Author Topic: Who is a realtor/real estate agent?  (Read 1072 times)

BAMxi

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Who is a realtor/real estate agent?
« on: October 17, 2017, 05:00:23 PM »
I'm in the early stages of getting my license and starting to meet with some brokers in my area. I am a property manager so i'm not new to the industry but this would be a change to commission from my current salaried job. and obviously the hours would be way different. I do have a wife who stays at home with our 1.5 year old, so I'm not trying to jump straight into being an agent, I'd plan to keep the current job at least until I can get my feet under me. though i have more than enough savings to live for a few years and build the biz, if I really wanted to (I don't). Just wanting to get some honest feedback from anyone who is successful or making it as an agent.

1. what have you found that works best for getting new clients?
2. Did you find that you were able to control your schedule or did clients end up monopolizing every moment of your free time?
3. Would you go into real estate again knowing what you know now about the industry/market/your business?
4. What advice helped you when getting started?

I have always thought about doing this and I am at the point that I feel like it's going to be one of those "what if" things if I just let it pass me by. I'm fairly entrepreneurial and have a good amount of knowledge and resources that I think would set me apart from other agents if I market them successfully. I also don't need to make a ton of money to get by, but obviously would like to make more money instead of less money. We are very frugal and have no bills other than mortgage and home related expenses. I had pretty much written off a career as an agent and took the property management job as a "close enough" gig that was more stable and predictable. After working with a realtor a few months ago when we purchased our house, he reshaped many of my preconceived notions about never being able to have any sort of personal/family life because of showings/client meetings/etc. I also really worry about being able to generate enough leads to make anything of it, but I know the people are out there, as my market is fairly strong, it's just getting them to choose me over all the other more experienced agents seems daunting. My realtor eased those concerns a little, at least enough for me to think this could be doable, so it pulled me back in to thinking it could be for me. In my current job, I worked 12+ hour days for 31 days  in a row over the summer to prepare our units for new tenants after previous tenants moved out (student housing so all leases end on the same day). I swore I'd find another gig before next summer and would absolutely not do that again (for the fourth time).

Anyway, would love to just get a bit of a conversation going with anyone with experience to share.

EAL

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Re: Who is a realtor/real estate agent?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 12:37:13 PM »
Hi BAMxi - 
I am a Realtor and started working in the field August of 2016.  I did have some of a background in real estate as I own a few rental properties and also had worked for a family that owned dozens of rentals for several years beforehand.  My biggest concern was how long it would take me to establish myself and generate regular income.  I too, saved up a good size nest egg so I could quit my full time benefited job and have some security.  Initially, I wanted to start out part-time but the broker I worked for wouldn't allow it.  Going full time was the best decision I could've made.  Now, every market it different and I don't know how easy or difficult yours will be to break into.  But, be ready to buckle up several hundred dollars a month to get your name and face out there so people get used to seeing your name and face and you become the name that comes to mind when they think of real estate. 

1.  I'm not sure yet what didn't work but I wanted to be seen a little bit everywhere.  I advertised online, offline (newspaper, sponsorships, handing out swag with my info on it).  Tell everyone you know you are a realtor.  Give cards to everyone and leave them everywhere. I paid to be advertised on Zillow for a while and I did get some sales and clients from that but no longer use that. The biggest thing is hanging in there until you are established and the people that liked you will recommend you.
2. My clients run my life and that is my fault.  Unfortunately if you are not available when they snap their fingers, they will call someone else.  As a new agent, you need every sale you can get and then for them to potentially refer you to friends and family in the future.  At first I jumped and bent myself to their needs because I had to.  Now, I control my schedule a little more.  There is an established agent in my town who is very successful who doesn't even answer her phone on nights or weekends.  You can get there, but not at first.  I once called a guy back after 40 minutes and he had already called another agent.  My husband is getting his license now because I am buying my brokerage and I know he will be much less accommodating than I am.  There is a way to establish your rules about when you will meet and return calls, etc.  I just haven't mastered it yet. 
3.  Yes, I would go into real estate.  But you have to be in it for the long haul.  Lots of people get their licenses and half ass it and don't commit and they fail.  Anyone I know (at least in my town) who has committed to a career in real estate and stuck with it and is willing to work hard, has done well for themselves. 
4.  Have money set aside to advertise.  Your name has to become familiar and be able to wait it out.  The first 4 months, I put so much money into advertising and sold 1 house and had the buyer and seller but then the next 10 or so months, I have sold about 22 additional properties.  It takes a minute for people to come to you and you don't want to give up right before people start buying from you.  Hang in there and if you're not ready to do that, don't even start. If you can wait it out, you'll make it. 

