by Maegan Carrasquillo, Staff Writer
You’ve finally completed the required hours of education, you’ve studied and passed your salesperson exam. Now you’re sitting there thinking, “I know all about escrow but have no clue how to get to that part of the process.“ Awesome.
Unfortunately, somewhere in between all the terminology and rules they forgot to explain exactly how this works. That wasn’t a mistake. As with many careers, you will learn more in the first few weeks of doing than you might in a classroom with a book. Before you get to the doing part though, let’s clear up a few things to hopefully make this part easier.
- Find a Brokerage – You may be inundated with letters and emails asking you to join a local brokerage. It’s great to feel wanted but keep in mind that all brokerages are not created equal. The laws vary by state/province, but you will need to work under a broker for a certain period so make sure they provide the right environment for you to thrive.Tip: Though you will be working under a broker, you are still an independent contractor which gives you a new way to look at the interview process; you’re interviewing them as much as they are you. You know what you need, whether it’s technology, training or even low office fees so don’t just hang your license anywhere.
- Figure out your Budget – Are you planning on doing this as a side hustle or is this your main gig? Depending on how you answered, you’ll need to plan. If it’s a side hustle you may not get out as much as you think, but you will also have the stability of income from somewhere else. If it’s full time, then you may want to have savings set aside or at least a plan for your finances as this type of work does not involve weekly or biweekly paychecks. You’ll also want to take marketing costs into account. Things like business cards, a more suitable wardrobe, and even ads or a website are all very valuable in this line of work.Tip: Many brokerages in the US require you being a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. In Canada, sales reps must belong to organized real estate, nationally known as CREA – the Canadian Real Estate Association – and then they can use the REALTOR designation. This will give you better exposure and the ability to use REALTOR as opposed to just sales associate, but there is also a cost. Make sure to discuss this with your broker so you don’t have any surprises.
- Foster Connections – A great reason to belong to an organization such as NAR or CREA is that it can put you in a room full of people who could benefit your business. Naturally you will want to reach out to as many connections as you have when you start your business, like family and friends, but it’s also very important to branch out a bit. Networking is a huge part of this business so the more people you know, the better chance you have for a referral. Not only do you want to network with other real estate professionals, you also want to be sure to make the experience for each client so positively impactful that they can’t help but tell all of their friends.Tip: If you are driving by a yard sale or children selling lemonade, that is the perfect time to stop in and show your support as well as drop off a few business cards. People remember kindness.