I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

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  1. that you have to have everything in writing. Don’t rely on anything less will save you lots of money and heartache
    my motto has been “where my word is my bond and accountability to the client is everything”!
    Not everyone lives by that!

  2. Good read. And yes, these are the important things that should be shared with our newbies.

  3. Michele Wolsky

    Thank you- it is very nice to see a Vetran Agent give some useful starter pointers. Greatly appreciated

  4. Gene Velharticky

    I am new and wanting to do the right thing to get started.

  5. Saying “no” was probably one of the hardest and most important lessons I’ve learned. I’d go out of my way to do ridiculous things for clients in the name of good service. I was often taken advantage of in those first two years.

    An older agent saw me spending time with the wrong people and shared the following two pieces of advice that shifted my perspective… “people will treat you as good or bad as you allow them” and “don’t mistake “activity” with “productivity”.

    Good article.

  6. 1) Contacts = contracts. Prospect daily.
    2) Education never ends. Leaders are readers.
    3) Set goals & have someone hold you accountable.
    4) Prospect, list, negotiate, & sell. Everything else can be delegated.
    5) Find a mentor & use them.

  7. Happy to get advice from a seasoned Realtor. Saying “yes” is good when you have good people with good intentions, but saying “no” wasn’t even in my realm of thoughts. Luckily, the negative people are not knocking at my door.
    Hope to hear more of your “I wish I knew articles.

  8. Jeff Bisnaw

    Excellent advice, very thought provoking……………

  9. Kevin Ronan

    Thank you for the suggestions. I am new to the real estate industry( 6 months since earning my license). Still waiting to complete my first transaction. Very anxious .

  10. Simple but effective article; thank you for sharing!

  11. Scott,

    I love your article.

    When I was a new agent, I went on a “Realtors tour” with one of the top agents in our office. In the 1-2 hours I spent with her in her car, I learned more about selling real estate than I learned in any “training” we got.

    It is unfortunate that so many Realtors are not willing to cooperate.

    I have since gone over to the “dark side” of IDX and real estate websites, but I have often thought how nice it would have been to do some sort of “apprenticeship” with a great agent.

    If I spent my time helping Diane with her website and other tech issues of her business, and just generally be her gofer, then even share all my listings and deals with her. I would have made a smaller percentage, but my business would have been so much bigger.

    I would recommend to any newbies coming in to watch the top producers in your office and see what you can do to help. Then approach one you feel you could work with and see if there is some way you could setup a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Thanks for the article,


    IDXGuys.com Premium Real Estate Websites. IDX Broker Customizations. Content Marketing for Real Estate

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I’ve come to realize that the wrong client will waste your time, but a dishonest client can also cause terrible damage to your reputation as an agent. You really have to choose your clients very carefully.

  13. Ron

    As a broker with 30 years experience, there’s a lot I’d add to this. While estimating what the (unrealistic) $200,000 a year income (in a market where average prices are around $200,000), I’d strongly suggest that the new(er) agent consult with a tax professional to discuss a “tax strategy” so that a large portion of that income doesn’t go to the IRS. I believe this is a MUST, especially if you’re relatively young and don’t have any experience as a self employed person. Have a budget, both business and personal and STICK TO IT!

    I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have your client meet with a lender for a thorough pre-approval PRIOR to making application. I see young / eager new agents (with a company uses a lot of RED in their signs) that meet someone interested in buying a home, put them in their car, show them 30+ homes and finally find one they like enough to write up. Negotiations are fierce, sellers want things their way as do the buyers. If it all comes together, THEN the buyer goes before a lender. WRONG! “What? I can’t have a judgement for unpaid child support? What? I can’t be in debt to the max with car, truck, boat, jet ski loans and get a loan for a house? What do you mean I don’t qualify for a $800 month house payment? I pay $850 month in rent! What do you mean I only qualify for a $50,000 home loan instead of the $200,000 loan?” …. And the list goes on and on. DO THE HOME WORK FIRST! GET THE BUYER BEFORE A COMPETENT LENDER PRIOR TO SHOWING THEM HOMES!

    One other thing I learned early on in my career, if your buyer is a new / first time buyer, ask them if there’s anybody else that will be making the final decision when they find the “right home”. I learned quickly how a parent the “kids” want to view their favorite before making an offer can kill a deal quickly because they have no idea what $XXX,XXX will buy in any given market. It was so common to hear a parent say, “My own home didn’t cost this much” ……. and they’d purchased their home 15 years earlier! Take the parent, grand parent ……. benefactor, along with you on showings so they too will realize that the one the “kids” love is the best one out there for their money!

    Last thing that comes to mind has to do with working with other real estate professionals. ANSWER YOUR PHONE AND COMMUNICATE WITH THE OTHER BROKER WHEN YOU ARE CALLED AFTER YOU SHOW ONE OF THEIR LISTINGS! It is natural for a seller to know what YOUR buyer thought of their home, even if it is derogatory! You will learn how to use negative comments about your seller’s home in a way that will help them make their home more attractive to the next buyer. Simple things like de-personalizing the home by taking down the scads of family pictures, cleaning off the refrigerator of pictures, magnets, drawings by kids and grandkids can do wonders in the “eye of the buyer”. I get about 4 listing agents calling for “showing feedback” out of 10 to 15 homes shown. This is very sad. At the same time, it is generally about 60% of the agents that will respond to showing requests. In my area, it is the “Red company” that has apparently been taught that providing showing feedback can work against your buyer should they write a lower offer. In 30 years, I can’t think of a time that a seller didn’t want to hear that the buyer liked their home! It is ridiculous to have to text a broker for feedback or worse, to back door them by calling through the office to get them to answer their phone. Remember, “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND”.

    Last thing, want to go into real estate? Get a mental examination first! Your slavery is about to begin! Good luck! I wouldn’t do it again!

  14. laura

    Thank you for your advice. I just obtained my license and I’m in the process of selecting an agency. I def. Left real estate classes thinking im going to be the best and kill it in my first year out but the more agents I speak with and the more I read I realize this probably will not be the case. Its better to know that upfront than to assume I will be selling house after house my first year and then feel bad about my career if I dont!!

  15. Caroline

    Thank you so very much for this article. Thank you so much for sharing, I find in this business the vets tend to be really vague or tight lipped about their early experiences. I wish that I had read this a year ago. It would have saved me so much time and money. Truly enjoyed it.