Selling your real estate is infinitely more complicated than simply planting a sign and posting a newspaper ad. The real estate professional one might have dismissed so easily and quickly has truly paid some dues to remain in the profession and enjoy a reasonable degree of success. Let’s look at a mythical, brand new licensee who has made it through the licensing process and is ready to set the world on fire and make a million dollars a year or more.
The new licensee sets out to find a broker with whom to affiliate. He/she should interview several in order to find the best “fit” where his/her work style and value system most align. Especially important is to find out about on-the-job-training. Just because these folks have a license doesn’t mean they know beans about the actual job: I can assure you, they don’t.
Once affiliated, said agent must shell out a considerable sum of money for professional fees, business cards, automobile signage, and assorted marketing expenses. Membership in the local Chamber of Commerce and service clubs is advised along with attendance to various local sporting events, parades, school activities, and a myriad of volunteer opportunities.
This is also when the licensee should take advantage of the National Association of REALTORS® ( NAR) education opportunities to earn the GRI designation. (Graduate, REALTORS® Institute) Since Kentucky doesn’t offer “post license courses,” GRI is how one learns about talking to folks about listing their property for sale, how to show property to its best advantage (without pointing out the obvious “and this is a bedroom”), to assist folks with negotiations when an offer is made, and to learn how to run their “business within a business” so they can successfully continue the professional path they’ve chosen. Most of all, though, it is to educate themselves so as to better serve their customers.
This GRI designation will take twelve 8-hour days and cost our new licensee at least $1,200 to $1,500, for tuition, travel and lodging expenses, probably more. And every other designation offered carries a hefty price tag of both money and time. In addition, all active licensees must complete 6 hours of continuing education each year to retain their licenses to operate. And, every four years, each licensee must complete an extensive Ethics Class sponsored by NAR.
In the beginning, our brand new licensee will work countless long hours with little or no income to show for his/her efforts. It takes about 18 months of “boots on the ground” time before actually earning an income. This is comparable to the internship of other professions and it can be brutal. Those who thought it was an easy way to quickly make lots of money are soon disillusioned, discouraged, and move on to another field. Others cannot go long periods without an income and thus, must move on.
So. Think you’d like to become a real estate agent????