Dear Rookie,

Fifty-one percent of your chance of success has already been determined by the choice of office you have made. Many agents would be capable of great success, but they start or stay in the wrong office. Every single office is different–even those within the same company.

An agent needs to find an office that suits his/her personality. Beyond that an agent should choose an office that has a history of success with first-time agents. How long has the manager been there? Is there a lot of turnover? How many agents has the office developed into the top 10 percent in the company? What is the success rate of new agents? Did you call 10 agents in the office before joining it? Did you check with title insurance and mortgage reps before deciding on an office or did you decide based on their compensation?

A new agent should get a third of the first year’s business from inside the walls of the office either from incoming calls, referrals from the manager, covering for other agents who are on vacation, etc.

To get the leads you must show initiative. Show deference to the experienced agents no matter what your background. That is one of the ways Hillary Clinton became a powerful senator. Attend all of the sales meetings; tour the other agents homes; hold an open house every weekend for three months; preview 30 homes a week (six per day); create a list of 100 names in a data bank who you will mail to monthly something of value; and join a leads club. This will take more than 40 hours a week and will mean being available, even if not working, 12 to 14 hours a day, but I have never seen anyone fail who did this.

Don’t stop training. You think you have had all the education you will need just to get your license. You are sick of classes. Your education has just begun. Knowledge is power and it should only take one year for a physically fit, unencumbered, hard-working agent to be in the mid-ranks of any office.

Don’t worry about being a “rookie.” Worry about the time the business becomes ordinary and you take it for granted and let your guard down. Then some “rookie” will come in and eat your lunch.

Bill Brewer
RE/MAX Equity Group
Beaverton, Ore.

Dear Rookie,

I don’t think it is your fault at all, but whoever is supposed to be training you should be giving you more help.

While the comments from Mary L. Lee definitely gave some good advice, please be careful that the laws vary in every state. For example, the suggestion to offer to see their home for free if they are not happy is illegal in our state because it can be construed as offering an incentive, even though it sounds like more of a guarantee to me.

My last comment is for the people who were unkind. I can’t help but wonder if they would have had the guts that you had going on a national Web site and saying what you said. There’s a lot of people in your shoes, but they won’t admit it! You are courageous and you will succeed at anything you do because of your persistence! It is amazing!! However, with the right training, you would be able to work a lot smarter from the beginning. How about asking a RE/MAX agent if they would like a licensed assistant. Then once you know the ropes, you can go out on your own. That is the way some agents in our state do the mentoring. Just a thought to someone who definitely deserves it!

Bani LaRiche
REMAX Affiliates

Dear Rookie,

First of all, I agree with the advice your broker gave you about it being time to cut loose the time-waster buyers you wrote about. “Ya gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”

I didn’t get to read your first letter, but I have a question: How has it gone while you’ve been prospecting for listings? You have been doing that haven’t you? Get the listings. Then you don’t have to worry about your fellow agents, fickle buyers or anything else. When you have the listings you control the market because all the other agents are out trying to sell your listings and trying to help make you money! Let them waste their time and money on the “Lookie Loos” while you’re out talking to more sellers!

Get the listings and forget about the buyers (although they will amazingly appear when you have the listings!). Listings have always been the name of the game and they still are. Stick to the basics. They never change!

Larry Eckstein
Albany, Ore.


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