Congratulations, you’ve got the job! What next? Your first week may have more impact on your career than you realise. Here are some tips for staying afloat if you find yourself in the deep end. Story by Adam Lord
You may have transferred from other professions, from a trade, fresh out of school or maybe you have been in sales for years. It does not matter where you have come from, you are now a real estate agent. What does this mean? This means you are now in charge of handling quite possibly, someone’s greatest asset, a place they call home. It is your job now to get this property sold for the highest possible price and provide the owner a comfortable experience along the way.
When you start in real estate, make a decision from the start not just to give it a go and see what happens but to commit yourself to giving it all you can. The most successful agents have been in sales for years, they stick with it through boom markets and slow markets.
There is a large attrition rate associated with this industry. This is because too many people get in just to give it a go, do not do things right from the start, don’t have the commitment and find it too hard. The pressure of a growing retainer, the costs associated with starting and staying in the job plus the long hours prove too much so they move on. The truth is, they did not see themselves in it for the long term, they were not prepared to put in what is required and just gave up.
If you have made the decision that YES, you are prepared to give it your best and yes, you want to be driving a luxury car in a few years, wearing flashy suits and eating out in restaurants, then follow some of these suggestions. Most importanty, do it now, from day one, and in a few years, you will be thanking yourself you did, you may well be doing better than others who have been in it longer. Listed below is not in any particular order.
- Presentation First impressions count – clean shirts, smart suits, a clean car and polished shoes are just some of the essentials. A neatly presented salesperson will get noticed.
- Put in the hours It’s hard at the start – if the boss expects you to work 6 days per week from 8.30am to 6.30pm, you may just have to do it. Once you have proven yourself in listing and selling property, you can then make your own hours. It is hard for family and friends; you have just started a new job and your phone rings at crazy hours, there are weekends as well. Once you take control of your income, you can reduce your hours.
- Listings This is paramount – without listings there is nothing to do, you can sell another salesperson’s listings, however, you will find it difficult to make a good income just selling. You must get your own listings. Prospect for new business all the time, ask everyone you meet, “Do you know anybody thinking of selling their property?” If they give you a number, call this straight away, be proactive and offer to appraise their property and try and get in the door. It is difficult to list a property for sale unless you get in the door and meet the owner. This improves your chances and it’s better than posting your business card or dropping something into their letterbox. If they are selling, don’t harass them, just get your name accross to show you are keen and that you want to help them sell their property.
- Get help from an experienced agent. It is one thing getting the opportunity at listing a property, it is another getting the vendor to sign. You are better at the start to ask for an experienced agent in your office to help you with the listing presentation and management of this property until settlement day. They will teach you how to list and manage this property, their time may need to be rewarded, however, you may not have got this listing in the first place. The vendor will feel much more confident with you, if you tell them you will be assisted by an experienced person. After you have enough experience, you can go it alone.
- Database Keep a database from the start, record any buyer, potential vendor, friend and family. If you do this from the start, in a couple of years, if you have kept this up to date and made contact you will be in a great position for listing opportunities.
- Be professional at all times. Always remember that this is a service industry. Being professional means the same level of service not just to vendors but to buyers as well. These are a great source of listing opportunities. Often a buyer will have a property to sell, it may not be in your area, however, you can refer this to another agent in your network. Do not get over friendly with buyers, always keep a small distance and be professional. Far too many times, I have seen new agents trying to be friends with every buyer and potential vendor they meet and they seem to sell less property. Always remember you work for the vendor at all times.
- Promote yourself. You need to get your name out there, and as quickly as possible, you need everyone to know what you do, where you sell property. Think, promotion, promotion, promotion, relate your name with real estate in your area and you are well on your way to getting the phone to ring. Get yourself online – property owners need to find you quickly so advertise yourself on websites where you are easily found by name and the postcodes you sell in.
Good luck and remember, don’t give up!
“The most successful agents have been in sales for years, they stick with it, through boom markets and slow markets. The key is stick to it and don’t give up.”
Adam Lord has been in real estate since 2002 and has received several awards for his success. He has just launched a website for agents and property managers called agentappraisal.com.au which was developed to provide an easy way for home owners to find an agent and book an appraisal at the same time.