Real estate is appealing to many people for many different reasons. There are about two million active real estate agents in America right now. Some get into real estate for the money, some for the fame, and others for the love of houses.
While you probably won’t see one of those amazing multi-millionaire homes starting out, becoming a Realtor® is very exciting. It’s also very challenging, no matter how persuasive you think you are. Don’t let reality TV fool you, buyers can be really picky and there’s a lot of paperwork that goes on behind the scenes.
To get a good idea as to what you’re up against, we made this guide to show you some things to know about being a real estate agent. This should help keep you grounded and have you seriously consider what the right path is for you.
1. Expensive to Startup
Unlike most 9-to-5 jobs out there, in order to become a successful real estate agent, you need to invest your own money. It takes money to make money, as they say. For a Realtor®, you need to spend money on marketing and lead generation to get your clients.
The best way to look at becoming a Realtor® is starting your own business, even if you work for an agency like BrokerBreakUp. While they will provide all the tools and resources to succeed, you should always look to reinvest your money if you want to be the best.
2. You’re Not Selling Cars
Real estate is nothing like typical sales careers out there. There are similarities, yes, but selling hard and fast has a much lower success rate here. People need to feel comfortable and as little pressure as possible.
The sense of urgency to close the deal should be manufactured based around actual competition for the property. This is where you can get higher bids as they feel like the ball is in their court. Being a great Realtor® is about finding the ideal home for buyers so that they are most likely to purchase with little resistance.
Buying a home a big deal for most people. The last thing you want is for the buyer to feel cornered and run away from the deal.
3. Mentorships Are Important
Navigating the real estate market on your own is a daunting task with no previous experience. An experienced real estate agent can either crush you or teach you to be better at your job. Having a mentor who has a few years under their belt will save you a lot of time and money.
Ideally, your mentor should be a 3rd party outside of your own broker. This will provide a much more natural and unbiased perspective for selling homes. You’ll get valuable insight on commission rates, market behavior, trends, fees, and etc.
4. Demonstrating Value
Advice from a mentor should help get you thinking of ways to demonstrate value. We’re not just talking about the value of the homes you’re selling, either. Positioning yourself as a valuable Realtor® who knows their stuff is how you get the best buyers.
You have to build trust through proven success. It all starts with your portfolio and how you sell your services. The best place to demonstrate value is through your listings.
The world of real estate ads is filled with poor grammar, bad formatting, and boring checklists. If you can make your listings stand out online, you can get yourself halfway to closing. It starts with professional formatting and the ability to visualize a narrative.
Place your potential buyers into the shoes of the homeowner and walk them through your house. Describe to them what is truly unique and why it’s the perfect home for couples, families, or bachelors.
5. Hard Work and Dedication
Becoming a successful Realtor® is going o require some long hours and lots of studying. Don’t plan on faking it until you make it here, your reputation is more important than any one sale. Just prepare for rejection, mistakes, and failures.
This is not a career field where you can succeed in your first month or make six figures in your first year. At least, for most agents, they will only make a humble living starting out. You have to be in it for the long haul or risk becoming another statistic–13% of new Realtors® make it through the first five years.
The key is quality, not the number of sales made. That may be difficult to swallow for new Realtors® who are hungry for success, but your goal is to wow clients. By pouring yourself into each home, you are showing them that you care about their satisfaction.
Any great salesman will show an almost symbiotic relationship to what they are selling. You need to be able to demonstrate a level of confidence and dedication that no other Realtor® has.
6. Rolling with the Punches
The toughest part of being a Realtor® is facing curveballs and unexpected challenges along the way. Sometimes closing a deal will require multiple levels of negotiation. Your job is to take whatever that comes at you and keep your eyes on making that sale.
Present alternative solutions, be accommodating with client budgets or concerns. Going that extra mile may not even result in a sale at the end of the day. That’s okay because we’ve earned their trust to be able to find them their house on another day.
If you only think in the present and fold under a difficult situation, you’ll constantly get stuck running in place.
7. Commissions Aren’t Set in Stone
The initial excitement that comes from getting your first deal quickly wears off. Firstly, the average commission rate is lower than it has been in recent years. Plus, how much you’ll actually make won’t be clear until after the deal is final.
Don’t look at your contract and start planning what you’re going to do with it all. The deal could fall through, after all. This is why a lot of new Realtors® fail to make it past their first few years, they’re hanging on the edge of the income cliff.
8. Buyers Aren’t Dumb
What we’re trying to say here is don’t take indecisiveness as a lack of intelligence. Far too often in the real estate industry do we hear complaints about annoying buyers. Buyers who don’t know what they want, are too picky, or don’t care about any of the house specs.
Some buyers do know what they want, but they can’t put it into words. Other buyers are just afraid to pull the trigger on the purchase. It is your job as a Realtor® to listen and look for an opportunity to get them committed.
For example, go into an open house prepared, but also be ready to throw out the script. If the client starts going off on a personal tangent: listen to them! Entertain their life story and insert them into the home you’re selling.
Making a personal connection allows you to help convince themselves that this is the right decision for them.
10. Take Care of Client Concerns
The worst thing you can do as a real estate agent is appear too busy for a client. Making yourself available and responsive is important for closing deals. There can be a lot of downtime between the handshake and the approval for the sale.
During this time, the client can get cold feet and become worried about the sale. Walk them through the steps you will take to make sure the home sells fast. You should maintain constant communication until you close the sale.
Take advantage of social media to keep a public presence and gain trust as an established agent. This will help you before, during, and after all your home sales. A web presence advertising who you are and what you’ve done will keep high-quality leads coming your way.
Becoming a Realtor® is a Great Move
There’s a lot of paranoia and misunderstanding that surrounds the real estate market. Every year, people say that becoming a Realtor® is a risky move. We can name ten other careers that are just as risky, if not more.
This guide is just a primer for those wanting a realistic outlook of what it takes to be a successful Realtor®. If you’re serious about real estate and want to be responsible for your own success, then do it. The rewards outweigh the risks and there is really no limits to your success.
If you are passionate, empathetic, hard-working, and love networking, real estate is a great industry. Start researching the future of real estate right now by reading up on real estate trends here. This is a great article to start planning for your future in the real estate market.
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