Every time I speak to someone about my business and career, it always arises that “they’ve thought about getting into property” or know someone who has. With so many people considering getting into property, and getting into real estate – why aren’t there more successful Realtors in the world? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there can only just be so many REALTORS in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition into 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 lots of great qualities to the table – lots of energy and ambition – but they also make a lot of common mistakes. Listed below are the 7 top mistakes rookie Real Estate Agents Make.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
So many new agents put all their emphasis on which PROPERTY Brokerage they’ll join when their shiny new license will come in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never been in business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, think that getting into the Real Estate business is “obtaining a new job.” What they’re missing is that they are about to get into business for themselves. If you’ve ever opened the doors to ANY business, you know that one of many key ingredients is your business plan. Your business plan can help you define where you’re going, how you are getting there, and what it’s going to take for you to make your real estate business a success. Here are the requirements of worthwhile business plan:
A) Goals – What do you want? Make sure they are clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you do not want to be the “jack of all trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you intend to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have probably the most success with buyers/renters and move on to listing homes after they’ve completed several transactions.
C) Market – that are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget – consider yourself “new agent, inc.” and write down EVERY expense which you have – gas, groceries, cellular phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re taking on – 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 first (at least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when will you break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how are you going to obtain the word out about your services? The MOST effective way to market yourself would be to your own sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you do so effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the Best Possible 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 an agent, you are in the positioning to refer your client to whoever you choose, and you should be certain that anyone you refer in will undoubtedly be an asset to the transaction, not a person who will bring you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” is there to make you shine! When they perform well, you get to take part of the credit as you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo out there is the New Real Estate Agent & New Mortgage Broker. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they are able to take over the world! They’re both focusing on the right section of their business – marketing – but they’re doing each other no favors by choosing to give each other business. If you refer in a bad insurance agent, it might result in a minor hiccup in the transaction – you make a simple phone call and a fresh agent can bind the property in less than an hour. However, because it typically takes at least fourteen days to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the result can be disastrous! You may find yourself in a position of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
A good closing team will typically learn than their role in the transaction. Due to this, you can turn to them with questions, and they’ll step in (quietly) when they visit a potential mistake – because they want to assist you to, and in return receive more of your business. Using good, experienced players for your closing team will assist you to 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 considering the quantity of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll come across 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 competition are definitely using every tool to 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 help you to pay for MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, tulum real estate in this area. Getting MLS access is among 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 will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area open to present to your clients.
B) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan – These days, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone includes a plan that will facilitate the amount of use that REALTORS need. Plan on getting at the very least 2000 minutes per month. You need, and need, to be accessible to your clients 24/7 – not just nights and weekends.