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How Real Estate Agents Can Overcome Fear Of Rejection

Rejection is something real estate agents deal with every day. Whether it’s losing a long term client or getting stood up for a meeting, it’s going to happen. A bruised ego is our occupational hazard.

Rejection is okay. Fear of rejection...that’s not okay.

Fear is what holds you back from accomplishing your goals in life and work. It weighs you down, damages your psyche, and leaves you paralyzed. It prevents you from moving forward.

Don’t let fear of rejection prevent you from building a successful real estate business. Learn how to overcome it.

How To Overcome Fear Of Rejection

Expect it.

By understanding that rejection is a natural part of the real estate business, it won’t hurt as much. Track your wins and losses so you can determine your success rate. Once you can say to yourself, For every 100 prospects I reach out to, one will become a client, you’ll be able to overlook the rejections because you’ll know a “yes” is coming.

Don’t take it personally.

As a solo agent, it’s hard not to take rejection personally. After all, there’s no one else who could have messed up—no one else who could have said the wrong thing, been too aggressive, etc.

But most of the time, you didn’t actually do anything wrong. Rejection often occurs because of some external factor. For instance, maybe you lost a prospect to another agent because that agent was recommended by the prospect’s close friend, while you were referred by their coworker’s daughter’s boyfriend’s uncle.

Let go of false beliefs.

In an article for Inc.com, sales expert Geoffrey James explains that fear of rejection stems from false beliefs about why rejection happens to you and what it really means.

He references the book The Courage to Fail by Art Mortell and explains that there are three reasons why rejection “stings”: if it happens too frequently, if you’re rejected by someone close to you, and if you consider the rejecter to be more important than you. He then points out the false beliefs you’re holding onto, and encourages you to think in a more realistic, positive way.

Here are some false beliefs that real estate agents might be holding onto:

  • The last 10 prospects I talked to said “no,” which means I’m a failure and I’ll never win a client.
  • My client of 7 years might think I’m being too forward if I invite her out to reconnect over a cup of coffee.
  • There’s no way someone who can afford a $700K home would ever want to work with me.

Replace these false, negative beliefs with realistic and positive thinking:

  • Just because the last 10 prospects said “no” doesn’t mean the 11th won’t say “yes.”
  • My client has been with me for 7 years for a reason—she likes and trusts me. If her schedule allows, she would love to meet up for coffee.
  • If I begin to gradually work with clients who have larger budgets, eventually I will have the experience that $700K-budget clients are looking for in an agent.
Schedule a routine.

While something like “changing your mindset” is something that you’ll likely do during your reflection time, there are some immediate actions you can take to overcome your fear of rejection.

Block out an hour of your schedule at the same time each day that is strictly for prospecting. Have a system in place, whether it’s sending follow-up emails or making phone calls or something else. And then just go. Don’t allow yourself to think about the What ifs.

Get into the habit of doing this each day. The more you engage in prospecting activities, the less scary it will be.

Remember your “why.”

Anytime you feel fear starting to creep in, step away from you work and focus on your “why.” Remind yourself why you’re in the real estate business, whether it’s to be your own boss or to have more time to spend with your children. Let that focus you, inspire you, and restore your confidence and courage.

Focus on your successes.

Negative thoughts have a way of overpowering your mind, if you let them. Combat negativity by making time every evening to acknowledge what you accomplished that day, even if it’s something as small as learning from a mistake. A positive attitude is everything.

How Mental Strength Can Help You Deal With Rejection

Like I mentioned before, every Realtor experiences the sting of rejection. But mentally strong people use that pain to grow stronger and become even better than they were. The way they choose to respond to rejection determines their next steps.

So, here are five tips mentally strong real estate agents use to overcome rejection that you can follow today:

Acknowledge the Emotions

Rather than ignore, or deny the fear and pain of rejection, mentally strong people acknowledge their emotions. They admit when they're sad, disappointed, discouraged or even embarrassed. They project confidence in their ability to deal with uncomfortable emotions head-on!

They Know They're Pushing the Limits

Mentally strong real estate agents know that rejection can signal that they're living life to the fullest for their family, clients, and business.  They often say to themselves "If I never get rejected, I may be living too far inside my comfort zone." You can't be sure you're pushing yourself to your limits until you get turned down every now and then. 

They Are Nice To Themselves

Compassion is a strong word, and many mentally strong agents treat themselves with compassion in the face of rejection. They rarely beat themselves up with the negative self-talk because they know that will only keep them down.

Rejection Does Not Define Them

Mentally strong people don't make grand generalizations when they're rejected. If one potential seller or buyer turns them down, they don't declare themselves an incompetent agent. They keep rejection in proper perspective. Remember, one person's opinion, or one single incident, should never define who you are. Don't let your self-worth depend upon other people's opinions of you. 

Keep on Learning From Rejection

"What did I gain from this?" is what mentally strong Realtors ask themselves so they can learn from rejection. Rather than simply tolerate the pain, they turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. With each rejection, they grow stronger and become better, grow faster, and trust things will work out.

Rejection is going to happen. But how you react to it—whether you overcome it or let it bring you down—makes all the difference.

To learn more about overcoming fear of rejection, I recommend the following articles (both of which inspired this post). They’re oldies but goodies:

Dave Crumby

Dave is the Chairman of Firepoint / Realvolve, a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) platform built expressly for real estate agents. Dave began his real estate career as an agent in 1996. Dave authored in 2013 the book titled 'REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate’ that has since become a best seller. The book features Dave's experience and the wisdom of other successful real estate leaders, such as the CEOs of Zillow, Trulia, Better Homes and Gardens, and many others.


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