Day in the Life of a New Agent - Betty
"Day in the Life" is a one-on-one discussion with new REALTORS® to get straight talk on what it's like to enter into the business - the good and the challenging. Our goal with this series is twofold - create an opportunity for new members to learn from one another, and to offer managing brokers insight into how new members are adjusting in their new careers. Individual names are anonymous to allow members to speak openly.
Betty is new to real estate, but previously worked in hotel hospitality and customer service.
What is one of the most important things you have learned in the business so far?
There's a lot to learn, but I've found that REALTOR®-to-REALTOR® relationships are critical for success. When negotiations on behalf of clients begin, cooperation from other agents is necessary in order to complete the transaction. I'm finding some agents are cooperative and others have been challenging to work with, sometimes taking weeks to respond to an offer. I plan to always keep it professional, keeping my personal relationships separate from business so there isn't any confusion.
Making time for training and furthering your education is also vital to advancing success in real estate. I wish there was more training offered to help new agents develop their skill-sets especially in the areas of short sales and handling and presenting offers on foreclosed properties. One of the biggest challenges I've found is working with the Fannie Mae HomePath program. I have found good courses through MORe, RPR®, and MRED.
What do you think is the most important characteristic of a real estate agent?
I think the most important characteristic for being successful in real estate is the ability to listen. It's not just selling someone a house; you need to work on solving your client's problems if they can be solved. It's really truly not about sales but what does this person need from you and how can you help them.
My approach is to stay in contact with clients and send them emails or updates whenever possible. Attention to detail is vital. It's trying to read the person and seeing what they need from you. When I am working with a client I give them the best possible service they expect to receive.
I work with a lot of families so I find including children in the process is also important. I developed a worksheet to keep the kids busy and involved, helping with their own property evaluations. They conduct their own personal opinion about specific properties and evaluate the condition of the property and love being engaged in the process. They get to be junior REALTORS® for the day.
How are you marketing your business?
I recently purchased zip code leads through realtor.com and have already learned that time is of the essence when responding to potential leads. The quicker I return calls when leads contact me, the better my chances of converting that lead into a viable client.
I've also volunteered to take calls into the brokerage office via floor time and am working on creating emails to send to potential and current clients. I'm also focusing on an online strategy. I've established a business Facebook page as well as three websites that feed my business.
What role does technology play in your business aside from marketing?
I think remaining on the cutting edge with new technology is essential for all agents. I do a lot of text messaging with clients and, I'm a fan of the Homesnap app, which allows me to take a picture of a home and receive MLS information about the home on the spot.