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Getting Started As An Agent

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Posted On: 02/04/2015

Question:

I recently have become a real estate salesperson. The idea of easy money in real estate is ridiculous. Realistically, how do I get started and get the experience potential clients ask about?

Answer:

Every successful real estate professional at one time had just as much experience as you do: none. They too faced that inevitable question: So how long have you been in the business?

Let’s start with the basics. You can’t claim experience you don’t have, but you can emphasize the skills and experience you do hold. For instance, have you been in business? Do you have a relevant college degree? Have you been a longtime area resident?

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Here five strategies that can help you succeed:

1. Get a Mentor

A good mentor is a successful professional who can show you the practical, day-to-day steps that are necessary in the field. One good approach is becoming an assistant, someone who learns the business from the bottom up.

Here you have a substantial advantage because you have a license. Many states have strict rules which limit the ability of unlicensed individuals to participate in open houses or perform other tasks related to brokerage.

2. Take More Classes

Yes, pre-licensure classes helped you pass the basic real estate test, but there’s much more to learn. Many brokerages and local professional groups offer a wide range of classes, so take as many as possible. Not only will you learn new things, but you’ll also meet other people in the business, people who may be helpful to you in the future.

3. Ask Questions

There are many non-broker specialists associated with real estate transactions – lawyers, lenders, termite inspectors, appraisers, closing agents, insurance brokers, home inspectors, etc. As you meet such professionals ask them to tell you more about their services, what you as a real estate salesperson should ask. Get copies of the forms they use and learn what the forms say and mean.

4. Volunteer for Desk Duty

Yup, answer the office phone. You never know whom you might meet. One savvy salesperson recently told me that he got a listing for more than $2 million from floor duty. It happens.

5. Partner Up

When you have an opportunity but not enough experience or skill, then work with someone who does. Yes, you’ll get a smaller fee if the transaction is a success, but that’s better than no fee, a possibly botched deal or the loss of a potential referral source.

Speak with success professionals and you’ll likely find that they employed at least one of these strategies when they started out. If such approaches worked for them, then why not for you?

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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