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How to Start and Build a Real Estate Business

By Guest Author | December 6, 2011

Real estate agentReal estate has been seen for years as a lucrative and rewarding profession. The best agents can weather any economic storm. They might take a hit, but they can also adjust and find a way to make things work out too. However, there is little forgiveness within the industry for the average or mediocre agent. The average agent’s salary, as reported by many career-oriented sites, is well below the poverty level. Of course, these sites fail to take into account that many real estate agents use real estate as a supplementary rather than a primary source of income. For those who wish to make real estate a full-time career, there are some points to keep in mind.

Start Small

Beginning as a part-time agent is an excellent way for those new to the industry to get their feet wet without risking having the lights turned off. It takes time to build a client base, and another source of income is certainly welcomed during the early times. You will sacrifice your free time for a period, but it will pay off in the end.

The Split

New real estate agents are required to work under a real estate broker. A broker will take a portion of any commissions the agent generates. This is known as a split. Finding the right broker who is willing to provide support and training necessary for a new agent to succeed is extremely beneficial. Most new agents work on a 50/50 split. They pay 50 percent of their commission back to the broker, sometimes making saving money difficult. However, this will cover the cost of their office, marketing materials, and access to proprietary software. As the agent grows within the industry, this split is likely to change. The agent might opt to pay a base office fee every month and reducing expenses by operating on a 90/10 split.

Growing the Business

The real estate industry is all about making connections or networking. Real estate agents gain most of their listings through word of mouth. Past clients are your best source of advertising. Networking within the real estate industry will open up new doors. Agents who establish strong relationships with other agents, builders and developers often are asked to join teams that are in charge of selling new homes in new developments. This can prove a lucrative and steady source of income. There is nothing more beneficial for a real estate agent than establishing a large network of contacts across multiple industries. An agent should never be without a business card. We also recommend going to school to learn the basics of business; these days you can earn your business degree online.

Dealing with Success

Real estate agents often find it difficult to stop working. The very nature of their profession means that when most people are off work, real estate agents are working. Their nights and weekends are not their own. Their days are spent working in the office or meeting with clients and bankers. It is not uncommon for agents to put in 80-hour work weeks. At some point, a real estate agent needs to learn to say, “No.”

No one wants to let an opportunity pass, but time is precious. Real estate agents are their own bosses. It is crucial that they give their employees a little time off every now and again.

A career as a real estate agent can be rewarding both financially and emotionally. It is a great feeling when you can help a young couple find the home of their dreams, or help a recently retired couple fund their dreams of travel by expediting the sale of their home. It takes hard work, but a career as a real estate agent is open to anyone.

Post by Holly Adams, a writer for Coupon Croc, the best place to save on everything you need to streamline your small business.

Agent image courtesy © Piotr Marcinski -

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