Here are a few quick, proven tips for people just starting out in their real estate jobs. Steer clear of these traps:
10. Listing Over-priced Properties
Some sellers who are in no hurry to sell will put their homes on the market for an outrageous amount and see if they get an offer. In addition to wasting your time, this creates negative advertising for your name. People in the neighborhood will drive by the house and see that you still haven't sold it yet after six months for a year and wonder why you can't do your job. Chances are that no one else in that area will consider working with you.
9. Stealing Listings from an Agent in the Same Office
There is no better way to be known as a sleazy agent than to take listings from colleagues. Even if clients were unhappy with their previous agent and approach you to take over, politely decline the offer. Both the clients and your fellow agents will respect you for your integrity.
8. Lacking a Game Plan
As a real estate agent, you are essentially running a small business. You would never run a small business without a clear plan of how you are going to conduct daily business, long term goals, marketing strategies, etc. so there's no reason you wouldn't do the same for your estate career. Too many agents sit back and hope that their careers will fall into place.
7. Shortage of Savings
The general rule is that real estate agents should have a minimum of 3 months savings since they are guaranteed at least 60 days without savings. I say have as much savings as possible, since the average new agent makes 25K for the each of the first two years. Having money to cover the bills will allow new agents to focus on creating a strong foundation for their business, rather than taking on part time jobs to support themselves. A major reason for new agents to switch careers is that they did not have enough money to hold them through the first few slow years.
6. Driving Too Far
As a soft rule, avoid driving more than an hour to a listing. It's a waste of time and gas.
5. Relying on Your Memory
Invest in a PDA or computer program to keep track of your clients. Record their names, birthdays, special facts about them ("likes fly fishing"), what kind of service you provided for them and when, the names and ages of their children, etc. These facts will come in handy when you call and say hello, send cards, or if they choose to use you again. When you have a few clients, it may seem easy to remember these things, but trust me, five years later and a hundred clients down the road, these details will be blurred.
4. Choosing the Wrong Brokerage
It may seem tempting to sign up with the first brokerage that offers you a job, but what you truly need is a brokerage that will provide hands on training. What you have learned through your limited pre-exam courses will not be enough to make you a successful agent. Your first brokerage should provide you a mentor, continuing education and support through your first few transactions. It is relatively easy to get hired since brokerages don't pay their agents wages, so you have the luxury of being picky in whom you choose to work with.
3. Abusing your Job Flexibility
So just because you are allowed to come in at noon and take three day weekends does not mean that you should. Agents with set hours report higher productivity and more satisfied clients.
2. Relaxing at Closing Time
Once you make/accept an offer on the house, a large amount of behind the scenes work is crucial to making sure that the sale runs smoothly. Make sure all inspections are conducted according to schedule, that the clients know their finance options and that repairs and other improvements are made. If the other party appears to be stalling for time, make sure you know the reasons and place a firm deadline for a decision.
1. Sitting Back and Waiting for Clients to Call
It's a struggle for new agents to start a career because they lack a client base for referrals and repeat business. One common way for new agents to meet clients is though “floor time, " a designated time at brokerages for real estate agents to take calls from people interested in buying or selling a house. Some real estate agents rely too heavily on this for business and mope around their desk the rest of the week. Be proactive! Call FSBOs, inherit client lists from agents no longer working for the brokerage, knock on doors. . . do whatever it takes to prevent too much “down time. "
When the economy picks up again job seekers are likely to see real estate agent jobs as an appealing career choice. Home sellers will be anxious to sell after a long period of holding back. Find out how to get started as an agent from Lisa Jenkins, a career writer for JobMonkey - a free job board with dozens of industry knowledge libraries. She'll tell you about real estate licensing requirements and how to break into and survive in the industry.