New Realtor Lessons
What you won’t learn in real estate class
What you learn as a new realtor.
Many people are enticed by the idea of becoming a Realtor. I can understand why – it’s not hard to get licensed, and you get to create your own hours. Yet, there is a lot of work that most people don’t anticipate; neverending lead generation, learning how to run a business, completely understanding contracts and anticipating and calmly handling different problems that may arise. To be successful you need to be motivated by more than the excitement of being able to create your own schedule. The decision to get my license was driven by a passion for working with people, a desire to work for myself and a goal of financial freedom through investment. As a Realtor, I figured I could not only establish strong relationships in my community but also learn a lot about investing in the process.
My top lessons for new realtors
YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN.
I don’t think anybody really knows what a Realtor does or what their job entails unless somebody is actually a Realtor or is in a relationship with one. In my first month, friends would ask me how many houses I was showing everyday. None. I was showing none! It wasn’t because I wasn’t working hard, it was because I had to find ALL of my own clients and in a city that was fairly new to me. How was I going to find reliable clients? I tried a lot of different ways of lead generating and most of them forced me outside of my comfort zone. For example, door knocking to invite people to an open house I was hosting. This was a test for myself, I wanted to learn to become completely comfortable around people I didn’t know.
As a Realtor there’s nobody keeping you accountable, AT ALL. You pick when you work, when you stop, what work actually entails. Telling yourself that “trolling Facebook” for 2 hours for leads is actual work, can be dangerous. If you track this time and see results, that may be “work”. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. While on the subject of “wasting time”, a little advice: ladies be conscious of how you lead generate and who is a serious client….I’ve found many people confuse Linkedin as a dating site.
BIGGER ISN’T NECESSARILY BETTER.
You know those big name real estate brokerages? They are not necessarily your best choice to hang your license. Yes, they claim to provide mentorship, training and leads BUT that can come at a huge cost. They may have high monthly fees, take more of your commission and because they will hire anybody, you could end up feeling lost in a sea of hundreds of agents. In my own personal experience, I’ve found bigger name brokerages to be less supportive. You determine your own success and working for a “brand name” brokerage isn’t going to really help you much. I suggest reaching out to a few different agents who might provide a degree of mentorship in your first year. In return, you can offer them administrative assistance or a percentage of your commission.
FIND YOUR NICHE.
In the beginning I tried a lot of different approaches to finding clients. Yet, I found when I started focusing on a specific clientele, I was more successful. I became very confident in my work because I knew a lot about a certain market area. Don’t just focus on getting clients – do the research that will allow you to help people effectively. You want clients to feel comfortable and know that you are always looking out for their best interests. This is the best way to create a referral business and that’s the goal! They will refer you to their friends because their own experience was so pleasant.
Patience. Patience. Patience. Most of the work I do today doesn’t get me instant results. Some of the work I do today will never show me results. Buyers I work with for months may decide they don’t want to buy a house. A house I have under contract may fall through – and then it’s back to the drawing board. There are certainly challenges that come with this career – but you can learn so much from them. You must be patient and always stay positive with your clients. It’s your job to be the level headed one and stay calm if anything frustrating happens.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE.
I asked my friend, Stephanie Gregg, who is currently in her first year as a Realtor, “what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?”. I loved her answer because I think everyone can use it.
“On to the next”.
If something happens that doesn’t go exactly how you wanted it to…move forward and don’t overanalyze. Did a client not work out? Did the house not appraise? Did that other agent have to make this transaction so difficult? It’s simple advice but we tend to forget. Don’t dwell on it. Accept it, learn from it and move on. On to the next one.