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I Quit Real Estate

Drew Burks

Drew Burks

By Drew Burks

Breaking News …

OK, this is hardly breaking news, but after 10 years in the real estate game this may come as a shock to a few people.  To be honest, it kind of shocked me that I am actually throwing in the towel!

The past couple of years I have come to understand that my purpose in life is not to help people buy and sell homes, but I think I always knew this.  The real eye opener came when I realized that my life purpose was not to help REALTORS® find a way to be more successful, because I truly believed that was my life’s mission.

The good news is that I now see clearly, what my life’s purpose is.  But that is another blog post, you can read it on my blog: Drew Burks.  Right now I want to explain why I am officially quitting real estate and what I mean when I say quit real estate.

I quit being a “REALTOR®” and being a “real estate broker for licensed salespersons.”

I will continue paying my REALTOR® dues, volunteering my time for the San Diego REALTOR® Association and possibly NAR.  I have created a strategic partnership with three San Diego REALTOR® teams to develop online lead generation funnels in exchange for a referral fee on closed deals.

OK, so now that you have a clear understanding of what I mean when I say I quit real estate, let me tell you why I quit …

I closed a short sale transaction early January 2011 with awesome buyer clients.  My clients were referred to me from one of my favorite past clients. I worked with these new buyers for more than a year, showed them close to 200 homes, and finally …

… they found a house they really loved AND of course it was a short sale!  But this wasn’t really the problem or what made me throw in the towel.  The two primary reasons I quit are:

1.  The realization of just how little control a REALTOR® has when it comes right down to it.  More on this shortly.

2.  The unprofessionalism that short sales and REO transactions have brought out in our industry.

There you have it; I have officially closed my last escrow for the time being.

Back to the first reason I mentioned, how little control a REALTOR® actually has.  As a new father, I am more focused than ever and this transaction made me realize that being a mere participant in my business is NOT enough security for me.

Think about what I am telling you… no matter how great of a REALTOR® you may be, you only have so much control (yourself).  You cannot control your clients, the other agents, or the banks.  In this last transaction I was only one of about a dozen people involved.

My family deserves much better odds than this!

I am publishing this post here because I know there are thousands of really great REALTORS® out there who are struggling to make ends meet.  On a recent post by Brooke Wolford, she wrote “I read somewhere that the average agent last year closed one transaction.  I don’t need to say anything further.”

What’s worse is most of these REALTORS® aren’t fulfilled when it comes to their real estate business.  If you are one of these REALTORS®, I encourage you to take some time to really examine the business and do only the portion(s) that you LOVE doing.

Example: I LOVE the world of social media, blogging and Internet marketing!  It is this clarity that allowed me to develop strategic partnerships with local teams of REALTORS® who LOVE being REALTORS® in exchange for a referral.  They get to do what they love, I get to do what I love, and all is good!

Consider this — as a broker I was getting 10 to 15 percent of each transaction my REALTORS® closed, but I also had 100 percent of the liability!  Now I collect 25 to 30 percent on the closed deal with zero liability.  The agents that I have partnered with have a new source of business that they didn’t have before — a great deal for all parties!

So quitting my job as a REALTOR® and a broker for agents I have tripled my income while eliminating the stress and doing what I didn’t enjoy, not to mention removing the liability that comes with brokering agents.

Gary Vaynerchuk said it best in this video …. “you can lose just as much money being happy as hell!

Comments
  1. I think lifes purpose is to help others who are in need. For short sales, they are a pain to work with, but if we can make a uncertain situation certain, by assisting those sellers with short sales, and moving them to a home where they know for sure they can raise their kids in peace of mind, then this is where the focus should be.

    Thanks,

    Sameer

  2. Scott Kamiya

    What timing of this article. I was having the same thoughts.

  3. It’s amazing how you think and try to focus more now that you’re a parent! I have a 7 month old and trying to work him into my business day while trying to squeeze more business in and focus everything to move forward this year has been a little struggle. I have had some great clients though who don’t mind him coming along to see homes with me or take a listing.
    Glad that you are happier with the path you’ve chosen!!!

  4. It is a shocking news for people. You spend 10 years in real estate and suddenly you decided that you quit the real estate. After 10 years you realised that your purpose in life is not to help people buy and sell homes.

  5. I was really taken aback when I read your post. I think you’re spot on though, and wish that more people who make that realization that this isn’t where they should be right now should take a step back and reevaluate as you did. (Have you worked with agents who clearly aren’t enjoying their work? Ugh.) I’m in a similar boat – this is my 11th year in the business, have since had 2 kids, and the fact that so many aspects of the transaction can be out of our control (especially in these short sales & foreclosures) is frustrating. I think you’ve made an intelligent decision that will work for you. Wishing you great success with your new path.

  6. Heather

    I just came to the same realization last night after a lengthy discussion. I have to look at the writing on the wall for the number of things that are OUT OF MY CONTROL. Deals are lucky to close these days and I would rather get my time back to spend with my young children, rather than out looking at homes with people who are being dishonest on some level – the sign call that wants to see the home and doesn’t have an agent (but they do), the buyer who says they’re ready and low and behold they’re not or they on the verge of going bankrupt. Buyers and Sellers accuse the realtor of being secretive and holding back information, but the truth is so many clients are the ones doign just that. My realtor friends can’t believe that I have made this decision because as they say, “you’re so good at this, people need you”, but realtistically the highs and the lows are just more drama that I am tired of dealing with. Hats off to you and good luck on the other side.

  7. Drew, wish we would have met in Austin last month. In 2007 my broker asked me to describe what success means to me and it wasn’t selling real estate. I told her I was more fulfilled by sharing ideas with other agents on how to use the latest technology rather than transferring keys between homeowners. That’s when I decided to cut the cord on a practice I had invested so much money and time into and shift into real estate education. Now I’m truly living my dream. I’m still very active in the realtor community, pay my association dues, invest in RPAC and hope you continue to do the same even though you may not list and sell. I applaud you for doing what is best for you and your family. It takes a lot of courage to make big changes like this. Wish you continued success. Doug

  8. I agree that much in a real estate transaction is out of the agents and brokers control.
    Has to make you wonder why anyone wants to put themselves in such liability for very little money. Especially when you are starting.

  9. Thanks to Drew Burks for sharing your personal experience.

  10. Beverly

    I am a Broker of a small firm. Independently owned and operated for 5+ years now. Not many sales but Property Management. It get to be pretty hectic an tiring and I am considering selling and closing. Not sure what I will do after but giving myself 6 months to plan my departure. Its been good but I feel its time to move on.

  11. manny

    I wonder how you all feel now that the market is so hot! houses are selling in 1 to 2 days. Last nite I put a bully offer, $100k over the asking and I was told someone out bid me, lol.

  12. Mellie

    After 13 years in the business (some inactive during the market crash) and barely hanging on with one or two closings a year, dealing with wishy washy clients who lie, I have to be done for my happiness and health in life. Thanks for your honest article!

  13. Dave@mail.com

    @ Manny

    No one cares what you think or that the market is hot mate.

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