Imagine a job where you have to cold-call people constantly. At that thought alone, most people would recoil. Now imagine that job, but you also have to work upwards of 70 hours a week for little or no money.

Most people would think that you’re insane if you get into a business like this, but this is precisely what drew Tom Hector to real estate.

Tom is one of South Australia’s highest-performing real estate agents, selling more than 200 properties in the last 12 months. That’s an incredible number, so how does Tom manage to stay successful in a business that has chewed up and spat out so many other people?

First, Tom says, you have to have the personality for this business. Simply put, you either have it or you don’t. You need to have incredibly thick skin and be able to handle rejection and outright disrespect from people across the board.

Part of Tom’s success, he explains, is that he believed in the power of outbound phone calls early on in his career. Maybe he didn’t see any return within a week, or a month, or even a year. But in 12-16 months, he was starting to see people call him back based on calls he had made early on. It’s a tough game: most people are going to be annoyed with a cold call. But if you have the guts, it can really pay off.

Real estate is all mental, according to Tom. The thing that set him apart from other real estate agents early on was that he could see the big picture. He knew that the extra hours spent calling people or working in the office, as hard as they might have seemed, we’re going to bring incredible returns down the road.

But it hasn’t been easy. There have been times when Tom wanted to quit outright, he told me on the latest episode of Get Invested. This is pretty shocking considering that Tom seems to have the perfect personality for real estate. But everybody has their limits, and he says that striking work-life balance has made the difference between success and ruin.

Your health should be at the top of your priorities, no matter what your industry. Tom doesn’t work on Sundays and takes off a morning once a week. This might not seem like a lot, but it’s pretty rare in real estate.

If the type of work ethic mentioned in this article sounds appealing, maybe real estate could be the business for you. Hopefully, this article has shined a light on just how much work it takes to be a successful real estate agent.

Listen to my entire conversation with Tom here.