have to work both smart and we have to work hard.

You will see lots of paradigm shifts in this industry. You begin as novices, not knowing the lingo, not understanding legalities, relying 100% on those who have been there ahead of you. In the early days of your career, you must apply yourselves to everything. Training is paramount, trying to learn as much as you can in a short time while getting your real estate business started.

You must juggle training and working in tandem. Students complain about a lack of training, but when pressed on the matter, they end up admitting they don't have time to go to the trainings being offered. A new licensee's priority is to make enough money to at least pay back the expenses of starting a business so they want to jump in with both feet.

This blog is for newbies. Your first year is crucial to your success. I realize you must recapture your initial investment as soon as possible, but the need to learn as much as possible as soon as possible is huge! Some brokers will insist you get into the “field” quickly and start looking for listings; others will have you work your sphere of influence, hoping someone you know has a real estate need. The rarest of brokers still exist, and are the ones who want you to acquire a multitude of training in the beginning of your career. As for me, I'm a mixture of all of them. I'm a huge advocate of using mentors who are well seasoned and who have a desire to help. Too many experienced agents are too busy, however, to want to train. Some offices rely totally on agents to do the training, and even that type of training comes up short. Many times, you're getting one agent's opinion over another agent's opinion. You need a trainer who knows how to train!

Should you work smart or work hard? After training, I think you should find a seasoned agent, be willing to split your listings and sales in the beginning, and shadow your agent as much as possible. One-on-one training is the best there is! Sitting in a classroom listening to other agents tell their stories is okay, but it's not training. Find the best of both worlds and if you find yourself in an office environment that doesn't want to help, where agents are too busy or too protective of their business, then maybe you should rethink where you are. You cannot become successful without being around success.