Keller Williams Realty Amarillo
10 Steps To Financial Freedom As a Real Estate Agent
Are there really just 10 steps to Financial Freedom as a Real Estate Agent? Yes and no. I am going to give you the 10 basic steps and with each step you may want to add more to it as time goes on.
Remember this---Being a Real Estate Agent is simple but not easy. In order to receive the Financial Freedom I am going to write about you have to treat this as a Business and not JOB. This is something that you are building from the ground up.
You will find as we go through this I will refer often and write in the perspective of a Real Estate Agent for Keller Williams Realty because that is all I know. You can, however, transfer the same skills to your current brokerage if they also have the tools.
So are you ready? Financial Freedom in your future? Let's begin with the 10 Steps To Financial Freedom as a Real Estate Agent.
We often call this your big WHY. Essentially what that means is that you have to have a WHY to want to do this; to build Financial Freedom.
This can be confusing. When I first heard that I needed a big WHY I thought that meant I needed to find a cure for cancer or single-handedly create World Peace. With either of those two ends in mind, I had no idea what my WHY really was and how I could ever accomplish that by selling houses.
As I really began to dig down on this, though, I realized that the overarching WHY for mostly everyone is Financial Freedom. With Financial Freedom you can do pretty much whatever you want. Agreed?
I am a simple girl and for me that was still too big of an objective and too vague. I needed to break that down even more. Another obstacle I had, and probably some of you, too, is that I wanted it overnight. I learned that isn't going to happen.
First I learned that this is the foundational step in Financial Freedom--developing your WHY. Without that you really have no idea where you are going and how to get there.
Answer some of these questions for yourself. Don't just scan them but after each question really think about it. If you are real ambitious/serious you might even write the answers down.
1) Is your WHY Financial Freedom or is it something else? (from here on substitute your "something else" when I say Financial Freedom)
2) Specifically what does Financial Freedom mean to you?
3) When do you want to reach this goal?
4) Are you willing to do what it takes to get there?
5) Will you do what it takes to get there?
When we talk to/prequalify a buyer, there are 3 things that we consider. They are: 1) Are they ready 2) Are they willing 3) Are they able. From there we can determine how much time we need devote to each one. If someone is Ready, Willing, and Able they have my full attention.
Apply those 3 things to yourself and determine where you are. Are you Ready? Because this is a journey that needs a beginning. Are you Willing? Starting a new business is hard work. Are you willing to do what it takes. Are you Able? Do you need help and training to get there? We all do on that one and Keller Williams understands that and has all of the tools for you to learn how to build your own business.
So let's drill it down a little more.
While we are building our way to Financial Freedom we still have to have a life. We need time to spend with our friends and family. We still need food and clothes. We still need vacations.
For myself, I had to set it up in little WHYs. It started with simple things--like I wanted a new pair of boots. That is a small picture. A big picture was I wanted to be debt free. I knew that was a key to Financial Freedom so I put that in front of my face everyday along with a picture of my boots.
Then comes decisions and planning. I don't actually need new boots (women you understand this) but I really wanted them. So because I believe I should have a Life Worth Living I decided on the boots still keeping Financial Freedom in front of my face.
Do this for yourself. Plan one or two years out for wishes and wants. If you do nothing but work you won't have a life.
Let me add one more very important aspect to this. You HAVE to have a sense of urgency attached. Have you ever noticed/said--it is Friday already? As my grandfather once wrote, our lives are like sand in an hourglass. None of us knows how much sand is in ours.
Before you move to STEP 2 spend some time thinking about STEP 1. I will say in all honestly, not everyone will read any further.
I have to admit that when I started teaching these steps Technology was way down the list. Now I have moved this step up to #2. Why?
According to statistics, 90% of homebuyers begin their search on the internet and a whopping 51% actually found the house they bought on the internet (National Association of Realtors -- NAR). Along with these statistics, 30% of buyers found the house they bought with a Realtor and overall 87% of buyers used a Realtor when purchasing a home.
Just by reading those statistics from May 2018 NAR that should paint a very bright and colorful picture for you. What? You need to be found on the internet.
