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Real Estate Business: The raw deal

Real estate business can be quite a rewarding career for any Tom, Dick and sometimes Maria, regardless of their educational background but varied skill sets should be a requisite. Little wonder, people think a real estate career is easy money, though there is a lot more to it than that. However, you don’t need to be a “salesman” to be a real estate agent. It’s not like calling out to potential passengers under the ever busy Ikeja Bridge and ushering them or is it forcing them into your container-like vehicle in a husky but resounding voice that has seen several years of hardship.

Neither is it like standing in a used car lot and trying to talk someone into spending more than they planned on the latest new hybrid.

This is primarily a service business, and serving your clients well will contribute to your success, hence the need to have great attitudinal dispositions.

Real estate is more about marketing yourself, your services, and the listings of your clients. But, rarely is the listing agent going to be standing there like a tree with roots soaked in brackish water and lost in the thick of the mangrove doing a sales pitch with the buyers … very rarely. Excellent listing photography and the ability to buy or produce great text about a listing will go much farther than any personal one-on-one selling skills. True, you’re selling yourself in a listing presentation, but that can be done with facts and figures, as well as technology and examples of your accomplishments, no arm-twisting necessary.

Any given day, you may bump into a real estate agent who often times isn’t an Estate management graduate or any other related field of study. Many have found it to be a natural transition from a sphere of life to another and more fulfilling to boot! After all, you’re helping people in what is usually the largest financial transaction of their lives.

That’s not to mention the emotional impact of changing homes that may be in completely different areas of the country.

If you question a group of brand new agents, you’ll find very diverse reasons for choosing a real estate career: Many may love the “helping people” aspect which is an answer that tends to take them off the bait while others want to exercise their independent nature and be their own boss. As most real estate agents and brokers are independent contractors they’re able to set their own work schedules and build their businesses in the ways that they want.

There are few ways to climb out of a stagnant wage rate, but owning your own business is one that works and can provide a lifetime of benefits assuming you know what you are doing. The thing about starting a new business though is that it can be expensive. The good news is that becoming a real estate agent can get you started in your own business at a very low relative cost

However, being successful in a real estate career isn’t “rocket science,” not even with the increasing number of quarks exceeding the number of registered agents in Nigeria. I can swear that the number of fake agents in the Lagos Metropolis surpass the population of Boko haram members. Even if that were not in the whole equation, the competition remains stiff.

Entering real estate business with realistic expectations and a plan for overcoming obstacles will help to avoid becoming a statistics. Something we’ve heard many times is “I’m good with people and I’ve got a huge number of friends and family. They’ll give me enough business to carry me through my first year or so.” That’s not the way it goes. First, they have overestimated the number of actual transactions all those friends do in real estate. Only a small fraction will buy or sell property in any given year. Also, they don’t owe you the business, and you may find that they don’t remember you when the time comes.

Not entering the business with adequate financial resources is a common reason for failure. It’s not just having enough cash on hand to make it to the first commission. It’s also making a plan and a budget that is realistic in estimating expenses, allows for the unforeseen and hopefully includes a budget for marketing. Don’t rely only on your broker for prospects and business. Make a marketing plan and develop a budget to fund that plan through the first year. Debt may be a viable vehicle for a good plan.

One reason given by agents who’ve left the business is that they just burned out. It’s usually in relation to working with Buyers, and treading many miles showing hundreds of homes without a deal. The temptation for a new agent is to take any prospect that comes along, hoping for a deal at the end. You can avoid this ticket to Burn-out City by qualifying your customers as to their motivation and buying schedule. Develop a list of tactful questions that help you to do this..

There’s another characteristic that can help less people-oriented agents to be successful in real estate business. Today’s tech and mobile world opens up new opportunities for success in real estate. If you can work a good website that is mobile device friendly, do some social website posting, and respond quickly with email or texting, there is a real chance to connect with prospects.

If you don’t take anything else away from this article, keep top-level in your thinking that your real estate career is a business. It takes commitment and investment of effort, time and money to build a successful real estate business. That’s whether you remain a “one person show” or if you start a brokerage with agents.



One comment

  1. Wonderful write up. Makes so much sense.

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