Become a Local Expert
As new Realtors® we want to sell homes all over Orlando, or even the state, and we’re willing to drive hundreds of miles for a listing or potential buyer sale. We justify it and applaud ourselves as being dedicated, committed or willing to do “whatever it takes” for our clients. Unfortunately most agents learn the hard way that time is easily wasted and driving across Orlando 2x a day can eat up 3 or 4 valuable hours that should be spent researching properties and marketing listings. Plus a lot of us are operating on a tight budget when we first enter the business and spending all that money on gas, tolls or car maintenance could leave you short when it’s time to pay thousands of dollars to market a luxury listing. Lastly, the market varies widely from one neighborhood, community or county to the next so it’s difficult to keep track of a broad area. For instance, Wadeview Park and Delaney Park are right next to each other in Downtown Orlando and are separated only by a 2-lane road. However home values, days on market, buyer preferences and home features are drastically different despite the close proximity. We can’t possibly learn every neighborhood in Central Florida well enough to offer exceptional value to buyers and sellers and it’s a disservice to try and serve all those communities when you’re starting out. Start small and learn every sale, every street and even every homeowner in a small community. Once you’ve become the local expert and established a strong foundation, slowly expand to incorporate surrounding areas into your knowledge base.
Find A Mentor
There are endless classes and training programs being thrown at you as a new Realtor® or potential licensee. From large institutional schools like Bob Hogue and Climer to our local Orlando Regional Realtor® Association (ORRA), there’s always an instructor waiting to take your money in exchange for a few tips and tricks of the trade. Unfortunately those instructors won’t be around at 11:00pm when you’re in a multiple-offer bidding war trying to beat out 3 other buyers to land your first-time homebuyer their dream house. These courses are designed to appeal to a broad audience serving a huge geographic area and they can’t possibly tailor the content to your skill level, clientele or working style. Successful real estate agents have learned from generous mentors in their careers and understand the importance of training and building relationships with the next generation of Realtors®. Find someone with a track record of success in the areas you want to focus on and offer to buy them a coffee or swing by their office to schedule a meeting. Once you’ve found someone with a similar personality and working style, don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll mentor you in exchange for helping with showings, open houses, door knocking or other time-consuming tasks that busier agents need assistance with.
Follow Models and Systems
Nearly 80% of new businesses fail in their first year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but nearly 95% of franchises survived according to a study conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The drastic difference lies in the simple fact that franchisees follow models and systems that were created and honed by their predecessors. While investors looking to own a real estate brokerage do have some franchise options, there aren’t any for single Realtors® looking to start their own company. There are however proven models and systems developed by the top agents in the country that are widely available and can greatly reduce the risks of failure in your own real estate sales business. Generally speaking you’ll need 4 models in your real estate sales business to keep you from repeating fatal mistakes that will put you out of business before you get started. All of them can be found and are discussed at length in one of my favorite books, the Millionaire Real Estate Agent book written by Gary Keller. The four models are:
- The Economic Model discusses how to predict and plan for the income you’ll earn
- The Lead Generation Model discusses what activities you’ll need to do in order to fulfill the economic model goals
- The Budget Model shows you where your income should be invested into the business to create a sustainable pipeline
- The Organization Model explains when to bring more people into your business to support growth and maintain customer service
Choose The Right Brokerage
There are three types of brokerages you’ll encounter when searching for the right place to “hang your license”. Dependent companies keep associates reliant on the brokerage because they give out just enough business to keep the agent around but never teach them the skills and techniques needed to thrive on their own. Independent agent models assume that agents want to work in isolation without any support, leadership or assistance from the company. In this model, the agent keeps nearly 100% of their income and assumes all the financial, legal and management responsibilities. Interdependent brokerages facilitate a partnership mentality where the broker empowers the agents to produce their own leads, and in exchange the broker shares back a portion of the company profits and limits the annual income taken from each agent.
Commit to Ethical Behavior
There are nearly 13,000 Realtors® in Central Florida today and that number is growing constantly, especially when the market is as good as it’s been the past couple years. Despite such a huge number of licensed agents, only about 20% of those sell real estate with consistent regularity and you’ll work with the best agents and clients repeatedly over your career. A lot of agents try to make a quick extra buck by unethically blocking showings to “double-end” deals or by trying to tarnish another agents reputation to secure a new buyer or seller client. You’ll quickly be identified by your clients and the other agents in this business as someone who acts respectfully in the best interest of their clients, or as someone who should be avoided in deals due to unethical behavior and a “me first” attitude. The National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics should be studied and adhered to at all times as a foundation of any successful long-term real estate sales business.
Thinking About A Career In Real Estate?
We’re constantly looking for motivated people with a passion for customer service and an understanding of marketing, investment, accounting and real estate. If you’d like to learn more about my team or the real estate industry in Central Florida then Contact Me today to schedule an office tour, coffee meeting or shadowing opportunity.