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Did you just get your Real Estate License? New to Real Estate?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with TPR Properties DRE# 01842738

Did you just get your Real Estate License? New to Real Estate?

Can you describe your biggest challenge regarding the jump to real estate?  Even if you are a seasoned veteran, it would be great to get your thoughts on what you remember to be the biggest challange and possibly what the market was like when you jumped in.

Why am I asking?  Well, each year I am asked by at least a half dozen people I know to sit down and chat about "getting into real estate" because they think "I would be a good realtor".  They often ask me about the challanges to making that jump.  Great question, but I am only one personwith my own experience.  Even though I can surmise what current challanges might be, I really would like to be better prepared with some actual real life examples.  

So if you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks and good selling!!


Comments (26)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

My story is definately not the norm.  I was first a secretary/ broker's personal assistant at a real estate firm.  When we were busy and all the agents were out of the office I hated not being able to answer questions so I got my license. I suppose my biggest challenge was the budget transition from regular Friday pay check to making my money last until the next closing the first year.  Thankfully I was out the gate with a couple of good sales and had savings that got me through until I had a nice nest egg.  My market was, is and likely will always be somewhat seasonal because it's 80% second home/vacation and 20% retirement and people moving up/down into and out of the area.  I work on a lake where Spring to fall is busy and winter is slow, but that's alway worked out perfect that it lets me get to spend extra time with kids and now my grandson around the holidays.

I was lucky that working for the broker the two plus years prior to being licensed let me learn this business well.  For the last 25 years I've been a broker/owner and I still love what I do.  

Nov 07, 2019 02:27 PM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Hey Ken Patterson thank you for an interesting question. I would say the challenge is to make sure you have about 6 months of reserves to live on. It would also make good sense to establish a niche early on.  In the beginning, we tried to be everything to everyone, it's overwhelming and exhausting. It's better to be the expert in one (or two) areas and really learn it inside and out. For example, we sell rural properties and multigen homes, both with soothing views and plenty of elbow room.  We believe that if you get to your authentic area of passion and expertise, you attract like-minded folks. At least that's how it works for us - most of the time. :) 

Nov 07, 2019 02:30 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Home is where the hearth is.

It's a great business, a terrible business, a fun business and a soul-sucking business all rolled into one.  When you first get into it, you need to plan on not making a dime for at least the first 6 months to 1 year.

I spent my first year doing open houses 51 weekends... I took every floor-time available to me. I reaped the benefits.  You have to take it seriously, you have to treat it like a business, not a hobby.

Nov 07, 2019 02:35 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I was surrounded by people with bad work ethics I can clearly remember. I was used to getting things done & then I remembered that I was that person. It was hard to get used to.

I wish I had $10 for every twit that said they would be good realtors because they 'knew how to decorate'. It has nothing to do with it. 

Don't even bother unless you have 6 mos costs in the bank.

What if you are counting on your significant other & they are truly not behind you?

Nov 07, 2019 03:02 PM
Candice A. Donofrio

If your SO is not 100% behind you . . . they are against you and that will either end your relationship or your career.

Nov 08, 2019 06:28 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Ken,
I was in a sales-related business before jumping into real estate full time.  I was always highly motivated and, my biggest challenge was knowing my limits.  I remember the first month I had 4 transactions pending at the same time, which isn't any big deal for a veteran but for someone who didn't know what they were doing and didn't have a mentor... it was almost too much. It was very disappointing that I was basically left to figure it out on my own even though I was with a national franchise that touted their training program.

Nov 07, 2019 03:04 PM
Ken Patterson
TPR Properties - Rocklin, CA
Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor

Tammy Lankford, Thanks for the post!  I can only imagine how helpful working for the broker before getting a license was for you getting started.  I appreciate you sharing your story!

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Having passion and building knowledge is immensly important.  So many agents these days don't take time to build their knowledge unfortunately.  Thanks a ton for takingtime to post!

Alan May one thing that most peopel thinking of getting into this industry do not consider is the amount of hard work it will take to be even remotely successful.  Great point!  Thank you!

Lyn Sims Loved your post.  Made me laugh!  Thank you!  So very true.  Another great reason people give for thinking they can be a good realtor is the "I love looking at houses online".  : )

Carol Williams having no mentor is a point I hear often from new agents.  When I started, the broker manager just looked blankly at me when I asked about mentorship.  That was over 10 years ago though.  Now, it seems like a common offering in the sales pitch from brokers recruiting new agents.  It is a rare day that you hear of a mentorship program delivering as advertised though.  Unfortunate...  Thanks for your post!!

Nov 07, 2019 04:00 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Ken I've been in the biz since 1987.  The biggest issue that I see to this day is that new agents are not trained how to build a sustainable business.  They go from one deal to the next with no serious plan in place.  When they get this part of the equation......that's when the game really starts. I just happened to have a fantastic business broker for a boss. That is a rarity, especially in huge markets like mine.

Nov 07, 2019 04:20 PM
Ken Patterson
TPR Properties - Rocklin, CA
Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS Thanks for your post!  A recurring point is the financial end of our business.  It is definately not possible to be the best you can be if you are going deal to deal.  Economically, that is a recipe for disaster.  Thanks again for the post!!

Nov 07, 2019 04:27 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

You have some great answers here from some really great people, many I know personally, adore and respect. My journey has been different, as I came from entertainment business and I began in real estate in my early 40s. I'm in my 60s now so I have 20 years in. And during that time I can tell you that I've experienced many challenges others have cited, but I can also tell you previous and educational experience has contributed to success. So the trick is to find out how what you already know can help you get where you need to. A solid business plan, good mentoring and sticking to a schedule is necessary--at least at first. I have a lot of flexibility now but that took time.

