This week’s column is dedicated to all those working professionals who are thinking about making a job change into real estate. For years, I have heard people say things like, “anyone can sell real estate,” or “if you can fog a mirror, you can be a real estate agent,” or “all an agent really does is drive a fancy car and collect commissions.” I sometimes wonder if those same people ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge someone else until you have walked one day in their shoes.” I, too, was guilty of thinking that anyone could get into the real estate business and succeed. As usual when one actually does make the leap, they quickly find out that it’s not so easy, it’s much harder than it looks, and there is far more to it than anyone planned on. With that warning, there are a few ideas that I can happily pass on to anyone to make the transition easier and more successful. Here they are in no particular order:
1) After you passed real estate school and your state exam, spend a good month or so interviewing three to five brokerage firms. Ask around town about their reputation, ask other agents about various firms, do your homework online, and check with the local board of realtors. Your goal here is to find the right match for you, your business plan, and the benefits of being associated with that firm.
2) Get a mentor on day one. Make sure whatever firm you go with, they have a well-developed and proven training program. In addition to being assigned a mentor to guide you, having them help you and train you is the most ideal situation.
3) Think seriously about joining a team. Many times, a team will provide you with leads so you can start earning a commission right from the start. Maybe even more important than that is the support a team provides from hands on training to financials and everything in between. One could have their learning curve time cut in a half by joining a team.
4) Set aside some money to be a real estate agent. The truth is, it will take a good six to eight months to start get closing in the pipeline consistently. It would be well advised to have either a savings you can fall back on, or an alternate source of income. Taking listings and operating in the real estate business is not cheap. You will incur a fair amount of expenses and you need to a plan on how to afford them while sustaining a living.
If you are in Colorado and are thinking about getting into real estate or have just passed your state exam, we would be happy to speak with you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at the information below. We would love the opportunity to explore how we can help you succeed.