In today’s Agent Insights post, Kendra Bates - a Realtor in San Diego, California - chats with Zurple and answers questions about what it’s like to work in the Real Estate Industry on a day to day basis.
How long have you been in real estate?
I have been in Real Estate for two years now. By this time, it is said that nearly 80% of new agents have given up as they didn’t realize how much work is actually required and how hard it is to get going.
What brokerage are you currently with?
I’m currently working for Coldwell Banker in Rancho Bernardo. When starting out in the industry, there is just so much to learn and I’ve found that my office has been extremely helpful during this time. In Real Estate you’re helping people make one of the biggest financial decisions of their life - and being new you need a great support and training system behind you. This office does just that.
What do you most enjoy about going into your office?
I really enjoy the office presence and our wonderful Office Manager, Linda. She is always available, even after office hours, which is a huge plus. The real estate agents at this office are not at all what I imagined. Agents are so willing to help and give advice, unlike so many others I have met. I often get calls from other brokerages asking me to come check them out, even offering better commission (which is always nice) - but I truly want to understand and know the business, so I can grow my career. The training and support I get from my office helps make this a possibility as long as I keep up the hard work.
What are your goals for 2016?
My goals for 2016 are to continue to grow my real estate business. I plan to keep plugin’ away with what I have been doing as well as find other avenues that will hopefully lead to more business. And, of course, to keep learning in this ever-changing industry.
What are your future plans for your real estate business?
The most successful agents in my office continue to be successful for this one reason: referrals. My future plans for Real Estate are long term. I plan to continue working hard for my clients, so they’ll want to refer me when they know someone who needs a REALTOR.
Do you ever want to open your own brokerage or build a team?
I don't see myself ever wanting to open my own brokerage. At one point a team did appeal, but one of the big reasons I got into Real Estate was to be my own boss and be solely, responsible for myself and my clients.
What is your normal routine? Is it the same every day?
My routine changes all the time. I do know that once a month I will walk my farm. Many agents mail into their farms, but I choose to walk mine because 1) it keeps cost down and 2) it allows me to meet new people which has become a great resource for me.
Some days I’m showing property and others I’m in the office handling paper work for a transaction or focusing on marketing. Some days I go to an office caravan and weekly office meetings along with weekly training.
What is your biggest obstacle as a real estate agent?
My biggest obstacle as an agent is that I still lack that confidence as a newer agent. I work with so many seasoned agents that have so much knowledge. But, I’ve begun to realize that I shouldn't let this stop me. As I get more listings I find there are many agents out there that really just don't know, so I can’t stress enough to potential clients to make sure they work with a professional. There are many agents out there that will discount their services, but guess what? That usually means you pay in other ways - like not having access to comparable listings.
Do you focus more on buyers or sellers?
I have found that my best source of closings has come from sellers. I have held open houses, but I just find that people either already have an agent or are just not ready to commit - which I understand. I would rather work with someone a friend or past client has referred to me or someone I’ve met and spoken with in person instead of an internet lead who hasn’t yet committed.
How often are you in the office compared to working from home or with clients/leads?
Sometimes I work from home, but I prefer going into the office. I find that being in the office is much more enriching. You are surrounded by other professionals sharing their stories, which I can learn from. If I am in a transaction I will spend more time in and out of the office. Either way I always try and get to the office most days as I can always find something I could be working on.
Do you receive calls/texts/emails at all times of the day from clients/leads?
I find that other agents are the worst when it comes to calling or texting at inappropriate hours. But your phone is always on these days and you never know when that call, text or email could come in.
What advice do you have for new agents?
My advice to new agents is you have to be willing to work 24/7. Many think that getting a license and clients will just come easy, or your friends will just refer to you.. This is not the case. It takes a lot of work and can be very discouraging at times.
What kind of real estate marketing do you do?
I like to post what I am up to on all my social media sites - like Facebook and Instagram. I also post to YouTube as it’s becoming more popular. One thing you learn is you never know where that next lead may come from, so it doesn’t hurt to market everywhere you can. It’s also something I may do that another agent may not. One thing we need to keep at the top of our friends and past clients minds is that we are agents and we are here for their referrals. If you are not top of mind they will forget you
In this overview of a day in the life of a Real Estate Agent it is evident that tasks change on a daily basis and real estate professionals must be willing to evolve with the business. Depending on the business model, focusing on the needs of leads and clients based off of source (farming, referrals, online) is essential in achieving success. Make sure to stay on top of your real estate marketing to make it easy for new leads to find you.
For more about Kendra, visit her website: www.kendrabates.com.