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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Out as a Realtor


Any extrovert with a friendly disposition can be a successful realtor, right? Perhaps, but avoid making the following 8 mistakes to give your new real estate career a chance at success.

1. Lack of a Business Plan

Because being a realtor is more of a business than a job, you should begin your business with a solid business plan. A good business plan will help you identify your short and long-term goals as a realtor and how you plan to achieve them.

2. Thinking You'll be an Overnight Success

Be reasonable in your expectations of how long it will take to launch your career, or you may quickly become disillusioned. Statistically, it will take at least 2 months to make your first sale as a realtor. Realistically, it will take up to 2 years to begin making a comfortable living from your business.

3. Lack of Funding

Becoming a realtor costs money. Like any entrepreneur, you need a funding source in place to build your business. Whether you take out a small business loan, borrow from family, use your savings or work a part-time job, your funding source needs to cover your business and personal expenses for at least 6 months.

4. Not Having the Proper Tools

As a realtor, you have to purchase and maintain the tools of your trade. Some of the most costly tools you will need are a cell phone, a laptop and a reasonably nice car for driving your clients around. Figure in the costs of acquiring these things when you determine your startup costs.

5. Underestimating the Cost of Marketing

Marketing is integral to the real estate business. Aside from your equipment, marketing is your largest expense. Sporadic, hit-or-miss marketing is not a viable strategy. Devise a solid marketing plan, budget it out and be certain your funding source will cover its implementation for 6 months or longer.

6. Choosing the Wrong Broker

Before you choose a brokerage firm, call the office and ask questions about programs and incentives for new realtors. It might also be helpful to know the average price of house sales and the agent turnover rate. Ascertain if the broker is committed to helping agents succeed or just trying to add another realtor to the team.

7. Depending on Your Broker for Exposure

While your broker will provide you with some promotional benefits in print and on the brokerage website, promoting yourself as a realtor is your responsibility. Set yourself up for success by creating your own professional-looking website. Not only is it a smart move when starting out as a realtor, but it stays with you if and when you change brokerage firms in the future.

As a new realtor, there are many aspects of the profession to juggle. Make a business plan before you start to help you focus on your goals and how to achieve them. Identify your funding source, establish a marketing plan and purchase the proper equipment. Then, find a brokerage with a reputation for helping its agents establish their careers.

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