Becoming a real estate agent can provide you with a rewarding and diverse career in which no two days are the same. In most countries you’ll need to pass a test for your licence, but this can sometimes be the easiest part. Establishing yourself as a trusted agent with regular business takes time and patience, so we’ve put together a helpful Engel & Völkers guide to starting out in real estate.
The first thing you’ll need in order to succeed is a mentor, either an agent or a broker, who you can shadow and learn from. Even if you’ve studied and trained full-time for this career, the importance of in-the-field, practical experience can’t be overestimated. Assisting a confident, proficient agent will help you see the process of buying and selling houses through from beginning to end, without the pressure of the whole deal resting on your shoulders. When seeking out your mentor, think about the kind of agency you’d want to work for yourself. Engel & Völkers, for example, combines a focus on local expertise with an elite international clientele, so if you hope to join a network like that, think about the most relevant experience you could gain in order to prepare yourself to apply.
Being a real estate agent doesn’t begin and end with selling homes, and you’ll also need to know about surveys, title insurance, deeds, liens and other documentation. It’s essential to have a complete understanding of the exact intricacies of every piece of paperwork, while also being able to explain them in simple terms to clients buying their first house. Watch closely to see how trained estate agents go about providing explanations and answering questions, as this ability is vital in building trust between you and your clients.
As with every career, it’s important to think socially as well as professionally. Your industry contacts will be invaluable in expanding your business prospects and getting your name out there, so make a note of everyone you’re introduced to, whether it’s in a diary or an online spreadsheet. Start getting to know as many people working in the field as you can, from mortgage brokers to appraisers. Enter everything into your ‘book of business,’ and don’t be afraid to follow up on each lead. You never know when a casual introduction can turn into a prospective client, so always keep business cards on you and be ready to offer your services.
Finally, remember the importance of technology in today’s market. Get yourself online with friendly and professional Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages, so that anyone who wants to look you up can easily do so. Although traditional word-of-mouth recommendations still play a crucial role in estate agency, the internet is a valuable tool that it would be foolish not to use. If you’re technically gifted yourself you may wish to create your own website, but make sure it’s as professional and polished as you yourself intend to be. Ensure that your entire online presence connects to your business and gives the best possible impression of your skills. With the right preparation and work ethic, you can set yourself up for continued success in this competitive and challenging career.
To find out more about Engel & Völkers as a company and the various positions available, visit our website at www.engelvoelkers.com.