“Can do” attitude
Enjoy seeing different kinds of real estate
Continually build and enhance sales skills
Great income potential with unlimited growth
Work on your own schedule
Help people find the right homes for them
The pride and flexibility of being your own boss
Now that you have chosen to be a real estate agent you are ready to launch your career in this challenging, yet rewarding field. You can take pride in the fact that you’ve selected a profession that is, at its heart, about people helping people. You can look forward to developing relationships with a diverse client base and facilitating the realization of their dreams. You may be instrumental in playing a vital role in some of the most important moments in people’s lives, for example:
A young person moving into his first home.
A growing family finding a larger residence with room for their children to play and learn.
A new entrepreneur obtaining her first investment property.
A small business expanding into its first commercial office.
A couple purchasing a vacation home.
Or, older adults finding the ideal residence to retire in.
Besides taking pride in the purpose of your profession, you should also be proud of your own motivation and efforts. You have come a long way in the course of your study and training. Before you proceed much further, however, take the time to reflect on the type of real estate agent you want to become and what steps you need to take to get there.
Most of today’s top earners achieve their profitability by becoming 24/7 agents. For these workaholics, there is little or no time for family, friends or personal pursuits. Other agents become successful by providing real estate services for the lowest possible price. Although they may attract more customers, they have to close more deals to achieve the same financial results as their peers.
The third route to success is selfishly adopting a “me-oriented” instead of a “we- oriented” attitude in professional dealings. Agents who choose this path focus entirely on potential commissions instead of their clients’ needs. This choice may lead to unethical, and perhaps even unlawful, behavior.
To have it all—top salary, time for personal pursuits, and a solid reputation—real estate agents must implement core professional skills and strategies. You’ll find that only a minority choose this option; however, it is possible to reverse that trend and earn professional and financial success in a balanced and ethical manner.”
People enter the real estate field for a variety of reasons, including:
High earning potential.
Interest in interacting with and helping the public.
Additional income to supplement a regular salary.
Just as their motivation varies, so do their career paths. Some real estate agents begin and remain in residential real estate. Others branch out into commercial or investment properties. Still, others take the salesperson management track or even go on to earn a broker’s license.
Although their reasons for becoming real estate agents and market choices differ, the most successful and profitable real estate professionals share three common attributes:
They are committed to ongoing professional improvement.
They demonstrate a consistent work ethic.
They are motivated to succeed.
Top earners never adopt the “enough is enough” attitude regarding their education and training. These professionals constantly hone their skills, not just to satisfy state licensing requirements, but to benefit both themselves and their clients. They are marketplace savvy; take advantage of seminars and events hosted by their local board or professional real estate organization, and are not afraid to go the extra mile to exceed their clients’ expectations.
Without becoming 24/7 real estate agents, top earners appreciate the value of consistent hard work. An irregular schedule—one that does not always follow the traditional 9 to 5 mode—does not have to translate into irregular professional activity. As the most profitable real estate agents will tell you, results are achieved through daily attention to prospecting, listing, marketing, and sales goals.
Successful real estate agents also do what is required to achieve their goals without a supervisor looking over their shoulders. Whether salesperson, branch manager or broker, top real estate professionals realize that enjoying one’s work does not necessarily mean that every task will be enjoyable. They consistently focus on objectives and call upon self-discipline to complete even the most mundane or difficult tasks in a consistent and ethical manner.
In addition to sharing successful personal qualities, effective real estate agents also implement the following five core strategies:
Performing their true role.
Obtaining and retaining clients.
Honing sales skills.
Acquiring property listings.
Real estate—like other sales-driven industries—is goal-oriented. To end up where you want to be, you must first know where you are going. It is impossible to set prospecting, listing, marketing, and sales objectives without clearly defined financial objectives.
This goal takes the form of a specific dollar amount you must earn each year to establish a comfortable budget. Once you have determined that figure, you will be ready to break down your annual financial goal into the daily, weekly, and monthly action steps required to achieve it.
Having an actual number in place does more than just outline your professional tasks and other objectives. It also helps relieve any financial concerns you may have about your new career. In addition, your financial goal will motivate you to keep going should you find yourself tempted to put off those important, but tedious, tasks that are so easy to ignore.
The second strategy for success is acknowledging your true worth as a real estate agent. Recognizing your value allows you to fully embody your true professional role.
