Real estate is a dynamic career that utilizes a range of skill sets. Many professionals transitioned into the industry from another career seeking work, both challenging and personally fulfilling. While training and education are essential, what makes someone successful as a real estate agent is as much about problem-solving abilities, work ethic, and drive as it is about their knowledge base.
If you think real estate might be the right career for you, follow these steps to get started.
1. Earn your license
The first step would be to obtain your real estate license. Part of the licensure requirement is an educational component about industry regulations, protections for consumers, and real estate ethics. In Alabama, if you do not already have a current real estate license from another state, you must complete a 60-hour pre-licensing course prior to enrolling. You have six months to pass the state licensing exam after completing the class. After passing and receiving the license, a 30-hour post-license training course within the first year is required to earn the permanent salesperson license.
In addition, Alabama licensed agents must be at least 19 years old, a resident of the United States, high school graduate or the equivalent, and not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
2. Choose a brokerage
The most important thing you will do in your real estate career is choose your brokerage affiliation. Who you work for can shape your real estate career. Cultivating that path starts from the first brokerage that you choose. Real estate brokerages provide their agents with:
- Brand recognition. Consider what the Sotheby’s International Realty brand means and what it promises to the consumer.
- Mentorship. A mentor will guide your career and work with a managing broker. This will allow you to develop tools inherited from your mentor as well as create your own with help from the brokerage.
- Marketing tools. Property marketing is crucial to your success as a real estate agent. Your brokerage will provide you with tools like a website, a contact management database, email marketing, signage, and more.
Early in your career as a real estate agent, having the right training program and mentor is critical. The education for the real estate license teaches the laws and regulations, but it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for a real estate agent’s daily workload. A mentor can help ease you into the process and help you easily transition into the real estate agent that best suits your work ethic.
A training program teaches new agents the industry’s ins and outs and best practices to work efficiently as a real estate agent. Working with a mentor with a proven track record of success will guide you through the early years of building your business.
4. Build your network
The first goal of a new real estate agent is to create as many leads as possible. Think of yourself as a lead generator: work your existing network and continue to build your network as a way of setting yourself up for long-term prosperity. Consider every person you know as a prospective lead, from the fellow parents at your kids’ sports league to the people at your civic group, their recommendations to their circle will help grow your business.
5. Hyperfocus on an area
Set yourself up for success by doing small really well. Think about all the different neighborhoods and suburbs in the greater Huntsville and Madison areas. New agents can’t be expected to know everything about all of the outlying communities right away. Hyper-focus on a particular area that you can learn well in a short time. Drive around it, look at the MLS, tour different available properties, and target your marketing to the specific neighborhoods. Position yourself as a local expert then start branching into the surrounding areas as the business grows.
6. Organize your communications
Real estate agents must complete dozens of tasks each day that aren’t necessarily related. In a single day, we speak with our clients and another real estate agent while negotiating a contract, calling several prospective buyers for a listing, pitching a new potential listing, and customizing the marketing for a property coming to market. A workflow system is essential to managing the work and providing exceptional customer service.
Start your new real estate career with the best
Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty is always looking for the best and brightest real estate talent. Our training program onboards new agents to equip them for long-term success. New agents are mentored by our highest-performers to learn the latest and best practices. We offer our real estate team the most cutting-edge tools in real estate marketing. Talk to us about how we support and grow new real estate agents.