While you may be chomping at the bit to start showing and selling properties, don’t rush in. Before you start scheduling open houses and investing money in marketing efforts, you need to spend some time planning and organizing to ensure that you start off on the right foot. The more organized you are, the better you will manage your time—and increase your chances of early success. Follow this advice on how to succeed in real estate as a new agent.
1. Evaluate your personality
Real estate isn’t for everyone, and personality traits are as essential as education to an agent’s success, according to the BLS. Many real estate agents work as independent contractors who earn only commissions. They must be independent self-starters unafraid of risk or change. Real estate runs in cycles, with brisk sales periods followed by seasonal slowdowns. Success requires deft handling of highs and lows. Also key is a pleasant nature, maturity, good judgment, trustworthiness, honesty, and enthusiasm for the job.
2. Develop good verbal skills
Closing a deal takes the ability to discuss the terms of an agreement in layman-friendly language. Presentations are a major part of life as a real estate agent.
3. Brush up on people skills.
Many successful real estate agents obtain leads from referrals. Building real estate sales business demands regular networking and maintaining strong contacts.
4. Learn the art of negotiation
Successful real estate agents use the power of persuasion to encourage clients to make or accept reasonable offers. Effective negotiation requires understanding parties’ needs and wants, staying open to multiple options, anticipating counteroffers and preparing responses in advance.
5. Higher education
Consider earning a four-year undergraduate degree. A college education isn’t essential to a real estate career, but a 2016 study from researchers at Florida International University found a bachelor’s degree increased a sales agent’s likelihood of success by as much as 160 percent. Researchers defined success as closing on more dollar volumes than half of all other brokers. According to the BLS, courses in finance, business administration, statistics, economics, law, and English can benefit a real estate career.
6. Make continuing education a priority
Experts at the University of Cincinnati say effective real estate agents keep up with business trends and issues that could affect clients. Tax laws, infrastructure development, and zoning rules change often. The best real estate agents stay on top of it all through ongoing training at local real estate academies, regional associations, and colleges.
7. Take technology courses
Sales brokers rely on sophisticated computer systems and programs including spreadsheet software, database analysis, and geographic information systems. Master the newest versions for maximum success. Real estate agents who fail to keep up with technology lose market share in an increasingly Internet-driven world.
Find a mentor in an experienced broker-salesman to provide new insights and track down key business resources. The Florida Association of Realtors advises looking for guidance from an established real estate agent who is trustworthy and has character and integrity. Skip real estate agents who say they lack time to provide help.
9. Prepare to work long days
Real estate agents have unpredictable schedules. Successful real estate agents understand they must be available to their clients at all hours. Don’t balk if a sales prospect wants to meet on Saturday or Sunday, or at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.
- University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business: Real Estate Career Paths
- S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-2016, Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
- University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business: Real Estate Brokerage and Leasing
- Florida International University: Education and Success in Real Estate
- University of Texas: So You Want To Work in…Real Estate?
- REALTOR Magazine Online: Negotiating
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