What does it take to be a successful real estate agent in the 2020s?
In a recent survey, an impressive 94% of active agents surveyed agree that new agents can have success in today’s market, as long as they have the right education and support.
But what does the right education and support look like? According to our panel of industry insiders, new agents need:
A solid knowledge base,
Strong mentorship, and
The ability to adapt to changing conditions.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at each of these categories to explain exactly how you can access the resources and education you need to be successful in real estate.
A Solid Knowledge Base
99% of agents surveyed agree that new agents need a strong knowledge base (with 51% saying it’s required to compete for jobs and listings).
And 72% of survey respondents agreed that new real estate agents need to enter the market more knowledgeable now than they would have needed to be pre-pandemic. This is partly because there are more licensed agents today than before the pandemic. So you’ll need to be more knowledgeable to compete with more experienced agents. And it’s partly because today’s agents need to understand the big picture factors that led to our unique seller’s market conditions, as well as the details of how to get the best deal for your clients under these conditions.
General real estate knowledge,
Local market knowledge, and
Marketing and sales knowledge.
General Real Estate Knowledge
General real estate knowledge is what you get from a quality real estate school. Your state-required pre-license courses teach the real estate principles and practices that serve as your general real estate knowledge base.
Your courses will cover the basics of real estate law, forms of ownership, real estate finance, and contracts. And you’ll need to prove that you understand the material by passing your state real estate exam before you can get your real estate license. So make sure you choose a real estate school with an engaging curriculum and exam prep to help you learn and remember the material.
Local Market Knowledge
Do you know how many days the average home sits on the market this month in your area? How about the median sales price? Or the amount of inventory currently on the market? This local market knowledge is critical for real estate agents. And it’s always changing.
The best way to learn about your local market is to check on your market daily. Licensed agents have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which generates handy daily reports of market conditions and new listings, contracts, and closings. Aspiring agents can start monitoring their markets through real estate websites like Zillow and Redfin.
Marketing and Sales Knowledge
Your success as a real estate agent depends on your ability to market your listings and sell homes to buyers. If you don’t have marketing or sales experience, invest some time in learning these skills as you prepare to become an agent.
There are several helpful books to teach aspiring agents how to market and sell real estate. Or you can enroll in an online training course for a more immersive learning experience.
99% of agents surveyed agree that new agents should seek out a mentor (with 43% saying mentors are a requirement for successful real estate agents).
And 76% say new agents need to enter with more mentorship today than they would have needed before the pandemic. This increased importance is largely because of the rise of virtual brokerages which sees agents spending less time in physical office space where they would have access to other agents in the office when questions come up.
As you interview brokers, ask each broker if they offer formal mentorship programs. If you’re already working with a broker who does not offer a mentorship program, you can reach out to an agent you admire, and offer to do some of their administrative work in exchange for mentorship.
Navigating Your Brokerage Processes
Each brokerage has its own procedures for processes like adding new listings or getting contracts approved. While organized brokerages will have a manual to explain the details, having a live mentor to help you navigate the workflow will make your life easier.
Generating and Nurturing Leads
To sell real estate, you need to find qualified buyers and sellers and convince them to choose you as their agent. While there are lots of ways to generate leads, your mentor will be able to tell you which methods work best in your unique market. They’ll also be able to show you shortcuts for streamlining your lead generation and lead follow-up systems to reach more leads in less time.
You can learn all about real estate principles, practices, and sales, but at some point, the best learning tool is real-world experience. Your mentor can help you get experience in areas like:
Holding open houses,
Giving listing presentations, and
Conducting property tours.
Even if you don’t have your own listings yet, your mentor will probably let you work with their listings to help you gain experience.
In addition to knowledge and mentorship, successful agents need to be adaptable. 82% of agents surveyed stress the importance of being nimble to finding success in today’s market.
Real estate is always evolving and innovating. Markets fluctuate in response to changing supply and demand, and the day-to-day responsibilities of agents regularly change with technological advancements.
Take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. Pre-pandemic, we saw slow, steady growth in home values, with most client interaction taking place in person. Through the pandemic, the market exploded, with the median sales price growing by over 35% in hot markets like Austin, TX. We also saw dramatic shifts in buyer and seller expectations, with more clients demanding virtual interactions with their agents. Because of these changes, 88% of agents surveyed say that what it takes to be a successful real estate agent right now is different from what it took to be successful before the pandemic.
Is It a Good Time to Get Into Real Estate?
Today’s successful agents may need more knowledge, mentorship, and adaptability than yesterday’s agents, but that’s not a bad thing. Having these resources will help agents perform better for their clients and be happier in their careers. And there has never been better access to these resources!
Quality online real estate schools offer engaging courses at affordable prices to boost your knowledge. And most of today’s virtual brokerages offer a formal mentorship program to set new agents up for success. Plus, with PropTech advancements, it’s easier than ever to keep your business nimble and ready to pivot with changing market conditions.
In fact, 9 in 10 agents say that right now is a good time to start a career in real estate.
Don’t wait another day to get started in your new real estate career. Enroll in your pre-license real estate courses today!