When you take your real estate pre-licensing class you learn the real estate vocabulary, national and jurisdictional laws, the Code of Ethics...just to name a few. But what they don't teach you in pre-licensing class is what it's actually like to BE a real estate agent.
#1 - It Costs Money
You always hear that becoming a real estate agent is one of the least expensive businesses you can start. While that may be true, it's really not inexpensive to become an agent. By the time you pay for the course, pay to sit for the state exam, join the local and national boards, errors and omission insurance, your lockbox access and your multiple listing service access...all of those fees begin to add up. This doesn't include any marketing materials you decide to purchase. But all of these expenses are an investment in your future. They are necessary purchases that will enable you to start and grow your business. It would be nice if they taught this in your classes so you would know how much money you need to have saved up.
#2 - You Only Use About 5% of What You Learned in Pre-Licensing Class
Fresh out of pre-licensing class you are ready to conquer the world of real estate. It doesn't take long to realize that you don't have a clue as to what you need to do to become a successful agent. You discover that your pre-licensing class was just the tip o the iceberg. Your pre-licensing class taught you the legal side of real estate, but it didn't teach you how to run your business. It didn't teach you how to prospect and what to do once you got a client. The worst part, you have to learn by trial and error because you don't know what you don't know.
#3 - It Takes Time
There's no such thing as an overnight success in real estate. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of time it takes to get your first client, let alone build a thriving real estate business. It can take anywhere from three to six months before you get your first client. This doesn't mean going to settlement, this is simply getting a client. Getting to settlement can take another few months. You may have some success early on in your career, but don't let that limited success make you think it will always be that way. Building a business takes planning, time and consistent effort.
#4 - It's Harder Than You Think
If you got into real estate because you were watching reality TV and thought, "I can do that", you're in for a rude awakening. It's not that being a real estate agent is all that difficult, but it's not anywhere near as easy as it appears on television. Top producing real estate agents work every day to maintain and grow their business. They are constantly looking for marketing tactics that will resonate with their sphere of influence and appeal to a new group of potential clients. As a real estate agent you don't have the luxury to rest on your laurels. You have to make something happen every day or see your business dry up in the blink of an eye.
#5 - Your Friends Won't Want to Work With You
You get your license and you just know that your friends will definitely work with you. I think most of us had this thought at the beginning of our real estate careers. But it doesn't always turn out that way. Here's a word of warning. If you're banking on your friends working with you in your first year as an agent, you may want to have a Plan B. It's not that your friends don't like you, they do. But you need to remember that buying or selling a house is a huge financial decision and they want to work with someone with more experience. Another reason they may not work with you is because they don't want you to know anything about their finances. Whether they have a lot of money or a little, a great credit score or a low credit score, they may want to keep your friendship and business relationship separated.
#6 - You'll Think You Made a Huge Mistake
Your buyer's will often experience buyer's remorse after the seller has accepted their offer. It's completely normal. The same is true for becoming a real estate agent. You will feel some remorse. After attending a few sales meetings and training you feel like the experienced agents are speaking a foreign language. You'll feel overwhelmed and think you made the biggest mistake of your life by quitting your corporate, steady paycheck job for a job you don't understand. Keep doing the work. Keep asking questions. Keep attending the meetings and before you know it you will be speaking the same language and feeling more confident in your abilities.
#7 - It's Not Glamorous
Again, reality television makes being a real estate agent look glamorous. It isn't. It may present that way on the surface but behind the scenes you can be sure that the agent is doing the ugly work to get a house sold or get a buyer to settlement. Real estate agents do what it takes to get the job done. We don't have the luxury of saying, "That's not my job." Personally, I've sweep floors, rolled up carpet, made beds and a host of other things. We do what needs to be done to get the house sold and keep our clients happy.
Don't Give Up
What they don't tell you about being a real estate agent could fill a book. But there is so many good aspects about being a real estate agent. I think the best part of our job is that we get to help people, young and old move forward. Move forward in their happy times and their difficult times. We get to choose when we work and how we work. We have unlimited earning potential. We have the opportunity to build a business the way we want a business to look and operate. With every real estate transaction you will learn more about yourself, your clients and how to run your business. They say that nothing worth having comes easy and being a successful real estate agent is no exception. Hang in there, don't give up and be the best you can be every day.
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Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in 2016. Candy, “The Real-Life Realtor”, coaches, mentors and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success. She is a firm believer in managing expectations and her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience. Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful!
Learn more about her training program at www.RLRETraining.com or send her an email at Candy@RLRETraining.com.