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  • Writer's pictureVivian Chong

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome In Your Real Estate Career

Updated: Jan 12

overcoming imposter syndrome in your real estate career

You closed your first real estate deal, and this is a big deal that immediately propels you to the top of the chart. You become one of the top agents for that month.

However you feel you don't belong to the top achievers category and start to worry someone will soon exposed you to be not as competent as what you are being perceived as.

You are an experienced real estate agent with many awards and accolades under your belt. But there is a feeling of self-doubt and inadequateness. You feel you are a fraud and people will soon find out.

Does the above scenario sounds familiar?

If yes, like many of us, you probably experienced the Imposter Syndrome in real estate.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Wikipedia define imposter syndrome as below:

Imposter syndrome is a psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as frauds.

As a real estate mentor, I have had teammates sharing with me the imposter feeling they had about themselves, despite clocking in respectable sales.

They often feel inadequate, and feel they don't belong to the category of top achievers within the company.

So to you and you who feel this way, welcome to the club! You and 70% of the people around you feel this way! 😊

It is important to note that this is not an uncommon feeling that real estate agents feel, and it does not just affect the new realtors.

Even among experienced realtors, we experienced imposter syndrome.

Despite years of experience, there were situations where I feel I am not good enough. And it makes me feel anxious that time is running out for me to become the person I expect myself to be.

The stress is real!

Vivian chong real estate property mentor leader
Imposter syndrome affects both new and experienced realtors.

Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome In Your Real Estate Career

Imposter syndrome can have a significant impact on an individual's performance.

For most people, the imposter moments we experienced are transient. This happens during periods of transition or when faced with new challenges.

A good example is when someone new to the real estate industry experienced a breakthrough in their career. To many, it is an achievement worth celebrating.

However to someone who is experiencing imposter syndrome, this is an imposter moment. They feel that they don't belong and is not as competent as what others think they are.

So while we celebrate the achievements, we have to be mindful to how he or she perceived this achievement.

imposter syndrome
We have to be mindful of how the one receive the award perceive their achievement.

While most imposter feelings are transient, it can become more chronic and interfere with the ability to perform at the best.

Here are a few ways in which we can overcome imposter syndrome.

1. Recognise and acknowledge imposter syndrome

First and foremost, I think the most important thing is to become aware of and acknowledge that we are experiencing imposter syndrome.

This is a common feeling in workplace.

It is interesting to note that many successful individuals like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Tennis icon Serena Williams, Actor Tom Hanks and Superstar Lady Gaga goes through it too!

real estate career mentor
Tennis icon Serena Williams has experienced Imposter Syndrome too!

2. Challenge negative self-talk

Imposter syndrome often involves negative self-talk and self-doubt. It is common to hear comments like: "I don't think I am good enough", "I can't do it!" etc.

One good way to challenge our own negative self-talk is to look for evidence of our competence. Successful transactions, challenges we have to overcome to close that deal, satisfied clients, positive feedback from teammates etc.

Constantly remind ourselves of our accomplishments and the value we bring to our clients.

imposter syndrome
One good way to challenge our own negative self-talk is to look for evidence of our competence.

3. Focus on your strengths

Identify and embrace your strengths and expertise in real estate. Recognise the unique skills and qualities you possess that have contributed to your success.

Within the team, I know of teammates who has such warm personality and they can convert cold leads to warm prospects easily.

And there are also teammates who are strong in numbers and analytical skills. Their strength lies in convincing with facts and figures.

And of cos there are those who are good in content creation. They can easily churn out videos after videos on their social media.

By emphasising our strengths and apply it in our real estate career, we can build confidence and counter feelings of inadequacy.

vivian chong property career mentor coach leader
What are the skills and qualities you possess that have contributed to the success in your real estate career?

4. Continuously learn and improve

Invest in ongoing professional development.

Within Huttons and Navis, we have so many ongoing courses and trainings.

Within RealTeam, we have our weekly trainings where we practise real life case studies and learn from one another.

We can keep ourselves up to date with property related news by reading the newspaper and real estate publications.

The more we educate ourselves and keep abreast with industry trends, the more confident and capable we feel in our role.

5. Set realistic expectations

Imposter syndrome can be fuelled by setting overly high expectations for ourselves.

It is important to remind ourselves that nobody knows everything. It is ok to ask and learn.

