Category Archives: Real Estate

6 Tips to Succeed in Real Estate

1. Choose a Broker that is Team-Oriented

When you become a real estate agent, you are essentially your own CEO. This can feel empowering, but when you are new to real estate, this can be feel more overwhelming. It’s important to find a broker that has a formal mentorship program in place to help you build your business, even at the expense of giving up some more of your commission split. After all, it’s better to get 30% of something rather than 100% of nothing.

There are some red flags you should be aware of as well. If a broker tells you everything you want to hear and asks for more than 50% of the split, then that should raise some alarm bells. If they truly are focused on building a team environment and value you as a person, they will never try to take advantage of you by asking for more than half of the commission split.

But being on a team goes both ways. You can just sit there and expect people to do everything for you. You’ve got to help out too. Offer to help other agents with their listings, show open houses, or help them close deals. This will not only provide you with invaluable experience, but they will be more inclined to help you on your deals in the future.

2. Meet as Many People as You Can

The real estate market is a people business. It’s really an outbound sales position. There are only two metrics that matter: the number of people you talk to and the quality of those conversations. The more people you reach out to, the more practice you will get to sharpen your social skills to close deals.

The great thing about working in the real estate market today is that it is incredibly easy to find ways to meet new people. The internet and social media give you so many options to choose from. You can hop on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many other online resources that are just a click away.

Your sales skills are the most important part of real estate business. It’s not marketing or even how many listings you have, people will do business with you because of how you make them feel. What’s great about this is that this means, especially if you are new agent, you can quickly catch up and even beat the top agents. Your potential is unlimited.

3. Practice

What will set you apart from every other real estate agent are your people skills. If you are new and are not confident with your skills, that is okay. The great thing is that skills are learned and acquired with practice. Once you master these skills, you will automatically become more confident, and your clients will take notice. They will feel more comfortable entrusting you with the biggest financial decision of their lives. After you do a great job, they will even want to refer their friends and family over to you.

The first step will be to identify your weaknesses because the areas you are already strong in, you probably don’t need to spend any time on. If you can’t give yourself a fair self-evaluation, find a team member who is willing to give you some constructive criticism.

Once you have those weak areas identified, formulate a plan of action. For example, if cold calling is your weak area, then draft a few scripts to read from until it flows from your mouth. If your presentation skills are lacking, try to role play at home and rehearse it as many times as you need to perfect your presentation.

4. Get a Coach

If you are worried about the cost of hiring a coach, then try to think of it this way: you can’t afford not to have a coach. Your broker may already have you assigned to a mentor, but if you really want to take your game to the next level, it’s going to require a financial investment of your own. 

Think of professional athletes, they have coaches for all aspects of the sports. In fact, there is so much coaching to be done that coaches typically have their own assistants to help them. If the best athletes in the world benefit from having coaches, then the same would apply for a real estate agent, especially someone that is new to the industry.

5. Build a Plan to Schedule Your Days

Build a plan of action as to how you will reach your income goals. This could mean setting tangible goals that you can hit on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, you could set the number of cold calls per day, number of open houses you hold, or number of transactions per month.

Having a detailed schedule of your week will save you time and money. Rather than driving back and forth around the city, try to map out your appointments beforehand so you can take the most efficient routes.

No matter what your schedule looks like, the most important thing is to stay consistent. This will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. Eventually this will turn into lessons learned, which will allow you to maximize every second of every day. Ultimately, this higher productivity results in higher income.

6. Follow up

Everyone you meet is a potential lead or at the very least, can refer you over to one of their friends and family members who may be a potential lead. They may not be in the market to buy or sell a home right this second, but given enough time, everyone will eventually know someone who wants to own a home.

This is why it is important to maintain contact with everyone you meet on a regular basis. You want them to associate “real estate” with your name. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. You can follow them on social media, send out Christmas or other holiday cards, publish newsletters, or go the old-fashioned route with a simple phone call.

Focus on your own sphere of influence. This involves your friends, family, and acquaintances. After you’ve hit up your sphere of influence, there is a temptation to neglect giving them your attention and focus on easier leads such as Zillow leads. However, you would be best to check in with all of them every once in a while. It could be as little as once a year, but the key is to not write them off forever and to keep in contact with them.

No matter how you do it, it’s important to always keep your brand in mind and say what you are going to do. Because you probably won’t be in contact with them for months, they will remember your last interaction with them, and you want them to have good memories of you. You want them to remember you as a solid, reliable, and personable person.

How to Pick a Real Estate Broker in 2022

When you obtain your real estate license, the next step to earning your first big commission check is to find a broker to work with. With so many real estate brokerages available nowadays, it can seem like a daunting task to find the right one. Not to mention that brokers will tell you everything you want to hear. It’s going to be up to you to find out which broker will work best for your situation.

Remember, when you go to an interview with a broker, the interview is going both ways. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. It’s important that you ask as many questions as possible. A few minutes of detailed research now will save you months or even years of headache down the road. 

The top three most important areas for considering a broker is their support system, compensation structure, and any fees that they may charge. Here is a list of questions for each category that you can use to ask your potential broker. This will help you get a good feel on whether you will be a good match for their company.

Support

Does the broker have a formal mentorship program in place, especially for new agents? Do they foster a team-oriented environment that will help you learn and grow? Or, do they expect you to figure everything out yourself and throw you into he pool to see if you sink or swim?

How accessible are these mentors? If you are trying to close a deal and have a question, are you going to be able to call them up and get guidance from them when you need help? Will they be willing to go with me to open houses? A real estate transaction can get very complex, so this one will be important. If anything goes wrong, it could cost you the deal.

