So you got your license, now what?
Survival Guide for New Agents or what HGTV does not tell you about the industry.
As an inspiring new agent, who just got your license and looking to start showing million-dollar houses and collect hundreds of thousands in commission, you are probably wondering what lies ahead. Here are eight things that are likely to happen to you in your first year of Real Estate.
1)You will spend money before you make any.
Working as a real estate agent is actually running a small business, which has its own expenses and will require upfront capital. You would need to spend money on membership dues, MLS fees, office fees, signs, keyboxes, website, business cards, etc, etc, etc. If the Universe aligns perfectly for you and you land a first deal in your first month, that deal will take at least 30-45 days to close. Which means you won’t get paid for a month in a perfect world scenario. It is advisable that you have at least 6-8 months of reserves to get by.
2) No, you will not get rich quick.
As I mentioned above, sales cycle is about 30-45 days, however, deals tend to fall apart, buyers change their minds, sellers become greedy, and loans don’t get approved. So, be prepared for a rollercoaster of business and don’t spend money that you haven’t deposited into your account yet. Average real estate agent in the US is earning under $50K a year, and only 1% of agents earn well over $250,000 a year. So, while the possibilities are endless, it requires a lot of work and discipline to be able to reach and stay in 1% of the agents’ population.
3) Vendors, Leads, Tools and other Shiny Things.
Zillow just called you have this hot zip code available!!! You will be bombarded with phone calls an offers from different vendors trying to sell you “ the next big thing”. You will be offered CRMs, leads and marketing services, more leads and more tools that are “guaranteed to make your rich”. Real Estate Industry has a lot of money in it as homes are the biggest assets that people have and naturally a lot of companies want to make money in it. If you read history, you will know that during the 1800s Gold Rush era, those who made real money were not the actual gold diggers, but those who sold tools to the gold diggers such as shovels an jeans (remember Levi’s jeans?). Same goes for real estate. Be prepared to listen to countless pitches and choose wisely.
4) Friends and Family will not buy and sell with you.
As sad as it may be, but your friends and family will likely use another Realtor over you. Yep, Thanksgiving dinners won’t be the same any more. Get used to it and brush it off. They still love you.
5) Flexibile schedule and freedom of enterprenourship? Think again.
If you think you can work only when you want, you are down for a surprise. Your weekends won’t be the same any more, as you will be busy hosting open houses and showing homes. Some buyers love to be able to see homes on their schedule and you would sometimes have to drop everything and go show a home if your buyer wants to see it. Because if you don’t, or God forbid you take an out- of -town trip, your buyer may go to an open house by himself and would write an offer with a listing agent. Yes, you just wasted your time and did not get paid. See #2. So, even though you have no boss to report to, your schedule flexibility is very subjective.
6)You would have to work your butt off to make it and stay in the business.
According to National Association of Realtors statistics, 86% of new agents fail and exit the business within 24 months. Let that sink in! There is 14% chance of you surviving in the business. What do you do to define the odds? You work hard, and develop very thick skin. This is a sales gig after all and you need to sell. You eat what you kill and you gotta kill a lot. Discipline, accountability, dedication, hard work should not be foreign concepts to you from now on. This is a business and you should treat it as a business.
7)Rebates and discounts.
Yes, everybody thinks you are overpaid and your clients will be asking you for rebates an discounts. People will want part of your paycheck and will ask you to give them your hard-earned commission. Your friends, who you think will be your clients, will be the first to ask you for a rebate. Get used it, develop a good script how to handle it and again, have thick skin. But remember, people talk. So if you give a rebate to one client, chances are you will end up giving rebates to all. Race to the bottom is not pretty and it’s very easy to slip into that. So, learn how to articulate your value and handle it accordingly.
8) You are a sales-person, not a consultant or an advisor.
Your job is to sell real estate or more importantly to sell yourself (your services). If you think your phone will ring and everybody would want you to show them houses and list their homes with you, you are due for some rude awakening. Real Estate industry is highly competitive and everybody knows a Realtor. So, learn to sell your services to consumers. This is a sales job and you don’t eat until the deal is closed. Develop your sales skills, practice scripts, tag along some experienced agents, join a team, learn because 80% of your time will be spend on leads generation and conversion than actually selling real estate.
Regardless of the challenges that lie ahead, the profession can be very rewarding both monetarily and emotionally as you will be helping people to achieve their dreams. Good luck in your first year and happy selling!
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