Can a New Agent Make it in Today's Market?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

"Can a new agent make it in today's real estate market?"

This question has been asked and answered hundreds of times throughout Cyberland... both here at Active Rain and on other real estate forums.

Here are my thoughts...wonder

I tend to be a Positive Attitude kinda gal - but not in the sense that all you need is one of those (a positive attitude) in order to succeed. I believe that it's simply one of the requirements to succeed, ‘specially in our business where the vast majority fail. If you don't have a Positive Attitude, you will fail. So, while having a positive attitude is not a guarantee of success, a negative one is most certainly a guarantee of failure. IMO.

Neither am I believer that daily meditations or repetitive mantras will give you this positive attitude. No, I think that you earn your positive attitude by being PREPARED for whatever life throws at you; thus you have the confidence and assurance that you CAN DO IT - whatever that "IT" may be.

For rookie agent wannabe's... I suggest that you do not waste your time and your money and your emotions on this career if you are not prepared AHEAD OF TIME. To me, this means:

•         You have bought or sold a house before and somewhat understand the process from a consumer's perspective

•         You have the full support of your family (financial and emotional)

•         You know your way around your town

•         You know people in your town (100 or more)

•         You have the financial means to attack your career with all your heart (and time)

Am I saying that you can't succeed if you don't meet the above criteria? Of course not, but I won't pussy-foot around the fact that the odds are stacked against you already, so the more pluses you have in the preparation column, the better chance you'll make it to your second year. Today, qualified buyers and motivated sellers are not lined up around the block waiting for you to hang your license on the door. Heck, there aren't even that many UNqualified buyers or UNqualified sellers! The ones that are out there are tougher to deal with than in years past (when plenty of newbies failed by the truckload, too).

So... don't jeopardize your family's future by pursuing a dream you aren't yet prepared to pursue. If you're new to town, spend the next year learning your way around and making lots of friends. If you don't have any money in the bank, take a second job and build up a nest-egg. Prove to your family that you ARE prepared to do this so that they'll have 100% faith in you.

Yes, you CAN DO IT!!! But not just ‘cause you want to. Make like a Boy Scout and... y'know...

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Tim Maitski 08/22/2008 02:19 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
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Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

I think financial backing is more important now than ever.  Even seasoned Realtors are feeling the pinch. It is not inexpensive to start a business. Remember what they taught in Real Estate School; you should treat this like starting any other business. There might be those that can do it on a shoestring, but for the most part, it 'takes money to make money.'

Aug 27, 2008 04:01 AM #76
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Great Post! It is all about attitude in this business. If you want to suceed then you must stay positive and set goals! New agents need to realize it takes time and you cannot be afraid to beat the bushes. The business will not come to you. You have to go out and GET IT!!!

Aug 27, 2008 09:20 AM #77
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

I personally think that any "NEW" business takes time to get your name out and to build!  It takes some time and being dedicated to it!  It usually will work for you if you work!!

Aug 27, 2008 01:50 PM #78
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

This is a tough business.  The more you need the money, the tougher it is.  The key is to have enough staying power to learn the business and make your contacts.  Good post.

Aug 27, 2008 04:27 PM #79
Lisle Head
2Costa Rica Real Estate - International, IT
Costa Rice Real Estate - Costa Rica Real Estate Investments

It can happen but it takes a special person with determination

Aug 28, 2008 08:33 AM #80
Karen Faucette
Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate - Valdosta, GA

I think a lot of people think this job is easy.  I have never worked so hard in my entire life.  I was a paralegal for twenty plus years and I thought I worked hard.  I didn't have a clue.  I think a new agent can make it if they are willing to work harder and smarter.

Aug 28, 2008 04:21 PM #81
Emily Billings
Dwellings Unlimited, LLC - Farmington Hills, MI

As a new agent, it really helps reading about others experience. I'm going into my 3rd month in the Metro Detroit area, and was starting to get a little discouraged. I set a timeframe of 3 months for myself for my first transaction and am starting to realize I may need to extend that a bit. It is hard to keep a positive attitude 100% of the time.

Sep 03, 2008 01:38 AM #82
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Emily - I feel your pain. I returned to the real estate world last February after two years away and, even walking into a market I knew with a sweet sphere of influence I'd built over 12 years, it still took me a couple of months to see my first closing. It does take time and patience, neither of which someone attracted to a commission-based career is usually comfy with! I know I'm not! My best advice is to be out there in the world every chance you get looking at real estate, talking about real estate (without a salespitch, of course), learning about real estate. I find that even now if I'm not focused on the real estate sales part of my life, it quiets WAY down... And when I say "focus" I mean positively... not frantically wondering what I'm doing wrong!!!! (yep, I have those days, too)

Sep 03, 2008 01:45 AM #83
Mitch Ribak
Mitch Ribak - The Real Estate Success Network - Melbourne, FL

A positive attitude is a must, but there is so much more to be successful in this business, especially in this market.  I believe that you must have goals and a plan.  I have all my Agents write their goals down at the beginning of the year.  However, I don't want just a number, I want a plan on how they intend to reach that number.  Most Agents, in fact most business people, don't have a solid plan for their business.

