Four tips for future agents to jump start their career
By Herman Chan Posted on August 19, 2010
Earlier this month, a discouraged viewer from my Habitat for Hermanity web series emailed me for advice about embarking on his new profession as a realtor.
“I’m really struggling with how to really get clients and make that first sale. I’m young and have no real connections so to speak. Is there an easier way? Do you have any advice for a new agent looking to jump in and get through the struggles and tribulations that come with entering this industry?”
I told him that launching a career in real estate is indeed an uphill battle, so armor up! The attrition rate for newbies is dismal, with many agents abandoning the business in 6-12 months or less. How to avoid this tragic fate? My two cents to him were as follows:
Some companies like ziprealty.com or redfin.com feed agents online leads. Their websites are widely used by prospects (and even some agents, albeit surreptitiously) and have countless number of people who register to access their sites. This is attractive to brand new realtors whose Rolodexes are empty. You have an instant bundle of leads.
But there are 2 big drawbacks. First, because these companies supply the agents will clients, they retain a ginormous cut from your commission. They arguably are doing the hard part for you, procuring business, and that will cost you dearly. Secondly, these companies give clients massive rebates from your commission. This practice is highly frowned upon by the majority of brokerages…so beware that your offers (or you?) might be shunned by listing agents. However, if you are willing to put up with these downsides for the naissance of your career, these online companies could be a viable option to slam out a lot of deals quickly and build a strong referral base for when you leave.
THE POWER OF TWO:
Partnering with another agent is a great strategy to double your exposure. Your sphere of influence is twice as big, which will only increase your chance of closing your first deal. In order to cast a wider net, it might be best to align yourself with an agent who has a different demographic group than you. For example, younger & older (mom/daughter), guy & gal (husband/wife), gay & straight (Will & Grace). The opportunity to snag your first escrow will arise faster by combining your networks. The biggest downer of the power of two is the power of half. You split share half the commission.
ASSIST A TOP PRODUCER:
If you just aren’t ready to take the plunge as a full-fledged agent, try to get someone to take you under their wing. Preferably, this someone is a smashing success of a realtor. Be an executive assistant for a year. True, you will be working for someone else, but you will learn all the tricks of the trade from a successful agent. Plus, it’s a steady paycheck compared to closing no deals on your own.
Absorb all you can the first year and when you are confident enough, branch off later and fly solo. (Who knows? If you two hit it off, your boss may invite you to be co-agents/partners down the line).
JOIN A TEAM:
This is an offshoot of #3 and #4. Sometimes, you can join a team of agents where there is a top head agent, and there is a buyers specialist, listing specialist, transaction coordinator, assistant, etc. You can get your feet wet in the business and accumulate real life experience from the get-go. However, beware that you may paint yourself into a corner if your team member responsibilities are too specialized. When you eventually leave the team, you may find yourself not as well-rounded.