This month's challenge has asked us to share some valuable information for those contemplating getting into real estate or those receiving their first real estate license.
Remembering back in those days still working at Safeway full time, and excited about a new adventure and a possible new career was daunting to say the least. In real estate school they teach just about nothing about the REAL real estate world. Luckily, I had many working around me (for 20 years) that believed in me and gave me my first deals. That was scary, since I didn't know anything about real estate.
1. Interview Brokers! I would say this is probably THE most important factor when you first get your license. They are not all created equal! Be less worried about the split, as if you don't ever have a closing, this is not an issue. YOU have the choice, it isn't their choice whether to take you on as a new agent. Be sure they offer education (lots of it) and someone is available when you need help. This will be frequently in the first few months or on your first few deals.
2. Read, read, and read again the Contracts. If you don't know everything about real estate, it is very helpful to know the contracts backwards and forwards. Take classes, find someone to practice with, and go over contracts - both the buy side and the listing side. This is always helpful, as usually the other agent has questions, and is helpful when you actually HAVE a client! If you don't know the answer to their question, tell the client, you are not sure, but will check into it, and call them back. NEVER give false information!
3. Don't think YOU have control of your schedule. If you are fortunate enough to garner lots of business in the very beginning, clients will fill up your schedule. Just know there are lulls in the business. Take advantage of the business when it presents itself! There will be times you have too much time on your hands. (even those of us seasoned agents with a large database) If you need some downtime, take a few hours for yourself and schedule it. If you have a doctor's appointment, or you child is playing in the finals at school, schedule it. Your clients do not need to know WHAT the appointment, just that you have one. This business can consume you, and can get burned out quickly. Balance between work and personal life is important!
I remember in real estate school, they hinted on the fact we need a PILE of money in the bank, as there will be down times when you see no closings. I thought I put away enough, but then 2008 happened. I wish I would have put lots more in the savings for those days!
Also, keep in touch ALWAYS with your clients. Those early days I did not have the best system to keep track of my clients, and did not keep in touch as well, and lost some of my first clients. Whether you use excel or another CRM to keep track of clients - do it early on, and don't neglect those first valuable clients!
In the days of 2008, there was a time I had to find a position that would bring in some quick money, since closings were not plentiful. At that time, I did think about what I wanted to do, and was SO sad that real estate wasn't working well. It was at that time I realized I truly loved what I do, and could not imagine doing any other career full time. I have not ever looked back and said -- gosh, what have I gotten myself into..... I worked with Empire Flooring for a few months to get me through those lean months, and did give me valuable tools in which to apply to my real estate business. I sold flooring, and gave me information that I did not have before working with them.
One of the biggest things that I have done to improve my real estate business has been to know when I cannot take on new business. When you know you have the maximum transactions you can take care of, and still offer excellent customer service. The worst thing you can do is, take on way more than you can handle. No one is getting the service they deserve when that happens! In the busy spring and early summer, I have friends to refer the overflow business if I got overwhelmed, and sure helps! You want to keep those RAVE REVIEWS coming in, and not receive any reviews that say they felt you were too busy for them!
This is a wonderful business, especially if you love to help people. Nothing more satisfying that a happy customer that sends a testimonial that makes you cry!