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Advice for New Real Estate Agents

I know it might be strange to read the title of this post because I am a new real estate agent myself.  What I’d like to pass along is advice I have received from some very knowledgeable realtors who have been in the business longer than I have been out of high school.

I have been asking these realtors how long it’s taken them to see a decent income.  I have also wondered what they did to get their business off the ground.  Below is what I’ve learned.  I hope that if you are just beginning a career in real estate, or even contemplating a move to real estate as a career that this advice will be helpful.

1.  How long did it take for you to see business start to take off?

The agents I spoke with said that it took 3-6 months to start generating business.  After 1 year, they were moving along at a decent pace.  Within 3 years, they were making a very good living.

2.  How did you promote yourself when you first started out?

Some agents were extremely social and had a well established group of contacts through clubs, religious groups, business groups and volunteer organizations.  Other agents had lived in the same city for most of their life.  Their family had stayed in close proximity and their family seemed to be well known around town.  Promoting themselves was not really an issue.

3.  Where did business come from in the beginning if you weren’t well connected and hadn’t lived in the same place most of your life?

These were the agents who really hustled.  Any chance they could work an open house or take a floor shift, they would grab it.  Flyers were another popular tool that was used.  Honestly, cold-calls and knocking on doors were not favored, and not techniques used by the realtors I spoke with.

4.  Besides the costs that all realtors must deal with (classes, use of the MLS, association fees…) how much did you shell out to further your business?

No one that I spoke with put any money into advertisement of any sort until they were making a good wage.  Free advertisement such as flyers and emails were the way that these realtors connected to others.

5.  How did you continue to promote yourself once you were really busy working with clients?

Once you have really taken off and are busy, there is no time to promote yourself.  Without advertising, you would end up with crazy busy months and slow months of no action.  To minimize this, once your really busy, these realtors would put some money into things like just listed postcards.  It reaches many people and their name gets out there even though they have no time to personally promote themselves.

6.  How do you feel about a career in real estate after all of these years?

The realtors I spoke with love what they do.  They are extremely satisfied and happy they got into the business to begin with.

 

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in advice, career, life, opinion, real estate, thoughts

 

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Embracing Your Personal Style

I feel like agents at my office are often times on similar wavelengths.  This last week I had some similar conversations with a few different agents.  What made the experience unusual was that the subjects were brought up to me in the course of the conversation by the other person.  You know that feeling where you say, “that’s so funny, I just had that same conversation with so and so.”  Yeah, that was me last week.

As some of the newer realtors are becoming more comfortable, me included, the subject of selling style has come up.  I love the different types of people who work at my office.  The personalities are fabulous.  There are boisterous, outgoing types of agents.  I know some laid back go with the flow never rattled types.  There are the magnetic personalities of the polished professional and so on.

I love that as a new agent there are opportunities to learn about different ways of going after business.  It’s always fortunate to be in a position to learn ways of doing business that have never occurred to you.  Unfortunately, I think that sometimes people can have a very narrow focus on what does and does not fit as a selling tool for each individual person.

Everyone is different.  I personally embrace this concept and I’m grateful to know this to be true.  If not, I would be dreadfully bored by the sameness in each person.  As different as each person is, so to is their style of approaching their career as a real estate agent.  Look there is no one size fits all method.  The wise person is aware of this.  They are the ones that are open-minded to different techniques, try them out, and then settle into the fit that is most comfortable and authentic to them.  You need to be true to yourself by maintaining your personal integrity and the way you are comfortable doing business.  You should want to be proud to announce that you are a real estate agent.  If you can’t find your rhythm and personal style, you will come across as artificial and cold.  People respond to truth, values and care.  When you are able to find a way to do business that maintains those abilities, you will find success.  Authenticity is everything.

So my advice is to find your personal style.  That style that says this is who I am and this is how I lead my life. I do believe that you will be happier for it.  I also believe that you will attract like-minded individuals who appreciate your style.  This is a win-win situation in that you will enjoy what you are doing, how you approach your career and will get enjoyment from the people who are attracted to your style.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in advice, career, lifestyle, opinion, people, style

 

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Everyone Hits the Wall

One of the things that I find is invaluable about where I work is the support of other realtors.  I find that I have been freezing up since my first experience showing a home.  There is so much to learn and I feel ill prepared to answer many of the questions that a client might bring up.  I am also feeling insecure about filling out the paperwork with a client without a more experienced realtor standing by ready to help me out. Like many of the moments I have gone through since beginning my career, what I am experiencing is not only normal, but happens to every new realtor I’m finding out.

I was talking with one of the realtors in the office this morning and was reassured that I would get through this glitch.  When I was eighteen years old, I decided to waitress part-time while going to school.  I knew a few friends who loved waitressing because the hours were flexible and you left work each day with money in your pocket.  Waitressing seemed like a perfect choice for a kid in school.  There was just one problem, I was painfully shy.  It took everything I had to push myself to get over the shyness and try out a job as a waitress.

I remember my first waitressing job.  I worked at a local Coney Island Restaurant.  Another waitress trained me for a few days.  When she felt I had learned everything I needed to know she set me out onto the floor to take an order.  I panicked.  I remember stalling having to go over and asked the waitress what I should say when I approached the table full of customers. She very nicely said, “just say, can I take your order.”  I was completely embarrassed.  Of course that is what I should say, but in that moment, my nerves got the best of me.  It took pure determination not to bolt for the door and instead face my fears.

When I was talking with the realtor this morning, I told her this story and said that was how I felt now as a realtor.  She was so kind to me and said that she had gone through the same feelings when she worked with her first few clients.  She assured me that although she made her own mistakes, she had the support of others in the office and got through it.  The feelings I have been feeling are another common obstacle of life as a new realtor.  If you are just beginning your career as a real estate agent, I hope this story helps you out and eases your mind.  You will go through moments of trepidation, but you will get past it as long as you look fear in the face and plow through it.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in advice, career, job, life, personal, real estate

 

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