Real estate agents don’t earn a paycheck. We get paid based on our efforts and when our transactions close. We work, in many cases, five to seven days a week to produce leads that generate buyer and seller transactions that turn into a commission check, not a paycheck. A paycheck is what some gets after completing a job for their employer. And usually after working a 40-hour work week. Full-time agents work 60+ hours a week and many of those hours happen when our client’s workdays end. Therefore, we are often out until 8’clock at night.
Real estate agents are independent contractors not employees, this means we work for ourselves under the sponsorship of a brokerage. We get paid by our sponsoring brokers after we close on a real estate transaction. I was recently at a convention where I had the opportunity to network with Dr. Danette O’Neal, a REALTOR University professor. We talked about the power of need vs. want. When you need a paycheck it’s hard to focus. When you don’t need a paycheck it’s easier to focus on the goals for your business. Dr. O’Neal Said, “There is a difference between people that want money and the people need money. If you focus on the want, you’ll forget about the need.” Even then it’s hard to focus on wanting income when you need an income to pay your bills. This can often be hard to overcome, that’s why we have agents with part-time and full-time jobs. The idea of working for hours or days without a paycheck is difficult to handle. Therefore, the power of having a paycheck can hinder or hurt an agent looking to become a full-time in the business. So how can someone go from need to want and become successful in real estate?
- If you are working a regular or part-time job, learn the business of real estate. Take as many classes as you can to master the real estate business.
- Practice the steps to home ownership with your friends and family.
- Show homes every weekend to a friend or family member. Tip: try to show vacant homes. This way you don’t inconvenience someone living in the home. Please make appointments. Note: You can never show a home without permission.
- Learn the lending industry. No, I don’t mean take classes to become a loan officer, I mean meet a lender for coffee and have them explain a specific program to you. Attend a lunch and learn with your local mortgage company. Learn the difference between, FHA, VA and conventional and why a buyer may need to use one loan over the other. You are not replacing the loan officer but understanding the process so you can better serve your client.
- Practice listing a home. Do you know how long it takes to process a new listing or how long it takes to prepare for a market analysis?
- Go on broker tour. The benefit of touring a neighborhood helps you understand, how to use the lockbox, what the homes look like in the area and networking with other agents.
- Set goals, how many buyers will you work with this year? How many sellers will your work with this year? Write down your goals and put them in a place where you see them daily.
- How many people do you need to speak to daily to reach your goals? How much engagement do you need to generate leads from social media?
- When you start closing transactions, make sure you save money to eventually go from a part-time agent to a full-time agent.
The power of a paycheck will either keep you from selling real estate or help you sell real estate. If you currently receive a paycheck, live beneath your means, save money, and master real estate. If you focus on what you want with your goals in front of you, you will be come a successful agent. Nothing comes easy, remember you must get up, get dressed and work the real estate business. Don’t wait for real estate to happen to you, make real estate happen for you.