If you are considering starting a career as a real estate agent or just got licensed as one, here are eleven steps for starting a real estate career correctly.
Step 1: Get a Good Education
Several panelists at the recent Inman Connect Conference in New York City agreed that starting a real estate career correctly means to develop and leverage expert knowledge. The consensus was this includes not only knowing about your inventory and market, but also how to master the basics of building a profitable real estate business. More clients, more listings, and more money.
Here are the top real estate schools in New York City:
- Real Estate Education Center (https://www.reedc.com/)
- Steven L Newman Real Estate Institute (http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/realestate/)
- Brooklyn School Of Real Estate (http://www.brooklyn-school.com/)
- The New York Real Estate Institute (http://www.nyrei.com/)
- Ivy Real Estate Education Center (http://www.nyrealed.com/)
Step 2: Get Licensed
Licensing is different in every state so make sure you know the requirements to practice in your area. However, most have similar basic requirements:
- Candidates must be 18 years old
- Pass an exam
- Complete a number of hours of real estate courses
- To get a broker’s license, real estate brokers must have experience working as a licensed sales agent (in most states).
For a summary on what is required to become licensed as a real estate agent in New York State, go here:
Step 3: Develop a Real Estate Agent Budget
Real estate is a commission-based business so you’ll need to put away enough money to get started.
Start-up costs include:
- Licensing fees and courses
- Board of REALTORS® membership dues
- Business expenses (phone, computer, office supplies, personal marketing, etc.)
Step 4: Choose the Right Real Estate Office
Now that you have your license and other necessary credentials, you will want to select the right real estate firm to make your home. Find the answers to the questions below to help in your job search:
- Does the firm cover your listing advertisements?
- Do you notice a lot of For Sale signs from XYZ firms in the area?
- What do other agents have to say about XYZ firm?
- Does the firm offer training programs? If so, do they cover expenses?
- What is the commission rate and will you be paid immediately after a closing?
For an overview of questions to consider in choosing the best fit brokerage to work for:
Step 5: Find a Mentor
Developing a mentorship with another agent is also important for starting a real estate career correctly. Shadow your mentor and learn from his or her experiences. This is a great time to ask questions, get advice, seek guidance, and learn what it takes to succeed in the real estate industry.
Step 6: Know Your Market
Successful real estate agents know the market and how to price real estate appropriately. They also know their inventory inside and out. They thoroughly review comparable homes,other real estate for sale and neighborhoods in order to help clients establish a competitive price.
Step 7: Utilize Technology
Technology is great for real estate agents. Here are some useful apps you can download:
- Realtor.com: Access millions of homes from your phone!
- Trulia.com: Connect with clients, convert leads, and stay informed.
- Zillow.com: See homes for rent, sale, and share via Facebook, Twitter, and email.
- Redfin: Save photos, tours, find homes for sale, and much more.
Step 8: Build Your Network
Building a network as a real estate agent is essential for starting a real estate career correctly. You will want to:
- Announce your new career to your existing friends and associates
- Join a Networking Group or Start Your Own
- Get Strategic
- Follow a strategy behind the connections you’re making. Your strategic partners should include:
- Service providers
- Affinity partners
For a good article on building your real estate selling network, see:
Step 9: Hold Open Houses
Open houses still attract prospective buyers. They give additional market exposure and an opportunity to network with potential clients and other industry friends.
Step 10: Build Your Client Portfolio
Building your portfolio is the most important part of starting a real estate career correctly. Asking for referrals and staying in touch with former clients are essential. Word of mouth is the best advertising out there.
Step 11: Develop an online portfolio that includes the following:
- Properties for Sale/Properties Sold: Here you can provide links to all your current listings as well as sold properties.
- About Page: Include all your credentials, seminars attended, years in the business, etc.
- Buyers: How will you help clients find their dream home?
- Sellers: How will you help sell your client’s property?
- Additional Resources: This is a great opportunity to provide links to useful information in the areas you serve such as the schools, parks, library, etc.
Step 12: Attend Seminars and Training Sessions
Continuing education is a vital resource to get the skills and experiences you need to stay ahead of your competition. You can find a variety of different seminars and training sessions by asking your fellow agents, joining real estate associations, keeping tabs on REALTORS® events, and calling your state real estate board.