The thrill of passing the state real estate licensing exam is just the first step. Once an agent sighs with the relief of passing the test, it’s time to build a career. But where does an agent start after they get through the course and exam? Discover ten facts every beginner real estate agent should know before ordering business cards.
Choosing a Broker
Each state has specific licensing regulations. The bottom line is real estate agents need to work for a licensed broker. Look for more than an impressive compensation package. Work with a reputable broker who takes time to train and guide new agents. Top notch brokers offer educational resources and technologies to support new agents. The right broker can help a new agent learn how to create a solid foundation for a profitable career. Inquire into how commission works and what fees are necessary to work for the broker, such as association dues and insurance.
Spending Money to Make Money
It takes time to earn a commission. For some agents, it can be several weeks, and for others, it could be a few months. During this time, agents need to have money to cover their bills and invest in their careers. From licensing fees to paying for an open house event, agents must spend money to make it. New agents may get frustrated and feel like they are working hard for nothing. The first few months are a time to gain experience and build meaningful relationships. Some agents save money before they embark on their real estate careers. Others continue to work another job until they start earning a steady income. Successful agents are well-prepared for this initial stage in their careers.
Leaving Bankers Hours Behind
People may decide to become agents to have flexible hours. Agents often create their schedules and set appointments around their lifestyles. But this does not mean working for just a couple of hours before spending a day on the golf course or at a spa. Successful real estate agents work beyond the bankers hours of 9 to 5. Some buyers are only available in the evenings or on weekends. An agent needs to be available to help clients at their convenience. Plus, agents must allow time for networking, marketing, and continuing education.
New agents should let people know what they do. Start with shameless self-promotion among your sphere of influence. These people may include family, friends, neighbors, house of worship members, and service providers such as landscapers and dog groomers. Be confident and resist the urge to be pushy or appear desperate. Find innovative ways to spread the word about your new career. Send everyone you know a handwritten note to announce your position. Post about it on your social media accounts. Encourage people to contact you, and refer others to you, when they are ready to buy or sell properties. Give out business cards to everyone you meet.
Learning to Listen
Top salespeople are excellent listeners who master interactive conversations both in-person and online. Avoid the urge to deliver sales monologues or share countless ideas. Instead, listen to the advice of your broker. Network with successful agents in the office to find out more about starting your career. Pay careful attention to what clients say to determine what they want and how you can help. Take notes and review them to ensure you are on track. When in doubt, ask questions.
Patience is a Virtue
Some agents sell just one or two houses during the first year. Many agents give up before they have an opportunity to appreciate the fruits of their labor. Agents must be prepared for disappointment and ready to move forward into more profitable directions. For example, friends and family might not be in the market to buy a house. An agent might be on the floor and get an unproductive lead. The best agents never get discouraged. They use each opportunity to make connections, learn, and set the scene for future success. Patience is a virtue and a necessary quality for new agents.
Take It To the Streets
Savvy real estate agents know the neighborhood and appreciate its unique vibe. They regularly review the latest listings, market values, and trends to determine housing prices and availability. Memorable and trustworthy agents are an integral part of the community. They know where people go, the latest happenings in the area, and what makes the neighborhood special to those who live there. As new agents build a client base, they take some extra time to research the local area and become community experts. This knowledge becomes a significant advantage as agents connect with more clients.
Wear Different Hats
Real estate agents must wear the hats of a marketer, technology expert, writer, photographer, and counselor. Most new agents handle their marketing to save money. Essential tasks may include writing property descriptions, taking photos of new listings, and using technology to connect with customers. The majority of people search for homes online. Agents must be skilled at using social media, understand basic SEO concepts, and feel comfortable working online and offline. Plus, buying and selling property is often the most significant financial decision people make. It can be an emotional process. A dedicated agent helps clients stay calm and focused through the inevitable challenges.
Know Where the Money Is
New agents often focus on selling homes, which is a solid place to start. But countless earning opportunities exist, and agents must know where the money is. Make an effort to work with sellers who want to list their homes. Consider the potential of rental properties. Tenants are looking for homes and landlords need to rent them. Some agents help commercial clients with property management for a fee. Work with your broker to find opportunities to launch your career and develop a comfortable niche.
Every person an agent meets is a potential client. Networking is a crucial element of success. A new agent must get out of the office and meet people. From clubs and community organizations to kicking back at a restaurant during happy hour, there are endless opportunities to connect with possible clients. Keep track of everyone who shows interest in buying, selling or renting property. Have a notebook or smartphone to maintain updated contact information. Use a database to organize these contacts. Schedule follow-ups, such as emails, text messages, social media posts, and phone calls based on the client’s preferences.
Every beginner real estate agent should be prepared to work hard, be patient, learn continually, and communicate effectively with others. These are the cornerstones of building a lucrative and enjoyable real estate career. Be confident knowing most people discover they need a real estate agent to buy and sell properties. Let them know why you’re the right one, then deliver on your promises.