I recently have finished doing a DIY (Do It Yourself) remodel on my kitchen. Going through the process, I couldn’t help but think about my very first year in real estate and the months leading up to it. The similarities between something like a kitchen remodel and getting into the real estate industry are amazing. 


You’ve done the research. You’ve looked at all the different colors. Pinterest and six others blogs about DIY kitchen remodels are bookmarked in your browser. You’re finally ready to ditch your old kitchen and dive into a brand new adventure. 

Sounds familiar? It’s likely that you got into real estate to pursue something bigger, better, life-enhancing. You did the research; which school to go to, which brokerage to join, which new fancy car to drive (OK, not all of us did that.) You decided and declared, “THIS is my next big adventure.” 

You buy the paint and all the tools, saws, hammers, nails, drop clothes; you name it. As you remove the cabinet doors, one by one, you can actually imagine the day when you’ll be putting them all back together. You can visualize the finished product. You’re already planning your first big get together so you can show all your friends and family how fantastic your handy work turned out. 

You go to school. You pass the test. You quit your “Job.” You sign up at an awesome brokerage. You start attending classes. You join the local association. You’re still immersed in all that is new and exciting about this industry that you are going to take by storm. Your vision and goals are clear. You cannot wait to help a client with their first purchase, and then the next, and the next, and the next! You are so excited, you’re already planning your end of the year client appreciation party extravaganza! 

You’re about eight days in to a remodel you projected at taking only four to complete. You start to feel slightly frustrated. Your house is a mess. Your kitchen is unusable. You haven’t had a home cooked meal in days. You are growing weary of the thought of waiting for another coat of paint to dry. You start to ask yourself this question, “Why is this taking so long?” 

How does this relate to real estate? It’s a process. Learning how to be an effective real estate agent is like moving to a foreign country. You’ve got to learn the language to communicate effectively. How long did it take you to learn your first language? YEARS. (And you messed up a lot in the beginning) Don’t rush this process. Make a deliberate effort to practice every day. Through practice of your trade, over time, you too, will be able to overcome objections with ease, negotiate contracts effortlessly and enter a listing into the MLS in minutes vs. hours. It’s going to take time. Sometimes longer than you think it should, that doesn’t equate to failure, it just means you get to invest more time in sharpening your tools. 

I’ll call this the moment of self-doubt. I know that at some point in every single person’s life, they have had that brief conversation with themselves that goes something like this, “What was I thinking? This remodel is so much more work than I thought. I should have just paid someone to do all the work. Did I throw away a perfectly good kitchen to pursue the kitchen of my dreams?” 

In real estate, it sounds more like this, “What was I thinking? This is so much more work than I thought. I could just buy leads. Am I cut out for this? Did I quit a perfectly good job for this?” 

We all go there. It’s actually a coping mechanism. Your mind is innocently enough attempting to protect you. It wants you stay comfortable. It prefers that. If you’re having a “freak out moment,” that’s awesome! The key is to take a deep breath and refer to #1, you know, the time when you were excited. You had big dreams. You were clear on the vision and the goal. The truth is, if you have dreamed it up in your head, you are 100% able to achieve it. Your mind will not create a situation unobtainable for you. We have all heard the William Arthur Ward quote “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” In other words, it all starts in your head. Have you ever achieved something you didn’t first imagine in your mind? Of course not. So, my point here is remember that you set out on this mission. Your coping mechanism to obtain the status quo is that little voice inside your head telling you cannot. The very fact that you have developed and come up with this plan simply means that it is yours to achieve, and you will! 

After the moment of self-doubt, you realize that you got yourself into this and by-golly, you are going to succeed! You go back and re-read some of the How To’s on kitchen remodels, verify you are on the right track. You ask a few friends who have been through the process. You talk to someone who reaffirms that you are on the right track, it took them a little longer too, and they learned so much along the way! 

You remember exactly why you are on this crazy real estate ride. It wasn’t about the money when you started, it still isn’t. It’s about how that money is going to help you, your family, and the people around you. You remember that real estate is simple, not easy. You talk to someone who you admire in the industry and they remind you that it won’t happen overnight, you’r job is to get better every day! You recommit. 

The bottom line is, in the end, if you stick to your desire to accomplish your goals, understand there will be obstacles, sometimes in the middle, it won’t look or feel like you had imagined. Get guidance and remember why you started, this business will gift you all of your wildest dreams and goals… and in my case, a new kitchen. 

Acknowledge the process. Enjoy the progress. You are exactly where you should be.