One thing is certain; real estate is not for everyone. The harsh reality is that most agents are not successful and in this industry 20% of the agents out there are doing 80% of the business. But isn’t that true in most industries? If you think about it hasn’t it always been that way? There’s nothing unusual about the “little guys” being swallowed up by the “big guys”, right?
There are plenty of small pubs throughout any major city but very few famous nightclubs and guess who’s making the big money there? Coffee is another great example. We are all familiar with Starbucks and although there are plenty of alternatives to choose from we all know who the true leader in that industry is. There is and always have been the big guys at the top and the many smaller fish just making a living.
That being said, "Why even bother trying?" you might ask yourself. Remember, Starbucks began as one little coffee shop in Seattle and even the mighty McDonalds began with only one location in 1955. You don’t need to be that successful to make a good living in real estate and if you know how you can make it any business.
What are you really made of?
Regardless of what product or service you provide you are always selling yourself first. You’ve heard that before but if you don’t believe it than dealing one-on-one with clients is not for you. Being able to present yourself as a true professional is essential to success. Regardless of how talented you might be it won’t help you if you are the only one that can see it! Confidence is vital to success in any business and the willingness to take risk is just as essential. Also keep in mind that real estate runs in cycles; big money this month – maybe none the next. You must be able to budget your expenses accordingly and if you are the type of individual that needs the security of a “steady” paycheck than this is not for you.
My mom used to say that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease!” You need an outgoing personality to succeed in real estate. If you are comfortable making presentations to people and are able to develop a good rapport quickly than you are already half way there!
Learn the art of negotiation
Being a good negotiator is not as difficult as you might think. The real secret is learning to be a good listener. Your client will tell you exactly what they want (or need) and if you are willing to be receptive to different options and prepared to make an effective counteroffer than you will become an excellent agent.
Take the time to know your local market and the changes that will inevitably occur. Being knowledgeable in tax laws, zoning restrictions, current housing trends and other matters will make you a true professional in your field and clients will surely notice. It’s also good to know something about the different areas in your region such as information about schools, transportation, shopping districts, restaurants, etc. I’m not saying that you must be an expert in any of these fields but the more you are able to pass on to your clients the better off you will be.
A big part of being a real estate agent today is technology; gone are the days of “paper and pen”. If you are not familiar with all of today’s gadgets than you might consider taking some technology related courses. Computers, notepads and smart phones are required tools for today’s business climate and without them you would be at a great disadvantage to your competitors.
Find a friend
If at all possible seek a qualified mentor to help you to learn how things work in the real world. As a new agent you will want to be sure that you begin working for a broker that provides training and guidance for new agents. If you have no help at all you are almost certainly going to fail. Experience is priceless and with no one to share theirs you are going to have a very difficult time of succeeding.