The real estate market is good and many newly licensed agents are entering the real estate industry. Traditionally, real estate agents came to the profession from previous careers and work experience that gave them a basis for starting a second career. Today, we see many new agents choosing real estate as their first career.
Regardless of which group you might fall into, what they teach you in real estate school is just the beginning and typically not even enough to properly write your first offer.
There are many things you may not be aware of as a new agent. Finding a brokerage that is a good fit is one of the first steps, let them interview you but also interview them in return.
Making sure you have some financial reserves to pay all the fees, dues, subscriptions, phone bills, to just name a few is another very important step. You will not have an income from day one and it could be several weeks if not months before you receive your first commission check.
No Regrets. Personally, I never have regretted getting my license and starting this new (ad)venture. I entered the business in 2005 and when the market slowed and crashed not too long after and the going got tough, I didn't throw in the towel but looked for opportunities.
Do Overs? If there is anything I could do over from my first year, I would definitely interview more brokers before joining one and exploring more the various options. For example, ask yourself, should you join a team or work on your own?
When I first started in 2005, I joined a team right from the start when teams were still a new thing. I thought I would like the team approach as that was what I had been used to from previous work experience - however, real estate is a business and should be treated as such. This particular team was not a good fit, the rules kept changing and seemed to differ for different people. The experience held me back in many ways and thus did cost me some money that I would have otherwise had as income. I stayed with this first company for little more than an year. Then I joined a new brokerage that I have been with ever since.
Here are a few tips for new agents:
1. Find a mentor or someone willing to train you or let you shadow them for a while. You should learn how to enter data into the multiple listing service and complete forms correctly from classes you are taking at your brokerage or Realtor association but beyond that, you want someone you can talk to about issues, sharing experiences, and how to solve problems. And don't hesitate to talk to your broker!
2. Avoid the naysayers. And they will find you! Remember, you become who you surround yourself with so you might as well surround yourself with those you admire and who have a positive and professional attitude. The naysayers will drag you down with them and prevent you from doing new things and ultimately advancing yourself.
3. Knowledge is power and money. Never stop learning and educating yourself about real estate and your profession. Things are constantly changing especially in technology. What might have been cutting edge 10 or even 5 years ago, is an old hat now and may not be working anymore.
In my opinion, education is an investment in yourself and your business. It will benefit not only you but also the buyers, sellers, and investors you are working with. Look into some of the professional designations that are offered. Not only will you gain additional and sometimes very specialized knowledge, you will also gain credibility among your peers, networking opportunities, and referral opportunities.
The real estate business can be very rewarding and not only in monetary terms. Working with the public can sometimes be challenging expecially when working with difficult people. But you will also meet and work with many wonderful people and you get to help them in making some pretty important decisions in their lives.
One more thing. Have fun doing what you do and don't forget to take some time out for yourself and your personal interests!