So You Want To Be A Real Estate Agent? Some Unsolicited Advice

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

AdviceSo You Want To Be A Real Estate Agent?  Some Unsolicited Advice

So you're thinking about becoming a real estate agent?  You really enjoyed looking at houses when you bought yours.  Your agent made it look like a ton of fun, and you saw that HUGE paycheck she got at closing!  You want a piece of that action don't you??

You'll find the barriers to entry amazingly low.  If you've got about $1000 in cash, the time to take four mandatory classes and the ability to pass a two part exam, you too can call yourself an Ohio real estate agent.  Notice I said agent, NOT REALTOR®.  You may not realize it yet, but they're not exactly the same thing, but that's a topic for another day.

Now there are many things those four classes will teach you, but bottom line what they're priming you for is TO PASS THE EXAM!  That's ALL! 

They are NOT going to truly teach you how to be an agent, the pros and cons of the trade.

You won't find a single minute spent on (in no particular order):

  • How to prospect for clients.  What do you do after you're worked through your friends and family?
  • How to set a budget.  It's a business, not a hobby.

    It costs money to make money

  • That it takes money to make money!  You'll find there are a tremendous amount of people, companies and organizations with their hands out.  It starts with your broker, your state and local organizations, MLS, sign companies, lock boxes.....it will NEVER stop, so you better plan for it.
  • Your broker may or may not train you!  As a new agent, your broker selection might be the most critical choice you can make.  Don't just take the first broker you talk to.  Interview them.  Check out the different models.  Find the right one for you.  There truly IS something for everyone.
  • You're going to get yelled at!  And it won't always be your fault (although sometimes it probably will be).  You're dealing with big money here.  Buyers and sellers get stressed, and you're the closest target.
  • Your fellow agents may not be your friends.  This is a whole topic in itself, but you may be friends, but you may also be competitors.  Some will NOT play nice in the sandbox with you.  There are some HUGE egos in this business.  Despite this, DO find someone you can trust.  Get  a mentor.  Get a back up agent that can cover you when you take a vacation. 
  • Your fellow agents are under no obligation to cut you slack or point out your errors.  Their FIRST AND PRIMARY obligation is THEIR clients.  That's their job.  They shouldn't be pointing out that you

    tightrope

    forgot to ask for closing costs, that you didn't get the inspections done on time....they're just going to enjoy the benefit of your mistake.
  • This life will eat up EVERY hour of your life if you let it.  It will take away birthdays, kids ball games, church services, you name it, IF you don't set boundaries, your life will be consumed.  SET THEM!
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.   Some drunk teenage idiot in a golf cart WILL run over one of your signs at 2 in the morning.  Sellers will change their minds about selling their homes.  In happens, roll with it and move on.
  • Be prepared to be used.  You'll get called to a listing appointment where they have absolutely no intent of hiring you.  They just want to pick your brain.  You won't always know it at the time, but you'll realize it later.  It happens.  Vent here if you need to, but move on.
  • Prospect, prospect, prospect.  Yes I know this is the second time we mentioned that....but without it, you're toast.  You've got to have new business coming at all times.  If you're going to pay someone for leads, do your homework first. "Old school" things like postcards still work if done properly.

    blog

  • Get active in Social Media.  Blog.  Tweet.  Facebook.  Foursquare...whatever works for you.  It's mostly cheap, and it evens the playing field with all those that have MUCH MORE experience than you....but aren't present.
  • Get the right tools for the trade.  Smartphone & Laptop/tablet at a bare minimum.  Get the software you need.  Get a website.  Ditch the hotmail email address.
  • Have cash reserves, or don't give up your day job.  We're in a business where today's success doesn't pay you for 30 to 60 days out or more, and DON'T spend that check before it's in your hands.
  • Understand your local market conditions.  Depending on how good or bad it is, NOW may not be the best time to enter the market.  That said, if you can survive this, you'll be toughened and skilled beyond anyone who's ONLY sold in an up market.

We could go on for pages like this.  Bottom line, before you commit to the classes and the time, talk to a few agents and get the real skinny.  Your agent may have made it look easy when they helped you find that house or sell your home, but agents are like ducks on a pond.  We'll make it look smooth and calm on the surface, but we're paddling like maniacs out of sight!  So do your homework. 