Car Jack

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Re: Who is a realtor/real estate agent?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 02:04:41 PM »
I'm not an agent but a guy I worked with became one part time.  He was building his own house and wanted to get all the commission himself, I think.  He was working full time and then nights and weekends in a RE office once he got his license.  He worked doing this for 2 years.  He received zip.  Nothing.  Nada.  He told me that when you're a part time agent, you get to sit in the office and answer phones, do favors for agents who are with clients and be a gofer.  You don't get paid.

Don't event think of doing if if you're not willing to work every hour in a week as an agent.

Optimiser

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Re: Who is a realtor/real estate agent?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 03:21:27 PM »
I'm not an agent but a guy I worked with became one part time.  He was building his own house and wanted to get all the commission himself, I think.  He was working full time and then nights and weekends in a RE office once he got his license.  He worked doing this for 2 years.  He received zip.  Nothing.  Nada.  He told me that when you're a part time agent, you get to sit in the office and answer phones, do favors for agents who are with clients and be a gofer.  You don't get paid.

Don't event think of doing if if you're not willing to work every hour in a week as an agent.

I'm sure it depends on who you work for, but this is very different from my wife's experience as a part time agent. She has to answer phones in the office for a couple of hours a month (I'm not sure the exact number but I'm certain it's less than 8), but she usually doesn't even do that because she finds someone who will take her shifts for her.

Aside from that, basically nothing else is required of her time wise. She goes to staff meetings and hosts open houses when she wants to. She has the opportunity to spend more time answering phones or doing favors for other agents, and she would get more leads if she did those things, but there is no expectation that she do those things.

It's not like she is raking in the money, but when she has put in the effort to get clients she has found them and closed deals. For the last year or so she has put in zero effort to generating leads and has only worked for friends/family. I wish she kept better records of how much time she spends working, but I am confident her compensation per hour worked is very good.


mydogismyheart

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Re: Who is a realtor/real estate agent?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 03:00:56 PM »
I'm an agent but have had a very different experience due to some different career decisions that I have really enjoyed.  I have been a licensed agent since February of 2011 and have sold around 300 homes.  When I first got into real estate the market was slow, I had a completely different career that I hated, a master's degree in technology and was making about $25K/year.  I had always wanted to go into real estate but was a bit afraid of it and not making any money. At the time I was young and single and there was no way to pay the bills if I didn't get paid (no husband with an income). My plan was to get my feet wet and work part time, sell a few homes and then jump in full time when the market picked up (it was still down but starting to show some signs of improvement).

Then, nothing happened.  I signed on with a local brokerage, worked my butt off and literally, nothing. I worked for about 6 months trying hard and barely picked up 2 clients who weren't real serious and never bought.  Felt like I had no clue what I was doing. 

In August of 2011 I ended up taking on a job with a local builder working as a site agent.  This is what changed everything for me.  They gave me a base salary plus bonuses and full benefits, I was an employee not an independent contractor.  I worked for them for about 2.5 years years and then switched to a larger national builder where I could make more money.  It was a bit difficult as a site agent, much more like a regular job, I worked 10am-6pm 5 days/week with not much flexibility. I had to work weekends and all smaller holidays.  I enjoyed what I did, sold a ton of homes and made good money.  However, it eventually wore me down not being able to take weekends off hardly at all, I felt like I missed out on a lot of events with friends/family.

Then I heard about a brokerage that employs agents as employees, paying a small base salary, benefits and commissions.  I started talking to them and pretty much fell in love.  It's very different and not for everyone.  However, I feel like now I get the best of both worlds.  I have a higher level of security at my company, we work in teams, and they pay for EVERYTHING.  The commissions are lower to compensate for this, but for me it's well worth it.  I am probably never going to make as much as top producing agents in the area, but that doesn't bother me.  I sell plenty of homes thanks to the company providing me with all my leads and I make a little more than the average agent in my area.  It's a very different business model, some hate it, some love it.  I have really loved it and it's worked well for me. 

The upsides: I have a flexible schedule, I work with an incredible team and if I need a day off I can take a REAL day off, I make enough money that I don't worry, the company pays for literally EVERY expense, tons of training, I'm never on my own.

The downside: I am an employee and expected to do a certain level of business and work a certain number of hours, I have a set number of paid leave I can take but since my days off each week are my choice I can still take weekends and small holidays off if I choose, I am limited in my earning potential and probably won't make as much as top producing agents in the area. - Note, none of these thing bother me.  I still have enough flexibility and enough earnings that the upsides outweigh the downsides for me.

If you're looking for something different in real estate, or you're struggling, there are different options out there than the traditional agent. If I had known about it sooner I would have made the jump so much earlier and not stayed in my previous career nearly as long.