Are you a great negotiator? Do you have a way with people? Are you fascinated by real estate? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then maybe being a real estate agent is just the business for you! With the housing market recovering from its slump, more and more people are looking into real estate as a viable business opportunity. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a real estate agent here are some tips on how to start your own business in the real estate industry.
To become a real estate agent in almost every state, you will need to pass a licensure exam. This is usually available through the state’s specific licensing board which deals with real estate agents or brokers. You can also contact your local chamber of commerce for information on how to take the test and get licensed.
Passing the exam on your first try is not easy so you may want to consider seeking the help of an instructor or a tutor. You should also take practice tests; a California real estate practice exam or Florida practice tests are easily available online these days. However, passing the exam does not mean that you are an expert. You will still need training and plenty of experience before you can start selling properties like a pro. This means that you will have to work under a seasoned real estate agent for at least six months before you can go on your own.
The best way to start in the business of real estate is by networking with other agents. This will give you access to more properties and learn about new investment avenues that come up every day. You can start out by joining your local association of real estate agents and attending industry seminars to meet fresh faces and build a clientele. There is no better way to network than meeting people face-to-face so take time to attend industry events, conferences, trade shows, and seminars – not only will you learn a lot but you will make a lot of contacts as well.
Also, do not forget to keep your contacts up-to-date with your latest mobile number and email address. You can use apps or online services like Skype, Google Voice, or Vonage for cheap international calls.
When you start working as a real estate agent it’s a good idea not to try and sell multi-million dollar houses right away because it can be disheartening if you don’t get the deal. Instead, try starting with cheaper properties to gain confidence in your skills.
You can do this by contacting homeowners who are looking to sell their property at less than half a million dollars. These people are still excited about getting their money’s worth but they also understand that it is not easy to sell a house. You can start with homes that need some fix-ups or position your services as the “for sale by owner” option and get exclusive listings in your local market.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you need to develop your own niche in real estate. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert in every aspect of the industry but instead focus on one area and become the best in the business.
For example, if you are a property investor focused on flipping houses then you can become a real estate agent that specializes in selling homes fast. You will need to market yourself well and build a reputation that sets you apart from your competitors. You may even want to specialize in a certain price range or neighborhood since everyone doesn’t have the same criteria when looking for a home to buy or sell.
You will be surprised at how many real estate agents are looking for virtual assistants who can handle tasks like online research, emailing potential clients, checking out MLS listings, and even drafting contracts. This work is easy to do from home once you get the hang of it. Many realtors find this arrangement beneficial because they save on office fees, commute time and get to spend more quality time with their families.
If you have a PC or laptop, a printer, scanner, and internet connectivity then you can start this kind of work from home today. Even if your computer crashes sometimes, there are plenty of companies that offer remote support so you still have access to the tools and utilities you need to do your job.
Once you get into the real estate industry, then you will quickly discover that it is one of the most heavily regulated businesses around. You will need to keep records of every transaction for between 7 and 10 years so expect to spend anywhere from an hour or two each day on paperwork and filing systems.
The good news is that there are a lot of software options out there for real estate agents today. You can get programs to handle everything from showing properties, writing listing presentations, scheduling appointments, follow-up emails, and all the other details that you need to run this business successfully.
Today, every business needs to have its own website that it can use to reach out to clients and potential buyers. Most real estate professionals today build their site using WordPress or other leading content management platforms. All you need is a good web designer and the right hosting company to get started on your online presence ASAP.
The benefits of having your own site are many. First, you can direct people who are looking for your type of services to your home page so they don’t have to search through directories or ads. Your website will also act as a portal for clients and customers to send you messages about listings, availability, and inquiries.
You will need to spend time every year making sure your site is updated and relevant. You may also want to add social media buttons and share your website across multiple channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Real estate is an interesting business but it also requires a lot of hard work, long hours, and patience to succeed. Being successful in this industry means that you need to adopt the right mindset before even thinking about getting into the game. Therefore, if you are ready to take on this challenge then be sure to network with other agents, attend industry events regularly and learn as much as you can about your chosen profession.