I hope you're having a great weekend! Great job getting your kids into the Walnut Creek school district!
Based on your situation, I believe that you could be a great fit for our boutique brokerage. Over half of our agents are mothers and cannot do real estate full time so they just use their licenses when friends & family have a house to sell / buy / lease. With our brokerage there is no pressure to perform, no monthly fees, no meeting requirements, or event requirements. However, they can contact me whenever they want for help. I very rarely offer unsolicited suggestions as their business is their business.
As the broker, I give all of our agents my full support & attention. I review their transactions to make sure everything is perfect. I want to protect my agents (and myself) as much as possible. I even studied real estate contract law, condensed the information, and sent my agents a "cheat sheet" on what forms / disclosures to send and when to send them. I also taught them how to use online ZipForms and eSign so they can complete transactions on iPads or from their homes while watching their kids.
Right now, we are based out of Southern California but I plan on expanding to NorCal. I am quite familiar with the bay area as I graduated from UC Berkeley and worked as a consultant with several businesses in Walnut Creek, Emeryville, S.F., and Berkeley. I have my C.I.P.S., RSPS, and TRC. I am also working to add a number of other National Association of Realtors Designations and Certifications.
I just launched our website and am working to make it even more professional. You are more than welcome to have your own dedicated homepage with us.
I would need to meet with you at some point so we can get to know each other. It's very important to me that we only have good quality people in our brokerage. You also want to make sure you work with a broker that's knowledgeable, professional, and responsible.
Good Luck in your search! I hope you find your perfect fit!
Golden Land Investments & Financial, Inc.
Being on the team of a successful agent is a great idea, if you can agree on how much time you can devote to the job. Some agents have team members who just handle short sale paper work, while others prospect for listings, and others work with buyers. Being a buyer's agent for a top producing agent would be a great way to get your feet wet. You wouldn't have to prospect for leads, and you would have someone supervising you as you write offers and negotiate contracts. You would learn all the ways a deal can fall apart, and learn to anticipate and avoid problems. You would also have someone to take over when you aren't available or when you are in over your head.
While buyers are a lot more time-intensive, they are also a much better referral source than sellers, because you have plenty of time to get to know buyers while you are looking at houses, and the happy end of the transaction--moving into their home--makes them want to tell their friends about you, provided you have made the process as pleasant and easy for them as possible.
Tierra Antigua Realty
Thank you so much for each of your wonderful advice & tips. At the same time, thank you so much for taking your time to view this questions & answer to my questions with extra helpful feed backs even though I am a total stranger to you. I am truly touched by all of your thoughtfulness.
I take each words you have said seriously and will try to come up with the best solution that fits to my current position and I am also willing to make some adjustments to be able to pursue this real estate business even though I am in a bit difficult position at this time. I truly believe people can do most of the things, if they are truly willing to make changes with a strong drive. (It's always easy to make excuse not to do it......)
I am originally from Japan, and I had never imagined me getting a real estate license here in U.S with a different language, but I did it with all my efforts, 110 percent. (I am sure it was easy for you all but It was a big achievement for me...lol)
Now, the next step....is a bit scary for me, but I know I can do it and it's all up to me.
With my background of 5 yrs property management here, good common sense, good education in Japan, abilities to be able to pay attentions to details, great hospitality spirit, and great people skill.... I think I can make myself to become one of a kind realtor someday........ someday.............. lol
One thing.....if I ever would like to find a mentor broker or agent, would it be a good idea to start as an assistant so I will get to be familiar with transactions etc and also will be able to get some experiences as it goes by....? Just wondering......
Once again, thank you so much.
Real Estate is not rocket science. Most of the forms are standardized and come free with ZipForms. That's one of the reasons why licensing requirements for agents / salespeople are so low. That being said, ideally all Realtors would strive to be the best in their field. Knowledge is power and the most knowledgeable brokers are kings (and queens)."
Now onto some issues that other agents have brought up. All of the expenses that a Realtor pays can be made up with one deal. My association offers free Continuing Education classes. If you want to take classes that are more interesting to you, you'll probably have to pay $50 per class. If you want to do the whole 45 hours (required every FOUR years) in one shot, my association sells an online package for $89.
Our brokerage is one of the best in our city (I plan to make it one of the best in the world). We do not charge our agents monthly fees and we do not take hefty commissions. Yet, I still personally care for each and every one of my agents. Why? Because that's how it should be. I treat them how I would want to be treated.
One last note: referral commissions in California cannot be paid to unaffiliated agents. They CAN ONLY BE PAID TO BROKERS.
Real estate is more than a full time job. Having a real estate license means you know some of the laws pertaining to real estate transactions. No one learns how to sell houses in real estate school. A lot of supervised experience is needed, and that takes a willingness to take classes, attend meetings, and do enough transactions to be exposed to the various ways an agent can get himself or his client sued.
Agents who want to do an occasional deal, and don't have the time to learn how to do their job correctly, are a hazard to themselves, their broker, their clients, other agents, and other agents' clients.
In this market, things happen very quickly. If you don't have your buyer make an offer on a house the first day on market, the buyer may not get the house. If you aren't able to respond to a counter offer or submit more documents to a short sale seller's lender within 24 hours, your client will lose out. They will wish they hired a full time agent, and they will tell their friends about their unhappy experience. Overcoming a bad reputation is a huge task, especially in the age of the internet.
