5 Realtor Myths

 
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There are a few misconceptions about real estate careers that I'd like to address today. These are by no means the only ones (sadly), but there the one's that come up most often when I talk to people about this career. Okay, here we go...

Misconception #1: It's an easy job.

It's not.

It is a very rewarding career. It's a career that's challenging in some wonderful ways. It's a career in which you have the potential to define and achieve your own success. But it isn't easy. We work hard to earn a license and to stay current on the laws that regulate our industry. We spend time building our reputations and relationships, so that we can have long-lasting careers. I tell the aspiring agents I work with that I use the word "career" and don't use the word "job" deliberately. At my brokerage, agents are essentially building businesses within the company. We set our own goals and make plans for reaching them. As our business grows we can hire our own support staff, transaction coordinators, and listing agents. So, it's definitely not a 9-5 job. But I think that's a good thing!

Misconception #2: It's a cutthroat business and agents will do anything for a sale.

Oh my goodness, does this one bother me! I feel like the agents I work with and have gotten to know over the years are some of the most supportive and encouraging people I've ever met AND incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. Keller Williams really fosters this culture with our new agent coaching program, but there are specific examples that spring to mind. I work with an agent who has the corner on a particularly large market here in the Northwest. When new agents come on staff, he'll let them work his (many) open houses, so that they have the chance to meet prospective clients and gain valuable face-to-face marketing experience.

Secondly, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a code of ethics and standards of practice to which all of their members commit to honoring. If you'd like to check it out, click here. There are also laws that govern what Realtors can and cannot do and say. At Keller Williams we formalized our own belief system and gave it a name, WI4C2TS. It guides how we treat each other and our clients. It's on my homepage, but here it is again:

belief-system-poster
belief-system-poster

Are there unethical real estate agents? Sure. There are dishonest and unethical people in every profession. But the vast majority of us are honest and ethical and abide by a strict set of rules.

Misconception #3: It's expensive to get started.

It does cost some money for licensing, that's definitely true. But it's a far, far smaller financial investment than say, a 4-year college degree. The cost varies by state, so I can't give you a number that will be accurate. I guess my point would be, don't assume it's financially out of reach. You can easily research the costs in your area. If there's a brokerage you think you might want to work for once you're licensed, they can help you figure out what you need to budget for study materials, licensing exams and other fees.

Misconception #4: If I'm not a natural sales person, I won't be successful.

I would say that you have to be a good communicator and a good teacher, but not necessarily a "sales person," by the traditional definition.  You do need the ability to talk to people; to connect with them; to hear what their needs are and gauge whether your particular skills and expertise are a good fit for them. And then you need the ability to communicate who you are and what you offer in a genuine way. Lots of successful agents don't have a "sales" background. I think I may have said this before on the blog, but I find that teachers, baristas and bartenders are common backgrounds for real estate agents. It's something about the patience, communication skills, service mindset and attention to detail, that makes them successful. I think.

Misconception #5: Real estate careers are a good side gig/part-time job.

I've done a blog post dedicated to just this topic, but I'll give you the shortened version here and then you can go back and read that post by clicking this link.  I think it's impossible to stay up on all of the laws, regulations and details required to represent clients well if you aren't in it full-time. There are just too many moving pieces and the consequences of missing something are too grave to part-time this career. So if you find yourself in a position where you have to straddle the fence of 2 careers at 1 time, you would benefit from joining a team so that you can have the support you need to stay on it and your clients receive the best care possible. Or let's talk about referrals.... This is a great option for people who can't be 100% dedicated to the business. Ask me and we can go over the details together.

Thanks again for reading! I'll be back here with a new post again soon!

You Might be Surprised...

 
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Did you know that you could be a really successful Realtor and never represent a buyer or seller in a transaction? Or that you could build a real estate business for yourself that includes four distinct sources of revenue? Or mix and match those four elements to create something that's the perfect match for your interests, strengths, goals, etc.? People often think of being a real estate agent as only representing clients in the purchase or sale of a property. That's how I started my career, and may be how you start yours too. But it doesn't have to be the only way you put your skills to work.

I'm a big fan of variety and of diversifying sources of income, including building in some passive income where I can. I thought I'd share with you today some of the ways you can do that as a real estate agent. Keep in mind that my experience has been with Keller Williams exclusively, so the opportunities I discuss below are the ones available with this brokerage. I don't know for sure what other brokerages offer. Okay, caveat out of the way, so here we go.

Option 1: Representing Buyers and Sellers. This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, clients will hire you to represent them in the purchase or sale of a property.

