With the success of home shows and channels like HGTV and the creation of MLS on the internet, this last decade has seen so much exposure to the world of real estate. Many of you are hooked on checking MLS weekly and catching up on the latest real estate shows (I love House Hunters International and Love it or List especially) and are starting to realize you have a passion for this.
If you’ve ever wondered if a career in real estate was for you, I’m here to help you figure that out. Before you even take a course, ask yourself if you have the personality traits/characteristics necessary for success:
- Self discipline: Even though you will work under a broker, you are essentially your own boss so you have to make sure you can create and stick to your own schedule. Some people need the structure and routines of a more traditional job and that’s okay, just be honest with yourself if you are able to make a routine for yourself and stick to it in the face of all that freedom. This self-discipline will be critical in helping you achieve a balance between your work time and your personal time- this is one of the biggest challenges of being a realtor!
- Patience and Perseverance: It can take some time for deals to come together and for your career in real estate to flourish so you have to be able to stick it out through the slow or challenging times. When you are able to keep at it though, this is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. If you know you’re the type of person who gets antsy waiting for others or feels too much anxiety if things are moving slowly, this may not be the career for you. On the flip side, you will also have times of extreme busy-ness where everything is a race to the finish. One of the things I love most about being a realtor is the ever-changing pace.
- People Skills/Excellent Customer Service: As a Realtor, you will be helping people through one of the biggest, most exciting, scariest, stressful and wonderful experiences of their lives- never forget what a big deal this is to your client! I work very hard to make this experience the best it possibly can be for my clients and that means anticipating and meeting their needs, including how emotional this can be at times, and most especially BE A GOOD LISTENER! Are you able to consistently deliver exceptional customer service skills? Are you able to really listen to your clients and hear what their hopes and dreams are? If yes, you’re already well on your way to being a successful real estate agent. If you're not as good a listener as you'd like to be, brush up on your Active Listening Skills here.
- Negotiating and Communication Skills: It is absolutely critical that you can negotiate the best deals possible for your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for what they want and be able to think creatively. The only way you can really be a great negotiator, is if you’re a great communicator. Are you able to articulate what your clients needs and wants are in a way that is appealing to the other agent/clients? Can you think up win-win solutions? If this is one of those things you’re not sure of because you’ve never worked in a field where you had to negotiate, check out this article “Top Ten Effective Negotiation Skills”
Now that you’ve done a little soul searching and know whether you have the internal capacity for this job, it is time to start planning your education and training. There’s a wealth of great info available at the Ontario Real Estate Association website, including the step by step instructions on how to get licensed. It lists all the courses, admission requirements etc...
Once you have passed all the required courses, you now need to find a brokerage to work with - this process should be started even before completing the program so you can get started as soon as you're registered to do business. Check out our Century 21 brochure here to see the benefits of our brokerage, including the technology included as that is one of the most important considerations these days.
Regardless of which brokerage you choose, three things to remember:
- The courses only give you the legal info, paperwork, rules and regulations. They do not teach you how to get a listing, how to market the listing, how to manage your business so MAKE SURE YOU FIND A BROKERAGE WITH A GOOD TRAINING PROGRAM!
- You are self employed, you MUST treat your new career like a business. Go to the office everyday, make calls, take out ads, write notes, pop in and see people.
- YOU are the business so set aside money for self promotion- this is critical! Put your picture and contact info on all your cards, signs, ads, billboards etc...
If you’re seriously considering a career in real estate, give me a shout and we’ll grab a coffee. I’ll answer any questions you may have, no pressure, just info! Click on the infographic below to see some more great tips.