I'm coming from a business/economics background thinking of starting in real estate in New York City.
I co-founded and owned what became the 13th largest Century 21 franchise in the USA. I did the majority of the training. We hired hundreds of new and experienced agents each year maintaining an average active agent count of around 95 in our single office.
Here is some of the advice I gave each prospective or new recruit.
1. Make sure you have a cash reserve to cover your personal and real estate business overhead for 3-6 months.
2. Treat your real estate business like you are in business for yourself even though you are not by yourself. Sound business principles still apply.
3. Networking and relationship nurturing are the keys to the kingdom. Prospect, prospect, prospect. (The agents that were proactively prospecting for clients were three to four times more successful than the ones that merely placed ads and waited for the phone to ring.)
4. Avoid the busy-work-trap. That is, do all the non-income producing work during non-prime time hours. If you can be prospecting, showing property or writing contracts, do it. Don't organize your desk, configure your CRM, write your ads, etc., in lieu of the activities that will earn your income. This happens more frequently than you might think.
5. Ignore the naysayers. My best agents earned between $250,000 and $500,000 regardless of the housing market or economy. Ironically, some of them were "intentional" naysayers. It was part of their strategy to discourage the new people.
6. Become a student of the business. Attend every conference available. Read every book. Listen to the CD's/DVD's on how to master the art of selling real estate (to borrow a title from Tom Hopkins).
I've traveled the country training real estate agents & brokers. Give me a call if you have any further questions or would like a coach to accelerate your learning curve and success rate.
All the best!
Concentrate on Marketing yourself even more than marketing your business. Be the "go to expert." And here is tip that will serve you well if you adhere to it....You don't have to be the brightest, smartest, most knowledgeable, or most experienced in order to be the best choice. Secondly, do not do what other average sales people are doing unless you want average results. Find ways to creatively and effectively market yourself and your services. Enjoy what you do and value your time.
Michael T. Irvin
"Get To The Top Without The Slop"
Show up, 90% of the business is just showing up.
Do open houses, go to meetings, network, hand out cards...
Be present and let people know what you do and always ask for the close (a card, a phone #, a referral...) always get some sort of commitment
I've never sold real estate per se, but my brother is a home builder and started his own brokerage firm - so we've talked a lot about marketing his company.
The #1 thing he's realized is it's ALL world of mouth and relationships. You can't advertise your way to success in real estate. You need to be the person people think about, trust, and refer their friends and family to help them with their real estate needs. That means it takes a while, unless you do a few things.
1) Write a blog for your customers / write about the neighbourhood and things that are important to people buying / selling houses.
2) Do a video blog / podcast on same topic
3) Host free information sessions and teach people everything you know about buying or selling a house. Give it ALL away for free. Be sure to give them the good stuff, the secret tools, services and tricks.
4) Spend every night of the week at social events trying to find ways to help everyone you meet expecting nothing in return.
That's what my brother did and built a multi-million dollar company in 5 years. He's the master.
As a young college grad at 21 I was mentored in real estate sales by Scott E. Cohen in NY and he taught me many things but the one that served me best for the next 25 years was to focus on listings and working with sellers as opposed to buyers. I've had many buyers buy through another broker or builder and I wound up with zero commission after working sometimes for months with them but if you control the listing you will get a minimum of 50% of the commission. Other than that I'd suggest to others to enter the career in a higher priced section of the country. I was selling in Rochester, NY and at that time my typical sales prices were in the 75K - 125K price range. I wish I had relocated to Southern, CA earlier in my career since the average sales prices there were 300K+ and since sales commissions are generally based on a percentage of the final sales price I would have made three times the commissions for the exact same amount of work.
I have trained for Keller Williams and managed a Coldwell Banker office in Vail, Colorado. (Mountain Resort Homes) All of the answers above are EXCELLENT. The best advice I received when getting into the business was to 1) Treat it like a business, IE if I were my boss, what would I expect out of my employees? Then do it. 2) This includes getting up and going to work from 8-5 sometimes longer. 3) Continuously educate yourself. This business is always changing. 4) Do not forget that you are a salesperson and you need to continually "Sharpen the Saw". Take sales technique classes regularly and practice your scripts over and over believing in them that they work, eventually it becomes natural in your conversations with clients. 5) Dont forget to listen to your clients and hear their needs. 6) Last but not least, know your market inside and out and upside down and talk about it 24/7, this is how you will get business. I would say good luck but its not about luck its about applying yourself and loving what you do! So have fun!
Kevin's answers above are spot on. I would also add that database management for your contacts is crucial, start now with it and be very detailed with each entry and update you make to a persons record.
The best advice I received was get a personal assistant immediately. Take a minimum of 10% from each real estate deal and put it back into marketing. Most people are not consistent with marketing. Real estate is volatile so think about it this way "sucks for you when you have a headache, but fantastic for Tylenol". In other words, make money on the downside from buying short sales and make money on the upside by selling retail. Decide if you want to focus on residential or commercial, but do not try to master both. Focus is the key to success and mastery. I hope that helps.
Remember... be a servant,
Through my experience of over a decade in real estate investing, I'd have to say selling is all about trust. If you can genuinely get people to know, like, and trust you then it becomes much easier. In general, people would rather buy from someone they know than someone they do not. Hope this helps!