Are there any live classes or online courses available for personal development that are available? What type of training do you offer new agents?

Who is going to be my mentor when I start on day one? Who will I be working with daily? Try to get a specific name.

What do they expect of new agents, especially in the first year? Some brokers will want you to focus only on buyers and showing open houses, acting like an assistant to help other teams with their deals. Everyone learns differently, and for some people, this approach may be a good thing. For others, they may want to hit the ground running faster and close their own deals right away.

Where territory will I cover? Do you want to stay nearby where you live or are you willing to drive farther out to close the deal? If you live in a metro area like Los Angeles or Chicago, you will need to factor in long commutes to your day. How often will you have to drive to the office?

What is their onboarding process right when you start on day one? Are they going to provide business cards? Have you listed on their website? How long will this all take?

Compensation Structure

Every broker has their own commission structure. No matter what their commission splits are, there will always be some give and take. If they offer you a bigger slice of the pie, they will expect you to be more self-sufficient. On the other hand, if the broker is going to offer you comprehensive support and training tools, then they may offer you less commission.

For new agents, you will be getting for more value with a strong coaching and support system than with a bigger commission payout. Ideally, you’d like to have both, but unfortunately, that is extremely rare to find. After all, it’s better to make 30% of something rather than 100% of nothing.

Here are some questions to ask the broker:

What is your commission split? Are their special commission structures for new agents versus more experienced agents? What does that look like?

Are commission splits negotiable later on?

What is the process of being paid? When will the check be sent out? Ideally, you would want to get a specific day of the month.

Fees

If a broker charges you a lot of fees to work at their firm, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on the value you get back on those fees.

Is there a desk fee? If there is, what does it include? This is basically a monthly fee to “rent” a desk in the office.

Are there review fees? This is a fee that the broker charges to have someone review your contracts and legal documents to make sure everything is filled out correctly when handling a real estate transaction.

Are there any marketing fees? What is included with this?

Are there any startup or onboarding fees? This fee applies to new agents to help them get up and running. This may include your business cards, marketing materials, desk fee, etc…

Is there a technology fee to use their computers, print/copy/fax documents, or to mail documents?

Is there a parking fee to park your car? Do you have to pay for an access card to enter the office building?

How much is the Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance? This insurance that all agents have to pay. This covers any potential legal costs if you make a mistake on a real estate transaction.

Do they cover any professional membership fees like NAR, MLS fees?

Miscellaneous

Your interviewer may be spilling out cookie-cutter answers to make their brokerage sound good. Here are a several questions that you can directly ask your interviewer to get deeper insight into what it’s really like to work with that firm.

How long have you been working there?

What made you decide to work there?

Who was your last new hire? What happened to them?

Where are your top agents getting the most lead?

Do you have regular awards? What kinds of performance metrics are recognized and rewarded?

Remember, your success will ultimately depend on you and not your broker. People will want to buy and list their homes with you because they like you and trust you. It’s not because of the broker you are with.

4 Tips to Become a Better Real Estate Agent in 2022

The real estate market can be very competitive and it’s important to constantly work on yourself to gain an edge on the competition. This will set you apart from other real estate agents and your clients will notice the difference. Here are four tips that you can use for your own personal development that will help your game to become a better real estate agent in 2022.

Know Your Audience

You can’t just pick up the phone and act like yourself the same way with everybody. You want to mirror your audience and speak their language. Every person has their own personality and way they prefer to communicate. If your client talks softly and in a quiet tone, then it’s not a good idea to speak to them in a loud, forceful way. If they are older and talk slow, then it’s a good idea to match their pace and take it down a notch.

A great tool that you can use to break this down very quickly is to use the tried-and-true Myers-Briggs personality type test. There are four criteria, which will later combine into 16 different types of personalities.

Criterion #1: Extraversion or Introversion
Extraverts get their energy from other people and the world around them. Meanwhile, introverts prefer solitude and keep to themselves.

Criterion #2: Sensing or Intuition
Sensing means that a person goes mainly off of their own five senses of touch, taste, smell, hear, or see to perceive the external world. People with Intuition are thinkers. They prefer to analyze the situation first, and think about abstract concepts or theories.

Criterion #3: Thinking or Feeling
A Thinking person is someone who makes their decisions based on logic and objectivity. On the other hand, a person who feels makes their decisions based on emotion and gut instinct.

Criterion #4: Judging or Perceiving
This criterion deals with how a person processes and executes information. Someone who is Judging is organized, sticks to a schedule, and detail oriented. Someone who is Perceiving shoots from the hip and prefers to be spontaneous.

When you pick one trait from each criterion, there will be 16 different possible permutations of personality types. You can use this tool to quickly assess the type of person you are dealing with and make any necessary adjustments to your conversation skills.

If you are curious about your own results, you can take the test for free yourself here.

Establish a Routine

As a real estate agent, you are running your own business. You are the CEO. You don’t sit at the desk and wait for business to come to you, especially as a new agent. Maybe after you’ve spent some time in the industry and built up your network, at that point, you will get some referral business and easy deals.

In the meantime, it’s important to stay disciplined and establish a routine. This means outlining your entire day from prospecting and making calls, to maintaining your calendar, booking appointments, and closing deals. By setting aside and making time for each of these activities, you will find yourself with more time throughout the day. And little by little, being productive with these small day-to-day activities, your productivity and income will increase.

It’s important to be proactive and set goals that are attainable. Things like number of calls, number of open houses, asking for referrals on every call are small goals that you can set for yourself every day.