Option 2: "Flipping" Properties. This is where you buy a property, invest in renovating it, and then sell it for a profit (hopefully!). There are several shows on HGTV profiling people who do this. As a licensed real estate agent you can represent yourself as buyer and seller and you'll have access to new properties as they come on the market. Keller Williams has a book to help agents learn how to do this successfully. It's called, appropriately enough, "Flip."

Option 3: Investment Properties. This is where you purchase a property and then rent it out to a third party. Again, Keller Williams has educational materials to help agents do this successfully, maximize their earning potential, and avoid some of the mistakes people commonly make when starting out as landlords. It's called, "Hold."

Option 4: Referrals. I know agents whose entire business is built on Keller Williams' Referral Program. Keller Williams has agents licensed to sell homes anywhere in the world. If someone approaches you wanting to purchase or sell a home outside of the area in which you work, you can refer them to a Keller Williams agent in that region. If that client hires that Keller Williams agent and they purchase or sell a property, you could receive 25% of the commission on that sale. Just for referring that client. Pretty great, right? I've done it several times and it's a win-win-win experience. I know I'm referring someone to an agent who is going to provide them with excellent service; a great KW agent gets to serve someone that may not have otherwise found them; and I get a nice financial thank-you.

Option 5: Profit Sharing. Okay, this one is a unique option within the world of real estate. When you close a transaction, you pay a percentage of your commission to Keller Williams, until you've paid the company dollar CAP in commission in a calendar year. After that commitment is met, then you keep 100% of the commissions you make. Here's where the profit-sharing comes in. The person who "referred" you to Keller Williams gets a thank you for sending you to KW. So, if you go into business with Keller Williams and then you recommend it to a friend or acquaintance and they join as an agent too anywhere in the world), you could get a portion of the commission. You're fully vested after 3 years and the benefit can outlive you and be passed along to your heirs.

Option 6: Salaried Positions. For whatever reason, maybe you want a more predictable 9-5, salaried job. Keller Williams hires licensed real estate agents to provide administrative and transaction support to our Realtors. So, you could use your knowledge and skills in this way as opposed to representing buyers and sellers.  Or maybe you're a great leader and want to take on additional responsibilities on top of your work as an agent. KW has formal curriculum for people who want to pursue a leadership role, and there is additional income associated with those opportunities.

Was any of this news to you? Did one or more of these options make you think about a real estate career in a different way? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below or contact me here if you want to talk more about real estate or Keller Williams.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you here again soon!

Can an Introvert Be a Successful Realtor?

 
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(By Guest Blogger: Erin) The title of this post is a bit of a confession. Could you tell? I am totally, unashamedly, proudly an introvert.

Introvert is not the same as shy, although I think you can be both. And I probably am a little shy too. It doesn't mean you don't like people or lack social skills.

The truth is that there are wonderful things about being an introvert and there are loads of successful and influential people who reportedly join me under that introversion umbrella. People like: Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Meryl Streep, JK Rowling, Warren Buffett, Dr. Seuss, and many more.

Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert really speaks to which kinds of activities energize you and which kinds drain you. Introverts find social situations draining, and are energized by quiet, solitary and creative pursuits. That doesn't mean we can't be social and charming (we totally can!). It just means that we'd prefer not to and when we are required to be, we have to plan for lots of quiet downtime afterward to recover.

All of that brings me back to the question posed by the title of this post--is being an introvert at odds with being a Realtor? I think to answer that accurately, we have to bust the myth that as Realtors we are primarily in the sales business. While it's true that we are helping people with the biggest purchase they will ever make, at its core, this business isn't about selling; it's about building relationships and connections. Something, incidentally, that introverts are really good at.

Here's a great example of an introvert in action. If I attend a networking event or a cocktail party, I will tend to have longer conversations with just a few people. Small talk isn't my thing. I'm kind of in awe of people who can work a room, meet everyone and end the party with a big stack of business cards in their pocket. I can't do that. And that's okay. If I tried to do that, my discomfort would show and I wouldn't make a great impression. So my goal generally is to meet five people; have a conversation where I learn something about them that can also be a point of follow-up; and exchange cards.

Hosting an open house is probably the most challenging task I do as an introverted Realtor. Those are the events where I'm most often having to interact with lots of people I don't know and where the amount of time I have to establish rapport is limited. So far what I've found is that having my scripts down pat is the most helpful preparation I can do. And I tell myself that it's okay if I can't make a connection with everyone who comes through. If I can have a nice conversation that leaves some avenues for follow-up with three couples/individuals, I'm thrilled with that outcome.

