So You Wanna be a Real Estate Agent?

IMG_3819Well, the cat is out of the bag now! Everyone is aware that the Metro Atlanta real estate market is back and red hot. These are the times that we historically see a rise in the number of new real estate agents entering the workforce. Everyone wants in! We meet with people every year who are kicking around the idea of getting into the business, and we genuinely like helping people get started. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would we want more competition? There is something intrinsically good about sharing your experience with others. It’s the right thing to do. We’ve been so fortunate to have mentors in our career who have helped teach and guide us for the last ten years or so as we’ve built our team. It’s exciting to think I can help someone else who is right where we were.

Here’s what I’d tell anyone considering a career change or even a career start in the world of real estate.

  1. Have a goal in mind for your first year both professionally and financially. Let’s be honest that this is not a get rich quick scheme. How will you invest in your new endeavor? I would suggest as much education as you can afford. That foundation is crucial to your success, and you have to get into action very quickly as it can take easily six months before you make your first sale. Make sure you are prepared for such a delay in your income, and as you make more, make sure you put money aside for your business. Too many agents don’t treat their business like a business. Don’t run your business out of your personal checking account. When times are slow, your business spending will be the first line item that suffers, which is the very thing that’s supposed to help you get going.
  2. You need a support group and champions for your cause. Beyond coaches and mentors, you need people around you to encourage you and push you to accomplish your goals. This could be your spouse, partner, or significant other, your parents, friends, broker, vendors, etc. 80% of real estate agents fail after the first year, and I’d venture to say that more than half of that is a direct result of no support group and no accountability. Share your goals with everyone. Not only will they hold you accountable, but they will help you achieve it!
  3. Leads do not grow on trees, and the phone does not just ring. You have to pick it up. You have to engage people. You have to work exceptionally hard to ensure that your friends and family know what you do so that you become top of mind for real estate. Now, we don’t cram real estate down everybody’s throats, but now that our marketing plan is mature, our friends and family come to us. It took a good three years of consistent marketing for that to happen. Regardless of how many leads you generate, there is no such thing as enough. You have to constantly stay focused on generating leads. We’ve found the best way to do that is to provide world class customer service, and the result is a business filled with 85% referral and repeat clients.
  4. Real estate is not a part time job. The constant deadlines and demands cannot help but carry over into your life after hours, on weekends, and even on vacation. Guess where I’m writing from right now? Vacation. Realtors work hard to create balance in their lives, but it’s not easy. The other part that creeps in is your desire to help other people or for some the desire to get things done. Both of these extremes can’t simultaneously exist for realtors, but the point is that it can be difficult to draw a line and take time for yourself. There is always something that can be done, or done better. I feel like I’m constantly refining what I do from education, processes and procedures, to customer service, hiring, and the list goes on and on. I’ve told many people that it’s one of the most addictive businesses so you have to be cognizant of it for your own good and the good of your family and relationships.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you get started in real estate you can feel like an island. I’ve heard agents refer to it as a “lonely business.” As mentioned before there is a lot to do, and on top of that you are dealing with most people’s largest financial transaction of their life. No pressure, right? Tons. You have to get it right or the liability falls on your shoulders. Make sure you ask for help from your fellow agents. While you’ll find that there are plenty of selfish people who won’t share their experience and secrets with you, you’ll be forever indebted to those who do. Don’t ever let them forget how much you appreciate them.

If we can help you in any way as you consider this crazy career, we’d be delighted. Give me a call or email me at, and we’ll do lunch. I look forward to talking with you about what could be the best move of your life.

Cheers, Andy

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