Re: ‘Rookie Realtor: Newbie releases tax return‘ (April 26)

Dear Rookie:

Please send me your direct mailing address or one that will get the mail to you, and I will send you free copies of Designware for Landscape ($600 retail); Designware for Pools (retail another $600); Maureen Gilmers “Garden Maker” ($70 retail); Kitty Bartholomew’s “Home Designer” ($70 retail); plus custom corporate programs for landscape lighting, fencing, street lighting, siding…If you don’t make use of the programs as a Realtor, you can be successful selling remodeling projects to homeowners with your new laptop…

John Tilton
Design Imaging Group Inc.

Dear Rookie:

I don’t have any advice for you, but I do have a question. First, my situation: I’ve just completed my pre-licensing class at the local junior college. I’m waiting on my grade, so I can then take the state licensing exam (Illinois). Since I’m soon to be a “rook” myself; I was wondering, if you don’t get some income soon, how much longer do you plan to stick it out before throwing in the towel?

Tom Woods

Dear Rookie:

I’m not surprised at your frustration, but it is true that real estate is the least expensive business to get into, with the greatest returns. My advice to you, after helping literally hundreds of “rookies” make it in this business, is to stop concentrating on your expenses and look at your goals. First, do you have a marketing system (as distinct from marketing “pieces” that most companies offer) that makes sense? You should find a system that puts you in front of your audience at least three times per month, and you should be able to pay for this system with one commission check, or at most two, per year.

Secondly, did your training include practical answers to your questions? Did you get a list of Objection Handling Techniques? Most of all, how many appointments do you make per week? You need three per week when you’re new in order to close two to a contract every three weeks. This will give you two closings per month, which is more than enough to pay your bills.

I know that you think it should be free to join a company because of your 50/50 split, but look what your company has gotten from you: $0. If the national fallout rates are accurate, 95 percent of newbies will drop out within two years, so real estate companies would never be able to keep the lights on and the offices staffed by making nothing out of 95 percent of its recruits each year. This is a delicate balance.

You also need a great managing broker, someone who’s always there, someone who really knows and loves the business, and someone you’re comfortable with. Most managing brokers are tired agents who were never very successful at selling real estate themselves, so they now collect a small paycheck and are paid based on how many people they sign up every month. I hope that isn’t the case with you. If you have a great managing broker, pick his/her brain. Ask him/her to go to Open House with you on the weekend so you can learn firsthand. Put together a great social farm contact strategy where you are in a position to touch these people personally once a quarter at least.

This is truly a business, and you have to treat it like one. Our “rookie of the year” at our company in 2003 was a 26-year-old schoolteacher who had made less than $30,000 in 2002. She made $170,000 her first year here as a Realtor. In hot pursuit of that title were three other newbies who studied this as a craft, implemented systems, and learned closing scripts. All of them made over $100,000 their first year in business. It is possible…don’t give up.

Tracy Buck
Director, Marketing and Development
Sterling Real Estate Group

Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.

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