I'm just a local business and finance nerd looking to help people get educated about small business, marketing, and personal finance! I write about anything and everything that I can tie into those themes. I'm also Central Florida's only Kilted Realtor, so I write about Real Estate too! Check out my About Me page to see the origins of Cash Flow Celt.
Conquering Your Financial Empire
Week one is in the books ladies and gentleman! I’ve concluded my first week in real estate as an agent with a brokerage. I need a vacation. If you haven’t read how I came to choose my brokerage, be sure to read it here. It’s now clearly apparent that Phil Dunphy, the REALTOR character in Modern Family, has lied to me. For all of his self-deprecating humor and carefree self, he led me to believe this thing was easy!
It’s been hectic. I still thought it would be a great idea to let you all in on what your first week as a real estate agent would look like. A lot of it follows exactly what you may think, but you may also be surprised. There is a lot of back-end work that goes into making your first week successful. There is also a lot of time that needs to be spent on one and done activities – which is frustrating.
First and foremost, when you get your license you are only a licensed real estate agent. That’s it. To enter the pearly white gates of REALTOR-dom you need to pay to play. In Florida you don’t technically need to be a REALTOR to buy and sell property for other people. Speaking pragmatically though, you do. Most brokers will require you to become a REALTOR to work with them – this means becoming a member of your local REALTOR association, as well as state and national. My local association also lumps your MLS access fee into this, so it ran me $1300. Getting the all-important access to the lockbox program ran me another $200.
Most brokers also charge you a sign-up fee. This fee is to compensate them for the onboarding process as well as the marketing materials they provide initially. Another $300. To my broker’s credit, he provides a website, 500 business cards, and a whole slew of training materials for this cost, so it’s got a lot of value.
In additional to that, you have your back-end charges. I decided that my generic broker webpage wouldn’t be sufficient, so I bought my own hosting and domain – another $350 for three years (less than $10 a month). I purchased a real estate theme for $47, and now it’s looking to take me probably 15-20 hours to get it completely set up. I’ll have marketing charges to buy mailers and some other advertising tools to the tune of $50-100. I’m also looking to really distinguish my brand by purchasing shirts and polo’s to wear with my kilt.
All told, I’ll be somewhere between $2300 and $2500 just to be “ready” to start selling real estate.
First week in real estate can be summarized as “expensive”. However, costs withstanding, it will still an incredible amount of effort. When people say real estate is a business and not a job, they’re right. I feel like I’m setting up a business. It may not be as much as I truly think it is; however, I, like many other beginning agents, am transitioning to this industry. That means I still have a full-time job. I’m doing all of these tasks on my days off and when I can though the day.
So let’s talk about some of those tasks. Well, the first goal was to let as many people as possible, as soon as possible, know that I’m now an agent! That entailed setting up a Facebook fan page (which you can find here). I am also preparing a letter to send out with some cards, and spiffy magnets to go on people’s refrigerator. These are pretty simple tasks.
The big projects, time wise, are the website and compiling my client database. I already mentioned the website is looking to run me about 20 hours; however, this database will take a solid amount of time. I’m hesitant to even try to guesstimate it.
Some other projects include rounding up any networking events around my area that I can attend. Real estate is still a sales job at its core. That means playing the numbers game and getting in front of as many faces as possible. On top of that I have the vast amounts of trainings that my brokerage offers, and the MLS and REALTOR associations mandate. I’m also already working with a few clients, so finding time to do all of these things is challenging.
I also need to buy a new kilt and sporran. Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself.
It’s been a lot of work for my first week in real estate. It won’t get easier, but the things that must be accomplished will have a more flexible schedule. Right now, I’m at the mercy of these organizations that run the introductory classes. Overall, for those considering real estate as a side hustle, I hope this has been informative. It’s a lot of work to put in the beginning, and a lot of work keeping your business running. It can also be lucrative and rewarding.
It can also be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I’ve only got a couple clients right now because I’m new, but I’ve already faced joy from prospecting new homes to the sadness of an unexpected turn that didn’t go their way. Here’s to another year of grinding out two jobs!
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