Introverts tend to be really good listeners and tend to spend more time doing that than they do speaking. Sometimes I think this comes across as aloofness, but it really isn't. We're just internal processors rather than verbal processors. And in a real estate context, where so much of your success depends upon listening and understanding what a client wants, that tendency often comes in handy.

So the short answer to my question is, yes, I think introverts can be great Realtors. And extroverts are too! I just think the strengths that extroverts have are much more celebrated generally, and seen as much more desirable than those of introverts. In an industry like real estate, I think it's important to highlight that introverts strengths are different but can be just as advantageous.

For more information about why it's great to be an introvert, check out Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Another book I love that has a business application is Beth Buelow's, The Introvert Entrepreneur. That's been really helpful to me too.

And please leave your comments below! I'd love to hear from introverts and extroverts alike about how they leverage their unique strengths in their real estate careers.

 

 

I Secret-Shopped Open Houses.

 
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Hi all! Erin writing again this week. This might be my first non-studying-themed blog post and my first new agent-y post. Hadn't thought about that until just now. You know how you have markers for new experiences that make it all seem more real or more official somehow? I think this is one of them. Anyway... I secret-shopped some open houses last weekend. It was really fun. Here's what happened.

 
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Windowboxes
 

Well, first let's start with why I did it. Part of my job on Rebecca's team is to capture the new Realtor experience and document it. I do some of that on this blog, but the rest of it we're using to create a roadmap for new agents in our office to follow. We want to create systems that anyone could jump into and feel confident in the process, be efficient and see success no matter how new they are to real estate.

Much of what I've been doing is taking myself on little field trips and then turning it into something that will be helpful and useful for other brokers. The open houses was one example. I'd shadowed Rebecca at a couple of hers, so I knew how she did things. But I wanted to see how other agents conducted theirs. I thought maybe there were things I could take back to Rebecca and the team that we could adopt.

 
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House 2
 

But what I found in my, admittedly, relatively small sample was not particularly inspiring. Here's what I noticed:

Not one agent introduced themselves by name or shook my hand.

Not one agent asked me to sign-in or leave a business card.

Not one agent kept me chatting to see whether I might need their services. (And at most of these open houses I was the only person walking through, so distraction wasn't an issue.)

With a couple of them I even volunteered information that, had an open house attendee shared it with Rebecca, she would have used as a point of conversation and follow-up.

 
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House 3
 

Maybe you read the above and think there's nothing wrong with what I describe. And you're right--there's nothing technically wrong with any of it. None of the agents were unkind or unfriendly, I want to make a point to say that. But there was nothing particularly right about it either.

Here's what I mean.

When we host an open house we always do three things: we introduce ourselves with a handshake; we ask people to sign-in; we do our best to connect with them somehow through conversation; and then we find a reason to follow-up.

Why? Well, let's take each of those things in turn.

We introduce ourselves because most agents don't, and doing so makes an impression.

We have people sign-in because that's how we collect contact information so that we can follow-up with them later. Following-up might be an email with the answer to a question we weren't able to answer at the open house. It's always either a handwritten note (if they leave their address) or an email, thanking them for coming and letting them know we're here to help them with anything real estate-related. It's proactive and you'd be amazed at the benefit we get from something so simple. It's also a way to track how many visitors we got, so we can share that information with our seller.

We engage them in conversation. We want to connect with them. If they're looking to buy or sell, we want them to like us and choose to work with us. If they aren't looking to buy or sell, we want them to remember us the next time someone asks them if they know any good Realtors. We also do it because we want to be of service. If there's something we can do--information we can share or whatever--we need to know what that is, so that we can help. We only find out those things if we talk to the person. The talking also often gives us our follow-up reason. We try to make note of something they said that we can mention in our note or email afterward.

If we have slow times during the open house we use that time to start on our thank-you notes. If we don't get at least 5 people through the open house, we knock on neighbors doors or we find some other way to meet someone new. We don't ever just sit in an open house doing nothing. It's lead-generation time, whether people walk through the door or they don't.

 
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House 4
 

The point of all of this is really being efficient and effective. Leverage your time so that you never look back on that two or three-hour block of time you spent at an open house and think it was wasted time. Some of these things seem simple, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do them. Don't miss out on relatively easy, relatively quick things that can make a huge difference in your business.

Are You Stuck in This Vicious Cycle?

 
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(This post contains affiliate links.)