Understand the Needs of Buyers vs Sellers

There are similarities but there are also differences. You need to make sure you know which side of the deal you are on and pay attention to the needs of your client. This is probably the biggest financial decision of their lives, and they will be very emotional. So, you will have to take extra care to make them feel comfortable the whole way. They will be looking at you to be their guide and expect you to know all the answers.  If you are a new agent, don’t worry. If they ask you a question that you aren’t sure about, just be confident and let them know that you will find the answer and follow up with them later.

When you become more experienced and start to feel overwhelmed, you may even want to hire a transaction coordinator to help you manage all the paperwork. Their job is to make sure all the documents and contracts are filled out correctly and sent to the appropriate party. This will save you time and give you the ability to focus more on the needs of your client.

Never Stop Marketing

In real estate, in order to get business, people need to know you exist. Fortunately, we live in a time where social media has made it extremely easy to make your presence known. All you have to do is pull out your phone and start taking photos and videos to make content. It’s never been easier and more accessible for people to market themselves.

And you don’t have to just focus on drumming up new business, you can also use social media as a platform to help other agents by sharing any lessons you’ve learned. In a nutshell, this is allowing you to build your brand so that when someone eventually Googles you, they can find a wealth of information about you that you want them to see. This helps build trust and more people will feel more confident to give you their business.

The key to successful social media marketing is consistency. It doesn’t really even matter what you post as long as you stick to a schedule and post regularly. Ideally, you want to try to post something once a day. The big social media companies are now emphasizing video over photography, so getting comfortable filming short videos is going to give your business the most success.

Top 3 Real Estate Virtual Assistants to Hire

As the saying goes: Time is Money.

Whether you just got your real estate license or you are a well-established real estate agent, everyone can take their business to the next level by getting some help. I’m sure you didn’t get into real estate to design websites or shuffle paperwork around, so why not focus your time on the things you are passionate about (and are going to actually make you money). Fortunately, we live in a time where it is easy to find help. However, finding high-quality help is another story.

Here are the three best places we have found to find high-quality help, regardless of what the job is or the budget you are working with.

CompanyIdeal forCommitmentCost
1. FiverrSmall projects such as logo/website design, marketing materials, blogging, social media postsLess than 2 weeksLess than $100
2. Onlinejobs.phSeasoned Agents who need a quality assistant without breaking the bank1 to 3 years$5K to $12K/year
3. MyOutDeskBrokers or Seasoned Agents who only hire the bestLong-termOver $20K/year

Fiverr touts itself as the largest marketplace for digital services in the world. Basically, that means you will be able to find someone to help you with anything. It was originally founded in 2010 in Israel with the idea that all the Gigs would be priced at $5. However, they have since grown into a $1 billion company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and allow Gigs to be virtually any price now.

There are already a plethora of people offering up services on just about everything. You can filter the search results by price range, seller rating, delivery time, and more. It has a very clean interface and is easy to use. They provide customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Signing up is free. You can browse through Gigs that are currently available or post one yourself. You only pay when you order a Gig. Fiverr acts as the middle-man and will collect the payment directly form you to give to the recipient. Fiverr also collects a small service charge of $2 for any Gig that costs up to $40 and then 5% off any Gig that is over $40.

The great thing about Fiverr is there is such a deep talent pool and lots of reviews to go on. I’ve personally used it about a dozen times and never had a bad experience. Of course, I always went with people who were reviewed with the highest ratings. Also, since most Gigs are small tasks, you can get the best of both worlds by hiring the best talent in each area. For example, if you want to setup a website, you can hire a specialist on web-design, a different person for photography, and another person who specializes in marketing. This way, you are not putting all your eggs in one basket by hiring a single person and trusting them with everything.

Onlinejobs.ph, based in Utah, was founded by John Jonas, who was also looking for some help. He hired a virtual assistant from the Philippines in 2006, and it worked out fantastic. So much so that he still is working with that same person even today! He wanted a way to share that experience to help other people.

What I like about this company is not just because there are over 500,000 resumes from the Philippines to choose from, but they seem to genuinely care about everyone they work with—not just their paying customers. They post testimonials from their virtual assistants along with the employers, and you can see how onlinejobs.ph has enriched their lives and created some amazing opportunities for them.

You can setup a free account to post a job and review job applications. However, you won’t be able to see their contact information or communicate with them until you pay for a subscription. Don’t let the word “subscription” scare you though. There are no contracts, commitments, or hidden fees. You can pay for a month, hire your virtual assistant, and then just cancel right away so you won’t pay for a second month. If you are still on the fence about them, they back up their claims with a 100% Satisfaction guarantee. They go to great lengths to make sure you feel like you are not getting ripped off. All you have to do is contact them within 30 days, and they will give you all your money back.

Once you have hired your virtual assistant, you will pay them directly through EasyPay or Paypal. I like this model because it cuts out the middleman, and you don’t ever have to wonder if there are any accounting tricks being pulled behind closed doors. Also, since they are classified as an overseas sub-contractor, you won’t have to deal with the 1099 tax forms.

MyOutDesk (MOD) is the industry leader when it comes to virtual assistants. Founded in 2008, they originally came from the real estate industry, providing virtual assistance to real estate agents. Since then, they have branched out into other industries and grown to one of the largest VA staffing companies in the country with over 5,000 clients and thousands of staff members all over the world. MOD is perfect for brokers or well-established real estate agents who are in need of long-term, reliable help but without the high cost of hiring a full-time employee.

MOD goes through an extensive screening process when they hire VA candidates. They employ FBI-grade background checks, personality tests, and only hire the people they feel are the “best of the best.” Once hired, their employees go through 160 hours of rigorous training and 5 additional hours of continuing education every month. As a result, they have been ranked as having 36 out of the top 100 teams on RealTrends™.

