“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore,” said the celebrated writer and humorist Mark Twain. These words highlight that land is a valuable commodity that is fixed and cannot grow any further unless humankind manages to colonize Mars and other planetary systems in the future. Needless to say, the real estate business would never go out of vogue and nor will its corollary the real estate agents.
A person aspiring to be a real estate agent should determine whether real estate is a suitable career option. The real estate profession may appear to be glamorous, given the consistent demand for real estate, a self-employed lifestyle as part of a brokerage house and limitless earning possibilities, at least in theory. But it is also plagued by unpredictable working hours, uncertain monetary gains and high level of competition.
Real Estate Agents perform the following functions, viz. representing buyers, representing sellers and building their business. They rent, buy and sell properties on behalf of their clients after studying the property listings, making field trips to the locations and preparing real estate agreements.
There are 2 main types of real estate agents, viz selling agents and buying agents. Selling agents provide services to owners and sellers who are interested in selling their real estate properties. These agents represent the property seller and deal with potential buyers or their agents. Buying agents help a property buyer to find, analyze and compare a property, and to close the deal. Some buying agents specialize in selling REO (Real Estate owned) properties, which have reverted to banks after unsuccessful foreclosure auctions. A property may end up at a foreclosure auction, in the first place, because of a default in the payment of mortgage or property taxes.
A real estate agent needs to fulfill some basic requirements. To begin with, the real estate agent has to procure a license to practice in a particular state by passing the mandatory real estate exams. Once the first hurdle is crossed, the agent has to choose a real estate brokerage to facilitate the business. As agents are legally mandated to be a part of a licensed brokerage, it is their responsibility to find a brokerage suited to their personality and work style.
After conforming to the necessary requirements, the real estate agents have to focus on building their business. The agents can take the first step by capitalizing on contacts with family and friends and getting the word out. Those who are computer-savvy can make use of digital marketing tools to build their businesses. The real estate agents also need to cultivate a sense of professionalism as real estate is an image-based business. The image of a real estate agent is conveyed through his sense of dress, way of speaking and behavior, and these factors determine the client’s hiring decision.
At the end of the day, qualities such as perseverance, unbridled optimism, a never-say-die attitude and a genuine interest in others make a successful real estate agent.