Sound Off: What advice do you have for someone considering a career as a Realtor
A: Have a plan. Find a mentor. Be fiscally responsible.
Commit to making plans. A real estate brokerage that aligns with your core values and offers support in formulating a business AND marketing plan (they are different things) will give you the best opportunity for growth. Join a brokerage that encourages you to be yourself and play to your strengths. One that understands and appreciates you, rather than simply seeing you as a means of production.
Stand on the shoulders of giants. Find mentors who will be invested in your growth and success. Consider joining a high-performing team to learn the ropes. Ask for help and give help every opportunity you can. Keep learning and improving your skills.
Be smart with money. Real estate is a serious business, and should be treated like one. Start with six to 12 months of living expenses saved up, if possible. Put aside money for taxes in a separate account. Make a budget and stick to it, as income will likely be unpredictable for the first few years.
A career in real estate isn’t for everyone, but if you take the right steps and surround yourself with a collaborative group of good folks, you may find you love it as much as we do.
A: Ah, the glamorous life of a Realtor: gorgeous properties, fancy cars, flexible hours, loads of money.
Well, that can happen, but most agents are pounding the pavement, making calls, following up on leads, trying to get name recognition, trying to get a buyer to offer or a seller to list at the right price. Plan on getting texts/calls all the time.
When you get started, have six months of reserves. Plan on expenses for insurance, marketing, advertising, admin, photographers, drafters, websites, MLS fees.
Glean info from a successful agent. You will hand-hold some clients for whom this transaction is the biggest of their lives. It can be stressful when your buyer’s offer isn’t accepted or when your seller doesn’t get the expected price. Keep on keeping on. Be truthful and balance expectations.
Seventeen years ago my mentor gave me the best advice: “Know the inventory.”
And don’t burn bridges. The agent you alienate today will have a listing tomorrow that your buyer wants. Stay in touch & nurture your clients, offer info and updates.
It’s an awesome career and I love it, but be sure to “unplug” for a period each day, and schedule vacations, no matter how busy you are.
Paul Ybarbo, Sotheby’s International Realty
A: Twenty-one years ago I was a house cleaner by day and food server by night. One of my favorite clients was a real estate agent who told me that the best Realtors come from service industries. Well, the rest is history. A career in real estate is a wonderful option for people who enjoy service, adventure and hard work. If you have work experience as a tutor, teacher, nurse or anything that requires you to help, facilitate, organize and guide, you will probably love real estate.
A career in real estate is separated into three major sections: Helping people buy homes, helping people sell homes, and finding these people to work with. All require a love of service.
When working a career in real estate, you can make your own schedule, pick your own clients, and work as much or little as you like. You are basically building and running your own business. You can spend as little or as much as you like on promoting yourself. In fact, there used to be a time when spending a lot of money to promote your business was effective. These days, with social media, it’s more productive to spend more time promoting your business than money, which is really awesome
Karin Cunningham, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Realty