Property Grunt

Monday, March 28, 2005

Response to Reader email

Below is my response to the email a reader sent me who is pondering an opportunity to join the Grunt and the rest of real estate army. The content has been edited to protect the identity of the reader which the Grunt has promised so feast on my wisdom.

Dear Fresh Meat I mean NAME WITHHELD,

Young Padawan, take a deep breath, sit down and relax. I will first tell you that it is up to you whether to take the red or blue pill. But hopefully what I have to say will clarify your choices.

First of all congratulations on your offer from NAME WITHHELD. There are many perks of being an agent including making your own hours and working from home which is probably why it is the profession of choice for single and stay at home parents. There really is no salary cap in being an agent. It all depends on how many deals you close and of course what your split is.

Are there drawbacks in being an agent? I would say that one needs to make certain adjustments. I am not sure where you are working now but I assume that you have health insurance and other types of benefits? See if you can carry over the benefits as long as you can. As a contractor you have to fend for yourself in getting your own health insurance and taking care of your own expenses. Also see if you can get laid off by your employer so you will be able to file for unemployment. I knew one broker who arranged to get benefits and severance from his previous job giving him breathing room to be a broker. Say goodbye to your weekends. Every Sunday will be dedicated to working the open house whether they are your own or taking buyers to them. If you are doing rentals, you will be pounding the pavement on Saturdays with clients.

It is imperative that you are aware of the the status of the shortage of inventory in Manhattan which has contributed to higher prices. Deals are being put together at a pace that was unheard of years ago. This has made all of our jobs a helluva lot harder because what is out there has a tendency of being overpriced, is not what our buyers are looking for and if it is bidding wars that conclude at best and final are par for the course.

You can make a ton of money in this business but it takes effort, patience and time. Remember, the money does not come over night. It takes the average of 3-5 months to close a sales deal which means any rewards will come after long hours in the office and in the field. Even before the real estate boom, the agent profession always had a reputation of having a high turnover rate because many agents could not deal with the parameters for success in this industry.

I see you remember the days of the cisco and microsoft certification. How I miss, Urbanfetch and all that unadulterated excess. This insane market reminds me of those days since it has gotten everyone in a tizzy throwing money at anything that has the word property attached to it and running for a license to cash in. I know one girl who is considering leaving her gig in NYC to go to Florida to do deals.

Make no mistake, once the bubble pops the license will not be as popular. But unlike the cisco and microsoft certification, the real estate license is very versatile and comes in very handy regardless of the state of the economy. When will the market pop and how bad will it be? If I knew that I would not be writing this email but putting down an all cash offer for an island in the Caribbean.

Success comes in different ways and sizes. I know one broker who is a complete slob but since he started he has been putting together deals at a ferocious pace. There is another broker I know who has a pipleline of referrals from financial sector because of his contacts there and probably eats steak every night.

There are three factors that I have seen that make the successful agent.

1. A strong referral netwrok:Having friends, family and acquaintances spreading the word that you are in the business
2. Product knowledge: Mastering at least one area of the city.
3. Rolling with the punches: Customers can be insane. Be able to overlook that and keep doing your job. Within reason of cOurse. If you feel threatened by a buyer. Ditch em and tell them to take it personally.

If you do not have any of these attributes, that's okay. They can be acquired over time.

Please do not base your decision on this email alone. I am just one of many opinions out there and I recommend you discuss this with other professionals in the field. .

Also when you take the state test I recommend getting there as early as possible. The lines have become quite long and they do not offer the test everyday. From what I hear some brokers are walking down the line recruiting brand spanking new agents to work for them. Btw, tell NAME WITHHELD I said hello. And take his advice about lawyers and chewing gum.

Thank you for reading my blog. I am glad that my experiences can be of use to you. If you have any other questions please feel free to email me.


The Grunt

So what do you think folks? Am I right?