Every time I talk to someone about my business and career, it always arises that “they’ve thought about engaging in 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 on earth? 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 enterprise, and how different it really is from traditional careers, helps it be difficult for the average indivdual 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 with 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. 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 PROPERTY Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license will come in the mail. Why? Because Prestige Aspen Greens have never experienced business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, think that getting into the Real Estate business is “getting a new job.” What they’re missing is that they’re 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 helps you define where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what it does take for you yourself to make your real estate industry a success. Here are the essentials 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 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 realtors tend to have probably the most success with buyers/renters and 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 real estate agent, inc.” and write down EVERY expense you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re taking on – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (essential), etc…
E) Funding – how are you going to pay for your allowance w/ no income for the first (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set on your own, when do you want to break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how will you get the word out about your services? The MOST effective 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 who are smarter than themselves. It takes a fairly big team to close a transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL, 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 make sure that anyone you refer in will undoubtedly 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,” is there to make you shine! When they perform well, you can participate 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 are able to take over the world! They’re both focusing on the right part of their business – marketing – but they’re doing one another no favors by choosing to provide 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 fresh agent can bind the house in less than one hour. However, because it normally takes at least two weeks to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the result can be disastrous! You might find yourself in a position of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
An excellent closing team will typically learn than their role in the transaction. Because of 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 one’s business. Using good, experienced players for the closing team will allow you to infinitely in conducting business worth MORE business…and best of all, it’s free!
3) Not Arming Themselves with the Necessary Tools
Getting started as a Real Estate Agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone is an investment which will cost between $700 and $900 (not considering the amount of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll run into even more expenses when you attend arm yourself with the required tools of the trade. And don’t fool yourself – they are necessary – because your competitors are using every tool to help THEM.
A) MLS Access is just about the most expensive necessity you are 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, don’t skimp of this type. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It’s what differentiates us from your own 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 homes for sale in your area available 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 least 2000 minutes per month. You need, and need, to be accessible to your clients 24/7 – not just nights and weekends.