“Wait, you’re only a part time agent? That’s crazy! You have to go full-time immediately – you’re missing out on so much!” I bet you’ve heard those words before – most coaches push their part-time members to make the transition immediately, but we’re not most coaches.
The truth is that in our experience coaching thousands of members, we’d found many who are effectively able to manage a part-time real estate career while they work full-time somewhere else. There are lots of reasons to stay part time – maybe you get tremendous job-satisfaction from your day job, or maybe you make an incredible income.
We’ve coached doctors, pilots, and government officials who love their day jobs, and if you’re in that position, by all means keep doing real estate part time! If that’s not you, however, be aware that going full-time in real estate does offer you the ability to completely focus your energies on one of the few professions that allows nearly anyone with basic skills and a good work ethic to make an incredible living.
1. Set Very Specific Goals From the Beginning
Are you in real estate to enhance your existing job, or to replace it? How much income will that require? By when will you have it? Have you figured in your net commission after splits, fees, expenses, and taxes?
Do: Take the time to figure these things out. Failing to do so will result in you never reaching your goal, because you won’t know what you are specifically striving for.
Do: Place minimum two-year deadlines on your income goals. If you haven’t reached your goal in two years, stick to your job. You won’t be checked out of the work place and you won’t have wasted a decade. You will have the benefit of time constraints and pressure. That is the reality in real estate, so it is better to get used to it now!
Don’t: Simply quitting your job and planning on just, “figuring it out,” is not a business plan. Remember the old adage, those who fail to plan have planned to fail.
Fact: People who are able to retire early because they’ve saved so much are able to do so because they had a specific, time-dependent, exact financial goal. They did not give themselves a lifetime to complete it.
2. Have a Minimum of Six Months of Reserves Set Aside
This means you have six months worth of cash set aside to pay for your personal overhead. This does not include credit cards or your 401k.
Do: Wait until you have these reserves built up before you quit your job. You may be the most motivated agent ever licensed but unexpected things can happen. You need to be ready in the event of recession, medical bills, financial mistakes, etc. Six months of reserves should be your minimum in savings whether you are in the real estate business or not.
Don’t: Figure that you will just live on credit cards until your career pans out. That is an excellent way to go into debt and if you operate in that way, you will have to earn your way back to zero before you can get ahead.
3. Be Clear About Why You Are in Real Estate
You provide a service and your product is profit.
Do: Understand that this is a sales position. You are to sell real estate. Your profit is the result of the services you provide.
Don’t: Avoid entering this business because you want to reinvent it, fix it, be more creative, have a free schedule, not have a boss, and/or never be told what to do.
4. Have Your Family and Friends Provide Moral Support
Determine who is supportive and who is not. The most difficult part of your new career is at the beginning. You will need to have a support structure in place.
Do: Discuss the fact that you will have to put in time, build your skills, tray and fail, hire a coach, work longer hours that you have been for at least the first few years. Be certain that your closest family and friends understand this and support you.
Don’t: Do not listen to anyone that does not believe in you.
5. Choose Your Broker Wisely
Changing brokers will cost you time, money, and momentum. Take your time and interview several people so you can make the right decision.
Do: Choose a broker in an area that actually sells well. Know what you are signing up for by asking intelligent questions like:
What are the average days on market?
What is the list to sell price ratio?
Are the schools desirable?
How many homes sell per month and what is the price range in that area? Is there new construction?
Don’t: Go with the broker who is convenient, the cheapest, or that you happen to know. Don’t go with a broker that requires endless meetings, additional commitments, or endless splits.
6. Lead With Revenue
Be clear about this from the beginning about those things that make you money.
Do: Take responsibility for learning the critical skills that make you money. These are: lead generation, lead follow-up, prequalifying, presentation, negotiating, and closing. That is your job.
Don’t: Believe you should just go around buying leads. You will go broke before you understand how to handle the purchased leads, even assuming you are getting any of quality.
7. Decide You Will Work When You Are at WORK
You have less time and more pressure when you are working another job simultaneously with real estate. Discipline is your ally. “Do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it, at the highest level!” ~ Tim Harris. This is never more important than when time is at a premium.
Do: Understand that many “part time” agents actually have higher net incomes than full time agents. Why? Those part time agents have limited time and therefore better focus than agents that have all the time but lack discipline.
8. Become a LISTING Agent as Soon as Possible
It is true that you have to “list to last.” The answer to any question in real estate is get more listings.
DO: Soften your learning curve by immediately hiring an experienced coach to teach you how to list efficiently, effectively, and in a decent price range.
Don’t: Believe you have to live off of other agent’s craps until you make it. Don’t believe that you have to start at the bottom. Don’t believe you have to give away commission until you gain experience.
9. Learn at the Most Competitive, Efficient, Profitable Way from Day One
If you have been working in this business for a while, declare today to be DAY ONE and get to work. Commit to being the best at those six things that make you money in real estate. Do nothing else in real estate until you have accomplished this.
Do: Listen only to coaches, brokers, and fellow agents that have already consistently produced at the level of your own goals or higher.
Don’t: Ever listen to anyone who has not done what you aspire to do.
10. Surround Yourself with Highly Driven, Successful, Motivated People
These are the people you should be spending your time with, whether they are in real estate or another profession. They are your peers.
Do: Practice Media-Free Mornings. Control what goes into your head, your wallet, and your environment. Prune away negativity like a bad weed.
Don’t: Succumb to the endless supply of email for special promotions to sell you leads, branding, or marketing.