We're NOT saying to not try this profession, just come in with your eyes wide open.  There's huge reward in doing the job well, finding that JUST RIGHT home for someone, selling that home and letting someone move to the next chapter of their lives.  It's NOT just about the paycheck :)

We hope you find the advice helpful in making your decisions and planning your future!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Http://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jerry Newman 04/29/2011 03:26 PM
  2. Catarina Bannier 05/02/2011 04:22 AM
Topic:
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Tags:
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Rainer
21,769
Mike Bolaski
Coldwell Banker - 1000 Palms, CA

Great post, and very informative comments as well. I've learned so much on this site already!

Apr 29, 2011 09:39 PM #54
Rainer
212,055
Tim Peterson
Wisconsin Realtor Safety and Concealed Carry Classes - Madison, WI
Realtor Safety Training Classes

Hi Liz and Bill-you really said it all-now for those follow up posts-thanks

Apr 29, 2011 10:44 PM #55
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jeffrey, Especially in today's environment, just too many things can happen to derail the deal at the last minute.  We save for anything big we want to do & the AMEX gets paid off in full each month.  Might as well collect some Delta Skymiles with the business expenses :)

Chris, True.  We need to make it smooth for the clients, even if it wasn't for us.

Tyler, Active Rain is a fantastic source of info!

Tim, That may take a bit! :)

 

 

Apr 29, 2011 11:51 PM #56
Rainmaker
2,379,612
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Sometimes we make it seem so easy and the next thing you know, we are being asked to lower commissions. Oh, but what it took to reach the point of making it look so easy ...WAS NOT SO EASY..good post and host

Apr 30, 2011 05:34 AM #57
Anonymous
Anonymous

Great advice! I am 3 years in.............. LOVE it!  Donna LaConte, REALTOR; Adams, Cameron & Co., REALTORS

Apr 30, 2011 07:03 AM #58
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Richie, I can see the correlation between making it look easy and trying to reach into our pockets!

Donna,  Glad you love it!  It's still a lot of fun MOST days :)

 

Apr 30, 2011 07:44 AM #59
Rainer
372,358
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

I am so tired of being late to the party -- Congratulations on the Feature -- it's amazing.  You know me, I love the telling it like it is platform and that's exactly what you've done here.  Amazing job!!!!!!!!

Apr 30, 2011 08:23 AM #60
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tish, It was a mighty busy 7 days for us.  Four featureds and the lead on one daily drop really blitzed us with comments! And you know we're of the same school, tell it straight or don't tell it at all.

Apr 30, 2011 11:34 AM #61
Rainmaker
306,080
Chris Canfield
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Tucson, AZ
Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona

Hi Liz and Bill - Such a fantastic post and so well thought-out!  People should not go into real estate sales without having their eyes wide open!

Apr 30, 2011 01:04 PM #62
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Chris, If the new recruits could just be a bit more aware of what they're getting into, they'd be much better off.

Apr 30, 2011 01:53 PM #63
Ambassador
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Bill - From my experience when on the other side of the equation, this list is pretty dead-on and very realistic.  It surely isn't for everybody but there is a nice upside if you do it right.

May 01, 2011 03:23 AM #64
Ambassador
2,585,036
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jason, Agreed.  Do the job right and it can be rewarding emotionally and financially.  Don't do it right and it'll take everything you'll give it.

May 01, 2011 04:04 AM #65
Rainmaker
1,354,572
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bliz, very good advice. There is more to it than just passing an exam.

May 02, 2011 02:51 AM #66
Ambassador
2,585,036
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Micheal, Most certainly WAY more to it.  The exam is just the permission to try :)

May 02, 2011 05:36 AM #67
Ambassador
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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

BLiz, Gomer Pyle came to mind when I read this. Surprise, surprise, surprise.  That's what new agents will be saying once they find out the real deal about real estate.  You know the stuff the DON'T teach you in real estate school.

May 02, 2011 07:58 AM #68
Ambassador
2,585,036
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Charita, Just amazing the sheer volume of items that NEVER get discussed during training classes!

May 02, 2011 02:31 PM #69
Rainer
87,124
Allen 2222
Austin, TX

Blunt, honest and spot-on!

May 02, 2011 07:16 PM #70
Ambassador
2,585,036
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Alison, Trying to give them a true heads up that they won't get at the schools!

May 02, 2011 10:58 PM #71
Rainer
136,205
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Great blog! This should be required reading for everybody enrolled in a pre-licensing course so they go in with their eyes wide open.

 

Mar 23, 2012 07:42 AM #72
Ambassador
2,585,036
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Julie, You reached into the way back section for this one! :)  Unfortunately, the schools and associations don't have reason to open soon to be agents eyes before they get in the business.  That would disrupt the steady revenue streams of new agents coming and going.

Mar 23, 2012 08:16 AM #73
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