I haven't written this blog yet, but I suspect it might be unpopular by the time I'm finished with it. Darn. Oh well.
Here goes... There's one thing I feel pretty strongly about with regard to our beloved rookie agents. They don't know what they're doing. If they're fresh out of real estate school, I guarantee that they don't know any more about selling real estate than, well, than I did when I was fresh out of real estate school! And trust me, that's not much.
So, what's our solution? Tell ‘em to Fake it ‘til they make it! Get on that phone, drum up some business and fly by the seat of your pants, just like the rest of us did. Oh, and don't worry, your broker or mentor will be right there with you every step of the way.
And, that's what most of us did and what most of our newbies still do. Scary, isn't it? Sure, it might be reasonable to throw a brand new bartender on the floor and let him sink or swim... but allowing a brand new real estate agent to manage a $500,000 financial transaction? Or even a $50,000 one?
"But, Jennifer," you protest... "We all did it that way and the world didn't come to an end. Somehow, we survived." Well, maybe. Some of us did; most didn't. What's the recent drop-out rate? 80%? 90%? Think that might be partly due to the harsh reality of the rookie experience (or lack thereof)?
Anyway, here's my point. Rookies, take a few weeks or even a month to learn your stuff. I know you want to hit the phones and tell everyone on the planet that You Just Got Your License, but don't you think you owe it to your future fan club to know what the heck you're doing first? I'm not asking you to know it all, but at the very least.... you should:
- Know your contracts and disclosures backwards and forwards, inside and out. Every provision, every fill-in-the-blank, every place to initial and sign ... and why.
- Know your MLS system backwards and forwards, inside and out. Know how to search for active listings, sold comparables, pending sales. How to find tax assessor information.
- Know and understand the basics of buyer representation. Make sure you have an overall understanding of the buyer process - from pre-qualification to closing. While you can't know everything there is until you go through it once or twice or a hundred times, you should at least be aware of how it works.
- Have a familiarity with your local real estate market - this is so important! In a few weeks, if you bust your backside, you can learn a lot about your area and might even be able to become an expert, of sorts, in a neighborhood or two.
This list could go on and on and on, and if I had my way, all rookie agents would be required to undergo a six month internship before they could legally practice real estate. Alas, no one has asked me for my opinion yet, so I'll just do my little part here and beg our rookies (and their managing brokers) to commit to being competent real estate advisors before becoming competent real estate prospectors...
Thanks for reading!
Copyright Jennifer Allan 2007