Dear Rookie,

First tip: find a company that charges for E&O (errors & omission) insurance on a per-transaction basis. The company that I work for does that. It is much more palatable than paying for a year up front – and yes, subsidizing the agents that are doing those 50 deals a year! I’d also look for a firm that truly helps the rookie with everything from a first-time mailing to your farm, to postcards for your first listing. They are out there. Sounds more like you make an unfortunately poor choice of which agency to work for!

Leslie L. D’Amato
Century 21 Paradigm

Dear Rookie,

It’s really unfortunate that the barrier to entry into real estate is so low that many obtain their license not realizing that this is a full-blown business. Your article rings true as far as entering into the industry with eyes wide open, and I would very much agree with your assessment as far as what it takes to get started. My advice to you would be to find a brokerage that charges you E&O based on the transaction versus a monthly fee. I would also consider finding a large agent team in need of a buyer’s agent. This should reduce your costs and risks somewhat and if it is the right team with resources and marketing pieces in place, should give you instant credibility. Also, depending on how efficient you are and how much time it takes to keep track of your marketplace, 50-60 hours a week is nothing if you’re by yourself. When it was just one of us, 70-80 hours was the norm because you are working so much “on” your business when you aren’t working “in” your business.

Biggest tip: work your sphere. If you aren’t touching them 30 times a year, it’s not enough.

The Kofahl Team
Dallas, Texas

Dear Rookie,

If you are truly putting in this much time and have not had a single escrow, there is something very wrong with your approach. I would suggest you re-think your entire attitude about this profession and see it not as a sales job but as a service (which it truly is). When you knock on the door ask if there is anything you can do for them, even if they are not thinking of selling. So what if you do a free market analysis only because they want to refinance? Eventually they may sell, and if you do a good job and then keep in touch, they will call you. Even if they never sell, they may refer you to a friend or neighbor.

Ask other Realtors who have many listings if you can do an open house for them. Be prepared for the buyers who visit – almost everyone is a “lead” and most will actually buy something in the next six months. They may not like the home you hold open, but if you know the market you can find out what they want and make suggestions. Perhaps they would like you to show them that other home sometime soon. Perhaps they would like to be informed of similar homes that may come on the market. I find that most open-house customers do not have a Realtor yet. And many busy Realtors do not do open houses.

Sue Kracke
Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker


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