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Mike Hills, vice president of Atlas Investment Brokerage, shares lessons learned from his real estate experience with Inman. 

In my years of experience, I have learned that in both good and bad economies, we buy and hold for the 20-year picture. When a buyer is patient, real estate can be a long-term investment that creates long-term income.

Despite economic hardships that are inevitable, my goal is to take fear completely out of the equation for my clients. Real estate is an investment tool that can give people the freedom and ease of not having to worry about their future.

What advice would you give to new agents?

My best advice to new agents is that nothing beats hard work. I am successful because I will outwork anyone you put me up against. People think that a career in real estate is easy, and that is simply not the case.

This industry is crowded and has immense competition. Everyone knows a Realtor, whether that is your neighbor, a family member, your partner, etc.

If you want a prosperous career in this industry, you have to be willing to not only work — but to work hard. It is absolutely essential to differentiate yourself from the competition.

It is not enough to give a generous gift at closing, you have to be knowledgeable. Real estate may be the vehicle, but the roads are crowded with millions of other drivers. You can know a little bit about a lot, but it is imperative to know something different than every other Realtor in the area.

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