In the first three quarters of this year, global retail real estate transactions fell by more than a third on an annualised basis, according to property consultancy

What advice would you give to a new real estate agent?

Prepare for a wild ride. The business is like a roller-coaster rising up to magical heights one moment, and plunging down, screaming, the next. It’s a very tough business and expect to be disappointed.

All that, comes only if you even make it. About 70% of agents are out of the business after 18 months. It’s a tough, dog eat dog world out there.

So if you are still committed, have some money in the bank since you will start the business deep in the hole. After getting your required education to be licenced, paid numerous local and national fees, got a decent vehicle, and some clothes to look professional and unlikely to earn anything for many months. Here’s a few tips, and there are thousands more.

  1. Learn your business. It is a full-time job, and your freedom as an independent contractor is a blessing and a curse. Stay focused and expect many long days and nights learning about your market.
  2. See as many properties as you can. Every open house and broker’s open should help you understand valuations, and what is right and wrong about various properties.
  3. Don’t try to be all things to all people. The market is too vast. Focus on areas and certain Buyer demographics. You will most likely help Buyers for quite a while before getting your first listing.
  4. Understand this is a people business, as much as it is about real property. Communication is key, and the ability to separate “the contenders from the pretenders” is critical to success. Sitting open houses is a good way to meet potential clients.
  5. Expect disappointment on a daily basis. It is difficult to stay positive in what can be a toxic environment. People can be difficult, and people get much more difficult when large sums of money are involved.
  6. Understand that just knowing a lot, and having all the answers is not good enough. Ego’s must be stroked, instincts ignored, and lips zipped when you just want to scream. Honestly, some days you feel more like a babysitter than a Realtor.
  7. If you are fairly young, and especially if you have yet to be a homeowner yourself, understand most of your clients have more money than you, have bought and sold real estate already, and in many ways know more about the business than you do.
  8. Figure out a way to truly add value. Nowadays with so much information online, you need to bring more to the table that just property suggestions. I know a lot about home repair and construction. This adds tremendous value as I can offer a lot of advice, before an offer is ever made, or to head-off problems in a listing before they occur. Find your specialty.

This is just a short list. I could go on all day. Yes, these were more a list of challenges because that’s the advice you need. Blowing sunshine would be disingenuous.

On a final note remember that as much as you care, and sacrifice on a client’s behalf, most of it will go unappreciated. You may get a reasonable paycheck but without endless follow-up, your client may not remember your name a year later. In a sales job, all you have in the end is a list of clients. It’s just the way it is.