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 property, and getting into real estate – why aren’t there more successful Realtors on earth? Well, there’s only so much business to bypass, so there can only just be so many Real Estate Agents in the world. Personally i think, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it really is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition in to the Real Estate Business. As a Broker, I see many new agents make their way into my office – for an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New REALTORS bring plenty of 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 almost all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never experienced business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, believe that getting into the Real Estate business is “getting a new job.” What they’re missing is that they’re about to get into business for themselves. If you have ever opened the doors to ANY business, you understand that one of the key ingredients can be your business plan. Your business plan can help you define where you’re going, how you are getting there, and what it’s going to take for you yourself to make your real estate industry a success. Here are the essentials of worthwhile business plan:
A) Goals – What would you like? Make sure they are clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you don’t want to be the “jack of most trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you would like to specialize in. New residential realtors 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 that you have – gas, groceries, cellular phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re taking on – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc…
E) Funding – how are you going to pay for your allowance w/ no income for the first (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when will you break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how will you obtain the word out about your services? The simplest way to market yourself is to your personal sphere of influence (people you understand). Make sure you achieve this effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the GREATEST Closing Team
They say the best businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves. It requires a pretty 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 choose, and you should be certain that anyone you refer in will be a secured asset to the transaction, not a person who will bring you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” are there to make you shine! When they perform well, you can take part of the credit because you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo on the market is the New AGENT & New Mortgage Broker. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they are able to 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. In the event that you refer in a bad insurance agent, it might result in a minor hiccup in the transaction – you create a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the house in less than an hour. However, because homes for rent in Mississauga takes at least two weeks to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the effect can be disastrous! You may find yourself ready of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
An excellent closing team will typically learn than their role in the transaction. For this reason, you can turn to them with questions, and they’ll step in (quietly) if they visit a potential mistake – since they want to help you, and in return receive more of one’s business. Using good, experienced players for your 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 an agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone is an investment that will cost between $700 and $900 (not considering the amount of 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 are necessary – because your competitors are using every tool to help THEM.
A) MLS Access is just about the most expensive necessity you’re going to run into. Joining your local (and state & national, automagically) 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 actions you can take. It’s what differentiates us from your average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present any of 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) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan – These days, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone includes a plan that will facilitate the level of use that REALTORS need. Plan on getting at the very least 2000 minutes per month. You need, and need, to be accessible to your clients 24/7 – not just nights and weekends.