On top of that, I believe in finding a program that will work great for you.  That was my purpose in starting The eHomes Realty Network.  It gives Agents who need guidance on how to make it in Real Estate.  It also guides Agents how to use the Internet to be successful.  When I first started in Real Estate back in 2001 I didn't know a soul in my area.  By implementing an Internet program, you can virtually go from no business to a successful business in a matter of a few months.  My average new Agent is making money within 3 or 4 months and then after their first year they are doing great.  It's a process and not a get rich scheme, but it works.  If you have questions on how to get started in Real Estate, drop me a note and I'll be glad to help!

Sep 04, 2008 12:07 PM #84
Johnathan Smith
Coldwell Banker DiTommaso Realty - Staten Island, NY

I really think this is the time for a new agent to learn. If you can learn and make it in this market you will be the best in a good market

Sep 07, 2008 05:26 PM #85
Greg Gamble
John L Scott - Developer Services Group - Seattle, WA

Being a positive person is great and a necessity.  However in this market, you better have a sound idea of what you are out to accomplish.  For me, 25 years ago, my broker owner told me I needed to specialize in something that I found motivating. For me that was mulit-family projects i.e. condominiums, conversions and town home projects.  I started in a geographic are that I knew (close to home) where I could spend a large amount of time researching, door knocking, and finding out what developers were up to. 

As time went on, I went to the core of the city of Seattle and found an office that was centrally located.  I split my time focusing on projects near my home and near my office.  For me that was the key to longevity.  I had a specific business plan, in which I had written how much money I needed to make.  I broke it down by month and then factored in how many construction sites I would have to knock on to get one listing.  I had a plan and worked it.  It helped me focus and stay motivated.  I learned everything I could about zoning, design, architecture, what was selling and what wasn't. 

After several condo projects I gained more confidence.  I never stopped prospecting which is crucial.  I also hooked up with a person who had a similar philosophy and business and we formed a team.  From there it simply took off.  But we never gave up on setting goals and a business plan every year. 

For agents in this market, you have a great opportunity.  Many agents without a firm and set plan, will go away and leave the business.  Too many agents in the last 5 years have been order takers, not sales people.  Get the best training possible for sales skills.  Be diligent and never give up.  Most important though is that you see the business thru the eyes of your clients.  Know how they feel, what they want and expect.  Have those issues addressed in your marketing proposal ahead of time.  AND always review your goal every week!

Sep 07, 2008 06:26 PM #86
Aida Pinto
Independent Real Estate Broker - Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196

....."Blog. Blogging is a long-term prospecting strategy. If you want to become a specialist in your market or in certain property types or certain client types, get blogging about them TODAY. In a year, you'll be glad you did."

I plan on being in real estate for the next ten years---that is why I started bloging (just three months ago and hoping this works)!  Thanks for this post!

Sep 08, 2008 12:35 PM #87
Brittney Mathes
EXIT Realty Consultants - Virginia Beach, VA

Thank you for the blog.  I'm a new agent of about a month and a half and its hard to sit around and stare at the walls sometimes.  I'm trying though!!!

How long have you been in Denver?  I grew up in colorado and boy do I miss it!!!!

Sep 12, 2008 03:18 AM #88
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Brittney - I've been in Colorado since 1994; moved here from San Francisco. Yep - it's a great place to live! KEep me posted on your successes, k?

Sep 13, 2008 01:57 AM #89
Pamela Elder
Gaines Realty - Inman, SC

You will never go wrong with a positive attitude!!! Hanging around people with the same drive, dreams and attitude will also help you go a long way.

Sep 13, 2008 05:23 PM #90
Dave Culbertson
Real Living Home Team - Mount Vernon, OH

Good Topic. Good Presentation. In my fifteenth year, but my daughter just finished first year in a tough market. She did great! She prospected, prospected, prospected. She has an upbeat attitude. She is liked by virtually everyone she comes in contact with. She also bartends three nights a week, which was great for contacts. She uses e-mail, Face Book, texts, and communicates with her database every way possible and whenever possible.

It is VERY POSSIBLE to do well if you work it.

Dave Culbertson


Real Living Home Team

1485 Yauger Road, Mt. Vernon, OH

ph: 740.393.3777

cell: 740-485-1641
fax: 740.393.1369

Sep 14, 2008 04:52 AM #91
Sandra Witman
Reis Real Estate - Bridgewater, MA

What is that old saying.....Sometimes we have to stand in the rain to see the rainbow! 

Sep 17, 2008 02:47 AM #92
Kristen Wahl
Re/Max Plus - Rochester, NY

Jennifer, thanks for blogging about a subject that's very close to my heart. I've been in the business just under 2 years and expected to be able to support myself more comfortably by now. It's definitely a difficult time to start and you are very right that it's not a step to take lightly. However, I adore what I'm doing and know in my heart that in the coming years I will be able to make a go of it!

One thing you didn't touch on is that every Rookie needs to be prepared to network like crazy! That's something I neglected at first, but I have since realized the importance of just putting yourself out there constantly.

Thanks again for a great and timely post!

Sep 17, 2008 04:27 AM #93
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

Jennifer, great job with your usual.  I am also one of the newer agents in town with less than 2 years in.  It is doing what I asked for after retiring.  It's just not doing it fast enough or with any consistency.  That is part of having the financial cushion to help out.  It's difficult to get established but it is well worth the effort.

Sep 17, 2008 05:24 AM #94
Kristin Hunteman
True Title Company - Clayton, MO
Escrow Closing Officer

Thanks for this post. I really needed to hear it right now.  It just strengthens my resolve to get out there and do the work that I need to do!

Sep 25, 2008 05:35 AM #95
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