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Old 09-28-2007, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Georgia
1,258 posts, read 1,987,175 times
Reputation: 667

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Looking for advice from the pros out there. Live outside of Atlanta. Already signed up for the course, set to become a REALTOR

Just want some real, honest advice. Have a friend who is a realtor, he paints everything rosey. I have to wonder with the current market conditions. Have also heard from a few other people in the game, things are really tight, the market slowdown, another one made the comment 'they are selling less than 1/2 the houses and have twice as many agents now'.

Regardless I am getting my license. I think it's something I owuld love anyway, I've always had lots of interest and followed real estate.
Just want to know realistically what to expect. I'm NE of Atlanta. I think the market is probably a little better here than most other places. Lots of growth and people moving here still, biggest problem is too much inventory, and too many agents.
I've heard expect 3-6 months to make first sale. But I've heard that everywhere for years. So is this pretty much the guideline?
What does it take to really get going?

This might sound silly, but what is being aggresive as a realtor? Am I going to make my first sale faster by cold calling, advertising more, networking...??? Do you have to be a snake to get ahead fast? I'm just trying to imagine how you get to a point where you are making enough money to support a family in an industry that is A. Hurting right now, B. may be hurting even more in the near future, C. the entry barrier is fairly low, and D. is oversaturated with people doing it.

Please don't take it the wrong way...I just want to see things in a realistic light. I love real estate and am going full steam ahead. But if I need to find another job for a while, or find something to get my by for a long while until I can be successful as an agent, then I need to consider that.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 7,620,393 times
Reputation: 804
GAisGreat, first, you are lucky that you are in GA, it's market isn't hurting as bad as some of the other parts of the country. That being said, it's no gravy train either.

Here are some thoughts: yes it will take up to 6 months for the average REA to make their first sale. You may want to consider interviewing to work with a team, rather than on your own. You get fed prospects from the team and get to learn under the leadership of a veteran.

Being aggressive, does not mean being a snake. You do not want that reputation. You want to be considered a good agent. Being aggressive means knocking on doors, thinking outside the box, getting a website, research your market and know your market, sending out letters to your sphere of influence, and more. It means not being afraid to pursue and let folks know what you do. If you don't ask for the business, it won't be handed to you. I know an agent that says order a 1,000 cards and have a goal that all of those cards are handed out in one month. Every person you meet, everywhere you go, smile and hand out a card.

You may have to get a job, if you don't have enough savings to live on for 6 months.

But I will leave you with this. You are starting in a tough time, but you can make it if you want it. You didn't know the easy times, so you don't have any bad habits to unlearn. You don't know any better. My mom started in Real Estate in 1980 when interest rates were 13.5% and went up!! Agents were getting out of the business so fast your head would spin (just like now), and she was just starting. Back then houses were a lot cheaper, avg house here was about $50,000. In her first full year in real estate she made million dollar agent. Why? because she worked hard, was a good person, knew her market, and thought creatively about how to get financing.

you can do it!!!

Shelly
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Hughesville, MD
26 posts, read 92,015 times
Reputation: 23
Shelly's right. It's a very rewarding business if you are willing/able to put in the effort. It will take you some time to build trust. In addition to what Shelly said, I'd also suggest writing a Business Plan. You are considering starting a business not starting a new job. Do what you need to do to keep the bills paid, but don't forget about your fledgling business. Help it grow.

Craig
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,644 posts, read 16,372,262 times
Reputation: 3497
Quote:
Originally Posted by GAisGreat View Post
Looking for advice from the pros out there. Live outside of Atlanta. Already signed up for the course, set to become a REALTOR

Just want some real, honest advice. Have a friend who is a realtor, he paints everything rosey. I have to wonder with the current market conditions. Have also heard from a few other people in the game, things are really tight, the market slowdown, another one made the comment 'they are selling less than 1/2 the houses and have twice as many agents now'.

Regardless I am getting my license. I think it's something I owuld love anyway, I've always had lots of interest and followed real estate.
Just want to know realistically what to expect. I'm NE of Atlanta. I think the market is probably a little better here than most other places. Lots of growth and people moving here still, biggest problem is too much inventory, and too many agents.
I've heard expect 3-6 months to make first sale. But I've heard that everywhere for years. So is this pretty much the guideline?
What does it take to really get going?

This might sound silly, but what is being aggresive as a realtor? Am I going to make my first sale faster by cold calling, advertising more, networking...??? Do you have to be a snake to get ahead fast? I'm just trying to imagine how you get to a point where you are making enough money to support a family in an industry that is A. Hurting right now, B. may be hurting even more in the near future, C. the entry barrier is fairly low, and D. is oversaturated with people doing it.

Please don't take it the wrong way...I just want to see things in a realistic light. I love real estate and am going full steam ahead. But if I need to find another job for a while, or find something to get my by for a long while until I can be successful as an agent, then I need to consider that.

