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 lucrative Realtors on the globe? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there can only be so many Real Estate Agents 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 indivdual to successfully make the transition in to the Real Estate Business. As a brokerage, I see many new agents make their way into my office – for an interview, and sometimes to begin with their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring plenty of great qualities to the table – plenty of energy and ambition – however they also make a large amount of common mistakes. Here are the 7 top mistakes rookie REALTORS 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 will come in the mail. Why? Because most new REALTORS have never been in business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, believe that getting into the true 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 organization plan helps 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 any good business plan:
A) Goals – What do you want? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you don’t want to be the “jack of all trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you wish to specialize in. New residential realtors tend to have 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 real estate agent, inc.” and write 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 are you going to pay for your budget w/ no income for the initial (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when do you want to break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how are you going to get the word out about your services? Godrej Ashok Vihar to market yourself would be to your personal sphere of influence (people you understand). Make sure you achieve this effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the Best Possible Closing Team
They say the best businesspeople surround themselves with people who 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 select, and you should be certain that anyone you refer in will undoubtedly be an asset to the transaction, not a person 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 can participate of the credit because you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo out there is the New AGENT & New Mortgage Broker. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they can 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 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 create a simple phone call and a fresh agent can bind the house in less than an hour. However, because it typically 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 know more than their role in the transaction. Due to this, you can turn to them with questions, and they’ll step in (quietly) if they visit a potential mistake – because they want to help you, and in return receive more of your business. Using good, experienced players for the closing team will help you infinitely in conducting business worth MORE business…and best of all, 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 is an investment that will cost between $700 and $900 (not considering the number of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll come across 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 competition are using every tool to help THEM.
A) MLS Access is just about the most expensive necessity you’re going to run into. Joining your neighborhood (and state & national, automagically) 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 among the most important things you can do. It’s what differentiates us from your own average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present the homes that we have available. 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 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 accessible to your clients 24/7 – not only nights and weekends.