With all of this high quality help, it will cost more than choosing a freelancer. So is it going to be worth the investment? On their Facebook page, you can see that out of 90 reviews, they have a high 4.7 out of a 5-star rating. On Google, they have a perfect 5-star rating based on 199 reviews. What I think gives the best insight into a company is to see how the employees rank their own company, since I’m a firm believer that the best companies have happy employees. On Glassdoor, their employees have given MOD a 4.3 out of 5 star rating and 95% of people approve of how the CEO is running the company.

If you decide to hire someone from MOD, you can expect to spend a minimum of around $20K per year. That’s not too bad compared to spending $35K to $40K per year on a regular assistant that comes in the office. Not to mention all the costs associated with interviewing job applicants, payroll taxes, and dealing with employee turnover.

This probably would not be a good fit for someone who just go their real estate license. However, if you are a successful real estate agent and your business is booming, MOD can save you thousands of dollars by providing you with highly educated and trained virtual assistants.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent | Everything You Need to Know

If you are reading this, the real question you are probably asking yourself is “Should I become a real estate agent?”

People enter the real estate industry from all types of backgrounds, age groups, and for all sorts of reasons. There are teenagers who are still in high school, new college graduates looking to build a full-time career, people who already have a full-time job and want a secondary source of income, or retirees who are just looking for a hobby.

The truth is that anyone can get into real estate because it involves something that we all have in common: wanting to find a place that we can call home. And the only thing better than achieving your own dream is the satisfaction of helping others to obtain theirs.

In this blog post, we will give you a brief introduction about what it takes to get started in the real estate industry so you can determine if this is something that you want to do. We will go over what you need to know, and most importantly, what you actually need to know.

The Basics

If you want to work on anything related to the real estate industry, you need to obtain a license. This is needed because there are a lot of shady and unethical people out there and issuing a license allows the government to track an individual’s work history. For example, if a person is caught breaking the law, then the government can revoke a person’s license to prevent them from working in real estate in the future.

Because every state governs itself and makes its own laws, there is no such thing as a national real estate license. This means that all 50 US states have their own real estate commission to establish their own criteria for obtaining a real estate license. As you can imagine, there are similarities across states, so some states will have reciprocity with each other. If you are licensed in one state, a different state may grant you partial or full credit for having an existing real estate license. Reciprocity is not widespread among states, so it is usually the exception rather than the rule.

Each state not only set their own rules and regulations, they use their own terminology. Fortunately, they are the same in principle. Each state has two levels of real estate agents: people who own the company and the people who work for them.

Below are some examples of what they are called.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

License Type #1
Salesperson
Sales Associate
Agent
Broker

License Type #2
Broker
Broker
Broker
Managing Broker

When you begin your real estate career, you begin on the first level-Type #1. Keep in mind that although you technically work for a company, you still operate as an independent contractor.

If you want to run your own company and get to the second level, all 50 US states require between 2 to 4 years of previous experience in the real estate industry. If you are an attorney, some states will exempt you from the experience requirement.  

Getting Licensed

Every state has different requirements for each license and each level. However, all states generally have the same steps. To obtain the real estate license for Level #1, there are 3 basic steps:

  1. Complete real estate pre-licensing courses
  2. Pass the state exam
  3. Find a broker to work for

Generally speaking, most people can finish the whole process and get their license in about 2 to 3 months.

Let’s look at a few examples to see how the requirements can vary by state.

Course Requirements

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Number of Courses
3
1
6
2

Total Course Hours
135
63
180
90

State Exam

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Number of Exam Questions
150
100
80 National/ 30 State
130

Time (Hours)

2.5
3.5
3.5

Passing Score
70%
75%
70%
70%

License Fees

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

License Term (Years)
4
2
2
2

State Exam Fee
$60
$54
$36.75
$138.25

License Fee
$245
$89
$205
$146.25

Choosing a Real Estate School

If you haven’t done a Google search for a real estate school yet, you will soon discover there are an overwhelming number of schools to choose from. How do you decide on which one?

No one knows you better than yourself, so the answer is really up to you and your own preferring way of learning.

There are 3 formats to take these pre-licensing courses:

  1. Online Courses
  2. Video Webinars
  3. Classroom

Online Courses

The vast majority of people today get their license by taking online courses. This is the cheapest, most convenient, and typically the fastest way to complete the courses. This is essentially just like reading a book online. At the end of the chapters are multiple-choice quizzes and at the end of the course is a final exam. You can study from anywhere and at any time. Online schools will typically give you about 6 months of unlimited access to finish the courses. If you are working full-time or just have a busy schedule, this will be the best option for you.

All online schools have different levels of packages available. Their lowest (and cheapest) package just gives you the required prelicensing course. From there, they offer more expensive packages that add on study materials to prepare you for the state exam, such as practice test questions and instructor support.

For example, the biggest online school is Real Estate Express. Regardless of which state you are in, they have 4 different packages to choose from. Their Exam Preparation package gives you over 1,000 multiple-choice questions to prepare for the state exam and is backed with a money-back guarantee. That means if you do not pass the state exam, they will give you 100% of your money back. The Exam Preparation Plus package gives you the ability to interact with live instructors through the Instructor Q&A. The instructors are on a webcam, so you can see their faces as they answer your question.

If you want the best chance for success, you will want to go with their Ultimate Learning package. This includes everything in the other packages plus they will mail you copies of the hardcopy books, which makes studying a lot easier. What I really like about this package is that it not only helps you get licensed, but it also provides additional training for after you are licensed with the 90-day boot camp and 1-year Professional Development membership. You get access to hundreds of video tutorials and a video course led by real estate expert Sherri Johnson, who will teach you how to close your first deal within the first 90 days.

