How I Listed 63 Homes My First Year In Real Estate Sales

Home for Sale Real Estate Sign

To be exact, I started selling real estate at the end of 2015, December 2nd. I did it as a dare to myself. I wanted to challenge myself into a sales position that offered more than a $30 commission, which I received from selling pre-paid cell phones. My mechanic told me about the lucrative nature of real estate, and after doing my research on it, I was hooked. I quit my pre-paid cell phone gig in August of 2015, studied, took the exam (twice), and became licensed on December 2nd of the same year. However, I was skeptical about my success. I didn’t know anyone that owned a house.

But I quickly became one of the fastest-growing real estate agents my first year. I listed over 63 homes and sold half of them, and my career snowballed from there. I currently own my brokerage with roughly ten agents working with me and another ten in my real estate apprenticeship program.

I now teach, blog, volunteer, and run a YouTube channel that educates the public and other agents. 

However, it was a long road to get to where I am today.

Throughout my life, I struggled with mental illness and other physical ailments such as Thalmassia (which requires blood transfusions). Not only that, but it did not help that I grew up dirt poor and the youngest of seven. Life was hard, and by the time I had ventured to Philadelphia to start over, I knew homelessness, hunger, abuse, chronic pain, single parenting, poverty, disability, failed careers, and multiple failed relationships. So how was I going to turn things around?

My Real Estate Career worked because of the following:

I had one goal.

I jumped all in. I had nothing for a backup plan.

And I wasn’t afraid to fail.

Some other habits that I took on were morning routines, organizational skills, lots of book reading, and a never-quit attitude.

So how did I list 63 homes my first year in the business? 

I cold-called expired and For Sale by Owners every day for one year for 4-6 hours per day. I made over 600,000 calls. While not everyone was the friendliest over the phone, I kept making the calls until 63 people said yes. And I sold half of them by giving out flyers at supermarkets (using my adorable son to help), hosting open houses, attending trade shows and events, and networking with banks and other lenders.

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Why Real Estate

There are many positives to starting a residential real estate agent. For one thing, it gets you out of an office and into beautiful homes. You also have the flexibility to set your schedule, which gives you opportunities to spend time with your family. In many ways, you are your boss, and there is no salary cap. The more you sell, the more you make. So if you are diligent, dedicated, and knowledgeable about the homes you are selling, you can do very well.

Sounds simple? Here’s the catch. It’s all up to you and how much you want to succeed. First, you need to self-motivate and commit to working in a career that will require 12- to 14-hour days, seven days a week, for the first three years. It would be best if you pushed yourself even when you’re tired or the weather isn’t to your liking. You need to stay focused on your goals even when your iPhone is begging you to text with your friends or a night of TV is just one click away on the remote. You need to have self-control and make the sacrifices to keep working hard toward your goal.

The question is, why? Why would you do all of this?

I’ve heard people give several answers to this question. Some are tired of doing the same thing every day, making money for someone else. They want to get out and do something different. They want more control over their career paths. Others want to spend more time with their kids to go to their ball games, recitals, and class performances. Some like the idea of helping people make one of the most significant decisions in their life, buying a new home. Some want a part-time career, while others wish for a post-retirement job. 

I saw real estate as a limitless opportunity. The more I sold, the more I would make. After growing up and living in so much poverty, the idea of rising far above that was my burning desire. Once you dig down deep and find your burning desire, you will use that as a motivating force. This need to succeed will become the one thing that keeps you up at night and energizes you in the morning.

Beyond knowing your “why?” and having a burning desire, you also need to have the following characteristics or skills:

  • Determination, or drive
  • Focus and self-discipline
  • Organization
  • Commitment (a never-quit attitude)

“If you are determined, self-driven, focused, organized, and committed to the process, I assure you that you can go far. However, if these are not your strengths, you’ll want to work on improving these attributes from the beginning.”

As for focus, I was laser-focused on ultimately beating poverty and hopelessness and finding security, peace, and happiness. 

Wrapping Up

You can list 63 homes or more as well. You do not need to be at a disadvantage as I was for motivation. You can decide to take charge of your career and venture into real estate. You then can have a successful career quickly. It does not have to take you ten years. If you are new to real estate or a veteran real estate agent and want to take your career to the next level, you can. I permit you to work harder than you ever worked before to enjoy the fruits of that labor for many years to come.

About the Author: Deborah Ann Spence is an award-winning real estate broker, author, and real estate coach. The mother of two boys, Deborah has skyrocketed to the top of the Philadelphia real estate business by listing 63 properties in her first year as a broker. In her book, Burning Desire, Deborah details her inspirational story and what other agents and brokers can do to achieve their real estate goals as well. Deborah is also a 2015 graduate of Real Estate Express. Learn more about Deborah and her coaching services at

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