According to that same report, 63% of all Realtors are above the age of 54. I bring that up only because those of us in that age range did not grow up with an internet, an I-Pad or a Smart Phone. In essence that may mean that our learning curve is slightly higher than our millennial counterparts.
So plan on getting up to speed or hiring it done.
Where are some effective ways to be found on the internet?
- Your Website/Websites
- Too many more to name!
What in the world does that mean? Everyone reading this has heard scripts before. Think about it. When you check out at the grocery store "did you find everything you needed"? At McDonald's "would you like fries with that"? Or Tech Support--"is there anything that I can help you with"? You can probably think of a dozen more.
It is not a coincidence that in every incidence all of the people say the same thing. They are all trained to say this "script". Customer service? Increase sales? The purposes may differ but the technique is the same.
Real estate is no different. One of the scariest thing a new agent has to deal with is "what to say". If you are calling leads---buyers or sellers--you need to know what to say next.
You can google "scripts" or find some on you tube. Keller Williams Really provides its agents hundreds of scripts so we never have the feeling that we don't know what to say next.
Of course, you can't predict every scenario but with a working knowledge of scripts your confidence level will increase dramatically.
We teach that you learn the scripts word for word even though they will sounds stilted and awkward. The reason for that is so that you will internalize them. Once you do that you can then "make them your own". You can then add your personal touch and make them sound like you.
Remember this. Even though you learn every script and try everything you know to do you are still going to get a buyer and/or a seller that says "no". What should your attitude be? How many times do you think the person in the drive through at McDonalds gets a "no" when asked if you want fries? Do you think they take it personally? Do you think they lose sleep because of all the "no's" they got?
Doubtful. And neither should you. Learn what to say, constantly moving toward self-mastery and you will get a win in your real estate business.
STEP 4--DATABASE--LEAD GENERATING
I also like to call this your "address book". Nobody really wants to be in someone's database but most people like being in someone's address book.
Simply put, without people to talk to you aren't going to sell many houses. Lead generating and your database go hand in hand because once you have someone to talk to you put them in your database as a contact. The more contacts, the more people to talk to, which naturally leads to more appointments and sales.
Your CRM (customer relationship management) is your business. If a dentist sells his business, what does he sell? A few of those pokey things and an x-ray machine. But what is his most value asset? His database. His client list. The same should be true for you, too. Depending on what your business plan is will determine what you do with your database.
If your plan is to take the last sign off a listing and then be retired, you don't have to spend a lot of time with your database. If your business plan is to create a valuable/salable asset, then you need to spend lots and lots of time (delegate if necessary) lead generating, building your database, and nurturing it. Feed it and it will grow. Don't give up on people. Statistics show that people live in a house 5-7 years. That means that you need to be nurturing these people 5-7 years.
I urge you to evaluate what you have and begin to create something of value. Who knows? Maybe you will want to sell it one day.
Following the steps in order, you now know WHY you want to have a real estate business. You have a working knowledge of TECHNOLOGY which can be a platform to get your name into the community. You now know SCRIPTS which gives you confidence in what to say. And you know the importance of your DATABASE.
Your next step is to get appointments with both sellers and buyers.
Buyers and sellers both have a problem. It is your job to solve the problem. The very best way to do that is to gather, gather, gather information and dig deep to find out what the problem is and if you can solve it. While you are doing this you are building a rapport that will help you carry through to the appointment.
There are many ways to get an appointment. I have found that the most effective way is to simply ask for it. There are many scripts to deal with any and all answers you may get. Remember you aren't trying to manipulate someone into anything. What you are doing is trying to help them solve their problem. If you have done your homework, appointment making will be much easier.
STEP 6--SIGNED AGREEMENTS
This can mean two things. It can be a signed listing agreement or a signed buyer's representation agreement. I can only speak for Texas about the signed buyer's representation.
In Texas if your buyer doesn't sign a buyer's representation agreement then technically you represent the seller. That is pretty hard to do and can give you conflicting feelings. By carefully explaining what that can mean to them, as a buyer, most will agree. For those that won't, then your fudiciary is with the seller.
