Starting out as a real estate agent is exciting. You’ve got a whole new career ahead of you, and it’s one that lets you meet lots of people, get to know your community, and even make your own hours to some extent. However, it’s not as easy as just one day deciding you will sell houses for a living.
There is a lot of competition, and you only get paid if you sell a property. Your real estate education probably taught you about the market and the details around buying and selling a house, but did it tell you how to be great or even to find success? Over 3 million people in the United States have some kind of real estate license, and there are only so many properties to sell. With so much competition, you need to do everything right to get to the level you want. Here’s a handbook for aspiring real estate agents that will propel you to success.
Get a Real Estate License
Getting a license is the first step to becoming a successful real estate agent. You can’t legally work as an agent without one, so it’s time to get started if you haven’t already. All you have to do is pass a test, which is pretty simple, right? Wrong. Passing the test is very hard and requires a lot of knowledge. You should take a pre-licensing course that will adequately prepare you for the licensing test.
Every state has different requirements and guidelines for being a real estate agent, so make sure you meet them before scheduling your exam. Your exam covers ethics, laws, and regulations surrounding real estate. Once you’ve passed your test, you can then activate your license and start working.
Joining an Existing Team Makes Sense to Start Out
Your final goal as a realtor may be to strike out on your own, but that may not be the right choice when you are starting out. There is still a lot to learn as a new agent, even with your education. Joining an existing agency allows you to learn what you need to know with the support of others. You will have a bit of a safety net and a team around you to lean on to help you as you gain valuable experience. You will also get help generating leads, which can be one of the hardest parts of being a real estate agent.
Don’t Expect Overnight Success
You shouldn’t go into your new career thinking that you will sell a few million-dollar properties right off the bat and keep rising from there. Real estate is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Slow and steady progress is much more the norm than hitting big early on. When you start out, your leads will be modest, and you will have to learn how to close deals and get the best prices for your clients. Real estate can be very lucrative and rewarding if you are prepared to stick through it for the long haul. If you expect massive wins right out of the gate, you will get frustrated and possibly end up quitting when things aren’t what you thought they would be. Being successful is a process; sticking with your process can get everything you want.
Be Diligent About Tracking
If there’s one habit that you take up immediately upon entering the business, it should be tracking and measuring. You need data to understand what’s working for you and what isn’t. For example, you need to know how many of your leads turn into sales. Is your marketing bringing in the eyeballs you need, or are you hitting the wrong audience? You can even track your own time to see how much time you spend in a day doing certain tasks. If you spend too much time on things that aren’t growing your prospects, you may need to organize your day differently. Tracking everything will allow you to make better decisions going forward and optimize everything you do.
You might think that there’s very little risk in what you do. You meet with clients, show houses, and close deals, right? The fact is, there is a lot of risk. You come into contact with lots of people, and there are a number of reasons why they might sue you. One of the most often overlooked types of insurance you need is errors & omissions coverage. This protects you from the financial fallout if you make a mistake. For example, you may fail to disclose something to a client, and they purchase a home with foundation or other issues that will cost a lot of money to fix. Instead of paying for that out of your pocket, insurance can compensate them for you. Check online for more information on coverage and ensure you are protected.
Understand Your Market
If you want to sell homes or properties in your market, then you need to be able to speak knowledgeably and confidently about it. Your clients need to build trust with you, and if you seem like you don’t know what you are talking about, they will move on. You need to spend a part of every day analyzing your market and creating talking points about each area. You should have the numbers in your head for how quickly homes are selling, what types of buildings are selling, and what interest rates are doing and could do in the future.
You need quick recall of all the schools, where public transportation is available, what the crimes are in each neighborhood, what kind of recreation there is, and any other factor that might affect a buying decision. You must be able to pull this information out of your head at a moment’s notice when you are asked.
Buying or selling a property for most people is stressful. They want to work with someone they can trust to get them the best property for the best price. One of the best ways to appear as trustworthy as you are is to be active on social media. Your content should be informative and friendly, and you should answer any questions you get asked. Make sure to like comments and to respond to any reviews that anyone might leave on your page. By showing off your personality, you will build rapport and trust and get more leads as a result.
The rest of being a successful real estate agent is hustle. Make your calls, do your research, and close deals. You will need to do some marketing, and you will need to learn what works for you as a salesperson. However, by sticking with it and playing the long game, you can create a successful career for yourself that helps you reach your dreams.