As a broker owner of a real estate firm with over 70 agents, I’m amazed sometimes at how some agents seem to “get it” and some seem to be “ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid proponent of learning… but let’s think about today’s real estate training for a minute.
I have an agent that started with me last September. She had everything going against her: She’s only 27 years old, she was only able to work part time, and she worked out of my Raleigh virtual office (an hour and a half from our main office). Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, this is about the worst possible time to get into the business. Lots of seasoned agents are getting out!
But Hope Brown has a great attitude, and she’s very teachable. Now when I say started, I mean started. She interviewed with me and I told her she would be great in real estate. I encouraged her to go to real estate school and get her license, and she did. While she was attending pre-licensing school, she attended one of our two-day agent summits where we teach the fundamentals of practicing real estate.
She graduated real estate licensing school and got her provisional brokers license. Then she checked in with our company, got all her technology in place, joined the local association, the MLS, and all the fun stuff new agents have to do. Then she promptly went on a three week vacation to Europe to visit a school friend, before starting. Finally, in late October she began doing real estate for real, but remember, it was part-time.
She made the drive to meet with me twice a week (a three hour round trip plus a couple of hours of one-on-one training) to get the basic training she needed to be successful. Unfortunately, real estate school teaches agents what not to do — we have to train them what to do! We started with building a business plan. Her goal was to two-fold: First she wanted to replace her secretarial job. Next she wanted to make $60,000 from real estate her first year without “killing herself” working around the clock.
Let me ask you for your thoughts about her goals. Remember, she’s 27, and she lives an hour and a half away from our office. She was already working a full-time job. What do you think? Is she being realistic? Raleigh is a very typical market. The average sale price is just over $200,000 and the average commission split is about 2.4%. The economy in Raleigh was very typical at the time, foreclosures at record levels, and prices down 10% from the year before.
Well, I told her that she had a very realistic goal, but that she would have to diligently work her plan to make it. She said she would, and she really has kept her word. So how has Hope done so far? I think she’s done remarkably well. It’s been about six months, although the first couple of months were part-time. I am so proud of her because she has taken her training seriously, and she has done fantastic!
She’s closed 5 transactions, and currently has 3 more deals and dozens of other Internet leads in her pipeline who are slowly moving forward in the home-buying process. She’s been able to replace her old job by the first of the year, and she’ll probably be closer to $70-80k for her first year. Now how cool is that?! Oh, and I forgot to mention that I met with her last week in Raleigh. She is working an average of about 2-3 hours a day to stay at this pace. She likes the freedom more than the money!
So what’s the difference? Why is she doing so phenomenally well, while many seasoned agents are leaving the business? What about the old “don’t expect to do a transaction for six months” rule? Why was she able to break through the gravity that holds so many new (and seasoned) agents down? I think there are three simple reasons:
First, she set her heart on doing real estate. She focused all her energy on learning the business, and more importantly, on doing what she learned. Most of us already know much more than we’ll implement in years. So knowledge is important, but knowledge without action is useless.
Second, Hope had a plan. She had a very specific track to run on, and she followed it diligently. And the proof is in the results. I know it’s a cliche, but if you fail to plan, you may as well plan to fail. And having made a great plan, the next step is actually doing what you plan. She did, and now she is far exceeding her goals!
Third, she was careful in selecting her training. I marvel at the number of “experts” in our industry, that haven’t been involved in real estate for decades, or some of them, ever! Before you decide to follow an expert’s advice, take a good look at his or her success. I can’t tell you how many technology classes I’ve attended where the expert didn’t have a clue, but simply wanted to sell his product.
I think you’ll agree that Hope’s done amazingly well. But the fact is, it could easily be you. Even if you’ve been in the business for a while, what’s to keep you from making a fresh start? I honestly believe that anyone who wants to be successful in this business, with a little help from somebody that’s actually doing it, can have fantastic results, even in today’s market. So give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
Oh, and if you’d like to see the basics that I taught Hope, I’ll be happy to share them with you as well in a free online seminar called Becoming a Mega-Producer. If you like it, drop me an email and tell me how it’s helped you.