Because an agent wrote me to ask if anyone had a book with a step-by-step plan for getting from your newly minted real estate license to your first closing – and the answer was “Not that I know of,” I posed the question to my Active Rain friends.
I gave my opinion and they agreed – after you finish your real estate classes, you need to keep learning.
Learn your market:
- Are prices going up or down?
- Which neighborhoods are selling best – and what are the differences in price between neighborhoods?
- Preview as many homes as possible, so you know more than you can read in the MLS listing.
Then, learn your forms. Become absolutely familiar with the listing forms, the offer forms, the addendums, the disclosures – everything.
Several agents recommended filling out forms for pretend listings and offers, and role playing to get comfortable with talking to clients about the forms.
All too often, agents write offers and leave critical fields blank – causing their offer to be rejected outright, or forcing the listing agent to go back and ask them to finish their work. Since you want to build a reputation as a true professional, you don’t want to be one of those agents doing a sloppy job.
Learn how to talk seriously with clients:
It isn’t easy to tell a homeowner that they really, really need to do some house cleaning or to show them why their house is worth $30,000 less than they’d like to get for it. It’s much easier to just go along with them – but as a professional you need to protect your own time and investment. Marketing a home that simply won’t sell is not a wise idea.
If you have the opportunity, shadow an established agent to learn how he or she handles these situations.
Learn to say no:
Sometimes, when a seller is totally unrealistic, it is in your best interests to say no to a listing, even if you think you “need” it. You’ll waste time and money and cause yourself (and your loved ones, by extension) a lot of anxiety.
You also need to say no to becoming what is known as a “pop-tart” real estate agent. Don’t go running off to show a home to someone who calls. Instead, insist that they meet with you first. You need to know that they really can make a purchase and aren’t just looking at homes as a way to entertain themselves (or worse).
This one is for your safety as much as it is to protect your time and money. (Gasoline still isn’t cheap!)
After that comes self-promotion, so you connect with that first client.
Self promotion is, of course, is the topic of hundreds of articles. It can cost nothing but your time or you can invest a small fortune. Most agents entering the field don’t have a small fortune to spend, so I wrote an e-book that lists 107 ways to market yourself with little or no money.
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