• Real estate is not a job. It's a business, and starting a business is expensive.
  • New agents should spend time taking in any training and information on pricing a home that is offered by their office or local board.
  • Take odd behavior with a grain of salt.

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New real estate agents leave school armed with basic knowledge about real estate rules and laws. Then they go off into the wild, wonderful world of real estate with the expectation that they will find their agency and hit the ground running.

Most agents will find, however, that it’s not that simple. Here are four of the most common questions asked by new agents, along with some sensible advice:

Where do I find customers?

Real estate school is not structured to teach new agents how to generate leads and find customers. Tom Ferry — real estate coach and trainer — quoted the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in stating that 87 percent of agents fail during their first five years in real estate. One reason is that agents leave real estate school without much or any knowledge of how to generate leads.

Also, agents don’t spend time exploring their unique value proposition (UVP). It’s not always necessary to do what everyone else is doing. New agents should spend time exploring what type of real estate agent they want to be and what will make them successful.

How do I do a CMA?

Agents are not usually taught in real estate school how to complete a comparative market analysis (CMA) and interpret a market analysis. A property market analysis is a learned skill that one masters with practice and time. With that said, it’s not a science, and even the best agents will overshoot their pricing from time to time.

A new agent should spend time taking in any training and information on pricing a home that is offered by their office or local board. Learn everything you can about pricing and marketing properties. Anyone can list a property, but good pricing is fundamental to selling it.

What? Am I eating Ramen?

Real estate is not a job — it’s a business, and starting a business is expensive. By the time an agent finishes school and pays for his or her license and board dues, he or she has invested several thousand dollars in the new business. Sales can also be inconsistent when you are first starting out, and new agents should prepare to ride out the hard times.

It’s true that you have to spend money to make money. Although there are many ways that an agent can promote their business for free, it takes money to stay in business. New agents should create a business budget and plan to stay within that budget while they get their new business off the ground.

Is that behavior normal?

Real estate is a fascinating business as it sometimes feels like there are no boundaries between customer and agent. People will say things to you that can be downright hateful or will share things about their personal lives you wish you didn’t know.

Although it’s hard not to take what people say personally, sometimes you have to take the behavior of others with a grain of salt. Emotions are high, and you are dealing with someone’s largest expenditure, which often brings out abnormal behavior.

The key to succeeding long term in the real estate business is planning, hard work and consistency.

Are you new to the real estate business? Share your story in the comments section below.

If you’ve been around the block as an agent and are fondly remembering your start in the business, we want to hear all about your first sale. Please email us to inquire at contributors@inman.com, and your story might end up on Inman.

Kellie Tinnin is a Real Estate Agent in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Follow Kellie on Twitter @KellieTinnin.

Email Kellie Tinnin.