If real estate is so easy, why are lovely Realtors® like myself necessary to make the world go round? Let’s get one thing straight, being a Realtor® is much more than most people paint it up to be. It is MUCH more than finding a property and unlocking the door so an interested buyer can fall in love with it.
I’m not trying to insult anyone, but let’s be real here, people. There are some important things you need to know. There are some surprising aspects to being a Realtor® that you would be shocked to hear. I am about to shed some light on the brutal reality of becoming a Realtor® (like it or not).
Being a Realtor® is hard work. Plain and simple. If you have any grand image of afternoons spent relaxing in the sun while a property sells itself, keep dreaming! This day and age seems to feature thousands of Joes and Jills who have their real estate license. Does this make you legal? Yes. Does this make you credible and capable? Heck no. Go ahead and prepare yourself for countless hours and extra effort to lay a foundation for success. Nothing is easy in the world of a Realtor® (a good one, at least).
The truth may hurt, but here it is. Most people should stay the heck away from real estate (ouch). Sorry about your bad luck, but it simply isn’t for everyone. It takes a special makeup to achieve success in this profession. All of your Realtor® buddies who claim to have made over 100K in their first year while barely lifting a finger are straight lying (sadly).
Who is going to pay for all of the driving that you will be doing? Who will fork over money for the wear and tear on your vehicle? Lockboxes, signs, and advertising? Websites, social media integration, legal and board fees? The cash register is clanging in the background! That cash register is grabbing money from YOUR pocket, not some fancy expense account (shocking fact #1).
Most Realtors® simply suck with money. Let’s just call it like it is. However ironic that may sound, it is a grim reality of this career. You are likely to be pinching pennies often, no matter how successful you may think you are.
While the standard answer for the amount of money you should have in savings is typically 4-6 months of living expenses, this won’t cut it in this game! For the reasons listed above, you are likely being wise to have even more saved up (perhaps an extra six to eight thousand dollars). This alone will eliminate a majority of future ‘Realtors®’. Sorry, not sorry. It’s just the harsh reality.
Managing human emotions…. Can be a lovely experience. Most professions have the benefit of separating human elements from the business. Real estate is not one of them. You may be getting cussed at over the phone in the morning, and hearing a great joke from the same client in the afternoon.
If you are prone to getting your feelings hurt, move along! Realtors® (good ones) are embedded with an even-keeled attitude, as well as the ability to ‘keep their big boy britches on’. You have to keep it together, no matter how crappy a situation gets, or how emotional a client gets with you. This is easier said than done, for sure.
Saving up a boatload of money, and following through with certification and licensing classes is only step one of the battle. Where the heck are you going to work? Often times, brokers get a bad reputation as accepting anyone who walks through the door with a license, regardless of experience. This isn’t entirely true, but finding a broker isn’t too hard. Finding the RIGHT broker can prove difficult, however.
As an agent, you should be PICKY as to what broker you will choose. If you ask a broker why they decided to get into it, pay attention to their answer. If anything dealing with money is in their response, get the heck out of Dodge. A great broker is going to emphasize growth and improvement within a team concept. You think this is easy to find? Heck no it isn’t!
The broker that you choose is one of the most important decisions that you will make when you are just starting out. You have to come to the realization that you have a TON to learn. Signing bonuses may be great propaganda, but mentoring and an introduction into how it ‘really’ works are the most important things you should be looking for.
There are literally a hundred ‘gold nuggets’ of brutal truth that I can give you on becoming a Realtor®. Some of the smaller details make a tremendous difference. You should certainly hire a professional photographer to take care of making you look good. IPhone selfies are not the way to go here, people. You need to sit in on your association’s classes. Don’t rely on the internet to teach you what you truly need to know. When you are present, you can ask the dozens of questions that you are sure to have. So, say no to those appealing online courses!
Thinking about getting certified in multiple states? Think hard about this one now… If you are going to do this, you must understand that each state has different guidelines and a separate state Real Estate Commission. Don’t think for a second that you can handle multiple states based solely on the fact that you obtained a license due to reciprocity. This is both egotistical, and a pipe dream. You need to educate yourself (heavily) on the guidelines in EVERY state in which you plan to practice.
Pick a real estate path. If you have grand desires to sell both commercial and residential real estate, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. If you try to focus on both avenues, you won’t EVER be an expert in either one. If you do choose commercial, however, just be prepared for the need to have a larger bankroll and a longer sale process. (*Caveat here-I know that in rural markets, you may have to be a ResiMercial agent to survive.*)
You need to love working with people. You need to be a ‘glass half-full’ kind of person while maintaining a realistic approach to your craft. You have to be willing to work your tail off. There is no room for lazy Realtors® in ANY market. You need to be willing to take notes, check your notes and re-write your notes (cliché, but so true). You must always be a student of your craft, recognizing when you truly don’t know an answer, and knowing to whom to turn in order to figure it out. You must manage money in a way that doesn’t get you in a hole. You must always prepare for success. You must NEVER be intimidated by the unknown.
Think you have what it takes? Are you sitting at your computer reading this right now thinking aloud, “Wow, this is me!” I want to hear from you! Shoot me a message today. Are you looking for the broker who puts growth and education over a simple bottom dollar for their team? Do you want a broker that will help you achieve a HIGHER level of success than you ever thought possible, rather than a level of success that will ‘get you by’? You have found her!
Maybe you are looking for a Realtor® to work with that has these qualities. Do you need a Realtor® who can back up everything that has been mentioned above? Here I am! I can back it up! I take great pride in what I do, and I would love to work with you today. I can proudly say that I have the qualities that are required to be the best in the Charlotte area. Give me a call or send me a message today!
This simple yet deeply flavored gravy made from coffee, country ham drippings and a touch of sugar is a quintessential Southern side dish.
Phil Chalmers, an upcoming Summer 2022 guest on my wildly fabulous Crazy Sh*t in Real Estate Podcast shares his 12 steps to be Proactive & Prepared: Real Estate Safety Plan.