Archive for the ‘Getting a license? Start Here’ Category

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How to Select a Real Estate Brokerage

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Once you’ve passed the real estate exam and you have been issued a real estate license, you will face the difficult decision of which brokerage to join. This is an extremely important decision. When you are first beginning your career in real estate, you will need to choose a broker who is there to answer questions, provide training, and guide you to success.

Selecting a brokerage is unlike any job interview you’ve been in before. The brokerage makes money by having agents on board. Therefore, they want you before you’ve walked through the door and as a result, you are interviewing them! Here are a few questions to consider.

What Does The Broker Have To Offer Me?

The first brokerage you join must be able to provide you with support. When you’ve just earned your real estate license, you do not have the experience and the numbers to help you secure listings. Instead, you rely on the reputation of the brokerage. Ask yourself these questions:

You will have a number of questions when you are just starting out. The state real estate exam does not teach you how to sell real estate. It teaches you the laws and procedures that you must follow. Marketing, filling out listing agreements, sales contracts and other paperwork is not covered in real estate school! Your broker will help you in that regard. You will want to consider the questions below and make an informed decision on who will set you on the path to success.

Does this broker accept newly licensed agents?

Although you are the one interviewing the broker, some brokers will not accept newly licensed agents. By asking this question first, you will save yourself the hassle of setting up an interview when you aren’t eligible anyhow.

What is the commission split and relevant fees?

Brokerages have many different commission splits and various fees for services. For example, you will often see the term 100% commission thrown around. This means that you earn every bit of the commission that you bring in for the sale. So how does the brokerage make money? In these situations, the brokerage charges you a fee to work there! You pay a fee every month whether you have a sale or not. In exchange, you get to keep all of your commission. Other brokerages keep a percentage of you commisison but you don’t have to pay a monthly fee. That way, if you don’t make money, you don’t pay. However, you will forfeit a (sometimes sizable) portion of your commission when you do have a sale.

Does the brokerage have name recognition in your area?

In many markets, the strength of a brokerage’s name is paramount. Your clients need to feel that a strong brokerage is representing them. You will see plenty of new brokerages in your area that are competing for agents. Ask yourself, “when I say the name of this brokerage to a client, will they recognize it?” Drive around and look at signs on current listings. Many times, one brokerage will dominate a given neighborhood. If you want to focus on a specific location in your town, which brokerage is prominent there?

Does the broker make herself available?

If you’re showing property in the evening after your client has gotten off of work and a question arises, can you get ahold of your broker? Many brokers will provide agents with their personal cell phone numbers for this exact reason. Many questions simply cannot until the morning. If you are just starting out, having this lifeline available will prove to be a phenomenal resource.

Is training available if you need it?

Your local board will offer some training but many offices have training sessions as well. Training in your office may cover topics such as how to hold a successful open house, how to properly fill out a sales contract or listing agreement and how to secure more leads. The range of topics covered at these trainings is endless. Some brokerages offer training and some do not. When you are just beginning your real estate career, select a brokerage that will help you learn the ropes.

Be Informed! Ask a question!

This is one of the biggest decisions you will make once you have earned your real estate license. Your choice of brokerage can impact whether you’re able to make money as a real estate agent or you’ll have to close up shop before you’ve given yourself an opportunity to succeed. If you have any questions, please ask below and we’ll offer any guidance possible.

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Advantages to Having a Real Estate License

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Having a real estate license can lead to a very rewarding and lucrative career but there are a number of great advantages to having a license other than the income! Many people are attracted to the profession because of the flexibility it offers – caregivers can create their own schedules, retirees can earn a full-time salary with part-time hours, and night-owls can work into the wee hours of the morning. There are also perks like putting money in your pocket just by making an agent referral!

Save Your Friends, Family & Yourself Money

One of the many benefits of being a real estate agent is being able to buy and sell property without giving up a cut of your profit. As a matter of fact, real estate agents can take the commission that they earn from their own sale and put it towards their own downpayment. If you plan on buying and selling real estate at a rapid pace, being your own agent will significantly boost your piggy bank. This perk increases exponentially when listings offer bonuses to the selling agent!

Being able to credit close friends & family money back when they buy is an added advantage. Not only is it a kind favor, but it boosts the agent’s sales data and increases their publicity just by having a lawn sign. Friends and family are more likely to refer an agent once they’ve used them and can speak on their experience.

The Tax Write-Offs Are Everywhere!

Home office, car, computer, cell phone, car mileage – things used for business can commonly be written off to save you money on your taxes.

