In recent years, provincial real estate regulators have mandated that students can opt to do the courses online. Many of us brokers and managers see that registrants are graduating with a naive belief that they have enough knowledge to trade in real estate.
Having participated in many training sessions with these graduates, I find they have illusions of quick successes in our business. They are mostly ill-prepared to write an offer or even a listing information sheet. Brokers and managers must go over the basics of what we, as professionals, must practice, including ethics fundamentals.
Here in Ontario, there’s a movement afoot to ensure that an ethics course is included in the basic courses offered. We’ll wait to see when that will happen. The Mandatory Update, now online via the Real Estate Council of Ontario, is simply not enough. The value of understanding fully the Codes of Ethics that we’re governed under will lead to a more skilful and successful business – and avoid confrontations with fellow colleagues and the public.
Students seem to believe that once they have their licence and take the mandatory additional courses two years hence, the leads necessary to generate income will naturally fall from their personal data base (their sphere of influence).
A great many lack ambition and the drive to succeed in a commission-based world. I’m dumbfounded by the vast numbers of agents who are bewildered by all the paper work, details and technology that is necessary to produce a generous income. Practicing filling out these forms leads to one becoming more of a professional, once they understand fully the content of the forms that are intended to protect the consumer and themselves.
It was said many years ago that 70 per cent of the business is done by 30 per cent of the agents. A few years ago someone determined that this ratio had changed to 90 per cent of the business being done by 10 per cent of the agents. Some registrants get it right away. They want to be in that 10 per cent and have the drive to get there.
To get “it”, take the in-house training your broker offers and use it. A new agent cannot take the training being offered lightly. Drifting in and out of sessions without a valid reason won’t help your career. Brokers are putting their money on the line in hopes that all the training will result in deals and listings. Sure you’ve taken a big risk by perhaps leaving another job, but think of the risk the brokers take in helping you develop your career. It’s huge! So use the training given and you will get the results you are looking for.
A prime example of a success story in our office is a first-year agent who was taking one of our courses about phone canvassing apartment units. The agent called 145 tenants and had many come out to his open house. One tenant actually bought a home from him and the agent wound up with a number of qualified buyers. Was it hard work? Yes. Did he use the scripts provided? Yes.
There were many other success stories from that class about calling tenants.
Real estate is a tough business to understand and yet it’s profoundly simple. Simple in that you have to have great numbers of people to call. A personal sphere of influence list doesn’t cut it.
Registrants have to understand the product by getting out to see it, as I wrote in one of my recent columns. They have to run successful open houses regularly and follow up on the leads.
Look, this article and others that you may see in REM or online offer the same suggestions and offer many scripts to follow. But the simple truth is that leads, listings and/or offers will not fall out of the sky.
Yes, you can make a ton of money in this business if you treat it as a business. Recently one of the agents that I coach was very proud that he had done eight transactions in a month. I praised his work ethic. I asked him how he saw this business. His reply was: “I see it as a way to make a lot of money!”
I agreed. Then we sat and talked about how he has to look at what he does as a business to ensure he continues this success. We explored several options over the next hour or so and formulated a plan to make sure his recent success will be sustained for months and years to come.
I used the analogy of how some professional ball players can have several years of great success and then suddenly their careers go into a tailspin – and not just because of injuries. They either forgot the fundamentals or they just didn’t stay in physical shape – or they didn’t listen to their coaches.
While this business is primarily about making money, it is also about building relationships and loyalties – and that’s how you build your business over the years. But first, you have to be willing to participate in all the invaluable training offered by your brokerage, listen to your mentors and start putting the building blocks in place that will ultimately result in success and longevity in our profession.
Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at [email protected]. Stan is now celebrating his 43rd year as an active real estate professional.