What percentage of people in the United States would you guess are living paycheck to paycheck? Are you one of them?  If I told you that 50-percent of us fall into that category, would you believe me?

If you think that's a high estimate, hold on to your hats because the actual number is worse.  

More than three-quarters of workers (78%) who earn less than $100,000 per year, are one unexpected expense away from a big financial mess. I don't know about you, but that number is scary to me. (You can check out the full story here.)

Additionally, and very much relatedly, 71-percent of full-time workers say they have some kind of debt. Of those, 56-percent of them say they don't believe they will ever get out of it. Think about it--if you're living paycheck to paycheck because of debt, and something unexpected comes up, you go into more debt to pay that expense. So, it's kind of a vicious cycle, right?

Consider the emotional toll that belief takes on a person. Working full-time, unable to get ahead financially, operating under the anchor of debt, and believing things will never be any better. What does that do to our collective mental, emotional and spiritual health? The cost of our debt-culture goes beyond a financial one.

Let's talk about the culture of debt while we're at it. It's become more than just acceptable--it's marketed as desirable. Many people get their first credit card offer at 18--I've heard stories of credit card applications being included in freshman move-in packets at colleges! College itself has become synonymous with debt too. Can't afford tuition? Here's a student loan you can spend the rest of your adult life paying off. Want something now, but can't afford it? Why wait? Just fill out this credit application and walk out of the store with it. You deserve it.

We think it's an unavoidable part of adult life, but it doesn't have to be and it really shouldn't be. It is crippling. If you're struggling with debt or just want to learn how to create a budget and make a financial plan you can live with, I cannot recommend Dave Ramsey's books enough. The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness is one of my favorites and a good place to start.

 
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Freedom
 

In contrast to that 78-percent number, only nine-percent of full-time workers earning more than $100,000 per year reported that they struggled to make ends meet.

What does that tell us? Well, it tells me we need an increase in income and a shift to a debt-is-not-okay mindset. And it reinforces for me one of the big reasons why I'm such and advocate for real estate and Keller Williams in particular.

 
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Streams
 

I’m a self-help junkie and every book I read about entrepreneurship or financial freedom says we should have multiple income streams. That we should be diversifying where our money comes from so that our financial futures are not subject to the whims of one bad boss or the ups and downs of one market. 

If I told you that as a Realtor I have four businesses functioning simultaneously and generating four income streams for me, would that pique your curiosity? The first is the most obvious--I represent buyers and sellers and earn commissions on each transaction I close. Income stream number one.

You might be surprised how many agents don't leverage the other three opportunities: referrals, profit-sharing and investing in real estate. Please don't be one of them! I love talking about possibilities and coaching other agents, so click here and let's schedule a time to meet!

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How I Make My Big Dreams Come True in a Day

 
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(This post contains Affiliate Links.)

What do you dream about? A happy life? A peaceful one? A financially successful one? One where you have control over your time and energy? What would your life look like if you achieved all of the things, large and small, that you yearn for in the quiet moments when it's just you and your thoughts. Those moments when you allow yourself to dream as big as you can about what life could be? Would you believe me if I told you that whatever your dream is, you can have it, or at least a piece of it, before the sun sets today?

You can. I swear.

Finding your dream.Have you ever made a dream board that depicts your hopes for your life? I am a very visual person, so I have made many over the years. And it isn't just because I love crafty projects, although I do :-) It's because until I identify what I want, I don't know how to get there. And I need to know what I want--I need to know my big why--because that's what drives me to work as hard as I do. So the pictures and words I paste on to that piece of poster board are the visual representations of my why. And looking at them every day cements that why and motivates me to keep going, even when things are hard. 

But frankly I don't want to wait years to experience the dreams depicted on my dream boards in my real life. I want to bring some of my future in to my present. So, I seek out items or experiences that symbolize the big dream and give me a taste of it while I wait.

 
Joy
Joy
 

My process for identifying my dreams is pretty simple. I ask myself: What do I enjoy most? What brings me joy? When do I feel most at peace? I write my thoughts in a journal and I create dream boards of images and words that line up with those answers. During this process, I don't edit myself at all. If a thought comes into my head I write it down. If a picture grabs my attention, I cut it out and paste it on the board. Even if I'm not sure why I'm having that thought or being drawn to that image, I still document it. As the process goes on, the extraneous things kind of filter out and I'm left with what's really important.

 
Waterfront
Waterfront
 

My big dream of 2015. "I feel most at peace when I'm near in on or around the water. I enjoy music of all kinds. So, surrounding myself with wonderful music, and having a waterfront or water view property would bring nourishment to my soul." That was my takeaway for 2015 and I shared it with my coach. 

