Real estate classes not only give agents perspective on the rules and regulations of the industry, but also the details of how to move through a transaction from start to finish. These classes don’t, however, give the same information as you learn during your time working the field. Here are a few things that every agent learns as a professional.
Each transaction is different – and complex
Real estate classes give students an understanding of the basic framework of a transaction. The textbooks do not, however, discuss the uniqueness and complexity of each situation. Understanding the nuances of a transaction can really only be learned by experiencing it first-hand. At the very least, the principals and property are unique to each situation, so with that many variables, it will present different challenges every time.
In addition to its on-boarding and training programs, john greene Realtor also offers a mentoring program where new agents shadow experienced agents in the field. It’s really critical to have someone walk you through the steps in an actual transaction so that you can begin to understand and anticipate those important details that were never discussed in class.
How to apply the law
While it’s certainly important to know what the law is, it’s equally important to know how the law is applied. Unfortunately, real estate class simply details some of the laws that exist without going that extra step to explain the many ways in which a single law can be interpreted.
For new-to-the-industry agents, there is no substitute for real-world experience, supported by a strong mentoring and training program, to move from textbook to application when beginning their career.
Your work doesn’t stop after the transaction closes
Classroom instruction takes aspiring agents through each step of the transaction process, but doesn’t tell students what to do after they hand the keys over to the buyer. One of the most critical components of being a successful Realtor is maintaining client relationships long-term.
Most experienced agents’ business can come from referrals, so if you’re able to grow that referral network, you won’t be spending as much time seeking out new clients instead of helping existing clients. Realtors regularly communicate with clients and prospects to remain top of mind when they or a friend or family member is ready to buy or sell a home.
How to manage your online profile
It’s no secret that technology has had a tremendous impact on the home buying and selling process. Current licensing programs focus on a broad framework, including real estate law and terminology, but currently do not have a large focus on the technology component of real estate. This misses a key piece of the technological puzzle that agents will be faced with in the field.
When most of us go to a restaurant, a doctor, or a car mechanic, we first search for reviews online to see what other people are saying about them. It’s no different with a Realtor. An agent’s online footprint is an extremely important element of building a successful business.
It’s no longer a simple matter of keeping your bio updated, now you need to proactively reach out to clients and capture those positive experiences and share them online. Even if you’re an excellent Realtor, if you don’t have those reviews and testimonials, your reputation will suffer.
Where to find the right partners
Buying or selling a home requires more than just a capable Realtor, it involves a host of other providers, including lenders, attorneys, inspectors and environmental providers. Although real estate class will inform students of each provider’s role, it will not teach students how to find them.
At john greene Realtor, we insist that our agents present two-to-three providers for each service, so that our clients can make informed decisions. Because for your client, this isn’t merely a transaction, this is a life-changing event, and they need the most reputable partners working for them.
What form to use when
There are literally thousands of forms available to address every situation in a transaction, but real estate class will only discuss a handful of them. Not only does this leave students unaware of what’s the appropriate form for each situation, it can leave them overwhelmed. And searching for the appropriate form can be complicated and time-consuming, as not every form is contained in a single location.
We actually have a motto at john greene that says, ‘There’s a form for that.’
We detail the variety of forms and applicable scenarios, to help agents gain familiarity and confidence in the selection of the appropriate forms. It’s also critical to understand that licensed Realtors do not have the authority to simply create their own form. That’s a very big detail that requires application after learning in the classroom.
Each municipality has its own rules
Real estate classes are not tailored to specific municipalities and, therefore, only cover general fees and requirements that may or may not be necessary on each transaction. These requirements can range from specific forms for the city or town, to tax stamps requiring fees for every transaction, to permits for putting a for-sale sign in the yard.
Every single municipality is different, and there is no way to learn all of the individual rules until you’re operating in that area. Books in real estate class quickly become outdated as broader laws continually change, making it impossible for students to be proficient in the rules and regulations on their first transaction.
There’s no replacement for real-world experience for Realtors. But partnering with a reputable brokerage that will help guide you through the process until you can learn to anticipate these unknowns, is the most important first step.
Tigi Tasso is a broker and training and development director at john greene Realtor, one of the largest brokerage firms in Chicago’s western suburbs. Tasso holds 15 years of industry experience, is a licensed instructor, and is member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.