You Interview Your Employer–They Don’t Interview You

Brokerages want as many agents working under them as possible since they make money on every transaction. Therefore, they want you. It turns the tables so you are interviewing them and you select where you want to work and who you want to work with instead of hoping to land a job. You also determine how much of your income you’re willing to part with; some brokerages offer more advantages, but take a bigger chunk of your commission. Other brokerages offer bare-minimum offices and you pay a monthly fee almost like a club membership. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a real estate brokerage.

You Determine Your Own Schedule

One of the greatest advantages to becoming a real estate professional is that you get to decide when and how much to work. If you only want to work a few hours a day, great. If you work best in the evening hours and sleep until 9 am on the weekdays, that’s fine too. You have the flexibility to schedule appointments during the work day without worrying about eating into your vacation days. Single parents can work around their children’s school schedules. And traveling isn’t such a hassle since you can work from virtually anywhere. Real estate agents work their jobs around their lives, they don’t work their lives around their job.

Your Income Is In Your Control

You decide how much effort to put in to earn your income. Perhaps your family only needs a supplemental income in order to afford the extras or perhaps you’re the sole earner in the house – either way, real estate is for you. If you hit your goal early, perhaps you work less for the rest of the year. If you need a raise, you don’t have to worry about that awkward conversation with your boss. You are your boss! Work really hard and the sky’s the limit.

Make Money Even When You Don’t Sell a Property

Want to make money just by picking up the phone? If your long-distance relative is looking into purchasing a new home, refer her to an agent in her own state and earn a referral fee. It’s that simple. You earn a percentage of the sale’s commission just for a quick phone call. In fact, many agents make a big portion of their income just through referral fees alone. Let another agent do the work and you reap the reward.

Think Outside the Box

With real estate, you’re not stuck in a cubicle or office all day every day. Agents spend a lot of time out and about meeting clients at potential properties or introducing themselves to future clients. Most real estate agents complete a large portion of their work from home! Sure, agents use the real estate office for formal meetings or closings, but you will never be confined within those walls.

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What you can do right now to prepare to be an agent

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Before earning your real estate license, you are likely focused on enrolling in a real estate school and studying for your state exam. While those are certainly important, there are a few things you should be doing to ensure you’re ready to succeed as soon as you are a licensed agent. Being well-prepared is key and there’s no reason why you cannot being your preparation today, even before you’re licensed.

Create Your Sphere of Influence List

The most important factor to your success as a real estate agent is getting your name in front of as many people as possible. Real estate is a game of numbers. The more people that know you are an agent, the more opportunities you will have to secure listings and get sales. Start making a list today of everyone that you know, even if they’re merely an acquaintance. Use this guide to help you begin brainstorming for people you know:

  1. Your family. Even if your family is all over the country, add them to the list. Referral income can be huge so everyone matters, regardless of their location.
  2. Your circle of friends. Your friends will be your biggest supporters when you’re a licensed real estate agent.
  3. Friends of Friends. This is an important group. Imagine you were throwing a party and you told your friends to invite their friends. Who in that group do you know that might come?
  4. Professional Contacts. Have you been using the same hair dresser, dentist or doctor long enough that she may know you by name? Add her (and possibly her staff) to your list!
  5. The parents of your children’s friends. You may not be friends with all of them but there is a high likelihood that they know you by name. Does your child play on a sports team, take dance lessons, or go to a daycare where you see the same adults routinely? It’s time to get to know them!

When you’re just beginning your list, set a goal to have 100 people on your sphere of influence list. That will build you a good foundation to begin. At this point, be sure to add every new person you meet to your sphere of influence list.

Read The Best Two Real Estate Books Available

It’s important to know that the real estate exam does not teach you to sell real estate! For the marketing side of things, you’re going to have to educate yourself. These two books tell you exactly what steps to take to get listings and sell real estate.

The Honest Real Estate Agent: A Training Guide For a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent

The Honest Real Estate Agent is a must-read for any agent-to-be. This book fills in the details that real estate schools do not teach. You will learn methods of attracting new clients and securing listings and sales. The book is modern and focuses on strategies such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) instead of old techniques like cold calling.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About The Money… It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is phenomenal for new agents as it teaches you to “maximize one’s personal resources.” We all know people, have unique abilities and skills and this book will teach you how to put those traits to use to sell real estate.

Register For A Real Estate Course

Take our advice–stop thinking about a real estate license and start working towards getting a real estate license! Read our guide to getting a real estate license in your state. You will need to decide if you’d like to take a course in person or online. Either way, it is time to register and begin the fantastic journey towards being a licensed real estate agent!

Posted in Getting a license? Start Here | 13 Comments »

Getting a License? Start Here



Advice For Real Estate Agents