If you’re considering a real estate career, or still new to the industry, you need to keep in mind that in real estate, your success is in large part driven by how much “investment” you’re willing to make. The investment is primarily in time and effort, but you may need to invest some money into your career. Here are some things you’ll need to consider.
While we believe that almost anyone can succeed in real estate, it doesn’t mean that success comes automatically. You do have to put effort into your work, just like in any career, to become truly successful. The following advice will help you to think about what you need to do to better serve your customers, and to grow your real estate career:.
You will probably work evenings and weekends. You can make your own hours to some extent, it’s important that you manage your customer’s expectations with regard to your time and availability. There will be many occasions when you can only show a home or take a listing appointment in the evening, or when a weekend is the only time you can write up an offer.
When all is said and done, many full-time agents often put in more than 40 hours a week, due to the time spent working on weekends and evenings. Even so, their schedules are more flexible than salaried workers. Part-time agents often spend the bulk of their time devoted to weekend and evening work, but serve a tighter circle of customers.
Regardless of whether you plan to be a full-time or part-time agent, you need to be aware that to be successful, you need to be available when potential customers can make time. If you’re committed to success, you’ll need to occasionally compromise your time, to best serve your customers.
Success in any field comes to those that make an intelligent effort to succeed, and real estate is no exception. You need to make the most of the time you invest, by working to understand and assist buyers and sellers, staying on top of industry news and market conditions, thinking about new ways to reach potential customers, staying sharp through ongoing training and more.
Your real estate broker will assist you in many ways, complementing your efforts, supporting your work and providing direction. But you’ll need to be proactive in your work, particularly if you wish to provide excellent service.
As an independent contractor, you will need to invest a certain amount of money in yourself to get started, and to maintain your business. Typical real estate agent expenses include:
- Real Estate Education and Licensing
- Real estate license education tuition and fees
- Licensing exam fees
- Optional training to increase your skill set or gain special certifications
- Real Estate Professional Fees
- Any local fees for business licensing
- Local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fees
- Fees to join and maintain your status with a local Board of Real estate agents
- Real Estate Agency Fees
Depending upon the local broker, agents may be charged monthly or “pay as you go” fees to defray the cost of technology, office services, postage, phone calls and more
Personal Business Expenses
Expenses to own, maintain and fuel a vehicle suitable for carrying potential buyers and sellers (qualified GMAC Real Estate Agents can take advantage of the GM Supplier Car Discount program)
Additional auto insurance to cover increased liability for business passengers
Depreciation on your vehicle through Increased mileage
Errors and omissions insurance coverage, to help protect you from claims if your client holds you responsible for errors, or accuses you of failing to perform as specified in a contract
Cell phone, computer, software, and other “home office” expenses
Plus, don’t forget that you’ll need to invest in maintaining a professional appearance. While “business casual” or even shorts and sandals are accepted real estate attire in some markets, you can’t go wrong by having a well maintained professional wardrobe, and the accessories (portfolio, planner, writing utensils) to go with it.
For more information on starting your real estate agent career with Crestico, please contact one of our local offices and inquire about real estate career opportunities at a location near you.