As a real estate agent, you know that success equals money. The more successful you are, the more money you make, right? For the most part, yes. A successful real estate agent will have those commission checks rolling in. Sure there are dry spells. Real estate is a cyclical business. But the long-term successful agents realize that by doing what they do best, they can weather any type of economic storm and market downturn.If you got into the real estate industry to make money, join the club. So did your fellow agents. But is that your single motivation for working as a real estate agent? While money, especially making large amounts of money in those hefty commission checks, is enticing, it shouldn’t be the sole motivator for your business. If it’s all about the money, then that will become crystal clear to your clients and prospects and you will have a hard time developing a lifelong referral business.So, what’s the secret of the top real estate agents’ success? It’s pretty simple, really. There are two major components to building a successful real estate business.The first is to have passion for the real estate industry. If you are passionate about real estate it will shine through in everything you do. Your expertise will come naturally because you stay on top of what is happening in your market. You will network with professionals who can help your clients and provide them an all-around excellent experience, from lenders to title companies. You will exude confidence that clients can feel comfortable with.Lacking passion for the real estate business? It will show. It will show in your lack of knowledge. It will show in your lack of enthusiasm. It will show in every aspect of your dealings with clients and prospects. And in the end, lack of passion will cost you. Because who wants to work with a real estate agent who doesn’t care about his own business?The second component necessary for a real estate agent’s success is the true desire to help others. You’re working with people who have goals. Goals to buy a home. Goals to sell a home. Goals to build a real estate investment nest egg. Without clients, you can’t make a deal. Without a deal, you can’t close a transaction. Without a closed transaction, you can’t get that lovely commission check.It boils down to the fact that you have to want to help others achieve those goals. If you don’t care about your clients’ goals, then you don’t really about your clients. And that will lose you clients and certainly not gain you any referrals or additional transactions down the road with the few clients you managed to work with.Successful agents have their clients come back to them for every real estate transaction. Successful agents get referrals through their client base because of the good word-of-mouth from past clients. Successful agents make each and every client feel like she got the best help possible from a real estate agent who cares.
Useful Real Estate TipsBefore venturing out to purchase real estate, whether it is vacant land or existing homes, get pre-qualified by the lender of your choosing. Nothing pains me more than to watch perspective buyers find exactly what they want, only to find out that they are not qualified for the purchase. Not to mention that, in this day and age, many sellers are requiring that an Offer To Purchase is accompanied by a pre-qualification letter.Talk to a Mortgage SpecialistDO NOT GO IT ALONE, sit down and talk to a loan officer, whether it is at the bank where you do business already or with a company that specializes in home mortgage lending. When you have this sit down, be frank and honest, do not embellish on any of your financial details. The loan officer can only help you if they have the correct information. When you leave this meeting, you should be armed with the knowledge of knowing exactly where you stand. If you are capable of purchasing, you will have the number that you can spend, and if you are not capable of purchasing at the moment you should have the information and a step-by-step approach to get yourself to where you can buy. Keep in mind that during this initial conversation it is not necessary, nor should you give permission, for your credit history and other vital stats to be verified. Most loan officers will give the information you need to begin your search without verifying those details. If the mortgage broker or loan officer will not do this for you, find a different mortgage broker or loan officer.Find a Buyer’s AgentYour second hurdle to cross, is to find an experienced real estate agent, knowledgeable in the selected area’s real estate market, to represent you and help in your search. Speaking of search, your buyers agent must also be a member of the National Association of Realtors in order to have access to the MLS system. DO NOT GO IT ALONE! In this day and age of the internet, many buyers take it upon themselves to do all their own searching and investigating of the real estate market in an area. If you are just looking around a city or area to see what it has to offer, that’s great. If you are serious about buying a home, find a Realtor in that market and put them to work. Having a buyer’s agent in most scenarios costs you the buyer absolutely nothing and the seller of a listed property has their agent aggressively representing them. Remember that all listings in the Multiple Listing Service already have an agreed upon commission split between the Realtors involved in the transaction that is paid by the seller.How Real Estate Agency WorksHere is how real estate agency works. A listed property that you have found on an area MLS search or through some other form of advertising has the commissions the real estate agents are to be paid already built into it. When that property is sold the listing agent and the buyer’s agent split this commission, which is paid by the seller of the property. The fee is already included and being paid out whether you have an agent representing you or not. Sometimes you and your agent look through what is currently listed without finding a suitable property. However, we still have the For Sale By Owners (FSBO’s) to go. In the event, you look at FSBO’s, having a buyer’s agent becomes even more beneficial because the seller is not under any obligation to disclose facts to you. While you may end up having to pay your real estate agents commission, he/she will earn every penny of it by making sure the price you pay is relative to the fair market pricing. They will assist in drafting the Offer To Purchase and Contract that protects you in the transaction, make sure all the appropriate home inspections are completed on time, help you hire an attorney to close the transaction and help you avoid all the stress.Hiring a Real Estate Agent• What should you look for in choosing a Realtor? That’s a legitimate question, and there are numerous answers that apply. First and foremost, make sure your real estate agent is a Realtor, because Realtors are held to a higher standard and a strict code of ethics and are the only real estate agents with access to the MLS.• Secondly, find an agent that you communicate well with and that listens to what you are saying. You’ve all seen the commercial where the real estate agent keeps taking the clients to the same type of homes even though they have already expressed their desire to see something else. We all chuckle, but this happens. If the agent you are currently working with is not listening to you, find another agent. There are a lot of real estate agents in any market.• Thirdly, and in a tie with second, find an honest agent. Does your agent tell you what they honestly think about a property? Both the good and the bad. Does your agent play devil’s advocate, or just sit there and try to talk you into a house you know is not right? While it may sometimes cost your agent the sale, they are working for you and are helping you find what you want. If they cannot objectively play this role, find another agent. This brings me to a extremely crucial point. DO NOT sign a Buyers Agency Agreement until you have spent a little bit of time with that real estate agent. They might tell you it is company policy or that they have to, but they do not and neither should you.• Find an agent that brings more to the table than the ability to fill out a form. You will find that many real estate agents have extensive backgrounds in home construction, home inspections, home design, etc. These professionals are not only trained as real estate agents and can bring a wealth of knowledge to the table when considering your next home. There are many other answers to the question, but these I have mentioned are the most important.These tips outlined above are just some of the basic tips to follow to help your purchase of real estate be a good experience. As I always tell my client, “buyer’s remorse on a car is bad, buyer’s remorse on six figures is the worst.”