Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 Resolution #9 - Obtain My Real Estate License

Guest Contribution from Darleen McCullen, Broker
Keller Williams Realty - Raleigh, North Carolina
Phone: 919.454.8864 / darleen@darleenmc.com

So...you're thinking of obtaining a real estate license. If you're enrolled in a real estate school, no doubt, you are studying hard and may be seeing visions of monstrous commission checks and living large.

Hold your horses, my friend! Don't jump in feet first. There are some things you may wish to consider before quitting your Day Job. Here are 5 things I wish someone would've told me:

1) Have at least 6 to 12 months of living expenses saved. You may need it! Since real estate is a 100% commission business, there will be up and down months. During those down times, your bills will still need to be paid. (It would look awful if you, as a REALTOR®, are selling the American Dream - but you're unable to pay your mortgage and other living necessities, wouldn't it?)

2) If you're planning to join a real estate company, do your homework. It's wise to interview a number of agents who currently work within the firm - as well as past agents if you are able to locate them. (The current agents more than likely will tell you all the things they like about the company - but the past agents may offer some insight as to why they left. )

Also, if you're new to the business, you're going to need training. And potentially lots of it. Real estate is a contact sport - and no two transactions are alike. (Ask any of the seasoned professionals. They'll tell you!) The more training you have, the better your chances are at being able to negotiate your way through complicated situations.

There are some firms that offer new agents very little training - and it's literally sink or swim. While it does take drive and initiative to succeed in real estate, it also takes training and sometimes a shoulder to lean on when you have questions or get discouraged.

3) Start making a list of everyone who know, love, and trust you. These people could potentially be your first clients or know someone who is looking to buy or sell property. With them, you won't have to build trust - it's already there. Send a mailing to these individuals. Here's a Sample Letter I sent to my contacts. Feel free to modify it and use it as your own.

4) Have some money set aside for marketing. When I first got into the business, I relied heavily on prospecting for new business and my sphere of influence - but did not market to those individuals I didn't already know (what is known as a farm). Taking a two-tier approach would've been helpful to build my business faster.

5) Sales is about building and maintaining relationships. It's also about rejection. So you must have a tough skin and not take things personally. There are going to be those people who you consider friends who may not use your services. I have read many blogs on ActiveRain of agents whose friends and family decided to go with another firm. It happens. Someone in real estate once said to me: "Some will. Some Won't. So What? Who's Next?"

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