Viewing by month: January 2011
There is no doubt about it – being a real estate agent is a busy job. And with your life outside of work also in need of consideration, it can be difficult to find a balance between simply doing your role well, and undertaking the education needed to be able to perform at a superior level.
There is also no denying that real estate is a highly competitive, fast paced industry. The modern real estate agent needs to devote a great deal of time to building networks and customer relations, as well as listing properties, dealing with the problems of buyers and sellers, explaining complicated contract items to clients, coordinating inspections, potentially even managing properties, and so on.
This means that agents are often on the road, conducting business by phone and emails and talking to hundreds of people each week. With a busy schedule like this it is difficult to comprehend when even the most efficient agents are able to participate in training programs to continue their education.
However, with record numbers entering the industry each year, competition is getting tougher and further training is a very effective, smart way for agents to set themselves apart and stay ahead. Working toward having superior knowledge of the market and how you can work within it is necessary for even the most time poor agents. But finding the time for any training can be a great challenge.
However, nowadays taking time off work to sit at every training workshop you need to attend may no longer be necessary and motivating yourself to incorporate training into your busy schedule doesn’t have to become a stressful task on your to do list. One answer for time poor real estate agents may be to engage in online education training programs, allowing you to further your career from the comforts of your own home.
By removing the need to adhere to time constraints during the week or travel to a physical location, such programs may allow you to manage your time a little bit more easily, giving you the opportunity to engage in the continued education that could help you to become an exceptional agent.
With the ability to surf the web from our phones, laptops and now tablets, agents are able to log into any global training program to study when and where they choose. Not only do these online courses allow you to manage your time, they can also provide you access to a worldwide gamut of educational institutions – meaning you are no longer restricted to your local institute.
While it may not replace the impact of learning in a classroom, face-to-face environment, this ability to log in and learn at any time of the day is one suggested way that time poor agents can utilise to effectively enhance their skill base. And if completing one such course means that you can reduce the number of physical days you must take off work for external seminars, your productivity should increase too.
To put it simply, memory is the mental activity of remembering information that you have experienced or learned. With the need to remember a vast amount of finer details, such as those regarding properties and clients, as part of your job description, being a real estate agent challenges you to strengthen your memory.
We all know that the buying or selling of a home can be both a sensitive and exciting period in a person’s life. As a real estate agent, it is often the case that the better your relationship with your seller and prospective buyer, the easier it may be to achieve a successful outcome. A good way to establish and develop such relationships is to be attentive to detail, always remembering the finer points of your client’s situation.
Thankfully nowadays we have mobile phones and tablet devices which enable us to easily record and have access to information on the run. But there are often times when a name or fact needs to be recalled quickly, leaving no time for it to be looked up.
If you can manage to find a little extra time in your day to exercise your mind, improving your memory retention and retrieval capacity, you might just be surprised with how handy these enhanced skills could be when interacting with your clients. Not only may you find yourself impressing your clients and making them feel well looked after, an improved memory can also help to reduce the levels of energy you expend each day.
Our brains are considered to be more complex than even the most advanced machines. Thus, improving the human memory can take some effort. However simple exercises over an extended period of time are sometimes all it can take for you to stimulate your brain’s function, which may result in significant improvements to your daily routine and make life a lot easier.
Several basic tips to improve your memory include:
- Paying attention – you can’t expect to remember information that you never learned
- Repetition is key – review what you have learnt the same day you learn it and at intervals thereafter
- Relate information to what you already know –build on your previous knowledge
- Organise your information – write things down neatly; use both words and pictures to help stimulate the visual side of your brain
- Colour code and read out loud what you want to remember
- Memory by association – associate information you want to learn with visual images, people or words.
Whilst these are all simple techniques to help assist your memory, it is also worth noting that healthy habits can often improve the mind’s function. Increasing oxygen to your brain though simple exercise, having good sleeping patterns and managing stress are some examples of how to complement the suggested tips above.