Don't wait. My coach had lots of questions for me, urging me to dig a little bit deeper. Why should I wait until I owned a home on the water to get the feelings I imagined waterfront property would give me? Why couldn't I go and meet the need now by getting into a boat or kayak? One afternoon my coach told me my homework was to get on the water over the weekend. I went down to Thea Foss Waterway and rented kayaks with a friend.  At first we were reluctant to go too far out, but eventually we got some confidence and really enjoyed our time. We saw people bringing brand new boats out of the warehouse and into the water.  And I thought to myself how nice it would be some day to own a boat of my own.

I saw a woman unfolding a kayak and I thought to myself, "Wow, she found a way around every excuse I would have come up with (no space at home for one, no roof rack on the car to transport it). And now she has a foldable kayak!" 

After that afternoon it was clear that the water really was my dream. But while I couldn't buy a home on the water that day, I began to surround myself with items that symbolized it. I looked for watercolor paintings. I looked for beach cottage-inspired décor and found the most magnificent burlap lampshade and a driftwood table lamp for my office space. I eventually found a art piece that fit the part perfectly and painted a wall in my house a color that gave me that same feeling of peace I felt that day on the water.

What you focus on expands!2016 brought a new home for us...on the water! And love into my life. Right now you may not have exactly what it is you desire (i.e. house on the water) but if you can identify your dream, you can surround yourself with a piece of it today regardless of how far off that dream might feel. And you get a daily dose of motivation for the work it's going to take to get there.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. A few more of my favorite coastal-themed décor items are below :-) 

Mega Mom Event!

 
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Are you a Realtor,  balancing your business with your role as a mom? I am too! If you're in the Greater Seattle area, consider joining me and other mom-agents for my Mega Mom Mastermind event.

I'm hosting this opportunity for collaboration and support on Monday, October 2nd from 12-1:30PM. Lunch will be provided by my friends at Eagle Home Mortgage, Stephen Wright and Sunny Wilson. Just bring yourself, your ideas and your questions and we'll have a great conversation.

The event is free, but seating is limited. To reserve your spot, RSVP to Kate Roussell Favaloro at k.roussellfav@kw.com today. Contact me with any questions.

Hope to see you there!

 

Who Do We Want to Be?

 
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This week is the week of sharing, apparently, because I'm popping back onto the blog to share another article with you. Click the link below to read it. It's a quick read, but an amazing story. Keller Williams Realty Greater Des Moines RISES ABOVE Unethical Business Practices.

This story represents who Keller Williams is as a company, in more ways than one, so I wanted to make sure as many people read it as possible. Companies draft mission statements and belief systems all the time. But when faced with a choice between living those principles and making a profit--well, there are plenty of stories about companies who choose the latter. I love this story because it's a great example of trusting that by doing the right thing, good things will come to you.

And if you read it and say, "that is the kind of company I want to work for," call or email me today.

 

 

Safety 101

 
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This is definitely not a fun topic to think, write or talk about. But it is an important one to address. Because the truth is that every job comes with its share of risk—just going about our daily lives comes with a certain share of it—but there are things we can do to mitigate the specific risks you might face as a real estate agent. So, I’m going to share a few of my best tips for staying safe at work. Have your team’s loan officer (or someone else you trust) reach out to buyers prior to your first meeting. In this conversation, my loan officer asks for their address, employer and contact information so we can verify they are legit. I require this before I ever show a home to a stranger. 

Make sure someone in your office knows where you are. Also tell them with whom you are meeting and when to expect you back or when to expect hear from you, anytime you go out for open houses or private showings.

Meet new clients for the first time at your office. When meeting with a client who has hired me to help them purchase a home, our first meeting is always at my office. Always. The whole time I am gauging whether they are someone I feel comfortable serving. If not, I sometimes refer them to another agent in my office who I think might be a better match. That’s mostly based on feeling like our personalities, or their expectations and my approach aren’t a good fit. If I felt like there was something off or unsafe about them, I would not send them to one of my colleagues without full disclosure of my concerns.

Verify the information you can verify. When dealing with a new listing/seller client, I always check that the address they’ve given me is a legitimate address and that their name matches who the county has on file as the owner of record for that property. If it doesn’t, I use a prequalifying script to call them and ask a few more questions BEFORE I go out and meet them at their home.