Set realistic goals and break them down into manageable steps, allowing ourselves to learn and grow along the way.

imposter syndrome
It is important to set realistic expectations of ourselves, and learn along the way.

6. Practice self-compassion

One of the mantras I always share with others is:

Don't be so hard on yourself.

Though I know its easier said than done.

It is important to be kind to ourselves. and treat ourselves with compassion. Accept that making mistakes or facing challenges is a natural part of any career.

Instead of beating ourselves up over perceived failures, view them as opportunities for growth and learning.

7. Seek support and mentorship

A man is not an island.

One of the most effective ways to counter the effect of Imposter Syndrome is to speak up. We can share our feelings to our mentor or trusted teammates who can provide guidance and encouragement.

Combating Imposter Syndrome Within The Team

As team leaders, it is important to identify and work with our teammates who may be wrestling with imposter syndrome.

Below are the ways I find useful in reducing Imposter Syndrome within the team.

1. Look for red flags.

Not all who are experiencing imposter syndrome will open up and share readily.

Lookout for behaviours that points to imposter feelings. This include unsustainable working habits like long working hours, withdrawal from a social outing, hesitancy in speaking up or asking questions.

These are signs that he or she is hiding their insecurities.

By recognising these behaviours and initiating open and supportive conversations, we can create an environment that promotes trust, growth, and well-being.

imposter syndrome
Have an open and supportive conversation with teammates who show behaviours that point to insecurities.

2) Focus on individual progress

The real estate industry is a highly competitive environment. Besides the annual Top Achievers awards, there are also monthly chart that highlight the top achievers,

From the management point of view, these awards are meant to encourage and honour achievements.

As a leader, while we honour our teammates who achieve exemplary results, we should also emphasise personal growth and development rather than comparing individuals.

Encourage individuals to reflect on their own journey and acknowledge the strides they have made, regardless of how they perceive their progress in relation to others.

Perceived imposters frequently view themselves as lacking but “everyone else” as competent. And they tend to measure their success against unrealistic or skewed benchmark.

Initiate conversations to dispel uncertainties about expectations. Offer specific and timely feedback that highlights individual achievements and contributions.

Recognise their efforts and the positive impact they have on the team. Regularly remind them of their accomplishments to reinforce their confidence.

imposter syndrome real estate career
As a leader, it is important to emphasise individual growth and progress than comparing individuals.

3) Share your own professional insecurities

One of the ways we can combat imposter syndrome is by normalising imposter feelings.

We can share some of our own professional insecurities and challenges, especially the perceived failures that we ultimately overcome.

When we are willing to share our vulnerabilities, it helps people relate to us and normalises the setbacks they had.

More importantly, it teaches a lesson in resiliency and pushes them to keep going,

imposter syndrome property agent career
By sharing our vulnerabilities, it helps people relate to us and normalises the setbacks they had.

4) Do not allow your teammates to give you all the credit

Be vigilant to the tendency for imposters to credit luck, extreme preparation, or their own mentors for their professional successes.

Women are especially likely to attribute success to luck or their teammates, or credit mentors for achievements while downplaying their own talent and achievement.

When a teammate with imposter syndrome gives you the credit, express thanks and then highlight in no uncertain terms how she deserves the lion’s share of credit — and explain why.

Lastly, I like to share this quote:

Everyone loses when bright people play small.— Dr. Valerie Young


I would like to share this video where Michelle Obama talks about her own struggle with imposter syndrome and how she overcomes it.

If you or any of your teammates are going through imposter syndrome in your real estate career, I hope what I have written has been helpful.

And if you are looking for a mentor in your property career, do drop me a whatsapp or schedule an appointment using the link below.

Let's see if we have the chemistry to work together!

See you soon!


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About The Author

vivian chong huttons era propnex orangetee

Vivian joined the real estate industry in 2002.

Having been in the real estate business for almost 2 decades, she knows the rewards and challenges that a real estate agent face.

While the real estate career offers lucrative income and flexible work hours, it also presents many challenges - financial insecurity as we do not have basic pay, time management as we juggle work, children and family all at one time.

Only those who have walked the same journey will understand.

Vivian would now like to pay it forward by mentoring fellow agents, especially women who want to build a real estate career.

It is her vision to see women achieving their dreams, and live their lives with purpose and passion through a successful real estate career.

Call Vivian at 98577714 to embark on this journey.

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