Having an active real estate license is expensive. You need to pay membership fees in your local, state and national Realtor associations. You need to pay for access to the MLS listings, as well as an annual fee for the key that opens MLS key safes. You pay for errors and omissions insurance. Continuing education classes are mandatory and not free. You will be competing for business against agents who have gone far beyond the basics and have acquired designations indicating their expertise in various aspects of real estate sales: buyer's representatives, residential specialists, eco-friendly housing, short sales, senior citizen clients, international clients, clients who communicate primarily by social media, and on and on. All those designations have annual fees. Your brokerage will either have a monthly affiliation fee or take a transaction fee or large percentage of your commissions. You will have marketing costs when you have a listing, even if the listing doesn't sell. You will burn gasoline and printer ink, and wear out your car showing houses to buyers who may not buy. An agent needs to do a few transactions a year just to pay all his/her overhead.
Hang your license with a reputable brokerage, find an experienced agent to refer your prospects to, and collect your referral fees until you are able to give your real estate business the time it requires. Have your real estate partner keep you apprised of the difficulties and set backs he/she encounters working with your shared clients. It will be a valuable education.
Tierra Antigua Realty
My broker allows "referring agents" which might be a good fit for you. What you would do is hang your license with us and refer business to an active agent. This way you do not have to pay all of the E&O and Technology fees that you would normally face. Let me know if you want more info.
I totally understand your desire to get yourself started in this business. But it is a FULL time job with OVERTIME!
It would really be beneficial for you to ask a very successful agent (that may or may not work with a team) and ask them what your work load will be.
Not only do you need to market yourself with business cards and face to face contact, but you should be actively working on know your area, the market, how to write an offer, how to best represent your buyers or your sellers in a market such as the one we are in at present.
I would find a successful agent (woman) who has been in the business for a good while (10 years) who has had children and had no extra help. They may have some great advice for you. They may also be a really good source to refer to for you. You could place your license at that office and refer the leads to that agent.
In answer to your question, yes it would be a great idea to start as an assistant to an established agent. In fact one of the top agents in my brokerage of over 500 agents started out in that way and she freely acknowledges how valuable that was.
The key here though, is to check out any agent (or team) that may take you on. Some agents seem to go through assistants at an alarming rate, while others have assistants they have had for many years.
Good luck to you, whatever you decide.
Another option to consider is to be a referral. Since you have your license and a network of potential clients, you can refer them to vetted Realtors and collect the referral fee.
Seems like a win-win.
Chad Gray PA, Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
The important part of being a realtor is staying up on all of the laws and it is the job of the Broker to make sure you do this. If you cannot attend meetings where this is brought up, then the solution I have found is for you to partner with another agent in the office and between the two of you, you can make a great team. I have found this to be a real life solution. Also statistics show that a two person team is 70% more likely to get a listing. You will split your commissions but it is better than no business at all.
Q: I started wondering I should at least affiliate with broker and have my own business cards so I can start spreading my name through many people I get to know.
A: Legally, you have to hang your license with a broker (unless you obtained your own brokerâ€™s license). Itâ€™s the only way you can practice real estate, which includes handing out cards, etc. So â€¦ if you want to start functioning as a real estate agent or Realtor, then the answer to your question is YES. In reality, you should also be a member of BAYEast Association of Realtors as well so you can search the MLS, post listings, get an MLS key, have access the MLS listings for buyer tours, etc.
Q: Are there any broker who let me affiliate without me attending regular realtor's meetings, other events at this time?
A: Yes â€“ but every broker is going to have a fee structure of some kind. In reality, you need to attend some of the events so you can start getting a feel for the market and start your training.
Q: As I mentioned, I am a full time mom with 3 & 4 yrs old and my current focus is to spread my name as much as I can through people I get to know at schools and classes. Thank you.
A: The issue is not being able to spread your name and cards â€“itâ€™s what happens once you actually get a buyer client or a listing. You need extensive training to understand how this all works and ongoing training and accountability â€“ there is SO much more to it than meets the eye. Iâ€™m the leader of a high-volume team, and all of us on the team spend extensive time taking courses and keeping current on all things real estate so that we can (1) understand how the market is evolving, (2) understand the changing legal issues we encounter in our transactions and (3) represent our clients to the best of our ability and ensure they get the absolute best service possible.
You need to know the rules for showing homes, for writing offers â€“ you need to have access to the forms, you need training to understand the forms â€¦ you will need a LOT of training. To be honest, experienced agents dread getting offers from newbieâ€™s who donâ€™t have extensive training and full support behind them â€“ there are too many variables and too many things that can go wrong. We just went through a transaction like this and it was a horrible experience for all parties concerned.
My advice? Find a top-notch full-service LOCAL broker or Team, figure out how you can take advantage of their training and accountability and they will help you with the rest. This is not something you can dabble in â€“ thereâ€™s too much at stake. When I hear a broker say things like, â€œI very rarely offer unsolicited suggestions as their business is their business,â€ I have to confess â€“ that scares me. Your business IS the brokerâ€™s business and a good broker is there to help supervise, offer proactive advice and training to ensure you donâ€™t make VERY expensive mistakes.