Real estate is a fantastic career, but there are many misconceptions about it that need to be debunked. Let’s take a look at the top six misconceptions, and focus on the reality of this profession.
1. Money – There’s a lot of money to be made in real estate, but many people make the mistake of thinking they are going to get rich quickly by being a real estate agent. However, as a new agent, it can take six months to a full year to actually close your first deal. To succeed in this industry, you have to go into it with enough capital to cover your expenses for that first year while you’re learning the ropes and working to get a client. Going forward, it takes time to build up the steady clients, referrals, and reputation that go into long term success.
2. Your job isn’t just selling homes – So many people think real estate is just about selling houses, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Your #1 job is to market yourself and your brand so that you can answer the question “Why would someone choose you over all the other agents in your community to represent them as they buy or sell their home?” When you have a clear differentiator that sets you apart, only then will you be able to create a powerful marketing message and communicate that with your prospects.
3. This isn’t reality TV – There are many shows out there about the mega-success some real estate agents have, and those shows all focus on the glamour and excitement of working with a celebrity client. Let’s face it, folks, life is not a Reality TV show! Chances are, you’ll never get to work with a celebrity, and most of your clients are going to be “normal” people with “normal” jobs. If you’re getting into this profession for glamour and excitement, you’re setting yourself up for big disappointment. Take the time to figure out your big “why” – what is the compelling reason that makes you want to be a real estate agent? Once you know your “why”, you’ll be more motivated to do the hard work of getting established as a real estate professional.
4. No one wants to work with a new agent – Some people have the attitude they don’t want to work with a new agent because they lack experience. The reality is, as a new agent, you’re more likely to work harder and provide superior customer service because you want to win the business of that client. Don’t let the naysayers get you down! Capitalize on your inexperience and market yourself by putting your best foot forward and emphasize all your strengths. Focus on the fact that you’re not a “solo” agent, but rather part of a large team of professionals (your broker, transaction coordinator, title rep, etc.) with years of experience to ensure the transaction goes smoothly.
5. Part-time work for full-time pay – Many people get into real estate because they believe they can have a flexible schedule, work part-time and still earn the big bucks. I hate to break the bad news to you, but real estate is a demanding profession, and if you want to be successful in it, you have to put in the time. While it’s not a traditional 9-to-5 job, and you have the flexibility of going to your kid’s school field trip, you’ll make up for it by working weekends and meeting clients in the evening. Be realistic about your schedule, and learn to time block the important activities on your calendar so you have time for your family, to exercise and do self-care, and still get your prospecting done.
6. The only way to prospect is to make cold calls and to door knock – So many people fear rejection, and avoid prospecting because they think they have to make cold calls or door knock. Not true! There are so many ways to prospect today! Understand your personality and your strengths, and find ways to prospect that is comfortable for you. You have to put yourself out there—but think out-of-the-box! Perhaps you can put together a first-time home-buyer presentation and give it once a month at your local community center. How about developing a homebuying course for a community education course? The options are limitless! The main thing is to block time each day to prospect, and be faithful to that schedule.
To be successful in real estate takes dedication, focus, good planning, and a deep understanding of your market and your client needs. If you’ve been believing any of these common misconceptions, it’s time to dump them and embrace the truth of what it takes to be the go-to real estate agent in your community!
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