When conducting an open house or a private showing, arrive early and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Learn where the exits are and the quickest way to reach them from each area of the house. Avoid entering spaces where you can become easily trapped—closets, laundry rooms, basements, attics, small bathrooms, etc. Stand outside in the hallway and let the client walk in on their own and check out the space.

Always have your cell phone with you. There are also personal security apps you can buy for your phone that would help law enforcement locate you in an emergency.

Trust your gut. If you’re uncomfortable don’t second guess yourself. Remove yourself from the situation. Your safety is more important than possibly hurting a client’s feelings.

A few other things you can consider:

  • Bring a buddy with you. Maybe you make it a rule that you always have your assistant, partner or a colleague with you when you show homes to a client for the first time or host open houses.
  • Be careful about the information you share on social media or your website. Posing for pictures in front of your house, your car, or wearing expensive jewelry is probably not a good idea.
  • Take a self-defense class. You may never need to use what you learn, but just having those skills in your pocket can bring you some peace of mind. This is a good tip for everyone, not just real estate agents.

I hope these tips are helpful to you! I don’t want you to be fearful—I feel really safe as I go about my day because I follow some pretty basic safety rules. But it’s important to look at the ways where there might be some vulnerabilities safety-wise and come up with a plan to address those.

As always, feel free to send me questions by email or leave your thoughts in the Comments section below. Thanks!

Career Possibilities

 
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One of the things I love to share with aspiring agents when they come in for office tours (contact me here if you're interested in signing-up for one!), is the variety of ways you can structure a career in real estate. People often think of being a real estate agent as only representing clients in the purchase or sale of a property. That's how I started my career, and may be how you start yours too. But it doesn't have to be the only way you put your skills to work.

I'm a big fan of variety and of diversifying sources of income, including building in some passive income where I can. I thought I'd share with you today some of the ways you can do that as a real estate agent. Keep in mind that my experience has been with Keller Williams exclusively, so the opportunities I discuss below are the ones available with this brokerage. I don't know for sure what other brokerages offer. Okay, caveat out of the way, so here we go.

Option 1: Representing Buyers and Sellers. This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, clients will hire you to represent them in the purchase or sale of a property.

Option 2: "Flipping" Properties. This is where you buy a property, invest in renovating it, and then sell it for a profit (hopefully!). There are several shows on HGTV profiling people who do this. As a licensed real estate agent you can represent yourself as buyer and seller and you'll have access to new properties as they come on the market. Keller Williams has a book to help agents learn how to do this successfully. It's called, appropriately enough, "Flip."

Option 3: Investment Properties. This is where you purchase a property and then rent it out to a third party. Again, Keller Williams has educational materials to help agents do this successfully, maximize their earning potential, and avoid some of the mistakes people commonly make when starting out as landlords. It's called, "Hold."

Option 4: Referrals. I know agents whose entire business is built on Keller Williams' Referral Program. Keller Williams has agents licensed to sell homes anywhere in the world. If someone approaches you wanting to purchase or sell a home outside of the area in which you work, you can refer them to a Keller Williams agent in that region. If that client hires that Keller Williams agent and they purchase or sell a property, you could receive 25% of the commission on that sale. Just for referring that client. Pretty great, right? I've done it several times and it's a win-win-win experience. I know I'm referring someone to an agent who is going to provide them with excellent service; a great KW agent gets to serve someone that may not have otherwise found them; and I get a nice financial thank-you.

Option 5: Profit Sharing. Okay, this one is a unique option within the world of real estate. When you close a transaction, you pay a percentage of your commission to Keller Williams, until you've paid the company dollar CAP in commission in a calendar year. After that commitment is met, then you keep 100% of the commissions you make. Here's where the profit-sharing comes in. The person who "referred" you to Keller Williams gets a thank you for sending you to KW. So, if you go into business with Keller Williams and then you recommend it to a friend or acquaintance and they join as an agent too anywhere in the world), you could get a portion of the commission. You're fully vested after 3 years and the benefit can outlive you and be passed along to your heirs.

Option 6: Salaried Positions. For whatever reason, maybe you want a more predictable 9-5, salaried job. Keller Williams hires licensed real estate agents to provide administrative and transaction support to our Realtors. So, you could use your knowledge and skills in this way as opposed to representing buyers and sellers.  Or maybe you're a great leader and want to take on additional responsibilities on top of your work as an agent. KW has formal curriculum for people who want to pursue a leadership role, and there is additional income associated with those opportunities.

Was any of this news to you? Did one or more of these options make you think about a real estate career in a different way? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below or contact me here if you want to talk more about real estate or Keller Williams.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you here again soon!