Agent

3 important tips for real estate newbies

Real estate isn't for everyone, but following these tips can help you make it in this challenging industry
  • New agents should check their motivation, finances and ego if they want to succeed.
  • Advice and feedback from peers can help new agents figure out if real estate is the right career choice.

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I want to talk about the serious side of the real estate business in the San Francisco area.

Many real estate agents get into the business for the wrong reasons. People often seek out the success of seasoned agents and brokers and think that — in the blink of an eye — they, too, will be rolling in the dough.

Well, it takes years to harvest success in the real estate industry and, like nationwide markets, the Bay Area has its share of ups and downs.

I learned three key tips in my expansive real estate career:

1. Understand your motivation

Your ability to commit depends on your level of motivation; I always tell upcoming real estate talent to measure their motivation and then check their commitment.

“What are you willing to do to establish yourself in this industry?”

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This is the first question new agents should ask themselves before diving into the market.

Hard work isn’t enough. There is a lot to know legally, professionally and from the marketing side, too. There will be weeks rolling by when you work without a break. There may be months when you don’t have a sale, or even a prospect.

2. Investigate your finances

Money is an issue.

If you don’t have money in the bank to pay your bills for six to nine months at a time, you’re not ready for the industry.

New agents, know that it is not uncommon to have properties under contract that end up falling through.

You never want to be in a position where you cripple yourself financially; I suggest keeping overhead low, working from a DIY gorilla place for marketing and relying on what’s already in the bank instead of what might be coming.

This information seems pretty obvious, but for many professionals new to the real estate market — or those thinking of jumping in — the thought of overnight success seems to be more of a reality than it actually is.

3. Check your ego at the door

There’s no place for egos when you’re new to real estate.

You need to be emotionally and professionally able to understand when you need help. Then, you need to be responsible and humble enough to seek that help and utilize the advice given to you.

Accepting help is a big part of working within the real estate industry whether you’re in a thriving market with high price points — like San Francisco — or in Iowa, where the market and price points seem more stable and reflective of the national average.

If you’re not ready, willing and proactive when it comes to asking for help, you are going to harm your potential for long-term success.

You have to ask questions.

You have to work with others.

You will come across new and difficult situations.

You will need to judge what types of social and multi-level marketing work within your specific area and what types don’t: Print ads may work in one market but not another. You can either spend a ton of cash finding this out the hard way, or you can ask for help from peers.

Their basic pointers might help you decide whether real estate is really the right career for you.

Sam Benson, SRES, is a real estate broker in the greater Walnut Creek, California, area. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Email Sam Benson.