Easy money, flexible schedules, and being your boss seem to be the buzzwords with those considering a career in residential real estate. Sales was intentionally left off the job title. Real estate is moving away from being a sales career to being a resource for consumers that are buying or selling a home.
Mark Nash author of Starting & Succeeding in Real Estate and three other real estate books and a regular columnist for RealtyTimes.com shares the inside story on how begin and prosper in today’s transitioning real estate market.
-Pre-license education will provide you with knowledge about the applicable real estate laws in your state, but will not prepare you to be successful in residential real estate.
-The first office you choose to hang your real estate license in will greatly influence your success or failure in the business. Visit at least three offices and meet with the managing broker before making a decision.
-Technology skills are a must. Over seventy-percent of all home buyers start their search on the Internet before contacting a real estate agent. Web site development, text messaging, virtual tours are the bread and butter of real estate today.
-Savvy consumers search out full-time agents. Real estate is not a part-time business, no matter what you have heard.
-Understand that successful real estate agents work fifty to sixty hours a week, many times at odd hours and holidays. You have to be available when clients want to see properties or list their home, which is after normal business hours.
-People oriented personalities thrive and succeed in residential real estate. Patience, level-headed, and pleasing agents are the top producers.
-You’re an independent contractor. Many new agents think their broker will build their business, you are a business within that brokerage business. Think like a sole-proprietor and develop a business plan.
-Look and act like a professional. Many new agents are too casual in their demeanor and dress and this spells failure. Consider that home buyers and sellers are dealing with their largest asset when dealing with you, is their accountant or doctor showing up at appointments with them in flip-flops or tennis shorts?
-Real estate is not about sales, it’s about being a resource and developing relationships. In the go-go days of the real estate market, many new agents were order-takers. Now with a transitioning market, you need to provide clients with information and strategies. With less motivation and energy in markets, building relationships over the long-haul positions you as a real estate resource.
-Join clubs, organizations and non-profits. Networking is how your grow your relationships. Meeting new people who know other people with a real estate purchase or sale need will grow your business. You won’t meet new people holed up in your real estate office or your living room.
-In takes money to make money in real estate. Many new agents are tapped out financially by the time they pay for pre-license education. Factor in start-up costs such as errors and omission insurance, Board of Realtors(R) and Multiple Listing Service dues, and business marketing costs. Health insurance is available through national real estate association. Plan on no income for 6-9 months.
-Find a coach or mentor. Beginning in real estate can be lonely as you’ll soon realize that you have a minimal support system. Find a mentor within the business and a coach outside it to help organize and plan your business.