Many people of all different backgrounds, ages, and goals wish to enter the Real Estate business. For example, only about 30% of agents have a Bachelors degree. On the surface it appears to be a simple and easy business: listing, marketing, selling, and then raking in the commission. Calculating commissions can get to people’s heads before entering this business thinking, “ I only have to sell ten $300,00 houses in order to make $90,000 a year.”
If it was only that easy. The thing is that it seems everyone knows a realtor or two these days. A family I know just experienced a situation to support this a few months ago. They decided to sell their mothers home after she had passed away. Each of the five kids knew at least one agent and they had trouble figuring out just which one to use. Eventually they chose one, but it goes to show that just because you know people, or are even related to them, it does not mean you can count on them to hire you as their agent.
As you know buying a home is not an everyday occurance for people. This is where the beautiful word “Referral,” comes into play. The best way a client can give positive feedback is when their friends as for a realtor, they give your name. It can take a long time to acquire clients in this business. But once you get a lot of them, and do a good job working for them, the phone will start ringing, and knocks will start coming on the office door.
Motivation. Patience. Personality.I believe with these three key qualities anyone can be successful in this business.
Being a Realtor is no nine to five job. Agents rarely get paid by the hour, and if they do it is not their primary source of income. In order to make money, agents need to HUSTLE. Sales itself is a competitive and often “dog eat dog” environment. In fact, there are approximately 2 million agents across the United States according to realtor.org. Click here to see more relevant industry statistics. Agents are competitive, as they should be. Selling houses is how they make money, in order to buy their own house. Agents have to be motivated to sell a house. Simply listing properties on the MLS and waiting for a buyer is not good enough for your clients nor your wallet. Marketing is a huge part of this career including internet advertisements, open houses, and print advertising in strategic locations. You may get postcards in the mail from an agent you have no affiliation with informing you of a house that recently sold in your neighborhood. That is no coincidence. Just the other day I got a voicemail from an agent saying that it is a great time to sell on the Jersey coast. Marketing is everywhere. A big part of the industry involves a different kind of marketing. It is marketing your self as an agent- making yourself into a brand. Clients choose people to represent them, not simply someone with a real estate liscence. Below are some examples of people, agents, preseting themselves as brands.
“Patience is a virtue,” they say. This is especially true in the real estate business. The dream is to list and sell a house in the same day. That happens sometimes. Sometimes homes sell before they even hit the market! Of course this is not the norm, and listings can sit on the market for longer than anyone would want. This fantastic report from Redfin examines diverse markets across the United States and listings that have become, for lack of a better word, “stale.”
The article defines a stale listing as a property that has been on the market for over 30 days and that a property that sits that long on the market is usually over priced. Speaking of pricing, that can also require patience. What you as an agent may have in mind for a homes value, may not be in line with your client’s. Which seamlessly transitions into my final important trait…
No matter how knowledgeable one might be on the market, if he or she cannot convey that knowledge, they will not get clients. Connecting with clients both professionally and personally is key to fostering a positive relationship yielding dollars, referrals, and friendships.
Think you have what it takes? Getting started is not as simple as making business cards and cleaning your car. Rules vary state by state in obtaining a real estate license and require educational training and testing. Three “must have’s” are the following (according to kapre.com):
- Be at least 18 or 19 years old (depends on the state)
- Have legal US residency
- Complete required education courses
- Pass your state real estate license examination
Click here to find the laws in your state.
There are, as previously mentioned, millions of people in this industry, and according to the video below, only 13% of agents succeed. Tom Ferry, while potentially hyperactive and “in your face” has great advice to offer in the pursuit of a successful career.
Good Luck! Are you an agent? Chime in with your key qualities of a successful agent or a successful career in real estate. There have to me more! Come tour this open house of real estate!