Caroline Bolderston: How to develop greater resilience in three simple steps

Real estate can be a tough business and as agents you need to not just prepare for rejection but know how to cope with it. Here, Caroline Bolderston explains how to build your resilience to ensure you have a long and fulfilling career.

One of the most critical characteristics an agent must possess to be a top performer is resilience, and given the high stakes in this business, you must develop the ability to live it. 

So how do you develop resilience?

From what I have experienced as a selling agent and observing the agents I coach, I can see that the answer is building up your immunity to losses, rejection, and deals falling through. 

There are three simple steps to building your immunity so that when the hits come (and they will), you’re not derailed.

1. The three truths that plague you

In the 1970s, developmental psychologist Robert Kegan used the term “meaning-making machines” regarding human development and what holds us back.

Every time we have an experience, we need to attach a meaning to it.

The meaning we attach impacts how we respond and the beliefs we form for the future.

The three truths are the Imagined Truth, the Apparent Truth and the Actual Truth.

The Imagined Truth often prevents an agent from progress. It could be as simple as not following up on a listing opportunity when the prospective vendor has not called back.

You imagine they have listed with someone else or you weren’t good enough.

All of which is Imagined Truth. 

Imagined Truth can be paralysing and may be why you lose the listing. 

It’s so important to find the Actual Truth, so you have an opportunity to address whatever the reality is.

Living in the Imagined Truth is what will hurt you the most. 

2. Compare to your best, not someone else’s

In an industry that is so focused on awards, rankings and top agent lists, it’s no wonder you can fall into playing the ’comparison game’.

Don’t get me wrong, knowing what is possible and having a goal to aspire to is key to success.

Looking externally for inspiration and new ideas is part of everyone’s developmental journey; it’s how you do it that truly matters.

Have you ever become so focused on your competition that your attention and energy are channelled into the wrong place?

Instead of being motivated and inspired, you become plagued with doubt, fear and limiting beliefs.

The best way to build your immunity to these emotions is to look externally once or twice a year so that your vision is inspired and your plan can be set. From that moment on, turn all of your attention and focus to within.

Ask yourself what my daily habits are for success, and how well am I executing them?

How am I measuring daily and weekly to my KPIs and benchmarks for results?

What do I need to stop doing, and what do I need to start doing to become my best?

3. Losing doesn’t matter when you have more to win

I will never forget the time I was walking up the path to a potential new listing, and I thought to myself, ‘I hope they don’t need to come to market in the next few weeks!’

When this happened, I realised that I was in the incredible position of not needing a listing.

The difference it makes is unbelievably powerful. It allows you to truly focus on what is best for the client, to be firm on your value and, most importantly, to be in a position to choose like-minded clients.

So, how do you get yourself in this position?

It’s as simple as having a laser focus on your zero to 90-day pipeline.

Your key pipeline number should factor in three things: how many listings you need to sign for the quarter, a buffer for those whose timeframe will push out (usually 30-40 per cent) and your win rate percentage. Once you have clarity on this number, it becomes easier to build up to that number and maintain it.

As your career progresses and your immunity to loss strengthens, you will find your career more sustainable, more enjoyable and more rewarding.

This will sustain you for the long term and support emotional and financial stability. 

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Caroline Bolderston

Caroline Bolderston heads up Being Bold Coaching and training, which provides coaching and support for Sales Agents, Sales Teams and Principals. For more information visit