By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Studying for a career in real estate opens up a world of possibilities. Considered a highly rewarding sector, a career in real estate demands the right balance of motivation, social skills and negotiation tactics. While it can be demanding, it can also offer a great deal of independence, and business growth is generally up to you. The real estate market may take dips from time to time, but it never ceases to exist completely. People always need to buy and sell houses, and even when the economy is not favourable, real estate agents still make good business.
When you study for a career in real estate with the International Career Institute, you take on the role of an employee at the Virtual Reality Agency, a thriving (metaphorical) agency. Your course is filled with ‘real life’ scenarios and situations to help you learn best tactics and solutions to sales, property management, agency services, and business practice. Designed in conjunction with the real estate industry, it will fast track your career by offering insider tips in months, instead of years.
If you like dealing with people, have a flair for communication, and enjoy working in a competitive environment, you’ll go far in real estate. To be truly successful, however, be sure to follow these handy tips…
The majority of real estate agents fail to earn commission in their first two years. Earning steady commission can take time, so unless you have a plethora of family and friends lining up to sell their houses, be prepared to start slow. A good idea when starting out in real estate is to have a backup income source, or enough money saved to take financial pressure off in the first year.
Start your real estate career right with a good contact management system. During your (hopefully long) career as a real estate agent, you will be liaising with buyers, sellers, investors, mortgage brokers, loan officers, appraisers, inspectors, title companies and more. Filing away prospects and contacts in a clear manner will help you to follow up and build your ‘book of business’.
You can’t run before you can walk, so gain experience by working alongside a mentor. There is no substitute for actual deal experience, so while you might be itching to get out there and make a sale on your own, slow it down and learn from the best first. Take a job with a successful broker and offer to assist them with their deals. Real estate is not just about ‘selling’, and there is lots to learn about surveys, title insurance, deeds, liens, encumbrances and more. If you’ve seen and been part of successful deals first hand, you’ll feel much more capable when it comes time to run.
You’ll learn quickly that communication is key when it comes to building strong relationships with clients. What might seem like insignificant information to an agent can be really important to clients new to the real estate game, so keep your clients informed throughout every process. Being time sensitive market, it’s crucial your clients have all the information they need so that processes can move quickly. The responsibility of a good agent is to suss out a client’s preferred method of communication so they don’t feel ignored, silenced or pressured.
Use your first few quiet months to study the local market intensively. Attend as many open homes and auctions as you can, learn about the local area and its major attractions, observe how other properties are being marketed, and get to know the people buying. The more research you do, the better equipped you are to market successfully, promote your properties, and answer your client’s questions. Don’t stop once sales pick up though. Studying your market is a significant part of your continued improvement.
Reporters are continually hungry for story angles and becoming a “noted source” for all things real estate can rapidly expand your reputation. What new kitchen trends are you seeing? Who’s buying in your local area? Hand stories to reporters on a platter and they’ll love you for it.
Some transactions might not lead to a massive commission cheque, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t take the job. Use the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the seller or buyer, and you may find they send more business your way, or come back with a more lucrative deal later on. A good reputation is worth its weight in gold, and if you’re seen to be fussy, you’ll damage that.
If you’re going out on your own it’s crucial that you have a strong online presence. Investing heavily in developers to build a website that ranks high in search results might sound scary, but it’s actually one of the most cost-effective ways to market yourself.
When you study with the International Career Institute, you are given a whole range of free career services designed to help you find employment or start your own business. Services include resume preparation, job searches, cover letter design, interview preparation, and unlimited consultations. Make the most of this help and watch your career blossom right from the start.
The most successful real estate agents love what they do, and the satisfaction they get from going to work fuels higher commissions. Be happy when you set off to work and good things will come.