Should you stay or should you go?
It’s been six months or so since I hung up my corporate estate agency boots and set up Rose & Partners. Now that everyone has got over the shock of this life-changing decision, they keep asking me if it’s all that I had hoped for…
Sometimes I wonder if they are hovering on making the same all-important decision for themselves.
Well, in short, yes, it’s been everything I wished for, and more.
Be the change…
Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite something adjusting to not having the security of a steady income each month. Then there’s the trappings that come with corporate or estate agency life, such as a ready-made team to work with each day and hundreds of automatic prospects… Not forgetting a great PA that helped me be more efficient.
But there’s something to be said for being the controller of your own destiny and not having to tell a soul about your discreet client base and associated transactions. I’m able to focus on the things I do well and it’s made me realise how resourceful we are when we really challenge ourselves.
I got to a stage where I felt a little stale and, dare I say, too comfortable. I could see myself opening and closing up the same office every day for the rest of my working life; sitting in that glass high street fishbowl, when what I really wanted to do was to be out and about with my clients, working with them on their terms.
Now I go with the ebb and flow of their schedules, wants and needs, which suits me just fine. Working weekends and evenings are just part of the deal. If I’m really honest, this is how I’ve worked for years anyway.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’d like to say that my timing was perfectly planned! It beautifully coincided with Brexit, which naturally stalled the market. It was dead time and as I resigned, I was granted a few months of gardening leave, which helped me contemplate my next chapter.
The landscape of estate agency is still undergoing so much positive change and I feel fortunate to be have taken advantage of this. I’m finding that the need for multiple high street office locations and suited-up sales agents is greatly diminishing. Many of the great agents are leaving too, setting up on their own or joining smaller work hubs and independents. My clients love the way that I work as I am available to them whenever they need and they appreciate me being more relaxed in my attire and my approach.
Just do it!
Going it alone isn’t always easy, especially once the honeymoon period is over. I had a few moments when I questioned if I’d made the right decision. But former colleagues and key contacts that had already crossed over into self-employment encouraged me to stay focused, offering their wise words and the greatest gift of all, their time.
My dilemma at the time was whether to stay working for someone else or taking a leap of faith and working estate agency a little differently with greater highs and lows and overall freedom. If you’re facing the same decision, and have the experience behind you, then I say, ‘just do it..!’.
After all, you only get this life and this time once, so it’s worth giving it your best shot and really enjoying what you do. And if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to excel at it.
I am expanding Rose & Partners and am always keen to hear from like-minded and very experienced estate agents seeking to work more flexibly. If you’d like a confidential chat, please give me a call.