Before the real estate market was driven by the World Wide Web, real estate brokerages were the public’s primary source for even the most basic information on available properties. People did not have the option to discover the location, price, and features of their dream homes on the Internet, much less browse online photos or take preliminary virtual home tours.
Although real estate agents can still help the public in this manner, it is important not to get pigeon-holed either. You are not merely a consumer’s source for available homes, property tour guide, or transaction broker, despite what consumers, and even some real estate agents, believe. You offer invaluable services in terms of:
Real estate financial advice.
Problem solving and troubleshooting.
As you progress through your career, you might also obtain additional competencies such as real estate investing, mortgage brokerage, or property appraisal. Whenever your training gives you specialized skills, you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
Just as real estate is a goal-oriented field, it is consumer-driven as well. You need a constant stream of new customers and clients to survive in this industry, and you must seek out and acquire these while retaining your existing clients.
Your specialized skill set is the key to doing both:
Promote your services to obtain business.
Demonstrate your services to retain it.
Although you need to “sell” your valuable skills to obtain new customers and clients, it is important that you do not give away too much advice for free in a bid to impress and secure new business. Certain services such as pricing a seller’s property and offering staging advice simply must wait until you have a signed agreement with the consumer. Although buyer’s agreements and listing contracts are not ironclad guarantees you will be paid, they certainly increase your chances.
You can strike the right balance between promoting your skills and giving them away by determining the consumer’s interest level and ability to complete the transaction beforehand. This also ensures that you obtain quality contacts— instead of just quantity—with whom to do business.
A competent and consistent demonstration of your professional skills is the best way to keep prospects and clients once you have secured them. Although the timeframe before you benefit from repeat business is often greater than in other sales markets—usually 10 to 20 years for the residential sector—you receive the more timely benefit of professional referrals to friends, family, and associates.
In general, competent and consistent service translates into:
Asking clients what they expect from you.
Fulfilling your professional obligations and promises in a timely manner.
Offering honest advice even when it is difficult.
Owning up to and rectifying any professional shortcomings.
Showing appreciation for business and referrals.
Whether the economy is growing, declining or stable, the public always has a need to buy or sell a property for one reason or another. What changes is the degree of difficulty with which real estate agents are able to obtain and retain business.
In a booming market, real estate professionals have their pick of prospects, specifically those wanting to purchase a property. In a declining market, the opposite is true. Competition is fierce, and it is easy for real estate agents to get frustrated and blame the market for any decline in their compensation.
However, top real estate agents often earn more in a depressed market than in a growing one. They distinguish themselves from their peers and successfully close real estate transactions while others are blaming the economy or bad luck for their lack of success. Their secret is developing and demonstrating superior sales ability.
Sales strategy is the ability to promote products and services in such a way that customers are secured regardless of outside influences, and it is the key to professional success. In the real estate industry, this is based on how well you:
Create and follow-up on new business leads (otherwise known as prospecting).
Set and conduct meetings with those leads.
Transform prospects into quality clients through real estate agent-consumer agreements.
Carry out and close transactions.
The best real estate professionals never stop improving these skills and therefore are more profitable than their counterparts.
Most real estate agents—new as well as experienced—focus more on serving buyers than sellers. Although working with buyers is a great way to launch your career, to be a top earner, you should not remain there exclusively. This is because the seller’s listings generate more immediate repeat business and income for real estate agents than buyer’s listings.
For example, you help Phil and Janet Ohner buy their first home. They appreciate your service and tell you they will call you again the next time they need a real estate professional. Although this is exactly what you want, recall that the lag time for buyer repeats business averages between 10 and 20 years. That’s a long time to wait for your next commission check.
However, let’s say you help Ben and Anne Selyr list, market and sell their home. In this case, you have several advantages, because property listings:
Are a great way to generate immediate buyer business. Most sellers also need to find a new place to live in. If they like the way you sell their home, chances are they will also ask you to help them purchase a new one as well.
Provide free publicity to the real estate agent. From the yard sign on the property and online listing description to newspaper advertisements and your name and that of your brokerage are promoted with little or no extra work on your part. This automatic publicity is an effective way to increase your lead and client base.
Generate free professional help to the real estate agent. Because the majority of real estate professionals are paid through seller proceeds, it is in every real estate agent’s best interest to close a transaction on a real estate listing. The moment your listing hits the market, real estate agents representing buyers are as eager to find a “ready, able, and willing” purchaser as you are.
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