Getting started in Real Estate

Getting started in real estate

Getting started in real estate is easy. Sign up with the licensing program in your city and in a few months you become a freshly minted real estate agent. The further along you are in the required courses the more you think about the day you get your license and about what happens next. And even though the courses prepare you to tackle the necessary paperwork, teach you about the legislative foundation of a real estate transaction at a surface level and give you information about how zoning works, they tell you nothing about how to get listings, how to negotiate contracts or how to run this business. This is what you are getting yourself into, a business. An intricate, demanding and a very competitive business. A business where the winners take all the spoils, those trailing directly behind them, enjoy some crumbs from the table and everyone else gets nothing. What I mean by nothing is this: based on the information published by the National Association of Realtors, at least 50% of licensed real estate agent population gets nothing. No sellers, no buyers, no transactions, no commission checks.

Remember, this is a direct sales business - the clients don’t come to you, as they would in a retail store, you have to go out and find them. And your pre-licensing excitement quickly turns into: how do I get the clients, how do I promote my services and how do I structure my day to be efficient.

Real estate licence courses are a hard requirement and there is no getting around that. What else can you do to survive in the beginning and become successful in the long run? One of the well known and established real estate coaches Tom Ferry, claims that, 87% of real estate agents fail. Why? Not because they crumble under the pressure of the money coming in. They can’t make any money in the business.

I have been licensed for four and a half years and know from personal experience that licensing courses don’t address crucial questions of how to look for business or how to sign new clients. I will offer you a few ideas to consider, so you can improve your chances of ending up in the 13% of the agents that remain in the business.

Number one: get a coach. A coach will not help you identifying differences between the rafters and the purlins. This is what you learn in your licensing classes. A coach will teach you how to conceptualize the process of selling real estate as a business, how to organize your day into productive time units and how to look for and close for business. A coach will keep you accountable to the goals you set, will teach you how to set those goals and will show you how to stay afloat in this business in the first year.

Number two: get role playing partners. That’s plural, partners. Introduce yourself to people in your classes. They are starting out just like you. Take their phone numbers and suggest that you role play together. Once you put the role playing time on the calendar with at least one partner, the rest is easy. Register on Mike Ferry’s website (, download the scripts and start roleplaying. The more role playing hours you put in before your start date, the more prepared you will be for productivity. One of the biggest fears of a starting agent is the fear of a cold call. To overcome it you need to practice. The more you do it, the warmer those calls will feel. That’s a promise.

Number three: get an accountability partner. It is someone who will kick your ass if you get off schedule or if you are underperforming, while trying to achieve your daily, monthly or quarterly goals. You don’t need to get someone who will physically beat your ass. Money is a good motivator. Assign a dollar value to each miss you may have and establish an honour system, where you would share your misses with your accountability partner and will give her money every time you falter on executing your business related commitments. This works well for many people. It worked for me.

Number four: use free resources on YouTube. Many reputable coaches are putting their teaching material on YouTube - I personally would recommend starting with Mike Ferry. There is a lot of information and if you start studying what these coaches are saying, a few months before you get your license, it will jump-start the process of you becoming productive, getting clients and getting paid.

Number five: create a simple numbers tracking system. Like a professional baseball player needs to know his batting averages, you need to know the statistics of your sales funnel. How many conversations does it take for you to set an appointment, how many appointments cancel or don’t qualify? Once you start going to appointments, how many appointments convert to contracts signed? At least that is a start. You can and will be a lot more elaborate with tracking your numbers later on, but in the beginning these simple performance metrics will suffice.

A few words about goal setting in real estate. Simple. Set them. Specifically set 2 types of goals - short term and long term. Always have a long game plan that extends 3 to 5 years into the future and if you are feeling courageous go for a 25 year plan, as recommended by Dan Sullivan. The long term plan will be your guide, taking you through making hundreds of small decisions every day, every week and every month, so that you can accumulate results in a way that brings you closer to the long term objectives. The short term plan will ensure that you can survive every week, every month and every quarter.

Have patience, stay positive and always get up when you fall. Invest into internalizing and implementing ideas from the short list I gave you, focus on what you need to do today and you will see that this business will start rewarding you intellectually, socially and financially within a surprisingly short timeframe.

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