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How to Ignore Instant Gratification When Building a Real Estate Business

You’ve set your mind on building a real estate business. Can you wait for the triumphant success you want? To understand what you’re up against, let’s simplify the dilemma. 

Picture yourself as a child, part of the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment. A researcher sits you in a lackluster room, puts a marshmallow in front of you, and gives you the option: eat the pillowy marshmallow now (instant gratification) or wait a while to receive a second sugary treat as a reward for the patience (delayed gratification). What do you do as you stare at the sweet, mouth-watering treat?

The marshmallow experiment didn’t end there. Over the next 40 years, they returned to the group to follow their trajectory, revealing some interesting results. To sum it up, the longer you delay gratification, the more likely you are to succeed later in life, and suppressing thoughts of rewards helps you delay gratification skillfully.

As you continue building a successful real estate business, have you considered how self-control, or lack thereof, shows up in your daily, weekly, and monthly activities?

Are you in control of your success?

You can be wildly successful in the real estate industry but lack the self-control to continuously steer toward your personal and professional goals, leading to highs and lows in business. Consider how this PLACE Co-Founder Chris Suarez found out his self-control was out of control during his early success.

Chris launched his real estate career in New York when he was 21 years old. After his office fell on 9/11, Suarez shut down his business and moved. He built another real estate business from scratch in Eugene, Oregon, but later moved again, starting over with his final real estate team in Portland, Oregon. With each move, Suarez experienced serious gaps in business and production before regaining success at the level he had with his previous business. 

The ups and downs led Suarez to have an epiphany. He identified five connections between instant gratification and being a real estate agent:

  1. You are not building a real estate business correctly if you give it all your energy and time but are willing to dump it tomorrow for a sudden opportunity. 
  2. When you choose the first opportunity to elevate your success, you may lose what you’ve already built for your future. 
  3. You must prioritize building a sustainable business over your sales count. 
  4. More effort and delayed gratification leads to a greater reward for you in the end.
  5. Starting over in business can lead you in the opposite direction of your desires.

Are you building a real estate business on instant gratification?

Money can be an addicting reward, especially when it’s an underlying teaching in the real estate industry. Agents are often taught to chase instant results, driven by the idea that immediate activity equals results. 

If you’re having thoughts like these, you are hooked on instant gratification:

  • Every activity is making money
  • If I make this call, I may get a sale out of it
  • There aren’t enough sales for everyone to succeed

The hunger for instant gratification can hurt your real estate business and future, so correcting the habit before it’s too late is critical.

Transitioning from instant gratification to delayed gratification for business success

When building a successful real estate business, you must fully shift from being sales-driven to business-focused. The big challenge is that fear and doubt play roles in our choice to delay gratification. Many real estate agents don’t trust business models and worry that committing to the same activities every day for years won’t establish a thriving business. But if you aren’t trusting any model, you aren’t consistent. Instead, you may bounce around in business, only committed to sales. 

Committing to delayed gratification is a mindset shift, but it’s how you reap long-term success with daily disciplined effort.

How do real estate agents commit to delayed gratification? By:

  • Building systems and processes that increase sales
  • Choosing the pain of discipline over what’s easy and fast
  • Believing there is enough business for everyone

Following a business model consistently gives you a runway to delayed gratification. You must brace yourself for long periods without instant gratification to reach the end.

Your major takeaway: What model can build a real estate business with delayed gratification

Commit to sustainable, scalable models for building a real estate business not dependent on sales count. In the long run, you’ll earn and build more than if you keep grasping at instant gratification and success.

Explore how PLACE positions you for long-term success

PLACE is designed for top real estate business owners to scale successfully and sustainably. Watch our partners discuss their success with PLACE here. To inquire about a partnership with PLACE, fill out this form to tell us about your business.

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