Nov 07, 2019 06:57 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Just stopping by to welcome all the new bloggers to AR! Love and light and all the best! :)

Nov 07, 2019 09:03 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-617-6375
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Ken, not only an interesting question but wonderfully thorough answers. I started as a General Contractor in 1973 and got my real estate License in 1988. By 1993, I was a Broker with my own company - called One Day At a Time (ODAT) to always remind me of my values. From other answers -

  • I agree with having a six-month reserve to rely on financially. 
  • I definitely agree with access to a mentor.
  • I agree with being in charge of my own life.
  • Definitely agree with choosing a special area to pursue.
  • I agree with the need to understand how to build a business.
    Have a great day - Lynn
Nov 07, 2019 09:15 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Several things:

1) Read Gary Keller's book "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent." Place close attention to the 4 Models and implement them into your business plan.

2) Seek out the opportunity to attend a Ninja Selling seminar. Game changer!

3) Seek out a mentor who can encourage you and hold you accountable.

4) Every person you meet is a potential client. Don't be bashful! Wear a nice name tag. You'll be amazed at how many conversations it starts!

5) Provide your clients with superior care & service, and the money will always follow!

Nov 07, 2019 10:10 PM
Ken Patterson
TPR Properties - Rocklin, CA
Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor

Candice A. Donofrio Laura Cerrano Lynn B. Friedman Rich Jacobson Thank you all for your posts!  Getting very good feedback.  It is apparent that consistent themes have been posted by many and have impacted new agents for many years.  Good stuff!

Nov 08, 2019 07:12 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This subject teaches well to anyone who attends the learning of it. Like anything what is represented & what actually takes place surprises non-stop. When one reaches maturity via experience then visits with the tests of time all makes sense that we apply ourselves to. What we dont apply ourselves to is revealed as well

Nov 08, 2019 10:26 AM
Ken Patterson
TPR Properties - Rocklin, CA
Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor

Richie Alan Naggar Thanks for the post!  Many experienced posters for which I am grateful for the insights.  Enjoy the day!   

Nov 08, 2019 12:42 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I think one of the most important things when starting is to pick the right company. I picked one full of favoritism, mentoring-as-a-promise-but-not-reality, etc. I would have done a lot better off the bat had I selected a company that was supportive of new agents, but of course I didn't know what I didn't know.

I think new agents have got to spend a lot of time interviewing brokers to find out which office will provide the training, support, etc that is needed. New agents should not just select the closest agency to their home! Believe me, I know.

Nov 08, 2019 06:46 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Ken! To your great question, Can you describe your biggest challenge regarding the jump to real estate?  I can say that not knowing what I was doing straight out of school could have filled an entire A-Z encyclopedia set!

I did my best and, thankfully, I was so driven, I was able to make it. I wish I had had a mentor who was also a trainer - 'street' real estate is totally different from what we learn in the classroom. That said, very simple lessons about the following would have helped me focus more when I began. 

  • Database/CRM - use and maintenance and prospecting
  • Time management - more importantly, time-blocking
  • Doing open houses each and every weekend - and how to prospect those open house attendees, week-in and week-out.
  • Phone time at the office would be a MUST
  • Training, training and more training about working your sphere
  • Farming - it works if you do it the right way and consistently. I wish someone had told me that...and that it takes 6 consecutive months to start seeing results.

Instead, I hired a coach (NINJA training) who ultimately got me on the right track and I'm so very thankful for that!

Hope this helps, Ken!

Nov 08, 2019 08:26 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

What a great question to post!  I was fortunate in that when I started, we could live off my husband's income for a couple of years. Some pp say have six months in reserve--I think you need a lot more than that.  Also, I was a on a small team with very supportive women who taught me A LOT about the business, inspections, etc.

The other challenge I had was finding the right selling style that fit my personality. There are so many courses and classes you can take the "teach" you how to sell.  I was uncomfortable with the agressive methods.  So eventually I found a style that worked for me and stuck with it.

Good luck!

Nov 10, 2019 09:52 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

I entered real edstate back in early 1995 when I met my husband who had just started his own brokerage.  As the "girlfriend" with marketing and administrative skills I was instrumental in helping him get his new business off the ground and I learned by going with him on every showing and Market Analysis. Since he was a top agent I also got the chance to write listing contracts and docs as well as write many offers before he talked me into becoming a Realtor. To be honest, I enjoyed all the administrative and marketing tasks ... but I finally gave in. Probably the most important thing I gained by being with him on every appointment was learning to be me and not replicate him. I am an extremely hardworker and found just being "me" was better than memorizing scripts. It did not take long (2 weeks) once I was licensed to get my first listing and sale (a double bubble at that) and from there I was off to the races.  Never looked back -- now going into our 26th year.  Over the years the business has changed but consistency to what works for me has never been my challenge. Just keeping up with all the work is.  I wish the best to all who are just starting out!!

Nov 10, 2019 02:13 PM
Ken Patterson
TPR Properties - Rocklin, CA
Roseville Real Estate, TOP Rocklin Realtor

Kat Palmiotti Debe Maxwell, CRS Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR Diana Dahlberg 

Thank you ladies!  Your insights and stories are great.  Several common themes and unique insights as well.  I'm super grateful for the responses to my question.  They have been very helpful!

Nov 14, 2019 02:29 PM