Every time I talk to someone about my business and career, it always arises that “they’ve thought about engaging in real estate” or know anyone who has. With so many people thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into real estate – why aren’t there more successful Realtors on the planet? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there can only just be so many REALTORS in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it really is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average indivdual to successfully make the transition in to the Real Estate Business. As a brokerage, I see many new agents make their way into my office – for an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring many great qualities to the table – lots of energy and ambition – but they also make a large amount of common mistakes. Listed below are the 7 top mistakes rookie REALTORS Make.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
So many new agents put all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new REALTORS have never experienced business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, think that getting into the true Estate business is “obtaining a new job.” What they’re missing is that they’re about to go into business for themselves. If you have ever opened the doors to ANY business, you know that one of the key ingredients is your business plan. Your business plan helps you define where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what it’s going to take for you to make your real estate industry a success. Here are the requirements of any good business plan:
A) Goals – What would you like? Make sure they are clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you do not want to be the “jack of most trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you need to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have the most success with buyers/renters and move on to listing homes after they’ve completed several transactions.
C) Market – that are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget – consider yourself “new real estate agent, inc.” and jot down EVERY expense which you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re dealing with – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc…
E) Funding – how will you pay for your budget w/ no income for the first (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when do you want to break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how will you get the word out about your services? The MOST effective way to market yourself is to your personal sphere of influence (people you understand). Make sure you do so effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the GREATEST Closing Team
They say the greatest businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves. It requires a fairly big team to close a transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, Insurance Agent, Title Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, and sometimes more! As a Real Estate Agent, you are in the positioning to refer your client to whoever you select, and you should ensure that anyone you refer in will be an asset to the transaction, not someone who provides you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” is there to make you shine! When they perform well, you get to take part of the credit as you referred them in to the transaction.
The deadliest duo out there is the New AGENT & New LARGE FINANCIAL COMPANY. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they can take over the planet! They’re both focusing on the proper part of their business – marketing – but they’re doing one another no favors by choosing to provide each other business. If you refer in a bad insurance agent, it might cause a minor hiccup in the transaction – you create a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the property in less than an hour. However, because it normally takes at least fourteen days to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the result can be disastrous! You might find yourself in a position of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
An excellent closing team will typically know more than their role in the transaction. For this reason, you can turn in their mind with questions, and they’ll step in (quietly) when they see a potential mistake – because they want to assist you to, and in exchange receive more of your business. Using good, experienced players for the closing team will assist you to infinitely in conducting business worthy of MORE business…and best of all, it’s free!
3) Not Arming Themselves with the Necessary Tools
Getting started as a Real Estate Agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone can be an investment that may cost between $700 and $900 (not considering how much time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll run into even more expenses when you attend arm yourself with the required tools of the trade. And do not fool yourself – they’re necessary – because your competition are using every tool to greatly help THEM.
A) MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you are going to run into. Joining your neighborhood (and state & national, by default) Board of Realtors will allow you to pay for MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, don’t skimp in this area. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It’s what differentiates us from your own average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you should have 99% of the virginia homes in your area open to present to your clients.
B) CELLULAR PHONE w/ a Beefy Plan – Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone includes a plan that will facilitate the level of use that Real Estate Agents need. commercial real estate Winter Park on getting at least 2000 minutes per month. You need, and need, to be available to your clients 24/7 – not just nights and weekends.