First Month Guide For NEW AGENTS
By: Patti Brotherton
You came into this business confident that you would make a sale immediately and have tons of money coming in. Then reality set in. It was much harder than you thought-people weren't calling you; people were asking questions that you were not sure of the answers; you didn't know what to do with your time; you didn't completely understand the sales contract and so couldn't get people comfortable to sign it; and so on.
If you want to sell someone the most expensive asset they will acquire, you need to know your stuff. Read on to find a way to build up your confidence when you are new new new.
Learn the market
The first thing you can do for yourself and is learn your market. You need to work hard by learning about every property that is currently for sale, and every property that had sold in the last year in your marketplace. It sounds overwhelming; but break the project down to a manageable size.
Pick a neighborhood every day. Have a map. Drive by every property that the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) has in that neighborhood for sale. Keep a journal and take Polaroid pictures if you need to, but note the size of the property-how many bedrooms, what kinds of extra amenities (such as pool, view, etc.), and the price. Then you should drive by all the properties that had sold in the last year in the same neighborhood noting the same information. What you are doing is making yourself thoroughly familiar with one particular neighborhood that day. The next day pick another neighborhood and so on until you have studied your entire market area. This is hard work, but you will know more about properties in your area than many of the "seasoned" agents and that will immediately give you confidence. Now when a prospective client asks you about a particular property for sale, you will know it! You have seen it! Knowledge is power!
Practice Writing Contracts
During your first month you need to practice writing sales
contracts. You should go through your area's or your company's contract and know every word in it. It is so important that you understand the contract and can impart the information in a concise manner to a prospective buyer.
You will have many questions, write them down and get the answers from your broker/manager. Practice different scenarios. The buyer who has a 10% down payment, the buyer who has a 20% down payment, the buyer paying all cash, the buyer who wants the seller to carry-back paper, the buyer who wants to use a VA loan; the buyer who wants to purchase using FHA.
Practice. Practice. Practice. If you could practice with another person who does not know real estate, such as a spouse or good friend, it would be even better. They will have honest questions and you will know what to expect from your own buyer. After you have written and practiced the contract many, many times you will be confident to write one for a client.
Your broker/manager should point out the important elements of the contract for the buyer and the important elements of the contract for the seller. In this way, you will know which to give more emphasis to when you are presenting your contracts to either a buyer or seller.
There is nothing in the contract that you should have questions about after studying it and practicing it this way. You are ready! And, probably more prepared than many of your fellow agents.
Have More Information than the Public
You need to know more about the marketplace than the general public. You do this by attending all the office sales meetings, attending education conferences at your association office, reading all the real estate bulletins, attending industry seminars, and reading books or listening to education tapes. You need to constantly keep up with all the changes going on in the industry. The public is aware and has more information than ever before to make a buying or selling decision-so should you!
You should meet closing agents and ask questions about the sales process, you should meet title representatives and ask questions about different title policies, you should meet loan officers and ask about the different loans available in your area. There is a great deal of information that you need to know so just ask questions. People in the related real estate industries will share their knowledge with you when they see that you are working hard to gain as much information as possible.
Act the Part
Carry yourself with confidence. Stand stall, walk quickly, have a firm handshake, look prospective clients in the eye. You may be quaking inside, but the outside should be unruffled. Wear nice clothes that are clean and pressed. Have a clean, polished car that is running good. Use a nice pen, leather portfolio, and your laptop. When someone sees you for the first time, make sure his/her impression of you is one of professionalism. It helps so much with your confidence.
You will not have all the answers and never will. You will know where to get the answers and you do have a great deal of knowledge on the marketplace now. You're in control. Your prospective clients will enjoy working with someone who is so diligent about learning their craft. Your clients will feel trust from your confidence!
Patti Brotherton is President of PAB Performance Partners. Patti’s company was formed to reach a broader base of agents, managers and companies to help them in any way possible to do more business, to improve their business, to help them balance their business and generally improve the quality of their professional life. Patti believes in individualized marketing programs, including graphic design, as well as business systems that have proven to work in many different market places.
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