The Real Estate License Professor

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Pssst, Here is some of My Knowledge
About Being a Realtor... Pass it on!
When I began my career in real estate I attended real estate school believing that I would learn all that I would ever need to know to be an agent. I passed my exam with the full expectations that I was ready to sell, sell, sell. After my first day as a realtor I quickly realized that what I had learned in school did not prepare me for my job. Real Estate School merely showed me the boundaries, rules,  and laws that I had to stay within in order to practice as a realtor. In other words I found that I in fact knew NOTHING! This fact terrified me. I do not think that I would still be a realtor today if it wasn't for the mentoring and direction I was given from my broker and other experienced agents in my firm. These people taught me one very important lesson in life...Experience and knowledge can be transferable.
Now I would like to share some of my knowledge with other realtors just like those from my first brokerage did with me. I only write this with one request... I would like for each of you to take one rookie aside and share with them at least one of your personal philosophies on how to be a great realtor.
And now for over 30 years of experience summed up into some bullet points:
  1. Set daily goals for yourself, and hold yourself accountable to complete them. List each activity you plan to do and the time it will take to complete it.  This will allow you to optimally manage your time and help make you more efficient and professional.

  2. Make direct dollar-producing activities, such as listing, your first priority. Set aside a specific number of hours for each money-making task, and don’t let anything interfere with that time.

  3. Try to understand the people you are working for. Ask the right questions and use extensive prescreening to narrow down the number of properties you show to a client. Spend time asking the client about everything they want in a home: Do they need room for entertaining? Will the configuration of the bathrooms let everyone get out on time in the morning? What types of academic and extracurricular program do they want their schools to have? How far are they willing to drive to work? Then use a map to pinpoint exact neighborhoods that fit this criteria. Even though 40 percent of our business is relocation, we are frequently able to sell buyers a house the first or second time we go out. This can be a tremendous time saver.

  4. Under-promise and over-deliver. If you promise to have information to a customer in three days and they receive it in two days, they will recognize your attentiveness. Help ensure you make these impressive deadlines by building in a little cushion for yourself. If you think you need three days to complete a CMA, tell the clients they will receive it in four days.

  5. Be honest and admit any mistakes to clients as soon as they occur. Problems will seem worse if you try to hide them and your clients find out later. It will destroy their confidence in you and could even lead to a lawsuit for misrepresentation.

  6. Be consistent with advertising, especially direct mail. Use the same marketing tag line, the same photo, and the same logo on all your materials—brochures, business cards, Web site, everything--for at least a year. The constant repetition helps fix you and your marketing in people’s minds and creates a brand identity for you.

  7. Encourage sellers to set a realistic price by getting them to look at their home from a buyer’s perspective. Use data such as the cost of similar houses sold in the same area. Ask your clients to walk through their home and look at it as if they were buyers. Finally ask them what they would offer to buy their own house.

  8. Get the seller to sign a price-reduction addendum to the contract when you take a listing. This way, if you need to adjust the price later to save a deal, you’ve already got the sellers’ agreement.

  9. Take personal time to avoid burn out. Plan vacations for yourself periodically so you always have a break to look forward to. While on vacation don’t concern yourself with work… ENJOY!
I hope that you learned at least one thing from this list.  Every time I sell a house I whisper a small thank my first broker. Without her help I am not sure what I would be doing today.
Posted by Tom Chambers on January 17, 2007
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