If you’ve stumbled upon this article your probably considering a career in Real Estate. There is a lot to consider and while I LOVE what I do, it’s not for the faint of heart!
HGTV has tons of programs that make being a Realtor look fun, glamorous and exciting but viewers beware!! Being a Realtor is a lot of hard work, long hours and isn’t a 3 house tour and done scenario. It’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement, it is fun looking for “the one”, but, before you make a decision lets cover the basics.
- You will need a license from the state you wish to practice in. This means finding out your specific state requirements, selecting which way you wish to complete the necessary course work (in person or online) and paying upfront for those classes. Not all classes are created equal! Make sure you do your research and select a class that works best for you. (TIP: don’t cut corners!! This information is more important that you think. Sign up with a reputable source so after you take your test you are actually prepared to hit the ground running)
- Do you have savings? Quitting your day job for an exciting career in Real Estate is a huge move (applause and cheers from the crowd for taking the leap!!). That cushy bi-weekly paycheck? kiss it good-bye (for now). In Real Estate being you own boss is the number one perk, it’s also the number one reason why people fail. If your used to having a steady paycheck, it’s time to shift your thinking. Your paycheck will now be 100% dependent on your ability to time manage, self motivate and hustle like tomorrow is end of days. I suggest having some saving set aside to help cover all the fees associated with becoming a Realtor (i.e. office fees, marketing, business cards etc.) You will also want to have some money set aside to cover living expenses while you wait for your first round of closings to come and go. Some say have one year of living expenses saved while others say if you have a year saved, whats your motivation? I say have money saved up!! Its better to have it and not need it, that to need it and not have it! But this doesn’t let you off the hook. You need to be prepared to put yourself out there like your life depends on it…because it does.
- Know your market! Select a market based on how well you know the area. This will help you on several levels. First, the better you know the area, the more questions you will be able to answer when fielding calls from potential clients. The more you know, the more they will see you as an expert in the field. Second, referrals! If you target an area you know well you will have a built-in clientele. Reach out to everyone you know (yes, literally everyone). Let everyone know you are now their Realtor of choice! Ask for names and numbers of potential clients from your contacts. This is no time to be shy, your next pay check depends on your database. Hit the streets you know will give you access to the type of client you wish to serve. Think about a great neighborhood, good park etc. As you walk around that area hand out cards. Use every outing as a chance to meet your next client or referral.
- The days of you leaving the house in your pj’s and slippers are over (whether or not is it appropriate in the first place is for you to reflect on). Act “as if” is my motto! When you leave the house check yourself out in a full length mirror and ask yourself “would I choose you as my Realtor?”. If the answer is no, go change. Make sure you are dressed to impress should you meet someone who turns into a potential business opportunity.
- Put yourself out there….BIG TIME! If you are shy, this may not be the career change for you. As a Realtor you will be calling strangers, door knocking, talking to strangers at home depot (and the mall, church, library, grocery store, gym, school functions, nail salon, hair salon, gas station, on the subway, while in line to pick up lunch…..see where I’m going with this?) It’s time to shake hands and kiss babies! You are running the marathon of your life and it takes fake smiles and courage. Practice how to introduce yourself and get comfortable with non sequitur’s because you’re going to need it.
- Get OK with not having days off (for the foreseeable future anyway). Realtors don’t get weekends or holidays off, especially in the beginning. Be prepared to work to the point of not knowing what day it is until you realize it doesn’t even matter. Sunday, Tuesday…it’s all the same thing. Once you have a pipeline established and a database that feeds the machine, that’s when you get to establish days off. What I will recommend doing from the start however is having a time of day all your clients know is when you are done taking calls until tomorrow. Let them know from the initial meeting that after, say 7 pm, you stop answering calls, texts and emails but will get back to the first thing in the morning. Record a voicemail greeting informing callers that any calls received after 7 pm will be returned the following morning. You can screen calls and make exceptions as you see fit, but its established and that’s all they need to know.
These are just a few points to consider while making a decision to start a career in Real Estate. It’s not for everyone but what I will say for sure is if you have what it takes, a career in Real Estate can change your world in so many positive ways. I love what I’m doing as does everyone on our team. That doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days, mean clients, slow months and not so amazing paychecks. It just means, we take the good with the bad and like being in the field and setting our own expectations.
If you have questions or have made the decision to take the leap and want to meet with a member of the team to talk shop, give us a call! Being a Realtor has changed our lives. If you think you have what it takes and are in our area, maybe joining an established team is a good place to start. We are always looking for go-getters with talent!
Head over to our CONTACT page to start the conversation. A member of our team will reach out to you asap!