5 myths about working in real estate
The real estate industry has evolved so much that it is fraught with misconceptions that outsiders disseminate. Some such rumors are partial truths and are reminders of old, malicious practices like accepting kickbacks. However, others are complete distortions of reality and can even hurt your career if you base your decisions on them by mistaking them for facts.
Suppose you are a young professional eager to jump-start a career in the cutthroat world of real estate. In that case, you should be well aware of the most common rumors surrounding its professionals so that you don’t fall prey to the same.
1. Brokers Get Kickbacks
Kickbacks were a serious issue in the pre-1973 real estate industry. They interfered directly with agents’ fundamental and fiduciary responsibility to their clients. Moreover, as there were fewer regulations in the industry back then, the practice of kickbacks often put homeowners at a disadvantage.
To curb kickbacks, Congress passed the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in 1974. It is now a full-fledged federal statute that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforces. Now, suppose any real estate professional is guilty of accepting kickbacks. In that case, it can land them in serious legal trouble and result in the termination of their license.
2. Self-Promotion Isn’t Worth It
As a real estate professional, you’ll likely be working for a company or an agency. The agency will surely have a marketing budget, a team, and well-planned marketing strategies. Although that can be very effective for the corporate brand, you should also invest in your personal brand.
Here are some key reasons why personal branding is highly effective in real estate:
• A strong personal brand will ensure that you don’t have to build your reputation from scratch if you move companies/locations.
• It will help forge stronger relationships with clients who might offer you business individually instead of hiring your agency.
• It will help you find more clientele, which will undoubtedly boost promotional aspects in your company.
3. Closing Gifts Are a Waste of Money
Closing gifts are a hotly debated part of real estate. Some real estate professionals consider them an invaluable tool to forge stronger relationships with clients, while others deem it a complete waste of time and money.
Both opinions are correct. However, the pros of closing gifts outweigh the cons, especially for industry freshers who aren’t adept at networking or building connections. The reasons are:
• They help you be more memorable to your clients- It can help you stand out from your competitors and cement positive relationships with them.
• They serve as excellent promotional materials- Stressing on the efficacy of personal branding, promotional materials like branded pens, cups, tote bags, and so on are extremely useful and excellent advertising tools. You can also get high-quality custom water bottles from Quality Logo Products, another excellent choice for promotional material.
• Each closing gift is tax-deductible up to $25– They’re a great way to save some money right after closing a big deal!
4. You’ll Always Set Your Own Schedule
While agents and brokers are like small business owners, not punching a clock from nine to five, your schedule will not be totally up to you. Suppose you work for an agency or a brokerage. In that case, your supervisors can always hand out assignments to you beyond conventional work hours. On the other hand, if you operate independently, you will still be duty-bound to honor your clients’ requests, even at odd hours.
However, unlike healthcare professionals, you’d still have some control over your schedule. Since you will not get paid until you make a sale, allowing some flexibility to your routine can help you build more clientele and lead to more profits!
5. Making the Sale is the Most Important Part
The sale is very important from a financial aspect (since most agents make money from commission fees). However, real estate is also about building relationships and networking, not just with clients, but also with other professionals, colleagues, and even competitors.
Forging stronger relationships isn’t just being polite or offering closing gifts. It can sometimes mean holding off on a sale until you can find the perfect situation/rate/home for your clients. Your clients will surely notice your professionalism and recommend you to their families and friends and come back to you in case they need help again. It will help you stand out to your clients and make you more successful in the long run.
The Grass May Not Be Greener On The Other Side
Deciding on a career is a life-changing decision. However, young professionals often get allured by misconceptions surrounding a profession only to realize their mistake after the proverbial “point of no return.” The real estate industry is no stranger to rumors, so be careful not to mistake myth for fact.