Excelling in what you do may mean you need to improve your memory and knowledge on different neighbourhoods, client requirements or even simple office tasks. Donating a few minutes from your day to build your mind’s capacity may prove to be an invaluable exercise.
For many real estate agents, online tablets, such as the Apple iPad, have come to be seen as an incredibly useful device for the property industry.
As a CENTURY 21 real estate agent, the opportunities to use an online tablet are endless. For example, having a product like an iPad at open inspections, auctions or even at team meetings can allow you to take advantage of user friendly technology, potentially helping you to do your job more effectively.
The apps which are beginning to become available for iPads (and other devices on the market) are truly remarkable. With over 300,000 apps now available for Apple users, the opportunities for you to become a more resourceful CENTURY 21 real estate agent are endless.
There are countless ways that you can utilise the online tablet phenomenon to help increase sales. They currently offer you the ability to:
- Show photos and videos of current properties in high definition
- Create a CENTURY 21 Smartbook demonstration for clients right before their eyes
- Incorporate the ‘wow’ factor at your next open house
- Show a client comparable sales
- Sketch out floor plans offering the client an immediate vision of their potential property
- Show details of current listings to clients on the run
- Get directions
- Easily manage clients from outside the office
- Update and enter database details and feedback instantly while at open houses
- Market your listings on Facebook
- Stay up-to-date with industry news and blogs
- Check email enquiries and set appointments
The ability to execute these actions on the run can help you to not only increase your capacity as a real estate agent, but it may allow you to facilitate client requests quickly and more efficiently – giving you the opportunity to take a competitive lead in the market.
As a real estate agent, embracing the online tablet phenomenon definitely has the ability to help improve your sales. Although your own personal, proven means of selling properties may always be what will eventually get you over the line with a sale, the rejection of new technologies could simply result in you missing out on possible business opportunities. It is for this reason that all CENTURY 21 are encouraged to remain abreast of new technological developments in the industry and to understand how these may contribute to your success as an agent.
There is no doubt that there is an art to becoming an outstanding real estate agent. To do so certainly takes more than simply having a working knowledge of the relevant industry laws and regulations.
The US organisation, the National Association of Realtors estimates that 40 per cent to 80 per cent of real estate agents leave the profession in their first year. If this attrition rate is anything to go by, it is clear that there is much more to being a proficient real estate agent than many simply assume.
The following tips are ones that can easily assist you in better structuring your approach to your career and can be applied to many industries, not just real estate.
Embrace a career plan
Many people put more effort into planning their weekly grocery shopping trip than they do into their professional career. Do not underestimate the importance of setting some personal goals and objectives – these can help you to remain realistic and focused for success.
Your goals don’t necessarily need to be far into the future, or hugely ahead of your current position. Simple aims that are relatively easy to reach, combined with future goals that are somewhat beyond your current capabilities, will help to motivate you in the short term while simultaneously helping you to avoid complacency by pushing you to continue to achieve.
Establish sales goals
As a real estate agent, this is an incredibly important step. Sales goals can be worked into your career plan and apply to both the short and longer terms. Instil in yourself a continuous process where you push yourself to work with properties in price ranges just above what you have previously worked with. The same goes for listings – try to increase your capacity for the number of properties you have on the go at the one time. By working gradually you will be able to handle more without even realising it.
Learning to manage your time and energy is a lifelong process. Real estate can often be a 24/7 job. Remember to at least try to balance your work and career goals with your personal health and social life. You may find that your performance as an agent will improve the happier you are with life outside of work.
Find a mentor
Asking questions of others whom you admire and respect can ease a lot of stress and pressure at work. Finding someone who you feel comfortable with and who you feel you can learn from effectively will help you to improve your chances of becoming a successful agent.
Although perseverance may be required, try to stick it out in your career as a real estate agent if you feel it is where you should be. Even though the hours can be long and the work difficult, this industry often proves to be incredibly rewarding, enjoyable and fulfilling.