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What Does It Take to

SUCCEED in Real Estate?

By Bernice Ross

The number one question new real estate agents ask is, “What does it take to succeed in real estate?” Use the following 11-point list as your personal guide to real estate success. No longer a newbie? You can still benefit from revisiting these “back to the basics” reminders.

1. Your six-word job description Your job in real estate boils down to six words: Generate leads; convert leads; close transactions. Many new agents expect their broker to provide leads for them. The truth is you have to generate your own leads. “Your job isn’t selling houses—it’s finding clients,” said Craig Schiller, a new agent with Baird and Warner in Fox Valley. Once you generate a lead, the next step is lead conversion. This means obtaining a signature on a listing agreement, a buyer’s represenCraig Schiller tation agreement, or a purchase contract. The final step is to manage the transaction from contract to close. A common misconception is that agents earn big sums for marketing a listing, locating property for the buyer, and then writing the offer. New agents are often shocked to learn that up to 90 percent of the work occurs after the property enters escrow.

2. Training matters Lynn Madison, the owner of Lynn Madison seminars and an Illinois real estate instructor, emphasizes the importance of obtaining training.

“Find a brokerage that offers good training. Be an education sponge. Many agents choose the wrong managing broker and have to start over with a brokerage that has strong training,” she said. A Texas Association of REALTORS® study of over 500 new agents supported the Lynn Madison same conclusion: new agents who earned their GRI and had a learning mindset were the most likely to succeed.

3. Three fundamentals to master now Contract mastery is essential. Practice filling out at least one contract daily until you can easily complete all transaction related contracts. You must also be able to explain agency relationships, the types of buyer representation, how earnest money deposits are handled, disclosures, etc. Second, master the inventory. Most top producers can price a property without checking the MLS. To master the inventory, see as many houses as possible. Visit different subdivisions, learn the different builders, the various styles of houses, the prices, and community characteristics. Use or other online resources to quickly identify values on your mobile device. Use Evernote to track photos, listing information, and other pertinent data and organize it by street or subdivision name. Third, master the market statistics. When you can quote whether the inventory is increasing or decreasing and how much property values have appreciated or declined, you have instant credibility.

“Your job isn’t selling houses — it’s finding clients.”

— Craig Schiller



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