By Mikkie Mills
A career in real estate is an opportunity to interact with many different buyers and sellers from many different backgrounds. If you work smart, there's no reason you can't make a comfortable income. If you're serious about becoming a real estate agent, here are a few things you need to consider before to jump-start your career:
Take Pre-Licensing Courses
To work as an agent, you must obtain a license in the state you plan to work. Each state has its own rules and regulations to protect consumers; most states offer sales and broker licenses. There are real estate agencies that require specific educational requirements, and you might need to take additional courses after being hired. But at the very least, you have to pass both state and national exams to get a license.
Choose a Brokerage Agency
Contacting a broker before finishing your training courses is essential. Brokers can offer guidance when it comes to listings and selling of houses since they have, at the very least, an additional three years of training. Ask your instructor to give you advice when choosing a broker—he or she may even recommend a few to you. Also, consider doing your research, because you shouldn't rely on word of mouth alone.
Develop a Budget
The start-up fee to develop a real estate career is typically between $1,500-$2,000. This amount gets divided between association fees, licensing courses, advertising and business cards; however, this cost does not include additional courses. You need to set some cash aside to get by for the first months before you start making any sales, and it's advisable to budget at least 10 percent of your commission to marketing.
Create a Website
Real estate is about marketing your services and clients listings. Most clients will look to agents' sites to learn about services offered. You can use option spread strategies by creating a website, blog and social accounts. According to National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 96 percent of American buyers opt to search for homes on the internet. This is because of the simple fact that it's easier to find properties online. Focus on boosting your selling skills—photography and writing persuasive listing descriptions—as you present facts and figures. People are drawn to homes that they can see online, so up your chances of getting them to come and view your property.
Build Your Referral Portfolio
Creating quality relationships with people in the real estate industry is essential to increase your referrals. The majority of buyers and sellers get agents through referrals, so think of how you can organize a get-together so you can inform those close to you of your business. This will not only help you generate new leads, but also, once you get established in the industry, you'll be able to regularly update these people on your current projects. Try to find a mentor who will connect you with buyers and sellers and in turn split commissions. This way you get to learn about real estate business at the same time you're enjoying your first earnings.
To become a successful real estate agent is similar to starting a small business. You need to have a realistic plan to build your client base, so follow the above steps carefully and work hard to achieve your goals.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.