February 17, 2016 by Jeff Lowen
With the country on the verge of the Spring Market, most would agree amidst the volatility, that we’re in a pretty stable economy in most places.
Whether we’re on the cusp of where we were back at the turn of the early 2000’s remains to be seen, yet now is a very good time to join the ranks of real estate agents with plenty of business to go around.
Most veterans in the industry will agree, getting your license is just the tip of the iceberg. Most states across the country only require a very small amount of education to actually get a state issued license that gives you the means to help buyers and sellers navigating the sale of what would most likely be their largest financial asset.
So what comes after the tip of the iceberg? Companies like Keller Williams, whom has been touted as not only one of the best places to work beyond the real estate industry, offer training and education to new and seasoned agents, and is unmatched. Not taking away anything from the other large brokerage houses like Re/Max, Coldwell Banker and Century 21 to name a few, training is paramount. When it comes to the resources available to companies with 50,000 to 120,000 agents, the smaller, local brokerage companies just can’t compete in the offerings for a newly licensed agent.
The challenges lie in the fact that agents are treated as independent contractors and are not mandated to better themselves educationally. Of course, most states require continuing education to maintain a license at 2 to 4 year intervals, but most would agree is very basic requirements. It’s left up to the individual agent to pursue a training path.
“Getting your license is easy; but then that’s the easy part…”
Another challenge is the industry itself – other than the resources large brokerage companies offer, there is little incentive on the part of the broker to streamline the customer experience. In other words, if you sell a home in Northern Virginia, then move to Austin, Texas for example, your experience will most likely be very different. So, for the consumer, it’s very difficult to rely on the industry to give you a stable customer experience because “Each office is independently owned and operated,” for one thing. Secondly, since the brokerage company has very little to say or do with the agents’ business practices, every agent runs their businesses a little different.
The point I’m making is, and this may sound a little harsh; it does the industry no good if you plan on getting your license unless you’re serious about being the best agent you can be. Many successful agents advocate getting a coach to help and direct you toward a positive experience for you and the clients you help. I think it’s a good idea, but as with everything else, we all have to get paid at some level.
So then, how can you get into real estate and not only have a good experience yourself, but provide one for the people you help? With nearly an 85% attrition rate (8 out of 10 agents will be out of the business within 2 years), there are countless coaches, gurus and other agents that have just the right plan for you, however no one but you knows your reasons, expectations and intentions. No matter how you slice it, getting help is important.
Finding a mentor, a coach, getting involved with a group or team that will direct you – at least at first – is probably one of the best decisions you can make early on.
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