Whew! You’ve passed your real estate agent licensing exam. So, what’s next? The world of real estate can provide an exciting and rewarding career; however, not without its challenges. How and where can one begin?
Here are five tips for the successful real estate agents of the future to consider when embarking on this new career. Many of these might even be useful for more experienced agents, as the market and technologies are ever-changing.
Think Like a Small Business Owner
Because the majority of real estate agents are independent contractors, they need to think like a small business owner. This requires not only thinking about marketing but also keeping an eye on expenses. Costs can quickly skyrocket and new agents need to constantly consider the ROI before investing in new equipment, subscriptions and other services that they think will deliver an immediate benefit. Of course, agents are not paid until they sell, but there are so many activities that need to take place in order to make the sale happen. Recognizing this reality but not turning it into frustration is key.
Partner With Other Agents
The real estate industry is hyper-competitive, and with commissions at stake, you might be hesitant to share. However, large or complex transactions often require execution from a team of professionals. You can offer to assist more experienced agents on a transaction, first negotiating the percentage of the commission. It helps you not only earn some income but also gain valuable industry and local market experience.
Build Your Online Presence
While real estate deals with the physical aspects of the industry, it’s actually the virtual part that delivers the leads. According to data compiled by the National Association of Realtors, the top three tech tools that provide real estate agents with the highest quality of leads are social media at 47%, an MLS site at 32%, and a broker’s website and listing aggregator site (i.e., Zillow), both at 29%.
As such, successful real estate agents are technology-fluent. They take the time to create an online presence — for both their properties and themselves — that captures the attention of buyers who are using the internet and other digital media to browse listings.
Agree To Work With Buyers, Not Just Sellers
A common real estate saying is, “If you don’t list, you won’t last.” However, this isn’t always true. While real estate agents make the most commissions by listing properties and representing sellers, you can still find a profitable niche and diversify their income representing buyers.
The commissions may be lower, but new real estate agents can establish valuable relationships with buyers. Moreover, when the buyer is ready to sell, they will know who to contact to list the property.
Position Yourself as a Consultant
Purchasing or selling real estate is a big decision for most, and clients don’t want to deal with agents who are focused on the hard sell. “In fact, there are many times when separating yourself from the stereotype of a pushy real estate salesperson can help your career,” advises The Balance.
Instead, as a new real estate agent, position yourself as a valuable resource for prospective clients. For buyers, you can provide access to financial tools that educate them on various mortgage and credit products. For example, suggest the use of a credit monitoring and management tool like ScoreMaster to help clients increase their credit score and make them eligible for a more attractive rate from a lender. Of course, a better rate can also allow that buyer to consider purchasing a larger home, which in turn would yield a higher commission.
Providing industry trends and “inside” information to prospective clients that they cannot get while casually browsing the internet can certainly help a new agent become a consultant and stand out from the crowd.