As you can clearly see, from the beginning of this blog that this is a step-by-step process of how to become Financially Free. I am not implying that you have to become an expert on any step in order to proceed to the next one. I am advocating, however, that you work toward self-mastery in each of the steps. In will get you to the end goal faster and easier if you do.
Signed buyer's agreements and signed listing agreements aren't going to do you much good if you don't have contracts on them. You need to find your buyers a property to buy and you need to find your sellers buyers for their houses!
There are a couple of things you have to get good at. The first one is pre-qualifying your buyer and having your buyer pre-qualified. That may sound like the same thing but it is not. You need to pre-qualify your buyer to make sure that they are willing and ready to buy a house. Your lender or mortgage broker then needs to pre-qualify them to see if they are able to buy a house. When you have a ready, willing and able buyer you are closer to a contract.
The next thing you have to get good at with your buyers is finding the right house. With 90% of buyers beginning their home search on the internet, you have to work toward self-mastery in the elimination process. Help them find the perfect house then get a contract!
From a listing point of view, you need your marketing plan in place. It is great to have another Realtor sell your listing but it is also pretty fun to sell it yourself. Remember, if you aren't getting any showings then you aren't going to get any contracts. You will need to re-evaluate price, staging, marketing, etc to see what needs to be changed. Change it and then get your contract!
Negotiations can be fun, if you like to negotiate. I find myself negotiating pretty much everywhere on everything. In this regard I am speaking about money. I'll get a 25 cent item for a dime at a yard sale.
If you think about it, though, you negotiate everything in your life. You negotiate with your husband/wife on who is going to ________ (you fill in the blank). You negotiate with your kids. You can play on your I-Pad as soon as you clean up your room.
How about setting a time for a closing? There are a lot of people involved and there has to be some give and take to get it set.
So in negotiating a contract to buy or sell a house, you will be helping your buyer/seller negotiate the contract. Always remember that you are not an attorney so be careful what you say. The ultimate decision is your buyers' or sellers'.
Things that can be negotiated usually are money items--price, closing costs, surveys, home warranties, home repairs etc. There are other things that need to be negotiated, too, such as the closing date, who gets the refrigerator or the storage building in the back.
Just always remember this. It has to be a WIN-WIN for everyone. Sometimes it may not seem that way. Always remember that it comes back to motivation. Why is the buyer or selling willing to negotiate on that item.
Get good at asking questions. We have a script for that.
STEP 9-- CLOSINGS
Well, here you are. Your hard work has paid off and you are off to your closing. Different states/areas handle the way this is done in different ways. Sometimes everyone is in the room. Buyer, seller, escrow officer, both Realtors and perhaps the Mortgage Broker.
Other times each side closes at separate times. Buyer, his/her Realtor, escrow officer and Mortgage Broker at one time and Seller, his/her Realtor, and escrow officer at another time. I personally prefer this way. You never know what might have happened throughout the transaction which would cause you to believe it would be better to keep buyer and seller separated.
My biggest and most important advice to you is to SHUT UP. Let the escrow officer do their job. If buyer/seller has questions, don't jump in unless the escrow officer asks you to. You've made it this far, don't say or do anything to blow it. Just shut up.
Once everything is signed, now you can congratulate them and set the next expectation. Here are the keys. Or, in the case of a seller, where are the keys? That sort of small talk thing. Then promptly go back to your office (or in the case of Keller Williams Realty new mobile app) go to their profile and add in the information about the closing. Date. Details to remember to use as part of your ongoing nurture.
Walking away from the closing table with a paycheck is a great feeling. You are financially being rewarded for doing your job; for putting into play all of the things that you have learned.
You are one step closer to Financial Freedom. However, unless you plan on stockpiling all of your paychecks, you aren't really going to reach that peak/goal.
Taking that money and making it work for you is what will lead you to Financial Freedom.
Watch for an upcoming blog about 5 ways to make your money work for you in Real Estate to achieve Financial Freedom!
Good luck and please post a comment below. I always like to know if I am writing about something worthwhile and something that is important to a segment of my audience.
Following me will guarantee you get all upcoming info blogs!
Keller Williams Realty Amarillo
3955 S. Soncy
Amarillo, TX 79119