Jan 17, 2018 by - John Moscillo

You’re Fired: How to Handle the Hard Times

Have you ever been fired or laid off? It is often a scary time filled with a ton of questions. 

  • How am I going to pay my bills? 
  • How are we going to eat? 
  • Do I have enough in savings? 
  • How much does it really cost me to live each month? 

It is typically that point when you start to look at budgets and what everything truly costs and where you can cut back to ensure that you survive the coming months. That mindset that most people experience only a handful of times? We agents have the luxury of experiencing it every time we close on a property or when slow times hit.  

But it is a mindset that you should encompass from day one. Having a solid personal budget and Real Estate business budget is vital to your survival. How can you even make goals without knowing how much you need to survive? 

The thing is that, as agents, we have other things brewing all the time. Sellers waiting for the perfect time, buyers waiting for the perfect house. But when you have nothing under contract, when you have nothing in the pipeline, panic and fear set in because of the unknown. It is easy to sit there and have a pity party thinking of all the stupid things that you spent your hard-earned commission on and promise to never do it again. 

But then that deal comes together, commission is deposited and you play catch up, saying things like: “Well, I deserve these shoes,” or “I deserve a Steak dinner out,” or “I deserve a vacation.” 

Avoid “buying happiness”

The truth is, fiscal irresponsibility is a killer of many agents. Those “things” actually cause more stress because you feel that for some weird reason you need these “things” when in reality you really don’t. 

One of the most crucial things I ever did was walk away from everything. I got really small financially so that I barely needed anything to survive. I then took some time to find out what it was that really made me happy.  

It is easy to get carried away with purchasing things to make us happy. It is easy to dump all sorts of money into the business chasing our dreams. But if at the end of the day you have no money to pay the bills, if your bills are so high because you deserve X, Y or Z, then what has been accomplished? 

“Plan to succeed, prepare to fail”   

My biggest caution I can give agents who are new or newer is to be cautious. The market goes up and down. What is required to live the lifestyle you desire? Then ask yourself, what will it take to accomplish this in a down market? 

Just think back to a time you got fired and the stress that was there, then work to build smart attainable goals, savings and a cushion so that when you get fired again you can say, “Thank You, may I have another?” 

Often I will say in group coaching and training, “Plan to succeed, prepare to fail.” Yes, it may sound negative, but it is reality and I take a realist’s approach. When you have plans in place for things to go wrong—and they will—then they don’t hurt as badly, and you already have a plan in place on how you will rebound. 

Financial stress is also a killer in relationships. Prepare yourself and do not allow this financial burden to play a part in your relationship. Having a rainy-day fund with six months stashed away can be the saving grace of the relationship. If you are the bread winner then it is your job, your responsibility, to ensure that the security of your home and family are taken care of. 

Don’t fall victim like make agents before who did not pay their taxes or who put everything on credit cards. Be a good steward of your business and finances and ensure that the finances of your business and personal world are secured. 

Because there will be time soon enough where your closing gets cancelled, you lose a listing or you close on a property and then have nothing under contract. So next time you get fired, do not panic. Be prepared and have a plan. 

Support for Lab Coat Agents, and the audio version of this article, comes from Elevated Real Estate Marketing and Travis Thom. Elevated R.E.M. provides Facebook advertising coaching and ad agency services for Real Estate Agents across the globe. Visit ElevatedREM.com for more information.  


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