There are many ways to get involved in the real estate business. Sellers, renters, property managers, bankers and builders all play unique roles in this highly competitive field. However, agents are the first who come to mind when one thinks of buying or selling property. If you enjoy looking at homes and helping others, you might consider a career in real estate. Here's what it takes to become a successful real estate agent.
1.) View Real Estate as a Business
First of all, most real estate agents are not successful. The reasons vary, but it's often because they think of what they do as either just another "job," or worse yet, a hobby. If you treat it like any another job, the best you can hope for is that it will be about as rewarding as the one you're leaving behind. If you treat it like a hobby, all you've done is find a more acceptable way to waste your time. Successful agents know they won't get far unless they hustle.
2.) Be Willing to Adapt
As a real estate agent, your primary objective is to help owners sell their properties. Selling is already difficult, whether you're dealing with houses, cars or vacuum cleaners. What makes selling real estate even harder is that people usually hang on to their properties for decades, making it unlikely that they will be repeat customers. This means you have to work harder to grow your business than the average car salesman.
The best solution is to work with both sellers and buyers, like the agents at Bairstow Eves. In years past, an agent's job was to list properties and wait for buyers to contact them. The more properties an agent had listed, the more sales they would make. However, the trend these days is to follow leads on people looking to buy homes. Thus, today's real estate agent is a "middleman," connecting buyers to listings and selling his expertise, rather than just properties.
3.) Establish Relationships
As an independent contractor, how you get your job done is up to you. However, you'll soon realize that one of the most important skills you can acquire is the ability to establish relationships with new people at every opportunity. Not everyone is good at this, but your level of success will reflect how far you're willing to go to put yourself out there. Anyone you meet could require your services at some point and it's in your interest to establish a trustworthy reputation they will all remember when the time comes.
4.) Be Willing to Learn
Your sellers will count on you to get them the best price on their homes. Most of your buyers will know very little about the process and will rely on you to explain each step to them in terms they can understand. Like the sellers, they're also looking for the best possible price and you're the only one who can help them meet somewhere in the middle. Successful real estate agents have to wear many hats, including those of a negotiator, marketer, appraiser, consultant and clerk. The learning never ends and you'll spend much of your "free" time developing new skills that can give you an edge.
5.) Be Willing to Work Hard
A career as a real estate agent provides lots of flexibility, but that doesn't mean it's any easier to become successful. You'll soon realize that you can't get to the top unless you're willing to work harder and longer than everyone else. The agent who makes himself available at all times will quickly rise above the rest. He uses social media to find leads, rather than just to pass the time. While you're sitting at home watching television, he's showing a house and working on a sale.
6.) Be Dependable
If your clients don't feel they're important to you, they might decide to drop you and find another agent. They may come to you with questions you can't answer outright, but the idea is to use your knowledge and connections to get those answers for them. Successful real estate agents don't ignore their clients' emails, calls and text messages. Instead, they learn to mirror their individual communication style (texts, emails or calls) to put them more at ease.
The bottom line is that being a real estate agent isn't for everyone. It's not a hobby you can use to make "easy money" on weekends and it's nothing like your average job. You can't limit yourself to working 30 or 40 hours a week and expect to find success. On the other hand, it's a great choice if you're willing to put forth the time and effort. You can grow your pool of potential clients and build your brand with each sale.
Jonathan Rogers has earned a living in the property market for many years. He likes to share his insights and ideas with an online audience and he writes regular for several property websites.