Thanks in advance!
Do you..

A) ..have a business plan?
B) ..have an idea of what your "average" commission will be per sale? Taking into account how many of your own listings you will sell yourself vs. sold by another selling agent? What your average price point is in your area?
C) ..have an idea of how many listing appointments you will need to make to get a signed listing agreement? Is it 10? 5? 1?
D) ..have an idea of how much you will spend on marketing/networking this year to reach your listing goals?
E) ..know what price range/area you are going to target? How much inventory is in that price range/target area? Know how long DOM is for that area?
F) ..know how you are going to differentiate yourself from every other Tom, Dick and Harry that holds a real estate license?
G) ..know the ins and outs of your local board's listing agreement, seller's disclosure, purchase agreement?
H) ..have a clear picture in your mind of how an actual sale takes place, from listing, marketing, threatens of firing, to showing, open houses, offer, counter-offer, negotiation, acceptance, acceptance of acceptance, acceptance of acceptance of acceptance, ordering of inspection, ordering of title work, setting up closing that works with all parties, deal falls through, deal back on again, closing, asking for referrals at each stage, follow up, yada yada yada...

That should be a good start.

If you don't know the answer to half of those, you are not ready yet... In my opinion, you can't do it part-time. You are either in it or you are not. There is a reason why the average realtor income is less than $30K a year.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:04 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 12,856,504 times
Reputation: 2566
I became an agent in Feb. and like any job, there's pros & cons. The one suggestion I have above all else is have another source of income for awhile and have some start up money. It's very expensive to be an agent and no matter how good a plan you have, like any new business there are no guarantees. You really have to think of it as starting your own business and have a plan of how you are going to cover your expenses because if you don't, you might find yourself out of business very quickly. I don't want to sound negative because as others have said it can be rewarding but it's not easy money that's for sure. In my real estate class of 20 people, only four of us are still agents, so from Feb. until Sept. the rest quit.

Whatever you decide good luck to you and go into it with a good attitude!
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:10 AM
 
Location: NJ
8,384 posts, read 19,444,355 times
Reputation: 5188
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
If you don't know the answer to half of those, you are not ready yet... In my opinion, you can't do it part-time. You are either in it or you are not. There is a reason why the average realtor income is less than $30K a year.
Have to agree. I guess you would start off as a buyers agent, hopefully getting leads / walk ins from working the desk. Say my hubby & I come in to buy a house. Do you have time to accomadate us to view houses? If I am going myself, I do it during the week, during school hours. If hubby comes, good chance we are going on weekends. How do you afford gas in the car to drive us around and what if we don't buy and you get no commission?

How am I going to feel if we have to play phone tag because you have another job & can't get back to me? How are you going to keep up with negotiations if I find something I like?

Throwing things at you because those are some of the things to think about. If you want to go into selling, that's a whole different ball game. Even in my area, it's getting harder for buyers agents to break into selling unless they put out a lot of advertising money. Realtor.com, local ads..

With the internet, I can pretty much see who does what to advertise my house. If you can't match or top that, how are you going to sell my house?

btw, good luck if you do decide to do it. (not saying it sarcastically I mean good luck to you)
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Worldwide
412 posts, read 905,943 times
Reputation: 316
GAisGREAT, it's a good time and scary time to be thinking about a career in R/E. If you can make it now, you will shine when the industry breaks loose. All the previous points made are excellent and should help in your decision.

The biggest down fall I see of agents (new and established) is majority are stuck in the rut of doing R/E as it was 50+ years ago. The out of the box thinkers are doing well yet. They are building great personal web sites, utilizing the tools that are hitting the market for helping the general public in the toughest aspect of finding the place they will call home.

You will need a passion for helping the client and not making money. If you have the first, the money will come.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,671 posts, read 5,100,533 times
Reputation: 1218
Like for any business-Become a student of that business.
Substantiate all claims (both heard and spoken).
Document and track.
Learn what marketing is (and it isn't advertising)
Bill
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 12,856,504 times
Reputation: 2566
Another thing that has been helping me is, I asked someone from my office to be my mentor. During my first couple transactions, his help has been incredible and I don't know that things would have gone as smooth if he wasn't there for me. In my office a mentor gets 25% of the first four transactions but it has been well worth it.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Georgia
1,258 posts, read 1,987,175 times
Reputation: 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
Another thing that has been helping me is, I asked someone from my office to be my mentor. During my first couple transactions, his help has been incredible and I don't know that things would have gone as smooth if he wasn't there for me. In my office a mentor gets 25% of the first four transactions but it has been well worth it.
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I think I will get lucky in that I have a friend, who wants me to get into his office and I imagine he won't have a problem mentoring me, though he hasn't been doing it for very long.

Any suggestions for reading material, websites, etc., to help me get going? Right now I just have the study materials from the school I signed up with.

Thanks
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