Friday, July 19, 2013

So . . . You want to be a real estate agent . . .

Can you Get Rich Quick?

I have been a real estate agent for over 38 years (so far)!  And you probably know by reading past blogs that I (literally) grew up in a real estate office.  So all of my life (that I can remember), I've worked with Realtors and as a Realtor.  I hardly know anything else, except for the short time I worked for Der Weinerschnitzel (on Bellfort), Pizza Hut (in Conroe), and A Jiffy Key and Lock (on Reveille).  (Mother wanted to make sure I appreciated the real estate business by encouraging me to work elsewhere very briefly, all totaled less than one year.)
This is what the (der) Wienerschnitzel (where I worked) looked like.  The A-frame with drive-thru in the middle!

Now you know my entire work history . . . and you see why I'm a Realtor.  (My job at Der Weinerschnitzel, however, was my favorite, which paid me $1.40 per hour.  Of course, hot dogs were 18 cents at the I sound like your grandfather now sonny-boy?)  Anyway, I digress.

Part of my job as a "broker/owner" is "recruiter."  So I had a guy email me a few days ago saying, "hey Sam, maybe you remember me.  You sold my house a few years ago, and I was thinking about getting into the real estate business.  Can you point me to a good real estate school?"

So, I looked him up in my database and remembered him (somewhat).  We sold his house with no issues, which makes him less memorable than the difficult sales where I take a cussing......but that's irrelevant.  (I do, however, remember every cussing I've ever taken!  "Taking a cussing" is part of a good Realtor's job, because buyers and sellers are over-stressed during that period and tend to take out their frustrations on their agent.  Then, when it's over, I get an apology and a gift.  I'm used to it.)

Nonetheless, his sale was uneventful and thus, less-than-memorable.  But I pointed him to my recruiting website, and to a path toward becoming a real estate agent.  Again, uneventful.

But yesterday, he called me.  He'd reviewed the information, and had this question:  "How much can I make with your firm in the next 60 days?"  Oh boy, I knew that I was about to "bust his bubble."  Unfortunately, most people think that real estate is a "job."  It's not!  It is starting your own business, true entrepreneurship.  Capitalism.  Free enterprise.  Very American.  And my favorites, "work your own hours," "be your own boss."  LOL!

Let me just say that the last 3 "brand new licensees" that I've met with didn't have the money to join the Board of Realtors and get MLS access!  But they wanted to make millions!  Where did this complete misconception come from?  Was it that they'd sold a house and saw the HUGE fee they'd paid and thought, "wow, this guy is getting rich?"  Maybe.

But make no mistake . . . hear ye, hear ye!  It will cost a new agent (after real estate school) $5,000-10,000 over the next 6 months with very little income.  Perhaps they'll get this money back in a year with a return, but expect a very rocky beginning.  It (seriously) takes 2-3 years to get well established so that your income becomes "regular" and static.  Though most agents in year two start to "roll," I wouldn't advise any new debt until year 3 or more.

Now . . . my competitors are going to look at this and say, "yes, but at our firm, you'll do much better much quicker."  HAHA!  Our primary competitor spends more money on recruiting gimmicks than they do on marketing.  And their agents make far less money than our agents do, even their top-producing agents with the most longevity.  So, if you're looking at becoming an agent, be sure to look at ALL the data!  And consider who's going to train you . . . who better than someone who's "made it" in this business?

I never lead someone down a path that looks rosier than it is.  The path to successful real estate agency is laden with thorns.........but my job is to trim those thorns and make the path as smooth as I can.  It's now part of what I do every day.

The plan?  I have one for you.  Invest in yourself -- both financially and educationally -- apply the basic principles of success -- join the best company you can find -- and you're on your way.  The reward at the end?  Yes, you can make a good living in time.

But my earliest mentor -- Tom Hopkins -- always said, "you don't get rich in real estate by listing and selling it . . . you get rich by owning it."  So as you make money, phase 2 of your plan is to invest in yourself again by buying real estate.

Questions?  Ready to jump right in?  Call me.  832-200-5656.