Agent2Agent in Philadelphia>Question Details

Alison15, Other/Just Looking in Philadelphia, PA

I am considering a career in Real Estate. I have over 9 years sales experience in the hotel industry and am looking for a change.

Asked by Alison15, Philadelphia, PA Tue Dec 29, 2009

Can anyone offer any advice to a newcomer to this field?

Help the community by answering this question:


Keller Williams is hands down the best company to work with. Most importantly the highest level of training- so you are fully prepared and not thrown in fire. You also have cooperation from other agents and great culture. Also offers the best compensation and passive income opportunities in the industry. 3 years ago I was in your place exactly, interviewed many brokerages and made a decision that was critical to my success as a new agent in the most challenging housing market we've ever had.
Would be happy to talk to you more about this.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
You have received good tips and advice from others .Your sales experience will certainly help you.
In the hotel industry, the clients walk in for service or call , in real estate you should prospect for clients your self. If you can master the art of prospecting and provide good service , You can build a good referral base. Good customer service is very important. It is easy to get a license.
You should work with a company that will offer you good training.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
People in sales certainly have an advantage in the business, as they know how to prospect and how to stay on task.

Many of the best agents forget that they are salespeople (in Washington State, our license reads: Real Estate Salesperson), and while they do a great job at "delivering the goods" from a front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house aspect, they often don't do so well at obtaining enough clients to maintain a business.

The other thing about sales professionals is that they know that they need to "deliver the goods," so they don't have to be told twice about the importance of learning about properties, studying the inventory, understanding the paperwork, et cetera.

So, Alison: have at it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 1, 2010
Apparently, one can be successful, without using commas or periods. So ... you might as well go for it! :-) Well .... maybe that's not true in PA ... :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 31, 2009
Real estate is 100% commission only do you have 1 - 2 years saved cover all your expenses. Real estate is expensive you need to determine what monthly fees are via, State, MLS, license, local board, broker fees, phones, car, insurance, gas, computer, internet connections, office supplies, signs, lock box, supra key, showing service, advertising costs.

I could continue provide basic data.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
I worked for the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia for 6 years and learned great customer service skills. The transition from Hotel to Real Estate is a natural. good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009

Cathy again- I forgot to mention, to get a better idea of what it really is to be a successful agent, you might want to spend some time on ActiveRain (real estate network). You can be learning a lot there about agent's good days and bad, etc...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
You will need reserves to tied you over between commission checks. You need to be able to discipline yourself and prospect. There are a lot of weekends and no days off. If you have a large sphere of influence that is good.

There will be people all over the place which want to sell you something to "help" you make money. Don't buy leads. Watch your bottom line and focus on your profitability, what you spend should result in a return on investment. Post cards, magazines, etc. tend to be a waste of funds here in CA.

I suggest you start going to open houses and start interviewing various agents on their thoughts about being an agent and other brokerages. Interview several brokerages as they are all different. Support and training is key in the beginning so a company like Keller Williams is excellent. The foundation of building a new career/business is essential to your success. Don't focus on the commission split from the broker, as it doesn't mean a bunch if you don't get the foundation.

You will find there is good and bad in Real Estate, same as with any other business. By doing your research on the different companies you should find one which fits you.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
Hi Alison,

Saying that are considering a career in Real Estae, I am assuming that you want to get in full time. I am seconding Odelia regarding Keller Williams, especially if you want to go full time and you can go through the first few months of training offered by your local KW.
Now, what you have to understand is that it may take you 6 month/1 year to start generating income. What does it mean to you? That you should have 1 year of living expenses in savings.
Also as a real estate agent, you will most likely be an individual contractor and should consider yourself a small business owner. What does it mean? That you should have in addition a set monthly budget allocated to start your "business" (advertizing, marketing, technology, fees, dues, membership...).

Catherine "Cathy" Chaudemanche
Real estate agent & Realtor associate
Agent Leadership Council
Metuchen Keller Williams / Middlesex County NJ market center
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009

Good luck in your new career. I agree with Bill, keep your current job so a steady income stream continues to come in while you work it hard nights, weekends and lunch breaks as a Realtor. It can be done.

Marketing yourself, getting in front of the public and giving the best customer service. Not much different than your current job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
Good Morning Alison,

Now is a good time to get your license. The market has shifted, many changes are in the horizon, and if you establish yourself now; you can have a good portion of market share when the market up swings.
In regards to choosing a broker to work with, choose one that has a good training program and pays well. There are offices that charge 50% from your commission, or those that charge monthly desk fees and a small portion taken from your commissions. If you are in the Philadelphia area and would like to discuss your options, I just opened an office and we offer our agents 100% commissions, training, coaching, marketing tools, and referrals.

Peter Lavelle, GRI
Branch Owner
Citizens Premier Real Estate
(215) 725-0500
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009

It really does take time to establish yourself as a real estate professional. From our perspective, one of the biggest obsticles is dealing with making a transition that includes an income that covers your expenses both business and personal.

If this is the direction that you choose to go, it may be beneficial to begin by keeping your current job as a means of steady income and filling in with real estate activity.

We feel there are means of employment that do contribute to growing a RE business. Your position in the hotel industry may very well be one of them. Having as much contact with the public as possible will only add to your potential for success.

By working evenings, weekends, lunch time, etc. you might be able to justify considering yourself a full time agent....something most brokers would consider appealing.

To do real estate right and be successful it requires hard work and determination.....if you can manage this level of commitment you may well be on your way.......

Best wishes,
The Eckler Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 30, 2009
Yes, Alison.

To prospect: Establish a contact database, and figure out how you are going to market to them - whether they are likely customers, or a likely source of referrals. Or, whether they're not appropriate to contact, for whatever reason.

I would send each of them three mailings within the first month - one announcing your career change "Alison15 is pleased to announce she has joined HousesDon'tSellThemselves Realty as a sales associate and welcomes the opportunity to discuss real estate with you," one to invite them to your first open house - it doesn't have to be your listing - and a follow up thanking them, as a group, for their support.

I would personally invite each of those contacts to meet with you for coffee to explain to them how you can be of service to them or people in their contact sphere, and to offer yourself as a referral source for them or for people they recommend. It's also a great opportunity to learn why they chose the agent they last worked with, and whether you have a chance to supersede them or not!

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To be worthwhile! Tour with fellow agents, hit as many brokers' opens as you can, take a lot of classes. Learn the inventory, and seek to understand why people choose particular houses!

Without clients, you're dead in the water, but you have to be able to provide knowledge and service!

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
If you are thinking of getting into the field, you need to have about 6 months bills saved. Because your first settlement will not be for at least a month after your first sale. You should also interview with as many different agencies as you can to get a feel for where you want to work, and their commission schedules. Some places you might have to pay 50% of your first few commissions. Keep in mind that if you sell a $300,000 house with a 6% commission that's 3% for you, that's $9000 minus whatever broker's fees you have to pay. If the broker charges 50% you are left with $4500 before taxes. Working in the sales department, you might be familiar with the self employment taxes, if not you should learn about them as well. I hope this gives you the information that you were looking for.

Thank You,
Brian Fletcher
Lincoln Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
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