While in many markets, young real estate agents seem to be the exception rather than the norm, there are still many young folks – straight out of college or high school – that are determined to make their mark in the business. Some of these individuals grew up with parents that are/were agents, while others simply have a love for houses and the real estate business in general.
The young agent certainly faces a lot of challenges. The first, of course, is simply their age. Do clients take a 22-year-old seriously? Will they doubt the young person’s ability to lead them in the right direction, or will they simply pass them by in favor of a more seasoned agent?
It’s a tough world for a young agent, but age does not need to be a stumbling block…as long as the new agent has the right attitude and focus. So, if you’re thinking of a career in real estate sales, take a moment to ponder these points below.
When can I legally sell real estate?
In most cases, you need to be 18 in order to obtain your real estate license. While there aren’t a lot of 18-year-olds in real estate sales, there are some who’ve done very well, only due to their drive to make it on their own without financial assistance from their parents.
Getting a license involves taking classes, either in a traditional setting or online, and then passing an exam that tests you on all you’ve learned. Thanks to technology, the entire process is much easier than it used to be, but the test still demands your attention and plenty of study time.
What happens after the test?
But the real “test” is not the exam. It’s how you proceed once the exam is over, and you’ve got that license in your hand.
The first task is to find a broker who is willing to mentor you or willing to assign a good agent to mentor you as you make your way through the trials and tribulations of the business. Being an agent – at any age – isn’t easy. You’re dealing with customers who are spending large quantities of money on an important lifetime purchase, and emotions can get high. Very few young people know how to handle such a scenario, so finding someone to guide you is ideal.
Don’t think you can do everything yourself the first time around! Many young agents are stubborn and determined, which is fine for some aspects of the business. But this is a career that involves lots of legally-binding paperwork, so everything needs to be done correctly the FIRST TIME. Learn from those who have already become successful in their career, consult your study materials, and ask questions.
Don’t hesitate to sign up for conferences, workshops, and other learning opportunities that can help you learn more about your field and can assist you in advancing your business. Learn from your colleagues, but also be willing to spend the time and money to learn from others who’ve made their mark in the real estate field.
Focus, focus, focus!
A favorite phrase in real estate is “location, location, location.” For new agents, it should be “focus, focus, focus.”
You may have been a goal setter throughout your entire life, but if you weren’t, now’s the time to start. Career goals are essential when you are a commissioned salesperson. Your next meal depends on you being motivated to reach a particular goal.
One listing a month. Cold call ten people each day. Call expired listings. Go to a community event and network with others once per month.
There are so many goals you can set that can help you as a young agent. And, again, ask a more experienced agent about their early goals (and the goals they set now) and take time to write them down. They aren’t goals until they’re on paper! And then figure out how you’re going to reach them.
But will clients take me seriously?
The answer to that question is an easy one. While some will automatically dismiss you for your age, if you can help them overlook your physical age, youthful appearance, and lack of experience, there won’t be a problem. And you do that by knowing your stuff, oozing confidence, and showing sincere interest in the client, therefore helping them forget that you may not be as seasoned as others in your office.
If YOU don’t believe your youth is a problem, it shouldn’t be. Don’t keep apologizing for your lack of experience. Instead, do something to make up for it. And, by all means, stress your strengths, like your awesome technology skills and your social media prowess, which are essential in today’s real estate marketplace.
Don’t let age hold you back. Take the reins, strut your stuff, and let your clients know that you can get the job done!