The excitement of showing homes. The quest to find promising clients. The rush of obtaining leads. The triumph of making a sale or meeting a landlord's needs—these are the thrilling realtors. Unique individuals excel in this profession, with certain qualifications, traits, and skills. The financial and emotional rewards are tremendous! What are the requirements? How can you achieve the heights of success? This article answers these questions, paving your way.
A real estate agent is not the same as a realtor. First, let's cover similarities. Both have completed 30 to 90 hours of classes at an accredited university, college, or technical school. Each has passed an examination to become licensed. Both play the same role, to aid people in selling and buying property.
However, a realtor has the distinction of being an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As such, they must abide by the organization's standards and Code of Ethics. Its 17 principles specify the moral obligations of a member. The guidelines require you to place client interests ahead of your own and to be honest in all interactions.
So, to earn a reputation as an upstanding realtor, begin by joining NAR. Find a local association, and pay the one-time application fee. You're required to be licensed and actively working, with no record of misconduct or bankruptcy.
After membership approval, you must pay annual dues, currently $120. As a condition of continued membership, you may need to obtain periodic training on the Code of Ethics. An update is published every January in Realtor Magazine. A special assessment fee is also charged annually, currently $35.
Membership gives you access to many professional resources, including webinars, online Code of Ethics training, and residential listings on Realtor.com. You'll be granted a credit union account, library and research services, market research and technology reports, and marketing and advertising services. You'll also receive discounts on dental and health insurance, prescription coverage, mobile phones, car rentals, conference attendance, certification courses, and books.
1. Detail-Oriented and Organized. Realtors with these qualities are most likely to sell homes. They're prompt in returning phone calls and arrive on time for appointments. They're quick to pursue leads. Meticulous and creative in writing listings, they also take quality photographs of properties. As adept listeners, they're attentive to clients' needs. With a penchant for taking notes, they keep careful records.
When meeting clients, jot down information about their background, concerns, and needs. The insights gained will help you serve them well. For example, a pregnant couple requires adequate space for a growing family, a good school district, and convenient location. A single professional man who's just moved to a city likely wants urban amenities.
2. Discerning. Smart realtors are aware of client timing. If a seller isn't in a rush, they may advise waiting for a better market. Alert to client motivation, they understand the different reasons for selling. Some customers buy to sell, as an investment. They may want a property versus a building, intending to replace the structure with another. Other clients are selling to put funds toward a new home.
An observant realtor is astute in handling various motivations. A client with a goal of investing lacks the sentimental attachment of a homeowner. Their timelines will likely be different as well. Success hinges on the ability to note the difference and pitch appropriate strategies.
3. Tenacious. Passive realtors don't sell homes. Aggressive professionals do. This business isn't for the fainthearted. It takes hard work and determination to successfully market properties. Even when faced with intense challenge, strong realtors never give up. Highly self-motivated, they promote each home like their own.
What trait underlies tenacity? It's a problem-solving mindset. To hone this aptitude, when met with a roadblock, first gather as much information about it as possible. Listen attentively when people speak, and reflect on what they say. Keep a tight rein on emotions, remaining calm. Analyze the issue objectively, just the facts.
Rather than jumping on the first solution that emerges, take time to consider several. Don't be impulsive! Then choose the best idea, and set a goal. Persistence is fueled by being proactive. Chase new leads and call potential clients. Be a bird dog, hot on the housing trail!
4. Engaging. Charisma gives you a leading edge in this field. Show clients you care about them as people, not just business prospects. Be personable and honest, and you'll develop solid rapport. Demonstrate that you're service-oriented, and clients will grow to trust you.
Keeping your word and being honest are evidence of integrity. This virtue puts clients at ease. Good grooming promotes a respectable image. Be vivacious, a realtor whose voice and presence launch instant smiles!
1. Communicating. Are you articulate and responsive? Great realtors are. Expert in ways to improve curb appeal, they share such tips with their clients. They're also flexible regarding how people want to converse. Some folks are most comfortable with phone calls while others prefer texts or emails. Receptive professionals adapt accordingly.
Do you know the top client frustration? It's a realtor that doesn't stay in touch. In this time-sensitive industry, lack of communication is stressful. Phone calls that aren't made can result in missed opportunities on both sides of the selling fence.
2. Gaining Knowledge. A top-producing realtor is thoroughly versed in community demographics and their distinguishing features. They understand the nuances of the local housing market and unique pricing strategies. They stay current on the latest topics in real estate. As a NAR member, your subscription to Realtor Magazine will aid you in this. Continuing education will also keep you abreast of market developments.
3. Using Technology. Progressive realtors can manage deals from their smartphone or iPad. According to Realtor.com, 10 tech tools can keep you current, efficient, and productive.
• Yesware - This email tracking system tells you when messages you've sent are opened.
• Market Snapshot - Use this app to create "New Listing" or "Just Sold" alerts. Deliver information promptly, using emails branded with your name and logo.
• HelloSign - Enable clients to sign documents electronically. Working with Gmail and Google, this app eliminates paperwork. You can also create your own form.
• Ginger - This document checker makes corrections as you type. Your text messages and emails will be accurate and professional. Ginger assesses grammar, punctuation, phrasing, and word usage.
• Sitegeist - Use this app to glean local demographics, median home values, school data, venues, and weather.
• MileIQ - Facilitate tax reporting with this app that tracks your mileage. It separates personal jaunts from business trips when you file them under the appropriate heading. At year-end, MileIQ prints your expense report.
4. Networking. Successful realtors have a vast network of connections. Contacts include potential buyers and sellers, other realtors and brokers, home appraisers, inspectors, and mortgage loan officers. Below are some helpful networking suggestions:
• Keep a Rolodex of contacts, adding their business cards as you meet them.
• Then take the initiative, following up. Call your contacts, asking permission to "stay in touch."
• Attend trade shows and networking events. Note that paid events are likely to be more productive than unpaid meetings. Attendees who spend money are serious.
• Conduct your own seminar. Afterward, potential clients will cue up to speak with you.
• Develop a marketing plan, presenting yourself as an industry expert.
One of the career tools available to you is Success Path. This organization teaches the strategies of successful real estate investing. Offered in both the US and Canada, training programs are comprehensive. Here's an overview of their empowering courses:
• Live Preview - This is an introduction to the profession, provided free. You'll become acquainted with lucrative real estate methods and how to build wealth. Resources are available for purchase, and you can also register for additional training.
• Personal Business Success - This course teaches realtor basics, including how to set priorities, develop self-discipline, and fine-tune interpersonal skills.
• 3-Day Accelerator Workshop - This event is the fast track to learning proven real estate principles that work in today's market.
• Coaching - Individual sessions are offered weekly, rendering first-class mentoring. Whether you're starting a business or looking to expand, you'll receive vital tips and support.
• 3-Day Investor's Summit - Learn profitable investing methods, and network with other investors and industry experts. You'll also scope out promising assets and properties in which to invest.
• Inner Circle Camp - Obtain hands-on experience and advice from expert investors, including honed investment strategies.
A Cut Above
You'll stand out from the crowd as a NAR member who's detail-oriented, organized, discerning, tenacious, and engaging. Be on top of technology and market knowledge, and you'll stay ahead of the competition. Communication skills forge client rapport and open doors to networking. Advanced education teaches success strategies.
Working as a realtor can be exciting and fun. It's also quite lucrative if you're highly qualified. With experience, you'll gain a glowing reputation. Clients will flip for your business!
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends looking into educational programs like Success Path for more information.