You can't fast-forward through the "newbie" phase of your real estate career, but you can shorten the ramp-up time.
Learn the real estate ropes by taking the advice of veterans who've been in your shoes. Here are the top tips two seasoned real estate pros say helped them most in building their respective careers.
1. Embrace entrepreneurship
Real estate involves nontraditional hours and some scheduling flexibility compared to a 9-to-5 job, but it's not one you can succeed in if you only give it a part-time focus.
"Without a 100% commitment, it's very easy to quit real estate and go get a 'regular' job," says Juan P. Rojas, Realtor and owner of JPR International Real Estate in Miami, Florida.
Rojas says all Realtors should embrace the fact that being successful means being an entrepreneur. Success in real estate demands discipline, consistency and commitment.
2. Set goals with a sense of urgency
"It’s important to have a sense of urgency—even if it's 'made up,' " Rojas says.
Set goals in the critical areas that help you build your business. Whether it's practicing your prequalifying script five times a day, connecting with 10 qualified leads each week or making five meaningful connections at each networking event, approach your business activities with intention and purpose.
Your clients will also recognize and appreciate your focused approach as you help them in their homebuying or selling journeys.
3. Always be learning
The phrase "always be closing" is a common sales mantra, but real estate also requires constant learning.
"On my team, everyone comes in new and goes through an intense, but simple, 60-hour training so they know exactly how to do the job," Rojas says. "It's important to focus and learn to do the job quickly. If they feel competent—they feel confident. Clients buy into this; it becomes a positive cycle."
When deals and listings don’t go the way you hope, Realtor Gerri Edwards in Charlotte, North Carolina, says to turn them into learning opportunities.
"When I didn't get a sale or listing, I would follow up to ask what the other agent did to get it, and what I could have done differently," Edwards says. "I always wished the person well and kept a positive attitude. People will remember that you followed up with them."
4. Practice patience
Your real estate career will have peaks and valleys. A mentor once told Rojas he'd need to give real estate five years of his complete attention and effort to feel a sense of success. It was the best piece of advice he ever got.
"It forced me to figure out how to make it work, especially during the financial crisis," he says.
5. Follow the best
Build relationships with Realtors you want to be like to get through some of the vulnerability that comes with being new.
"Shadow an experienced agent on a listing appointment, and practice scripts with a partner for your presentations," Edwards says.
The more you surround yourself with polished pros, the sooner you'll start to feel like one.
To recap: Entrepreneurship, patience and a never-ending thirst for knowledge are the primary traits you need to succeed in the real estate industry. Developing those traits while simultaneously setting goals and surrounding yourself with experts will help drive you forward.
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