This article contains information on how to become a successful real estate agent.
How to become a real estate agent is something more than 14,000 people search on Google every month in America and around the world. The reason cannot be far-fetched, real Estate makes the list of lucrative jobs that avail one the luxury and comfort of life if one becomes successful at it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate agents make an average of $45,610 per year—and the top 10% tier of agents earned a whopping $166,940 in 2015. Isn’t it thrilling helping people buy the perfect home and making tons of money from it? Rewarding and fulfilling at the same time.
Nevertheless, buying and selling real estate isn’t as easy as it might look. It’s a spectacularly laborious industry for new entrants as the veterans are readily using their connections and experiences to gain more clients while professionally maintaining the already gained customers. This can be confirmed by the words of Tom Ferry, a real estate expert, he estimated that 87% of all new agents fail within the first five years. Judging from that high failure percentage, one needs to carefully weigh the risks and rewards of joining this profession. These questions beg for answers- Can I invest the time needed to be a successful real estate agent? Do I have the resources to start off? Can I be patient enough until I become successful at it? Deciding to become a real estate agent is a significant move in anyone’s career journey and it takes a lot of patience to cross the hurdles that are associated with it at the beginning. Real estate is one of the widely-open profession for just anyone who can do what it takes. People from different walks of life/ field enter the business of real estate from various occupations and careers, and at various stages of their lives. Reasons for this differ among individuals but one question consistently comes from people looking to enter the real estate industry: “How do I become a successful real estate agent?” The ultimate answer lies within an individual. This depends on where you want to practice.
Becoming a real estate agent often requires a state license, the licensing procedures differ from state to state. The licensing examination and its requirement also differ while in some countries all you have to do is join the real estate association and understudy a veteran realtor.
General Requirements to Qualify to Become a Real Estate Salesperson
To be eligible to become a licensed real estate salesperson or agent, you must:
- Be at least 18 or 19 years old (depends on the state)
- Have a legal residency permit.
- Complete your required pre-license education
- Pass your state real estate license examination. Some countries do not require a license or examination.
Understand Your State’s Real Estate Licensing Requirements
As mentioned earlier, each state’s real estate licensing requirements are different. Your state’s real estate commission website will list the official pre-license requirements. Having this knowledge is the first step in your journey to the world of real estate. It will guide you in your dealing and preparation for the greater task ahead.
Apply To Take the Real Estate Salesperson Exam
It is imperative to follow the application process with your state so as to miss out on important information that will aid your application.
Timing is critical at this step so you can sit for your real estate agent exam soon after you finish your real estate licensing classes. This process will be state-specific and include a fee. Verify with your state’s real estate governing body for complete details. Some states require you submit fingerprints and pass a background check. This can take weeks to process. In many states, the application process must be complete before you can register or schedule your exam date.
Take a pre-license course
Some states demand people take pre-license coaching from a certified institution before they can sit for the real estate accrediting exam. The required number of training hours can vary significantly by province. For example, real estate agents must take 60 hours of pre-license training in Virginia while in California, they need 135 hours.
The course will educate you about real estate principles (real estate practices (like how to assign a property’s value), and the legal aspects of the business.
Pre-license courses can be taken in person or online, it depends on choice and learning preferences,
Step 2: Take the licensing exam
Return to your state real estate commission’s website for guidance on how to sign up to take the licensing exam. (Most states outsource administration of the exams to third-party testing centres.) Exams are typically divided into two portions: one on federal real estate laws and general real estate principles, the second on state-specific laws. Both typically consist of 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions, including math questions that require you to use a calculator. Most pre-license courses provide students with sample tests, and many real estate commissions publish sample questions online.
Odds of Passing
In some states like Florida, 50% fail the first time. The bright side is you can usually take the exam as often as you want over two years. But once two years elapse, applicants are required to retake the pre-license course.
Step 3: Active your real estate agent license
Should you pass the test? It doesn’t end there. You will need to:
- Activate your license through your state real estate commission’s website.
- Pay for membership to the local multiple listing service. Membership in your local MLS is required since you must use the system to list properties, which are then dispersed to websites like https://www.realtor.com.
- The service also enables you to easily pull a property’s tax information, analyze market trends, and see listings before they go on the market.
Step 4: Pass the Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Passing the real estate exam takes preparation. Statistics have shown that many failed this exam at their first attempt. It is highly recommended you enrol in a preparatory class that will enhance your chances of passing. Taking practice exams, measuring your strengths and weaknesses, and working through a comprehensive topical review will intensify your knowledge and equip you for exam day.
Step 5: Find a Real Estate Broker
Your passing grade on your state real estate licensing exam doesn’t quite mean you have a license yet. A real estate salesperson (agent) is licensed to act on behalf of a broker and may not act as a real estate agent independently. Consider finding a real estate broker early in your licensing process. To become a real estate agent and legally practice real estate, you must work under a supervising broker. Brokers are licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions and ensure that real estate salespeople are adhering to the demanded legal and ethical standards.
Pro of Becoming A Successful Real Estate Agent.
Know your objectives
Why do you want to become a real estate agent? You should be able to answer this question honestly, and conclude if the career is best for you. It is beyond finding and purchasing properties, you should have an interest in houses and their structural details.