Video Webinars

If reading a book is not going to work for you and you need something more interactive, Kaplan Real Estate Education is the most trusted brand and one of the only schools that offer a webinar format. This is basically a video course that you can take from home where you watch an instructor teach the material. There are live webinars, which require you to login at specific times, and on-demand options that allow you to watch at any time of the day or night. 

Classroom

If you are old school and want to sit in a classroom, you will have to check with your area to see which school is offering. There are no big real estate schools that offer live classes around the country. They are usually offered at small, “neighborhood” schools. While this does give you a more intimate and engaging setting, taking a live class is generally the most expensive option, doesn’t come with any money-back guarantees, and requires you to show up on time, every time.

How much does it cost?

The cost can vary widely depending on which state you are in, what format you choose, and how much exam prep and support you want. Online programs are the most popular and cost-effective route. You can get an idea by looking at some examples listed below.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Online Courses
$119 to $419
$117 to $399
$507 to $797
$189 to $404
Check Your State

Video Webinars
$399 to $749
Not Available
$429 to $1,089
Not Available
Check Your State

Classroom
$749 to $949
Not Available
$989 to $1,189
Not Available

Preparing for the State Exam

Most schools offer some kind of exam prep to study for the state exam. They are either in the form of a video course or multiple-choice practice test questions, just like what you will see on the actual exam. You will definitely need to get some exam prep to successfully pass the exam. A lot of people make the rookie mistake of thinking they can just study the material in the pre-license course. The problem is that the state exam is not testing you on that. Your pre-license course already came with its own final, so the state is not going to test you on the same material twice. The state exam deals more with real-world scenarios and testing your ability to put learned principles into practice.

The only way to study this is to practice with study materials specifically designed for that state exam. Don’t try to skimp on this just because you want to save a few bucks. Trust me. You will thank me later.   

Finalize Your Application

Once you complete the courses and pass the state exam, you just need to finish your application with the state. Typically, this just means a quick criminal background check and sending them a check for the license fee. They will issue your real estate license to you after everything is done.

Finding a Broker

A lot of people have concerns about finding a broker. They think, “Why would someone hire me? I’m new, I just got my license, and I don’t know anything.”

This is irrelevant. This position is 100% commission-based, which means brokers are always trying to recruit new agents. In fact, some brokers will try to lure new candidates by offering to pay for their real estate courses. As a side note, I would advise against accepting an offer like this because there is always a catch. Typically, they will lock you into a contract at a low commission split or tack on additional hidden fees on your first commission check. Think about it. If the broker is so wonderful and great, why would they feel the need to lock you into a contract? Wouldn’t you want to stay there without one?

There are all types of brokers with their own strengths and weaknesses. You want to visit at least 3 to 5 brokers and pick the one that will set you up for long-term success.

When you interview with them, think of it as a 2-way street. You are there to interview them and see what they have to offer you. After all, you are the one who will be making them money.

As a new agent, you want to focus on finding a broker with a strong mentorship and training program. Try to absorb and learn as much as possible, especially in your first year. A good broker will help you develop your business plan and path to success.

For example, eXp Realty is a large, nationwide brokerage that offers its agents 25 hours of training per week, stock options, marketing materials, etc… If anything, they overwhelm you with too much information.

Keep in mind that you are not married to a broker for life. You can always quit and join a different one. You should not feel stressed about this part at all.

What to Expect in Your First Year

The first year is always going to be the hardest. You are new and still learning how the industry works. It takes the averages real estate agent 6 months to close their first deal. That means that you won’t be with a paycheck for at least 6 to 9 months.  During this period, you may feel discouraged and be questioning your life decisions. Keep in mind, building a business takes time. I strongly recommended investing in a mentor if you can’t find one who will coach you for free. They will not only bring you up to speed faster, they will build your confidence.

Renewing Your License

As you get your real estate business is chugging along, you will need to renew your license every 2 to 4 years, depending on your state. Every state requires its agents to complete continuing education courses and pay a license renewal fee.

Some states also require post-license education on your first renewal. This is basically just an extension of the initial pre-license education. Instead of making you do it before you get licensed, they allow you to take this afterward.

Here are some examples of what the renewal requirements look like.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Post-License (Hours)
None
45
90
90

Continuing Education (Hours)
45
14
18
30

Final Thoughts

If you have been considering getting a real estate license, I would encourage you to do it. It doesn’t cost a lot and isn’t hard to get. As for the potential payoff? It could be the best decision of your life. Ryan Serhant was a broke, 24-year-old pursuing an acting career when he decided to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get licensed in New York. Today, his real estate team is ranked #1 in New York City, and he has a hit TV show on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

5 Reasons To Get Into Commercial Real Estate

Have you chosen real estate as a career and now you are confused whether you want to choose commercial real estate or residential real estate? There are pros and cons to working with both types of properties, but you have to choose the career that leads you towards success the best. Although it is easier to break into residential real estate, if you want to make more money during your lifetime, you need to choose commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate brings you the big deals because you are dealing with corporations instead of someone who wants to rent, sell, or buy a single house. Although you need to work harder in commercial real estate, hard work is necessary to be successful in every job, so why not get paid fairly for your hard work? Today we would like to tell you about the top 5 reasons why you should go commercial instead of residential real estate.

1. More Commission

If you are dealing in commercial real estate, you will definitely make more money because the percentage of commission is more significant as compared to residential deals. The properties are more expensive as compared to a residential building, and the clients are willing to pay more because they need the property for putting their business on the ground. A commercial deal may take 9 to 10 months to be closed and fully funded, but it would definitely pay off commensurate with your hard work.

