In a boom market, real estate sales look like an easy way to generate income: basic licensing classes are packed with eager wannabe agents. How hard can it be to sell a house, right?
Anyone who’s been in the industry a while knows that no matter the economy, our business isn’t for the lazy or anyone looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. To succeed in real estate, be you agent or broker, residential or commercial, requires many of the same qualities necessary to flourish in any field with an extra dose of tenacity.
The skills and qualities here may seem elementary, but in any field, we can never lose by periodically examining the basic tools of success.
- Polish your presentation skills. Real estate agents are constantly ‘on.’ Whether you’re taking a listing, showing a property, or even closing a deal, how you comport yourself will have an impact on not only your current transaction but future referrals. Dress professionally, project an air of confidence, and by all means take advantage of training your company offers you so you can become technically proficient at the sales process.
- Simplify your structure. Chances are, you’re going to have to serve as your own broker’s assistant when you are starting out, so set some simple routines to keep you efficient. Many experts suggest setting aside a block of time at the beginning or end of your day for handling administrative matters, so they don’t interfere with the time you necessarily need to spend on client interface. But, by the same token, not handling the admin end of the business is a recipe for details falling through the cracks. The rule of thumb for hiring an assistant is when you start to reach about three dozen transactions per year.
- Remember: It’s not about you. No matter how skilled an agent you may be, you’ll do well to remember a transaction isn’t about how eloquent you are but about the needs and wants of your customer. Listen more than you talk, and when you do open your mouth, do so to ask questions. Few technical skills can compensate for the ability to develop personal relationships with customers: word of mouth from satisfied clients will be your best referrals
- Let go of the past. Rarely does a day pass without small failures as well as successes. The key to achieving long-term goals is to focus on neither: start each day fresh. Just as you shouldn’t begin each day dwelling on what went wrong the prior day, neither should you become complacent about a recent closing or new listing: history books are filled with examples of once-successful businesspeople who let their short-term success go to their heads, only to end up in bankruptcy.
As you progress in the real estate industry, you’ll continue to add skills to your professional toolset, but should you find yourself in a rut, don’t overthink it: take a deep breath and revisit these straightforward tips to start fresh.