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real_estate_prosSuccess allows for opportunity and access. But oftentimes, the success we desire can actually derail us. Think back to when you first began your real estate career. Like most of us who started out, you probably didn’t have a lot of money, but what you lacked in finances you overcame with enthusiasm.

As a real estate novice, you hustled. You knocked on doors, you cold called, you networked, you held open houses, you went to office meetings, and you talked to anyone who would listen about real estate. Then the magic started—your first buyers, your first listing, your first referral, and so on. Success!

With some money in your bank account, you likely decided it was time to attend a conference to really take your game to the next level. You met amazing people, spent hours walking the trade show floor, and you came home with a list of things you would implement for your growing real estate business.

This is the fork in the road, as they say. Your schedule started to get cluttered with figuring out the latest technology tool, implementing a new marketing program, and dealing with third-party vendors, and you struggled to find the time to fit in the activities that led to your initial success.

Best-selling author Greg McKeown talks about this challenge in his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” Successful people often get distracted and sometimes overwhelmed by—or because of—their success. They keep adding more and more to their plate, and they eventually become less effective at what made them successful in the first place.

Here are three ways to avoid this career misstep:

1. Keep hustling. There are no shortcuts. Don’t let new tools or technology take you away from connecting with potential buyers and sellers and talking about real estate.

2. Limit yourself to trying only one new “thing” in your business every six months, whether it’s a new marketing system, a new piece of technology, a new lead campaign, or some other new tool. Pick one, implement it, evaluate it, and decide if it’s working. If it hasn’t been beneficial after six months, don’t keep spending time and money on it. If it has worked, evaluate the return on investment in terms of money and time, and determine if you should continue using it for another six months.

3. Keep your goals simple and clear. When you know what you’re working for, it’s easier to keep your focus on that result. Don’t squander your time with stuff that doesn’t truly allow you to enjoy your success.

Lastly, read McKeown’s book “Essentialism.” It will change the way you think about your real estate career and maybe even your life. The disciplined pursuit of less could lead to more happiness. Think about that and enjoy your success.

Wendy Forsythe is the executive vice president and head of global operations at Carrington Real Estate Services, where she is responsible for the operations and growth of the national brokerage, with over 2,300 agents. You can email her at To learn more about taking your career to the next level with Carrington Real Estate Services, please visit