According to the National Association of Realtors, a commercial real estate agent makes $85,000 per year on average and a residential real estate agent makes $35,000 per year on average. You can see such a massive gap between the earnings and decide which one would suit you the most. If you can become a commercial realtor, you may even receive up to 100% of your commission.

2. Career Growth

A commercial real estate agent needs to have a proper degree to work in the market, which helps him or her to make full use of their knowledge in the field. On the other hand, residential real estate agents don’t need a degree. Regardless of college education, both types of agents are required by law to have a real estate license.

If you are working in the commercial market, you’ve got better chances to grow because you are in contact with different businesses outside of the market. The connections you make in the business community can lead you towards getting even bigger clients shortly.

A residential real estate agent is only in contact with small families most of the time, which cannot help them to take their career to the next level. Even if a small business needs to find a property, it would have to contact a commercial real estate agent, so you would be in contact with almost all the companies in your area looking for property to expand their operations.

3. Work with Large Companies

The environment of commercial real estate is really different from the residential market. You get to talk to the big fishes in the industry. This is not a side hustle. The commercial side introduces you to the real corporate sector, and you get to see more serious buyers and sellers. It is more about making the business happen and allows you to earn tens of thousands of dollars with just one deal.

Residential real estate gives you the chance to make great relationships with various families, and get more time for yourself. A commercial real estate agent is always on the move and trying to earn more instead of finding time to relax. Working in the commercial area is a full-time job, and you definitely get paid for the months of hard work you put in to close a deal. If you are looking to make a name for yourself in the market and work with big corporations in your area, you need to choose the commercial side.

4. Exclusive Clientele

As a commercial sales agent, you do not have to deal with a variety of clients because not everybody can buy a retail center worth $3 million. You will get to see more people from the corporate sector dealing with buying and selling in the commercial sector. This is where you can build a vast network with the people in high places in your area.

You will get invited to parties where you will meet people who are ready to invest in millions. You don’t have to bargain for a few thousand dollars because these people know how business is done. You can get straight to the point and close a deal if you give these clients a real proposition which suits them as they have a lot of money at their disposal.

5. Fewer Competitors

A bigger chunk of real estate agents chooses residential real estate because it is easier to get into and you can even do it as a side hustle. You can see evidence of this whenever you attend a networking event for real estate agents, or when you see signs of homes or apartments available for sale or rent.

On the other hand, there are only going to be a handful of commercial real estate agents that you’ll see attending networking events. So there is a lot of competition in the residential market, and if you can market yourself in a better way, you may find it easier to get the top spot in the commercial real estate market in a few years.

There are not many agents contacting commercial property owners with property worth millions of dollars so you can get a great deal done in a few meetings. All you need is someone who needs a commercial property and someone who needs it right away. Several commercial properties worth less than $4 million would be a long shot for a residential investor, but it is not a significant investment for a commercial investor. So you can easily hit the jackpot if you are persistent and willing to work hard in the commercial sector.

Top 10 Best Real Estate Books for Agents in 2020

Whether you are new to the game or an experienced real estate veteran looking to polish up your skills, we have come up with the best books for taking your career as a real estate agent to the next level. 

This list was compiled from the feedback we got from actual real estate professionals. If they found these books helpful, we are confident you will too!

By Gary Keller

If there is one book you read from this list, this is it. This is a great book for everyone. It will motivate struggling real estate agents who just got licensed and teach experienced ones how to build a business that lasts. What sets this book apart from the rest is that it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to be successful. There are diagrams, charts, and tons of details. If you are serious about a career in real estate, this needs to be the first book you read.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Kevin Ward

If you are tired of saying the same thing or looking for better results, this book is for you. This book helps you take your sales game to the next level by teaching you how to come up with better sales scripts. The first part of the book gives you the foundation for making the scripts work for you. The second half of the book is putting what you learned into practice by developing the actual scripts. Kevin Ward has a no nonsense approach to guiding you through the steps and will build your confidence when you close your next real estate deal.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Michael J. Maher

Michael Maher takes you on a journey through the eyes of Rick Masters, a real estate agent who has fallen on hard times during the Great Recession. Rick meets someone who has built a successful business in the mortgage industry. She shows him a whole new world and convinces him that her methods do work. Basically, you can imagine yourself in Rick’s shoes and simply apply the same steps he took to take his career to the next level. You will learn about the 7 levels of communication for the purpose of strengthening interpersonal relationships.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Og Mandino

This book has been around for a while and for good reason—it’s a staple for any sales professional. This book follows the adventures of a boy named Hafid. He encounters ten ancient scrolls that contain invaluable lessons. This book doesn’t go over technical aspects of selling. Rather, it guides you into forming a winning mindset to not only succeed in sales, but in life in general. The book is filled with words of wisdom that will keep you inspired and motivated to improve your life from the inside out.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Bob Burg and John David Mann

Joe is a go-getter. He is ambitious, motivated, and puts in 100% effort all the time, yet doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Joe gets help from a man named Pindar, who is a successful consultant. Pindar shows him that instead of being a go-getter, he needs to be a go-giver to truly achieve success. This means putting yourself in other people’s shoes and trying to help them achieve their dreams before yours. This book is a quick and light read but conveys a powerful message of selflessness.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Larry Kendall

The author gives you a new approach to selling. Instead using old sales methods, Larry Kendall will show you a selling system that is based on science so that you get consistent results no matter who your prospect is. He has tailored the book to the sales professional, keeping it simple and easy to understand. In a nutshell, he says you should focus your energy on providing value to your customer. Don’t focus on closing the sale. By doing that, you will build wealth in more ways than one.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Hal Elrod

This book is designed to get your day started off on the right foot. It will help you feel more energized, motivated, and focused. While some readers feel this is just a regurgitation of Tony Robbins and other well-known life coaches, Hal Elrod gives you the concrete steps to make it happen. He shows you that by waking up a little earlier each day and spending some “me” time first, you will be more productive and get more done.  

