I have been a Realtor for over 15 years. I received my first real estate licence in the US in the year 2002. That was the time when I was working full time in another line of work from 9 – 6 pm all week long. In those days, being a part time Realtor was not really a popular strategy and most people working in the industry worked full time. The popular idea at the time was that working part time as a Realtor could not help you make serious money. Most Real estate agencies would also look down upon those trying to enter the real estate profession on a part-time basis.
Since I was trying to enter the real estate business as a part time realtor, it was going to be challenging to succeed. The odds were stacked against me because working part time as a Realtor meant that I would be missing out on lots of training and on-the-job experiences and opportunities since I would be working on my other job most of the time.
It’s All About Positioning
But then, I would feel just as entitled to my job and profession as a full time Realtor. I received the same education as full time Realtors. I prepped for and passed the same exams that full time Realtors did. I also paid the same amount as fees as full time Realtors. So I did not fully agree with those who claimed that I would not meet with the same amount of success as those real estate agents that reported to an office for 5 days a week and called themselves full time Realtors. When I got my license in 2002, I was new and inexperienced and there were lots of emotions that would go through my mind on a regular basis. Looking back on those years I realised that being a Real Estate Agent is not for the faint hearted. The business of selling real estate is a challenging one. There are no promises and no guarantees. There are some days when you feel that the world is working against you. There have also been times when I wanted to quit the field. I have been under tremendous stress and have also been under paid for many of the deals that I transacted. And of course there have been quite a number of months when I received no income at all. I happened to look back at those times and thought how did I survive those years! And the answer that came back to me was one word – Positioning.
I had quickly and instinctively learnt to “position” myself during my first year as a Real Estate Agent. And it is this positioning that helped me to cement my career. I have witnessed many people come in to make a mark as a Realtor and then have just as quickly disappeared back to their normal 9 – 5 jobs. Some of the people I worked with in those days were all intelligent, well spoken, smart and business savvy individuals. They possessed good work ethics and had a lot of integrity too. However most of them could not make ends meet in this profession even after years of struggling and returned back to their “other” safer careers. I understood one thing very clearly – Just because one is actively engaged in a business does not mean that they are successful in that business!
Real Estate is a Good Profession
In today’s economy all over the world, a lot of youngsters are venturing into the world of real estate selling either part time or full time. Most agents are unable to fully walk away from a steady salary to pursue what they see as an uncertain career in real estate. There is no harm in being a part time Realtor in the initial years if you cannot quit your steady and safe job yet. If you are lucky to be a full time Realtor then that’s great. In fact, it does not matter whether you are working in Real Estate full time or part time. Your success as a Realtor right from the very start is dependent on how well you “position” yourself.
Most young educated professionals who are entering the field of Real Estate in India as a proper Real Estate Agent (not some sales rep or sales girl with a Builder or Developer!) are attracted by the chance to work independently and be your own boss. They want to establish their name and reputation and have a long career. One can have unlimited income in this field and you can get the perks that self-employment can give a person.
As a Realtor one must determine what one really hopes to get out of it as a career. Everyone has different reasons to work in a career and every young professional in this field must figure out their own “whys”. One must have a purpose and a mission in one’s life and career and it is these clearly stated values that gives one the focus and the clarity to scale the heights of one’s profession. Top achievers always have a very big “Why” behind their actions.
If one hasn’t identified one’s purpose in becoming a Realtor then it will become an uphill task to maintain one’s composure and sustain one through tough times which are inevitable in any business or endeavour. Some people who are entering the industry seem to assume that Real Estate is glamorous field where the Property Agent makes a truckload of money on every deal. This view in reality is far from the truth. Yes of course there are some agents who earn a great deal of money as commissions but everything comes with a price. Please note that I have used the word “earn” because nothing to handed down to us on a platter.
Education Always Wins
If you are a brand new realtor entering the Indian Real Estate Industry, I would like to share with you some sacred advice. Do yourself a favour and join a Top Real Estate Consultancy that makes continuous and ongoing education of it’s Realtor their no. 1 priority. If you are in your first year in this business and feel that you have joined the wrong firm, change companies immediately.
But then avoid falling into the trap of large franchise companies like Remax etc. There is no guarantee that you will be able to sell homes or offices based on their brand name. Some of your prospective buyers especially the ones who have lived or travel abroad, may indeed be familiar with these brand names but that name will not be able to help you sell a home. I have seen many inexperienced people fall into this trap of joining large name companies simply because of their branding. I myself do not have anything against franchise real estate companies. Our own company strongly believes in the merit of good branding. We are a good and well known real estate company and we hope to become known as a great real estate company in the future!
Most people ten or twenty years down the line in any profession will tell you of how much further along in their career they would be if they had initially joined a company that offered top notch education, technology and training. If you are currently working with a company that does not help you grow then you must apply and start working with a company that does. At Gupta & Sen we believe that not all companies are created equal. We take pride in our employees and their success. We absolutely are not competitor-driven and will not encourage any cut-throat behaviour. There are too many real estate agencies in India that do not use or have the technology to keep up with industry trends. They end up having a poor or non-existent image. Some agencies out there are too busy to train their employees because they themselves are out in the field selling!
To paraphrase, I would like to end this article by saying that a good company is like good soil. Good soil lets you establish your roots and also creates space for you to grow. A good real estate company that has a solid “strategic plan” can help you to bloom and flourish!
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Chloe is a real estate advisor and investment advisor with Gupta & Sen Associates. With a combined experience of over 15 years in varied industries, she is a vocal and knowledgeable ally for buyers and investors who want to make informed choices when buying a property in India. With superlative communication and marketing skills, Chloe handles our PR, real estate marketing strategy and client management.