Real estate is one of the most exciting and lucrative sectors of the market, and for many people, working in real estate holds out the promise of a reliable income doing valuable and interesting work.
But while the rewards of a big deal can be huge, they are not with their risks. If you are interested in building a career buying and selling property, here are three things you need to know in order to succeed.
1. Understand the Law
Contrary to popular belief, you can sell a property without being a licensed realtor — but you cannot do so on behalf of someone else. This means that while you are cleared to buy or sell a house or other property asset without going through the licensing process if you want to make a business out of buying and selling real estate, you will need to pass the licensing course in your jurisdiction.
In most states, before you can take the licensing exam, you need to take a course. Each state will also have its own guidelines around what that course involves (the California exam requires a 135-hour course, while New York’s is only 75 hours).
2. Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Once you’ve passed your test and received your license, you are ready to find a brokerage that will sponsor you and start your career as a realtor. But while your brokerage will provide you with some support to get you started, in order to really thrive, you will need to be adept at cultivating leads and turning them into sales.
This requires an entrepreneurial mindset. If you sit back and wait for business to come to you, you won’t be working in real estate for long, so explore the different ways you can market yourself and start developing a niche that will allow you to differentiate yourself from other realtors working in your region.
Many realtors do this by focussing on a particular type of real estate — rural sales, for example, or condominiums — or a particular segment of the market (seniors looking to downsize, for example, or first-time buyers looking for a starter home). Not only does this make the following market trends more manageable, but it will also help you build a reliable client base.
3. Real Estate Rewards the Patient
One of the biggest challenges newly minted real estate agents face is sticking with the job through the first lean months when they are still establishing themselves in the industry and sales are few and far between.
A huge percentage of realtors drop out of the business in the first two years because they lack the patience to build their brand slowly as they push through the first two difficult years. Like any other self-directed business venture, you need to account for the time it takes to start building a reputation. The good news is that if you can make it through the first couple of years, your chances of achieving success increase exponentially.
Every year, thousands of people become licensed realtors. What separates for the successful from the unsuccessful is usually a combination of the three points above. But understanding the legal dimension of the industry, being willing to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, and having the patience to keep with it through the hard times, will all but guarantee that you achieve your real estate dreams.