Real estate is a truly incredible industry. It’s competitive, rewarding, and full of new experiences on a regular basis. Real estate is also a relatively inexpensive industry to enter and can bring plenty of value and advancement opportunities to your life. However, starting out as a new real estate agent can be intimidating, just as with any career. By knowing what to expect, you can properly prepare yourself to thrive within the industry. Here are five key actions that will help you start successfully:
1. Understand the Competitiveness of the Real Estate Industry
With approximately 2 million active real estate agents practicing in the United States, according to Realtor.org, competition within this industry is inevitable. However, there is a major shift expected within the next few years as baby boomers retire. This will result in many job opportunities, and less competition, but the industry will still be hot. According to The Wall Street Journal, there may be as many as 5 million openings after millennials fill the available positions from baby boomer retirements. So, although the shift will decrease the amount of competition with senior real estate agents, the real estate industry will soon be a competitive landscape for younger millennials.
2. Expect to Become an Expert
With regards to the competitive nature of the industry, new real estate agents should plan to become experts in their areas. While a real estate education will teach you the ins and outs of the industry, you’ll have to find a niche that will separate you from competitors. This is key to succeeding within the industry.
According to Consumer Reports, millennials are the largest demographic looking to buy homes. This is important to understand, as you will need to develop business strategies to that will help you meet the needs of this generation. For example, build your social media presence and use technology to show your approach to buying and selling homes.
Some other areas of expertise include luxury real estate, vacation homes, and condominiums, among others. In order to become an expert on the specifics within the real estate industry, you’ll want to take a significant amount of time and research. If you’re narrowing your real estate services in on a specific area, you’ll need to network with locals, explore the community and gain valuable knowledge that interests the general population.
3. Learn Essential Working Skills
New real estate agents have to dedicate time to perfecting essential skills like discipline, time-management, and organization. Many tasks of a real estate agent will be done on your own time and schedule. You’re often working alone, and as such, won’t have a manager, boss, or even broker looking over your shoulder throughout the day. Although the freedom is nice, procrastination and cutting corners can be tempting—but that won’t get you far. The first thing new real estate agents must do to be successful is learn discipline.
4. Know There Will Be Career Ups and Downs
Just with any career choice, there will be good and bad days. There will also be excellent customers and not-so-pleasant ones. Money should never be your driving factor for entering the real estate industry. Although it can be incredibly rewarding, it takes a significant amount of time, skills, and knowledge to reap those rewards. There will be ups and downs, dry housing markets, and thriving ones. Days can sometimes be long and unpredictable. So, enter the real estate industry with a realistic approach and realistic expectations.
5. Be Ready for the Small Details
There are many small, yet important, things that need to be done prior to entering the real estate industry: You need to obtain a real estate license, and decide whether you want to join the National Association of REALTORS® If so, you should expect to pay annual dues. You also want to consider joining listing websites, and as such, should also expect to pay any fees required for those services. Creating signage is also essential to advertising homes for sale, open houses, and other events you’re hosting; this will also come with some fees.
You also need to have a professional wardrobe, a laptop, smart phone and automobile. While these aren’t direct requirements of being a real estate agent, they can mean the difference in your success within the industry.
The real estate industry is unlike any other. It’s a rewarding adventure that will truly put your skills to the test. With proper knowledge of the real estate industry, you can prepare for the many opportunities that are about to head your way.