Ten Things I Have Learned in My First Five Months in Real Estate

Five months does not a long time make but it seems like a long time when you are bombarded with new information every day. This is the situation I find myself in though after deciding to take the real estate plunge last year. Here are ten things I have learned in my short time in the business:

  • Selling real estate is 90% mental and 10% skill: When I got into real estate, I thought you just showed houses and made sales. How wrong I was. It’s the mental preparation to do the work every day and ignore all the negativity that propels successful real estate agents. Those that can make twenty calls a day and get twenty no’s but do it again the next day are the ones who will succeed.
  • People will try to sell you everything: Soon after becoming a real estate agent, I got a call from a company trying to sell me prime position on search engines like Google. They said I could get my name to appear first in searches if I just paid a monthly fee. “This sounds awesome,” I said. “How much?” Then they said $290 a month and my jaw dropped. How can a new real estate agent with no money afford this? Simple answer: they can’t.
  • Working for yourself takes immense discipline: I thought working my own hours and doing work when I wanted to would be awesome. Freedom, freedom, freedom I kept saying to myself. Well, this freedom comes at a cost. Unless you are superbly disciplined, things get pushed off and calls get made later. Especially if you are home with kids, who tend to sidetrack the best laid plans. All you can do is do your best every day and try to tighten up your schedule.
  • Real estate signs are expensive: Well, I never had any reason to find out how much these little beauties were before but I sure found out when I had them made. For just seven little directional signs and one yard sign, you are talking $500. And then right after you make them, you decide to switch to another brokerage. Sigh.
  • Your significant other might not understand the business right away: You can explain it all you want, but your wife just might not understand why you haven’t made any sales yet. She might insinuate you aren’t working hard enough or need to try different tactics or follow up with that one guy again. The money is going out but it isn’t coming in. The only thing you can say is be patient, this doesn’t happen overnight.
  • You will reconnect with people you haven’t talked to in a while and meet new people you never would have before: In real estate, it’s all about building that database. So picking up the phone and calling that aunt you haven’t talked to in years is imperative if not a little awkward. Funny thing is, most people love to talk and enjoy hearing from you. Also, you will meet likeminded people at networking events and social gatherings who will become best friends.
  • Valuing a house is an inexact science: While everyone wants to know what their house is worth, they don’t necessarily want to know if it comes in below what they thought. As real estate advisors, all we can do is compare the house to similar ones around it and see how much they have recently sold for. Believe me, the more a house sells for the better we get paid so there is no incentive to downgrade a house. The popular saying is true: it is what it is.
  • Most buyers don’t understand how an agent gets paid: While the seller of a house is responsible for the agreed upon commission for the listing and buying agent, the buyer isn’t on the hook for any of it. In essence, they are getting an agent (and their services) for free. This includes finding the houses, setting up inspections, staying in contact with a lender to make sure everything goes smoothly, writing the contract and negotiating with the other agent. Why a buyer wouldn’t use an agent is crazy. They are there to help and they are free.
  • Working by referral is much better than cold calling: Before I came to STL Real Estate, I was doing anything to get leads, from door knocking to sitting open houses to cold calling For Sale by Owners. While this was crucial experience for me to get over my fear of approaching strangers, it wasn’t my idea of fun. Worse yet, it didn’t lead to many prospects, if any at all. Working with those you are close with and have a connection with is a much more satisfying experience. More importantly, I feel it will lead to a more sustainable business in the future. While it might not pan out right away, I am planting the seeds for success.
  • STL Real Estate is an awesome place to work: For those that don’t know, I was at a different brokerage before I came to STL Real Estate. It was larger, had plenty more agents and plenty more resources. But an interview at STL Real Estate let me know this was the place I needed to be. From the top down, everyone is extremely helpful and excited for their fellow agents successes. More importantly, they care about the community they work in, helping to rehab houses and participating in community events. This is the place I want to grow and hope we can show you through our work.

Do you think the home values in your area have recently gone up? Check and see with my free home evaluation.

E-Mail me at kdarr@stlrealestatellc.com to set up a meeting!


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Article Written By: Kevin Darr, a licensed Real Estate Agent at STL Real Estate.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis metro area? Call Kevin today for a free home evaluation or buyer’s presentation. Kevin can be reached at 314-780-3090.

By | 2017-12-05T08:24:23+00:00 January 19th, 2016|Categories: 1. STL Real Estate, Blog, Homeowner Tips, Real Estate Agents, Sell House Fast|Tags: , , , , , |