I've now been a Realtor and a member of Rebecca's team for just about three months. If you've been reading my studying posts, I guess this is the point where I confess that they aren't being written in real time :-) Anyway, it seemed like a good time to reflect on what it's like to be new...before I forget! So, if you're an aspiring or newly licensed agent, I hope this post will give you some insight into what to expect during your first weeks. Expect paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. I think mine took about 30-45 minutes to complete. Not quite as extensive as the paperwork when you buy or sell a house, but the time commitment was almost the same :-)
Expect to be inundated with information. There is simply no way the human brain can take in, process and retain all of the information people will fire at you. No way. Between new agent orientation, emails from your local MLS, your national and regional professional associations, your brokerage and others I'm forgetting at the moment, you will be swimming in due dates, logins, account balances, advice, instructions and names of people to connect with. I'm not sure I have any foolproof strategies for tracking it all, other than take lots of notes, keep a list (I used Excel) and add tasks with any associated due dates and costs to it as you go. Then you can cross off items as you complete them. I also set aside about an hour each week to go back through the notes and paperwork I compiled in the previous 7 days to file things away and to make sure nothing fell through the cracks.
Expect to develop a business plan right away. You need to be clear about why you're working, what your goals are and how you're going to reach them. Otherwise, it's too easy to get overwhelmed. And because for many of us this is the first time we've ever worked for ourselves--ever been in a job where a boss wasn't paying attention to when we clocked in and out or whether we finished our work for the day--it's oh so easy to procrastinate, especially when there's so much to do. Ignite is Keller Williams' signature course for new agents, and you'll come out of it with goals and a plan (literally daily, weekly and monthly activity and outcome goals) for achieving your target income. Ignite is open to all agents, not just KW agents. Contact Rebecca here for more info if you'd like to attend. For me, having that roadmap to follow has been invaluable. Can't say enough good things about it.
Expect to set boundaries. This is tricky for many of us (myself included). This is a career that can and will consume as much of your life as you will allow. And because you're excited about it, and because you're working with people who are excited for you, it is easy to take on too much. Ignite is actually really helpful in this regard. (Wow, this is the 2nd Ignite plug of this post...they're not paying me to promote it guys, I swear.) But suffice it to say that KW gives you a blue-print for success and it is possible to do it without sacrificing all of your free time and neglecting yourself or your family, or losing all your friends and your sunny disposition.
Expect to feel excited, anxious and overwhelmed all at once. Being new at anything can be all of those things. Some days I felt way more anxious than excited and vice versa. Totally normal.
Expect to have fun. Everything I wrote above was true for me, but it's also true that this is so much fun! I really don't want that point to get lost in all of this. This is a fun job. Keller Williams is a fun company to work for. Rebecca's team is amazing and talented and are the first people to raise their hands to help me when I need it. It's been an amazing experience and I'm trying to enjoy each season of it before the next begins.
Are any of you new agents? What has your experience been like? Any advice for managing the logistics and the emotions involved with being a newbie? Please share below!