A career in real estate is a very appealing choice for young professionals these days. With television shows like “Million Dollar Listing” and everything under the sun on HGTV real estate agents are showcased living a luxurious lifestyle full of fun, freedom and money! Who wouldn’t want that?
Although some of this is true, there is a lot that is not depicted on these programs and most new real estate agents are left to sink in a big pool of fish shortly after their careers begin. With statistics showing most real estate agents get out of the business within the first two years.
Here are 5 mistakes real estate agents make when first starting out in their careers and how to avoid them:
** HARD TRUTH ALERT… NO SUGAR COATING AHEAD**
#1 Thinking You Have The Freedom to Make Your Own Schedule
Although due to being an independent contractor as a real estate agent and essentially your own boss, this statement couldn’t be more wrong. I often hear new comers to the real estate business say how they chose a career in real estate so they could have the ability to choose their own hours, work from home and have the freedom to do what they want when they want to. NO WAY JOSE!
To be a successful real estate professional (which means making enough money to live and eat) you must provide service to home buyers and sellers. This means you must be available to them when they need you to show them houses (typically after regular business hours and weekends), open house and showcase them homes, provide them advice and negotiate contracts for them. NONE OF WHICH can typically be planned in advance. Some of my best times as a real estate agent have been spent at a clients kitchen table discussing their future plans, their past experiences and shaking hands with them sealing what in a lot of cases the biggest decisions of their lives. All of this being done in during dinner hour, on weekends, late at night and away from my family and social life.
Fulfilling and exciting as heck… but certainly not flexible. Being there for your clients when they need you must be your number one priority or they will most certainly find someone else.
#2 Not Having the Ability to Bounce Back from Rejection
This is something you should at least attempt to be good at in every day life. But it’s an absolute requirement in any real estate career. Stiff competition is the norm in the real estate industry. With home buyers and sellers having many options to choose from, chances are you there will be plenty of times when they don’t choose you. In addition to this there are other forms of rejection that you will face as a real estate agent. Rejection in offer presentations, negotiations, lost deals, lost leads…. just to start.
The stronger you get at accepting and bouncing back from rejection the more successful you will be. Hiding away and losing faith will put you on the fast track to failure.
On top of this, you must remember that you are responsible for coaching clients on how to bounce back after rejection as well. It’s a tough gig sometimes.
It’s human nature to have a hard time with this. But remaining positive and pushing through will help you exercise the muscle and get better and better at it.
#3 Starting Out With No Money Saved Up
The potential income of a real estate agent can be pretty high. However, you must take in to account what is actually costs to be a real estate agent. First the courses, licensing fees and registration. Then come monthly board fees, association dues and insurance. (all of this varies depending on where you are trading of course). Beyond this you will have to spend money on marketing, business cards, signage and such. Lastly, real estate is paid on a commission basis. The pay day coming not after a successful sale, but rather after a successful closing! So there is a lot of money going out before any is coming in. It is very very important to recognize this and be prepared. A good savings will help with this as you don’t want to go in to debt trying to launch a successful real estate career.
So you can see, there is a lot left out when showcasing the careers of real estate agents on television.
I would never want to deter anyone from choosing a career in real estate as it was literally the best decision my husband and I ever made and that of many others I am very sure. But these are just some tips that I have learned and watched others learn along the way.
These tips will help you put your best foot forward.
Until next time……..