Every time I speak to someone about my business and career, it always comes up that “they’ve thought about getting into real estate” or know anyone who has. With so many people considering getting into property, and getting into property – why aren’t there more successful Realtors on the planet? Well, there’s only so much business to bypass, so there can only just be so many Real Estate Agents in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business enterprise, and how different it is from traditional careers, helps it be difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition in to the Real Estate Business. As a Broker, I see many new agents make their way into my office – for an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring plenty of great qualities to the table – lots of energy and ambition – but they also make a large amount of common mistakes. Here are the 7 top mistakes rookie Real Estate Agents Make.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
So many new agents put almost all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never experienced business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, think that getting into the true Estate business is “obtaining a new job.” What they’re missing is that they are about to go into business for themselves. If you have ever opened the doors to ANY business, you understand that among the key ingredients is your business plan. Your organization plan can help you define where you’re going, how you are getting there, and what it’s going to take for you yourself to make your real estate business a success. Here are the requirements of any good business plan:
A) Goals – What would you like? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you do not wish to be the “jack of most trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you would like to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have the most success with buyers/renters and then move on to listing homes after they’ve completed several transactions.
C) Market – who are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget – consider yourself “new agent, inc.” and write down EVERY expense that you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re dealing with – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc…
E) Funding – how will you pay for your budget w/ no income for the initial (at least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set on your own, when will you break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how are you going to obtain the word out about your services? The simplest way to market yourself is to your own sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you achieve this effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the GREATEST Closing Team
They say the best businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves. It requires a pretty big team to close a transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, Insurance Agent, Title Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, and sometimes more! As a Real Estate Agent, you are in the positioning to refer your client to whoever you select, and you should be sure that anyone you refer in will be an asset to the transaction, not someone who will bring you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” is there to make you shine! If they perform well, you can take part of the credit because you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo on the market is the New Real Estate Agent & New Mortgage Broker. They get together and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they are able to take over the planet! They’re both focusing on the proper part of their business – marketing – but they’re doing each other no favors by choosing to give each other business. In the event that you refer in a bad insurance professional, it might cause a minor hiccup in the transaction – you create a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the property in less than one hour. However, because Eiendomsmegler Oslo takes at least fourteen days to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the effect can be disastrous! You might find yourself in a position of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
A good closing team will typically know more than their role in the transaction. For this reason, you can turn in their mind with questions, and they will step in (quietly) if they see a potential mistake – since they want to help you, and in exchange receive more of one’s business. Using good, experienced players for your closing team will let you infinitely in conducting business worthy of MORE business…and on top of that, it’s free!
3) Not Arming Themselves with the required Tools
Getting started as a Real Estate Agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone can be an investment that will cost between $700 and $900 (not taking into account the amount of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll run into even more expenses when you go to arm yourself with the necessary tools of the trade. And do not fool yourself – they’re necessary – because your competitors are definitely using every tool to greatly help THEM.
A) MLS Access is just about the most expensive necessity you’re going to run into. Joining your local (and state & national, automagically) Board of Realtors will allow you to pay for MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, don’t skimp in this area. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It’s what differentiates us from your average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present any of the homes that we supply. With MLS Access, you should have 99% of the virginia homes in your area available to present to your clients.
B) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan – Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone has a plan that will facilitate the amount of use that REALTORS need. Plan on getting at least 2000 minutes per month. You need, and need, to be accessible to your clients 24/7 – not only nights and weekends.