Click here to see on Amazon

By Chris Voss

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator and consults Fortune 500 companies through complex deals that are high-stakes. He shows you how the negotiation tactics and skills he’s learned on the streets can be applied to the business world. This book will help real estate agents primarily during the middle and ending parts of a deal. However, you can apply the same negotiating principles to virtually every aspect of your life, from buying a car or settling a dispute with your significant other. If nothing, you are sure to be entertained reading about some of his stories from the field.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Darren Hardy

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller shows you how small decisions in your daily life can have an exponentially big result later. The book walks you through an easy-to-use system and guides you every step along the way to track your progress. The author gives you real life examples of how making even the smallest changes, when applied consistently, can yield great rewards. If you need proof, this book has over 3,000 reviews on Amazon with 85% of those reviews giving it a 5-star rating.

Click here to see on Amazon

By George S. Clason

This book is a great read for any age, and the timeless lessons inside will apply to many aspects of your life. The story follows a rich and powerful ancient Babylonian named Arkad. He’s the richest man of Babylon who describes tales of building wealth. Although this doesn’t directly deal with real estate, it does deal with topics such as saving money and learning how to invest wisely. After all, a big part of being a successful real estate agent is knowing how to stay successful by managing your money prudently.  

Click here to see on Amazon

What do you think about our list?
Do you have any better suggestions? 

Let us know in the comments section below!

Top 10 Hottest YouTube Channels by Real Estate Agents

There are a lot of well-known speakers in the real estate industry who have popular YouTube channels, such as real estate coach Tom Ferry or celebrities with their own TV show like Ryan Serhant. This list isn’t about them. 

This list is made up of regular real estate agents. They may not be big enough to show up on YouTube’s algorithms, but they are passionate about being real estate agents and enjoy sharing their experiences with the world.

Here are the 10 best real estate YouTube channels made by real estate agents, for real estate agents. 

1. Loida Velasquez

2. Mariah Kristine

3. Luna Ge

4. Chastin J. Miles

5. Lillie Nefwani

6. Aram Ghazaryan

7. Chauncey Pham

8. Jeff Wybo

9. Bryan Roach

10. Noelle Nielsen

Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent in 5 Steps

If you are looking for a new career and considering getting into commercial real estate, there are some things you need to know. We’ll break everything down in this article, and go over the things I wish I knew when I started.

What Is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate is property for business. They include things like hotels, shopping centers, office buildings, retail stores, etc.. 

The vast majority of commercial deals are leases, which rent out the space to tenants. The lease terms are typically longer than a regular residential lease. The average lease is between 5 and 10 years long and usually correlates with the size of the company (i.e. bigger companies will typically take out a longer lease than small ones). Leases don’t just include the monthly rent payment. It also includes who takes responsibility for paying property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.

There are different factors involved in commercial vs residential real estate. Just because an office space is available for rent, doesn’t mean any business is allowed to operate there. There are zoning laws and regulations to consider. 

What Is The Job Like?

Not all real estate jobs are the same. If you are thinking about working in commercial real estate, you should be prepared to commit to this 100% as your full-time job. You won’t have the flexibility of doing this part-time like you can do selling single-family houses. Pursuing a career in commercial real estate is lucrative and very stable, but it takes a while to get there.

In commercial real estate, you’re not selling a dream home to a family. You are providing demographics, environmental research, and statistics to your client. You are not going to know all of this information when you first start. If you want to truly succeed, you will have to become an expert and learn as much as possible about your area. Basically, you’re showing them how they can make lots of money by buying/renting your property.

It’s a different type of sale. Commercial real estate deals take an average of 6 months to a year to close, which means you won’t see a dime for awhile. However, when you do get that big commission check, it will definitely put a smile on your face. A single $20 million deal can result in a $400,000 to $500,000 commission check.

How Much Money Can You Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all real estate agents (commercial and residential) were making $48,690 per year in 2018. Commercial real estate agents generally make more than residential real estate agents. According to Indeed, the average salary for commercial real estate agents was $82,345 per year. Agents are typically paid on a commission plus bonus structure.

What are the Qualifications?

First things first. You’ll need to get a real estate license.

There’s no such thing as a commercial license. They (residential, commercial, and industrial) all fall under one license for the entire state. It’s usually pretty easy to obtain. Every state has its own requirements.

However, all states have the same general requirements. You have to take course(s) and a state exam. The courses educate you on basic real estate laws and terminology. The whole process is not hard. The hardest part about it is the content can get a little boring at times.

How do you Find a Brokerage Firm?

If you are new to real estate, you won’t be able to start your own company right away. You legally have to work for a brokerage firm. 

Although you’ll be eligible to set up your own company after several years of experience by getting a broker’s or managing broker’s license, the vast majority of agents in commercial real estate will work for one of the big firms. They already have a deeply entrenched position in the space and competing against them on your own will be like David going up against Goliath.

Jumping straight into commercial real estate is hard. Really hard. Here are the 5 steps you should go through to get started in commercial real estate. 

Step 1

Reach out to family members, friends, friends of friends and network to see if anyone knows a commercial real estate agent who will show you the ropes.

Attend networking events and seminars. The great thing about the real estate industry is there is no shortage of conferences, trade shows, activities, etc… to go to. Make sure you go to these “dressed to impress” and have your business cards handy.

