Choosing to become a real estate agent can be a life changing career move. How can you make sure you do it successfully? Maybe you’re coming from a different industry, or perhaps you’ve moved to a new area and thought this would be a great opportunity. Life changes like having children or returning to the workforce after a long period of time can prompt people to consider a career in real estate, too.
Today, let’s talk about what it takes to become a real estate agent. Also, though – let’s talk about what it takes to become a successful real estate agent. And no – the definition of successful in this case doesn’t include luxury cars, plastic surgery or famous area codes. It takes something more than that, which we’ll explore below.
In this article:
Being a real estate agent means being a professional. Yes – in your conduct. But also literally becoming a professional. Professionals in a given field conform to specific standards when it comes to things like education, training, and ethics. Uniform training and education ensures each professional is able to perform their specific role within that profession.
When it comes to residential real estate, the requirements can vary depending on your location. But typically, most states will require you to:
This list isn’t exhaustive, but should paint a picture for someone considering a career in real estate of some of the requirements they will have to meet.
If you can’t come up with a plan and execute, you’ll go hungry in the real estate business before long.
Beyond the technical requirements mentioned above, there are skills and abilities that new agents should consider before they become an agent. Completing the requirements above will get you licensed and registered to sell real estate, sure. But there are further skills you will definitely require aptitude in. These include but are not limited to:
Licensing bodies and associations will be happy to sell you a license. But without the skills above, you may not be able to expect much of a return on your investment. The list above are probably the basic skills you need to work in the business. How about succeeding, though?
There is no safety net in real estate.
For the most part, anyone can be a real estate agent. You will happily be sold a license, and be charged initiation fees for the associations and boards of your area. Most brokerages will gladly take you on.
The thing is, none of these entities is dedicated to your success. They may provide you with some tools, and in some cases opportunities. But the only person concerned with your success and your ability to put bread on the table through your work is you. None of the above skills guarantee your success either; it doesn’t matter how well you can craft an email, if there is no prospect to receive it.
What skills separate someone who becomes a successful real estate agent from one who just simply becomes a real estate agent? In my opinion, the most invaluable skills are:
What drives you? Do you want to work in real estate because on TV it looks like an easy way to get rich? Or are you trying to feed your family, earn a living, and be your own boss? In the business of real estate, if you aren’t motivated, you will fail. Motivated individuals sink their teeth into the challenge of generating business out of thin air and thrive on building their own success from the ground up. Generating leads, following up, and focusing on your goal are the only way to success. There is no safety net in real estate. You have to wake up each morning and create it.
Achieving success in any business takes a vision of how you will operate and the organization to execute that vision. When you become a real estate agent, you often become a “company of one”. You will wear many hats – including sales manager, marketing expert, client relations manager, accountant, and CEO. If you don’t have the highest level of organization, opportunities will fall through the cracks and your business will dwindle. Agents with more experience, money and clout will get the better of you and eat your lunch.
Becoming a successful real estate agent means setting goals and staying focused. So many people fall backwards into a career in real estate, and just wait around expecting success to smack them in the face. Why would you think that way? Does the CEO of Starbucks just sit around hoping they sell coffee? Setting clear (and ambitious) goals ensures you stay on track to get what you want. This doesn’t mean a goal of “make as much money as possible”. Your goals have to be specific, measurable, and achievable. Most importantly – they can’t just be end goals. You need specific goals for your daily, weekly, and monthly activities to drive your focus and propel you forward, every step of the way.
Before starting a career in real estate, this is the first question you need to consider carefully. In my opinion, the most important factor in becoming a successful real estate agent is motivation. When you become a real estate agent, your business can be anything you want. Do you want to wear a suit and tie, and start hitting the phones at 8am every day? Or do you want to spend your mornings lazing about in your pyjamas?
One of the best things about being a real estate agent is flexibility. If your “why” is focused around an easy, flexible lifestyle – thats fine. But if your “why” is about achieving the best results, you need to focus on the skills and choices that will make you a success among the thousands of so-so agents out there.
If being a smash success is what you’re looking for, you’re already doing the right thing by checking out blogs like this. Read books, study your competitors, and listen to podcasts that will keep you motivated. If you think you have what it takes to be successful in the real estate world – go for it!