Haaaaiiiiiiii, guys! It’s Wednesday, AKA Snow Day, AKA School’s Out and It’s Raining Day. Yep, it’s doing absolutely nothing today. Stuck inside eating your milk sandwiches? Same!
Piggy backing off my Day in The Life post from Monday, I wanted to answer some commonly asked questions about the real estate profession that I have received over the years. And also, it was supposed to be a snow day, I have no appointments scheduled and the cabin fever is already setting in. It’s only 6 AM.
Question: What’s the First Thing I Should Do If I Want to Become a Realtor®?
Talk to a Realtor®. Talk to a lot of Realtors®. Talk to Realtors® who have been in the business for a couple of months, a couple of years, and then pretty much their entire lives. Ask them about the nature of the business, how they like it, what works for them. You will get blunt answers, nothing sugar coated or watered down. You’ll get a full account of what to expect in the different stages of the business. I absolutely adore this article written about the 10 different kinds of Realtors you’ll find in every office.
Question: I Really Do Want to Be A Realtor®. What’s Next?
Being a Realtor® is a massive responsibility. The basic rule of humanity is don’t mess with another person’s money, family, or house. In real estate, you are messing with ALL of that, so you need the proper training to
mess around perform the job effectively. You will need to acquire your license, which means you will need to go back to school. Depending on the state that you are in, the course could last a couple of weeks to a few months. Once the course is done, you will have to take the license exam. Then, depending on your state, you will receive a provisional license of some sort. It’s like a learner’s permit. You get to drive, but with adult supervision, AKA the supervision of a broker-in-charge. Which brings me to the next question.
Question: I Have My License! Now What?
During your classes, if you have the opportunity, go to check out a few of the brokerages around you. See how the brokerage operates, what kind of education they have, how the commission structures break down, the culture of the brokerage, etc. Do the Realtors® seem happy there? Are they welcoming and accommodating? A lot of your success will depend on the culture of the office and what the office can do for you while you try to get started. Once you have chosen the brokerage you want to join, the next big question is…
Question: Should I Go It Alone or Join a Team?
Here’s a statistic for you. 75% of Realtors® who join the business will quit in the first year. Why? That would have to be another blog for another day, but the main folly is that the expectation of jumping right in and getting leads and sales right off the bat is shattered. I hate to be the one to tell you all this, but Realtors® are paid by commission only. Which means if you don’t have clients or sell houses, you will not get paid.
Ask yourself, do you have a strong enough sphere that will help you in your first year and do you have the wherewithal to ask repeatedly for business from your sphere. If the answer is “no,” you may want to consider joining a team that has a system for creating and retaining leads. You will ultimately make less in the beginning than if you were on your own, however, if you are with a good team, you could potentially be making MORE because the leads are consistent. It really is all up to your comfort zone.
What I did was joined a team with my mother and I learned the ropes for about 2 years. Then I became my own agent and have been that way since. Would I have been as successful now if I hadn’t started out as a buyer’s agent? Probably not. But it’s really up to you and your self awareness when it comes to this question.
Question: Wait, Let’s Go Back to the Money Thing…I Don’t Get Paid A Salary?
Nope. In real estate, you are 100% commission based. For this, I highly suggest you have a nest egg of about 6 months saved up if you do not have another way of getting income. Your chances for success increase if you aren’t too worried about the money not coming in. Again, this is where a lot of agents will fail. I was talking to a guy friend of mine this past weekend and he was “toying” with the idea of getting his license. I asked him if he had money saved up and he said “no.” He is a big guy, almost twice my size, and I wanted to shake him. Here’s why.
Question: You Make Selling Houses Look So Easy. You Must Be Rolling in the Money, Right?
No! No, no, no! My BUSINESS makes a lot of money. I pay myself a salary from my business monthly, just like a normal employee. I don’t drive a fancy new car, I don’t live in a massive house, I don’t even buy designer clothes. That money that I’m “rolling in” goes back to the business. It pays for marketing, technology, signs, listing photos, gas to drive from appointment to appointment, my MLS dues, etc. I could go on and on. I was like a lot of young Realtors® out there, skirting by, living from sale to sale. Then last year, I got woke. Yes, I said it. During a tax appointment, I realized I had no idea where my business money was going. Every. (Clap) single (Clap) penny (Clap) is to be accounted for so that when times get tough, I may have to cut corners on the personal income level (yay Ramen) but my clients NEVER feel the pinch. My business survives and so will I.
I believe that I am going to keep this going every once in a while. Of course, there are plenty of questions left to be answered but this is a good starting point, don’t you think?
Allen Tate Company
You have questions? I have answers! Leave your comments below!