Being a real estate agent is one of the top career paths for individuals looking to enter the residential or commercial property business. There are actually over 1 million licensed real estate agents in America, so this career has lots of room for growth!
Running your own real estate agency gives you the opportunity to be directly involved in both buying and selling homes. It’s also very lucrative – with most professionals earning more than $100,000 per year, average being around $250,000.
But before you start dreaming about owning your own home, there are some things you must know as a prospective real estate agent. In fact, even if you already work in real estate, it’s never too early to brush up on your skills!
Here we will discuss how to become a real estate agent in the state of New York, but the basics of becoming a professional real estate agent apply in any area of the country.
Create a firm contract
As mentioned before, being a real estate agent is a very competitive career path. With that said, you will need to be prepared for low income at times!
Most agents are paid an hourly rate or per transaction fee depending on what area they represent. Because of this, there is not much stability in the job.
Many people start out as real estate agents trying to make it work but soon give up because they cannot survive on their salary.
Some ways to help mitigate this risk include joining a housing association or brokerage firm where you can earn more consistent pay. Or you could go into business for yourself by opening your own office.
Practice your marketing
Being a real estate agent is not just about having a license but also marketing yourself as an agent and interacting with potential clients. Your wardrobe, hair, and personal style are important factors in promoting your business!
Running an office means that there will be times when you’ll need to do something for someone else or go somewhere unplanned. Having a casual dress code is very helpful in creating a good image of yourself as a professional person who takes their job seriously while still keeping a playful feel.
Having some pictures and videos of you doing things like showing homes or giving presentations makes your presence more authentic and believable. If you’re ever too busy to take care of this task, then you can use tools such as Viddy (a free video editing app) to create quick videos and upload them onto YouTube or Facebook to showcase your talent.
That way people can see these clips and get inspired by what you have to offer as an individual career option. People will begin to associate you with excellence and quality service, which is one of the main qualities of a real estate agent.
Create a marketing plan
So you’ve decided to become a real estate agent! And you want to know what next? Creating a solid marketing strategy is the next step in your journey as an agent.
Marketing strategies for real estate agents are typically three-part structures, with part one being defining your agency, part two being market analysis and research, and part three being creating campaigns and advertisements to promote your business.
Part one includes things like deciding how big or small you want your agency to be, figuring out if there are already enough other real estate agents around you, and determining whether you have enough capital to start working with clients.
Find your team
As mentioned earlier, being a real estate agent is not something you can do alone! You will need to have someone who wants to work with you, support you, and help you succeed as an agent. This person should be willing to go through regular training with you, share their knowledge and experience, and look up for your success as an agent.
You can’t expect anyone to put in time and effort into helping you unless they are completely invested in your success, which is why it is so important to find people that fit this description.
People may think that because I am saying this as a writer for Business Insider that I really want you to pay me to teach you how to be a real estate agent, but I don’t. I truly hope everyone out there dreams of one day becoming an entrepreneur or professional working from home, but very few actually make it happen.
That’s okay though, I know many people who made money online and still live a happy life, so if I can’t inspire you then maybe others can!
Business owners and entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and most are looking to provide value to others by sharing what they know. If you’re passionate about educating other individuals on how to accomplish a goal, then offering such lessons could win you some cash. Many companies offer free teaching sessions or low cost courses, try searching “teach me x” on YouTube to get started.
Know your market
As mentioned before, being able to identify your target audience is one of the most important steps in becoming a real estate agent. If you are not sure who that is, then don’t worry about it! That is what marketing for a real estate agency is for!
Your potential clients will find you if you put up signs announcing your business and going into detail about what services you offer. You can even do some cold-calling to see if anyone is looking to sell or rent their home.
By having a strong understanding of the area and its demographics, you will know how to position yourself as an expert in the field. This way, people will come to you rather than the other way around!
Running your own real estate firm means there will be more stress involved due to higher demands but this also gives you the chance to achieve your goals faster because you won’t have to deal with someone else’s responsibilities first.
Create a website
After you have determined that becoming a real estate agent is for you, your next step will be creating your business entity or “home base” as some say. You can choose from several different types of business structures, so it is important to know what option makes the most sense to you before picking one!
You can form an individual proprietorship by owning and operating your business as a sole trader (just you) or partner under your personal name. This way, if things go bad or you need help running the business, there are no worries because you own it directly.
Alternatively, you can set up limited liability companies (LLCs) or corporations. With LLCs, each owner is given his or her own share in the company, but they cannot take ownership of the business assets otherwise. This feature helps protect individuals who invest in the business with less risk than having their money tied into the business right away.
Corporations also offer this protection by requiring shareholders to put in a certain amount of capital to buy stock in the company. These stocks typically do not become the property of the business immediately though- only when the shareholder sells his or her shares does he or she lose control over them.
The last choice is being employed as an employee through another firm or agency.
Build your reputation
As mentioned earlier, being a real estate agent is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication, not only of you as an individual but also for your team members and representatives you recruit to help you grow your business.
Your success in this career will depend largely on how well you manage your relationships and keep yourself professional and focused on getting the best outcome for your clients and yourself.
This can be tricky at times because there are so many different factors that influence what happens next in a transaction.
Real estate agents deal with very tough situations every day, which makes some people nervous or even uncomfortable when they’re around them. This could cost you money if they look elsewhere for advice before working with you!
You have to believe in yourself and in your ability to close deals and win over potential customers who may feel pressured by other agents. If you don’t, then why would anyone else try their hardest?
Running your own real estate company means it will always need someone to take charge and get things done. Make sure you find a leader within you, otherwise no one will. You will still need to be able to come together as a team though, so make friends where you can and value teamwork.
Distribute your listing sheet
As mentioned earlier, being an agent is a lot of work so you will need to be prepared for that by distributing and gathering important information such as your listing sheet, business cards, and notes about yourself and the agency you want to join.
Most real estate agencies have an online application process where members can apply directly from the website. By doing this, it helps ensure that no one is left out due to lack of availability or time.
However, if you are more traditional in nature and like meeting new people, then attending a local meet-and-greet event is the best way to do it! These events are usually announced on social media pages and through advertisements around town.