Getting the actual real estate license is the easiest part of becoming an agent. While our agents-to-be start stressing over whether or not they’ll pass the test, our team at Geo Properties try our best to prepare them for the real challenges ahead. So if you’re thinking of getting your license, make sure to plan accordingly. Here are 5 tips to help you make it in the business, followed up with additional comments from our newest agent, Katie Cocuzzo.
1. Make sure to have some side income when you first start out
Oh, this is probably one of the more vital tips for those starting out. If you think you’re going to start earning six figures right off the bat, think again. It takes a while to get the hang of the entire real estate process, things like paperwork, transactions, mortgage lenders, inspections, delays, etc. If you don’t have a side job, or some money saved up, then you’re more likely to give up and search for a more stable 9-5 job.
“Having supplemental income will also keep your integrity in tact, meaning, you won’t need to make a sale. Clients look to us for advice and trust us implicitly, that is a big responsibility. If your priority is making a sale, then your clients best interests are not coming first.” – Katie Cocuzzo
2. Choose a smaller agency
Many agencies will reel you in with their multi-million dollar expertise and bajillion successful agent awards. But what you’re really going to get is a solitary learning process, with a corporate learning curve. It’s better to go with a smaller agency when you’re first starting out. Why? Because it’s easier to ask questions. Most of all, there will probably be no desk fee in a smaller firm. Yes, most agencies charge for a desk.
“Competition doesn’t exist at Geo, we are a team first and foremost. Our clients come first, and always get the expertise of 4 agents for the price of 1. Some agencies will turn you into a shark, but Geo teaches you how to swim with the fishes and be a team player.”
3. Get a mentor
Part of our training process involves shadowing agents for a few weeks. We start by showing them how to file paperwork in the office, as well as having new agents assist us on client work. We even have them come along to open houses and showings. Many, I repeat, many firms don’t do this. And the reason that we do is to make sure that once you’re on your way, you’re really on your way. In other words, we want you to be as self-sufficient and confident as possible.
“Had I not been with Geo while I studied for my exam, I don’t think I would have absorbed the plethora of information being thrown at me. Amidst the endless studying, I simultaneously worked on transactions that mirrored the course load. Being given the opportunity to actually implement what I was learning is the only reason why I passed that exam.”
4. Dress for the part
The fact that this needs to be a tip says it all. Once you’re an established agent, it’s easy to get comfortable with the job. You’re not required to be in an office unless you’re meeting a client or you have a meeting. So in result, some agents often times dress casually on the job. And by that we mean pajamas (yes, we said it), torn jeans, or tops that reveal side bra straps. Dress for success.
“As my Mom always said, ‘dress for the job you want. Not the one you have.’ I don’t want a job that involves pajamas, do you?”
5. Make sure you like…people
You read it correctly. Yes, to be a successful agent, it’s vital that you like people. Agents have to deal with bizarre behavior on the daily. And why wouldn’t they? Buying a home is an emotional milestone and the process can be frustrating at times. So if you’re thinking about becoming an agent, make sure to check the following:
1. You enjoy meeting new people
2. You’re OK with communicating via email, text, phone, bird calls…you get the point.
3. Scheduled a Sunday morning brunch with your gal pals? Be prepared to get a phone call from a client who’s asking to spend their Sunday afternoon looking at the newest condo on the market.
“Oh I get to make my own hours! Wrong. Dead wrong. Your clients dictate your schedule, and you have to be ready at a moments notice to show a new listing, submit an offer or field a question. If you don’t LOVE what you do, this will become cumbersome quickly. Your heart has to be in it. Clients will be demanding of your time, but why wouldn’t they? They have families and full time jobs to manage while simultaneously dealing with the biggest financial decision of their lives. This is my full-time job so it doesn’t have to be theirs.”
4. Conflict resolution isn’t an issue for you. We once interviewed someone who boldly stated that conflict makes her uncomfortable so she avoids it as much as possible. Wrong answer.
5. And finally, make sure you’re someone that can take compliments. Once you’ve assisted a family purchase their dream home, they’ll thank you for it, a lot. If you’re lucky enough they may just become good friends to you. Like we said before, real estate isn’t just having a license and selling houses. It’s about working with people on one of the most emotional (and expensive) transactions of their lives.
“This business is about compassion, not sales. Sometimes you are an agent, but more often you are a counselor. Buying or selling a home is intense, and can be an emotional roller-coaster. I’m not selling my clients anything. I’m educating them on the process and giving them tools to make the most profitable (both emotional and financial) decision possible. Then I work hard to ensure the transaction is seamless and stress-free.”