Signing up with an already established real estate companies is one of the fastest ways of learning the nitty-gritty of real estate dealings. It affords you the opportunity of learning in a structured environment alongside other real estate agents. You can as well be employed by the company in the long run. Even if you want to practise as an independent agent, learning in an organized environment or real-estate school first will provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to succeed in your real estate dealings. It will help refine your communication skills and you will learn how to build a solid network with brokers, sellers, buyers, and real estate companies. You will also have more information on things happening in the real estate sector.
Find a successful agent or broker who’s willing to mentor you, or simply offer to assist them in their proceedings. Real estate process goes beyond selling and there’s is much to it. Processes like surveys, title insurance, liens, encumbrances, deeds, and much more must be understood. You’ll feel much more competent if you’ve at least seen these documents in the course of a few real estate deals. You do not want to be asked basic buyer or seller questions that you can’t answer.
Respond promptly to leads
Clients want to be responded to with little or no delay. Delay in response time is seen as incompetent and they may not trust an agent that lacks time management or keep them waiting for long before he or she responds. Responding to lead early makes you more credible. Be it via phone calls, emails, text messages, or social media. This will also make you open for more opportunities.
The world has gone digital and every business person is expected to follow the trend to stay relevant and be in the competitive space. Not leveraging on the available tools means you still depend on the traditional way of doing business and this will greatly affect how far and fast you can grow. Social media accounts, paid advertisement, social media/ digital marketing marketing, YouTube videos are ways of putting yourself out there for clients to find and meet you. Create ads that are targeted to the people who need your services. These things tell your clients you take your job seriously and you are up to date. The internet is an integral part of any business, and you’ll need it if you’re going to market in the real estate world.
Some agents with many years in the business continue to succeed due to referrals and past business they’ve gathered over the years, but new agents need websites and social networking to get a footing with today’s buyers and sellers.
Budget for a good web presence and consider hiring an expert. It doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, and having a professional-looking website can be invaluable.
In the meantime, contacting people and beginning your prospects list by the old methods will help you to get started while the slower online process builds. You can call, mail, and email every person you know, and you might land a deal sooner than expected. This will keep you in the game while you build your marketing efforts and business.
Plan Ahead for Challenges
The courses and test for licensing are less scary than most would-be real estate agents expect. The rude awakening comes later when they don’t find that easy income in the first few months.
The real estate business can be fun, exciting, and a very satisfying career, but you have to survive that first year or two to make it all come together down the road. Have a plan, build a database of prospects, and work hard to find the keys to success as a real estate agent.
Don’t Be Static
As a real estate agent, you need to move around and seek out places. verify the location, examine the building, its uniqueness and selling point so when clients ask for specifications, you have more than enough details to present.
Having a knowledge of the happenings around your neighbourhood is as important as knowing the names of the streets. What recreational centre is around the corner, who is who in the street, best restaurants, the nearest hospital, which mall offers the best price around, is there any police station closeby etc This information will help you in sealing deals with your clients. Clients ask a lot of questions about the area they want to move in or buy a property. They don’t want a place they will move into and be in a hurry to move out or a place not safe enough to have a property so having as much as possible about the neighbourhood will help you in answering their numerous questions which can help close deals.
Also, as a professional real estate agent, you should understand the local housing market and pricing strategy. It will also be of advantage if you can create a niche for yourself in the local real estate market that allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition. This will help in keeping you focused.
Build Your “Book of Business”
Some call this working your “sphere of influence.” Becoming a real estate agent is just the first step in a long career of working with buyers, sellers, investors, appraisers, loan officers, mortgage brokers, inspectors, title companies, and others.
Don’t overlook vendors. Their word of mouth and tips can go a long way. Host open houses, and volunteer to host some for your fellow agents as well. Open houses provide a great way to meet buyers and other agents.
Find a good contact management system into which you’ll enter all these contacts and prospects as you meet them. You’ll want to follow up with them over time, and you’ll need an efficient way to locate their information.
Don’t ever take advantage of a rich client just because you know they can afford whatever price you call. The right amount should be given to all clients no matter their economic standing. Always remember the world is a digital space and information circulates faster than we can ever imagine. Listen to your clients and find the properties that they want. Hyping the price makes you tricky and it might hinder you from getting referrals and future dealings. Don’t show them what you cannot provide, some agents are known to show clients pictures of a property they don’t have a hold on and keep telling fabricated stories to keep up with their lies. When a client asks for a specification be it in the structure or location, don’t promise you can get it when you cannot. Your reputation helps them to trust you and feel safe around you.
It is no news that people want to have business transactions with professionals. Someone who knows the onion and has the carriage of a reputable person. Appear neat and classic, don’t overdress or dress shabbily, don’t interrupt when a client is talking, make notes and pay attention to details. Respect clients preferences and proffer suggestions politely. Be genuine in the way you care about them. Have a business card so you can easily give it to potential clients. Keep it business, don’t ask client personal questions or go overboard with familiarity. If you are an independent agent, you should also have an office to work and meet with clients. The way you take your personal branding will determine how clients will perceive you and what they say about you to other people.