This article is the second in a series of six posts about starting in a career in real estate. This article talks about how to get organized once you’ve successfully passed your exam and have chosen a broker. Getting organized quickly is critical for getting started in any business and real estate is no exception. We’ll cover how to make your list of contacts, make a schedule, and how to minimize distractions and maximize productivity.1. Make a list of everyone you know. Using Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program(Google Docs offers a free service if you do nothave Microsoft Excel) that can easily be updated, start adding the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses of everyone you know. Look in your cell phone, address book, Facebook, LinkedIn account, etc. More is better! This list is going to initially be your lifeblood so take the time necessary to make it as complete as possible. P.S. it’s never too early to start telling people you see and know that you are now in real estate, you never know who’s looking to buy or sell.2. Determine how much time you’ll dedicate to real estate. Some people start in real estate part-time while they work another job. This isfine but does have its disadvantages. Some clients will expect that you’re available to them when most convenient to them and that may not always fit into your schedule if you work another job. Figure out what your availability is and share that up front with your clients. Also, understand that it will be difficult to prospect, show homes, and process the transactions if you are working part-time. Expecting a full-time income from a part-time real estate job may not be realistic.3. Figure out what you’ll use as workspace. It’s very important to get a dedicated workspace for your career. Whether it’s atthe brokerage office or in a home office, you’ll want to secure a place that you can call your own. It’s disconcerting not feeling like you have place where you can work and be focused without having to set everything up each time you start work for the day. It can be expensive to rent space from the brokerage firm, so weigh your options carefully, especially early in your career when you may not be able to warrant spending hundreds of extra dollars for space you only occasionally use.
Whether you are buying or selling a property, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. Good real estate agents can save you a substantial amount of time and money. They can also ensure that the buying or selling process is an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are some tips for choosing a real estate agent:1. Ask Friends/Family for Referrals
Ask family and friends for their advice on local agents. This way you will be sure to find an agent with a good reputation.2. Consider More than One Agency
There is an array of agents that will kill for your business. That is why you should interview as many agents as you can. Compare agents with regard to their knowledge of the area, experience and qualifications. Also, ask for references from previous clients.3. Choose an Agent that Knows the Importance of Customer Care
While interviewing different agents you will be able to establish their level of customer care or how far they will go to satisfy the customer. Look at things like their attitude towards returning phone calls and their willingness to meet with you.4. Choose an Agent that Handles Homes in Your Price Range
When you opt for an agent that deals with homes in your price range, you will be sure to end up with an agent that will give his or her best effort. Some agents deal only with high-end properties and are used to high commissions. They are more likely to attend to these properties first.5. Choose an Agent that Respects Your Time Schedule
If you will not be able to view properties during office hours, you need to find an agent that is willing to do business after hours or over weekends.6. Look for an Agent that You Can Communicate With
Communication is vital when buying or selling real estate. Make sure that you choose an agent that understands your needs and that communicates them well. You will be best off if you choose and agent that registers a high level of comfort with you or with whom you are compatible with.7. Choose an Agent that Provides Multiple Services
It will be a bonus if you can find an agent that can handle the buying/selling process as well as other additional services like arranging property inspections or who can refer you to a trustworthy real estate attorney.8. Choose an Agent That Can Negotiate
Negotiating skills is an essential quality of a good real estate agent. Make sure you choose and agent with impeccable and proven negotiating skills.9. Choose an Agent with Lots of Resources
Ask agents where your property will be advertised. Make sure that the agency uses print advertising (newspaper/magazines) as well as other promotional material such as brochures. Also check if the agency makes use of the Internet for advertising their listings.10. Follow Your Instinct
Choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and whom you trust. You level of comfort and satisfaction will let you know if you’ve met the right agent.