Every time I speak to someone about my business and career, it always comes up that “they’ve thought about getting into property” or know anyone who has. With so many people thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into property – why aren’t there more successful Realtors on the planet? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there can only be so many REALTORS in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it really is from traditional careers, helps it be difficult for the average indivdual 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 REALTORS bring a lot 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 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’re about to get into business for themselves. If you have ever opened the doors to ANY business, you know that one of the key ingredients can be your business plan. Your organization plan can help you define where you’re going, how you are getting there, and what it does take for you yourself to make your real estate business a success. Here are the essentials of any good business plan:
A) Goals – What do you want? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you do not wish to be the “jack of all trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you need to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have the most success with buyers/renters and then move ahead to listing homes after they’ve completed a few transactions.
C) Market – that are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget – consider yourself “new agent, inc.” and jot down EVERY expense which you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the brand new expenses you’re taking on – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (essential), etc…
E) Funding – how will you pay for your allowance w/ no income for the first (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when do you want to break even?
crete properties for sale ) Marketing Plan – how will you get the word out about your services? The simplest way to market yourself would be to your personal sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you achieve this effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the GREATEST Closing Team
They say the greatest businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves. It takes a fairly 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 position to refer your client to whoever you choose, and you should be certain that anyone you refer in will be a secured asset to the transaction, not someone who provides you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” are there to make you shine! If they perform well, you get to take part of the credit as you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo on the market is the New Real Estate Agent & New Mortgage Broker. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they can 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 agent, it might result in a minor hiccup in the transaction – you make a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the property in less than one hour. However, because it normally takes at least fourteen days to close a loan, if you are using an inexperienced lender, the effect can be disastrous! You may find yourself ready 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’ll step in (quietly) when they see a potential mistake – because they want to assist you to, and in return receive more of one’s business. Using good, experienced players for your closing team will assist you to infinitely in conducting business worth 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 which will cost between $700 and $900 (not taking into account the volume of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll run into even more expenses when you go to arm yourself with the required tools of the trade. And don’t fool yourself – they’re necessary – because your competitors are definitely using every tool to greatly help THEM.
A) MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you’re going to run into. Joining your local (and state & national, by default) Board of Realtors will allow you to purchase 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 actions you can take. It’s what differentiates us from your average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area available to present to your clients.
B) CELLULAR PHONE w/ a Beefy Plan – These days, 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 want, and need, to be available to your clients 24/7 – not only nights and weekends.