Step 2

If you want to get into commercial real estate right when you get licensed, you really need to know someone. If you don’t have anyone in the industry, your best bet is to start with residential real estate first to get your feet wet for a couple of years. You never know. You might actually enjoy residential real estate better and stay put.

Step 3

Like any sales job, the key to success is persistence. Keep reaching out and applying to the commercial brokers. Hopefully, you will be building your resume as time goes on with experience and accomplishments. This could take months (if not years). 

Working in commercial real estate is fiercely competitive—even more than residential because there are fewer “spots” available. It is important to have a good-looking resume. Unless you have connections already, a college degree is a must for standing out.

Step 4

You’ll want to consider moving to a large metropolitan or urban area. That is where the biggest brokerage firms have their offices. This will increase your chances of any job openings that become available. A typical office can have 10 to 40 agents. However, you will be spending the majority of your time out in the field with clients. 

That also means you will need a reliable source of transportation and professional business attire (i.e. suit and tie).

Step 5

Research, research, and research some more.

If you want to work in commercial real estate, it’s a good idea to see who the big players are and what they are looking for. They all list their job openings on their website, so you can see exactly what qualifications they want in an ideal candidate.

Here are some of the biggest commercial brokerage firms in the US:

  1. CBRE – 90,000 employees – $21.3B annual revenue in 2018
  2. JLL – 88,000 employees – $16.3B annual revenue in 2018
  3. Cushman & Wakefield – 51,000 employees – $8.2B annual revenue in 2018
  4. Newmark Knight Frank – 16,000 employees – $1.5B annual revenue in 2018
  5. Colliers International – 17,000 employees – $2.8B annual revenue in 2018

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, working in commercial real estate is a sales job. At the heart of it, it’s about connecting with people and building relationships. Learning the terminology and laws is the easy part. To succeed, you having to be patient, persistent, and committed. This is a long-term game. 

What You Need To Know Before Working In Real Estate

Millions of individuals envy the lifestyle of successful real estate agents and their astounding income levels. It is no wonder that a large number of men and women switch careers and leave their jobs every year to become real estate agents.  

Yes, anyone who is hardworking and can deal with other people can hope to do well as a real estate agent. However, there are many things about the profession of a real estate agent that most people are not aware of.

It is a good idea to have complete knowledge about the career as a realtor before jumping on to the bandwagon. This will help you in making an informed decision about a career as a real estate agent and what you can expect from it.

1. You need to go to school to get a license.

It is true that anyone can hope to become a real estate agent irrespective of his educational qualification. But you still need to enroll in a training course and then appear in an exam to obtain the necessary license to become eligible to work as a real estate agent. You can do the course in a classroom setting or complete it as an online course.

Every state has a specific requirement in terms of hours of course. After passing the course, you need to pass state and national board exam to become a qualified real estate agent.

2. You will have to find and work for a broker

After passing your state and national board exam, you are given a period within which you have to become associated with a brokerage.

As a newbie realtor, you need the help and support of a brokerage to give direction to your career as a real estate agent. You have to do your research to find a reputed brokerage to get the kind of experience you need to develop your career. Find out what the brokerage is offering in terms of training, tools, and help in a real estate transaction.

These aspects prove crucial during your learning curve and help you in starting as an independent realtor later. The brokerage charges a fee to allow you to work as an associated agent and you can expect to pay nearly $10000 a year in the form of a technology fee, desk fee, and other expenses. You can manage the cost of the brokerage with the split in a commission that you earn through your real estate transactions.

3. You have to learn to market yourself.

Once you start your business as a realtor, you are just like a doctor or a lawyer providing his services to clients. You will face fierce competition from already existing agents, and your task will be to set a unique identity for yourself in your area of operation.

It is your marketing efforts that will make sure that people in your area come to know about your knowledge and skills. You will need a good quality website where you can give information about your services and expertise. You will need a significant online presence including accounts on various social media networks to interact with your friends and followers. It will be your job to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen real estate niche.

4. Real Estate is not a 9 to 5 office job.

If you think that you will get to enjoy the comforts of an office where you can work from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening, you are wrong. You will be your own boss with a flexible schedule to work at your own pace and liking.

You can decide your hours of work, but you will have to keep in mind the convenience of your clients to suit their schedules. You can find yourself working at odd hours of the day and during weekends. You will find that you are meeting clients and showing them properties in evenings and on holidays more than in mornings and weekdays.

However, you can take a break from work whenever you desire and enjoy a movie or a vacation on the beach with your family and friends. In a nutshell, there are no set hours of work when you take up a career as a real estate agent.

5. The first year is the most important

The first year as an independent real estate agent will be the hardest, but most important phase of your career. You are on your own, and you must work hard to secure leads and clients. This is the hardest phase of your job as it could take many months to earn your first commission after successfully closing the deal for a client.

You may be required to utilize funds from your savings account to manage your household during this phase. Once you pass this critical phase, your career as a real estate agent takes off, and you can expect decent income through commission. On average, agents from both sides get around 2.5-3% of the total value of the transaction as their commission. Even if you sell one property worth $250,000 a month, you can expect an income of around $75,000 in a year.

6. It will be important to build long-term relationships

Your success in your chosen career as a real estate agent will hugely depend upon your ability to develop strong relationships with your leads, clients, vendors, contractors, investors, and lenders. You can easily iron out wrinkles from a real estate transaction through your expertise as well as your network in the real estate industry.

In fact, highly successful realtors get most of their business through referrals from their previous clients. You can hope to get high volume of business without making hard efforts if you have great communication skills and seen as a reliable and honest real estate agent. For this to happen, you will have to learn to manage your relationships with your clients and other realtors so that they remember you whenever they need your services.

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