In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward

Opportunity seen for new realty agents

By: Don Kirkland

Nov. 4, 2006

Remember September 2005? That’s when you made up your mind to chuck the 9-to-5 routine and start cashing in on those real estate megabucks that were dangling from nearly every tree limb in town.

Oops, bad timing.

That was when home sales started to slide and a lot of Realtor newbies started wondering if they’d made such a good choice after all.

And while declining sales may have caused some agents to consider yet one more career change, Realtors with a broader industry perspective say the current slowdown could produce as many benefits as it has disappointments.

“It’s going to be beneficial to have some attrition among the ‘oneseys’ and ‘twoseys,’” says ERA Lucas Group marketing director Randy Goff, referring to agents who jumped on board when sales were at a feverish pace but will sell only one or two properties throughout their short-lived careers.

As the market cools, according to Goff, established brokers throughout the Kyrene Corridor are quietly recruiting a new crop of sales   professionals—serious-minded, focused men and women who still believe that the Valley’s future will continue to be paved with the gold of residential real estate.

“For people willing to work hard, to follow the right formulas, real estate sales holds no less promise today than it did a year ago,” says Goff.

However, those are important “ifs,” he emphasizes.

Because Arizona’s fairyland real estate atmosphere has passed, at least for now, agents starting in the field should be ready to work harder than their predecessors. They should not be on the brink of financial disaster—it takes 30 to 45 days to get your first check, even if you make a sale your first day on the job—and they should have a small reserve to pay for marketing via newsletters, advertising and other tried and true strategies.

Even so, says Goff, it’s still a hugely attractive field. With proper training and company support, real estate holds the same lucrative promise it always has for housewives whose kids are grown and gone, for early retirees ready to tackle a new opportunity or for people who have been, or think they’re about to be, laid off by their current company.

Interestingly, according to Goff, a background in sales isn’t required for people considering careers in real estate, nor is it necessarily desirable.

“The main qualifications are integrity, an ability to communicate and a desire to serve people,” he says. “The skills can be learned.”

As for prospective agents who say they wouldn’t know where to start, Goff advises the new agent to go through basic training with a knowledgeable mentor, then to develop a niche based on his or her individual strengths.

“We know that most new agents can’t compete with professionals who have been in the field for years,” said Goff. “So we encourage them to work with a specific strategy:” Internet marketing, developing contacts with for-sale-by-owner sellers, telemarketing, classified ads, tapping into their existing spheres of influence, for example.

While no one of these or other templates can guarantee immediate success, experience shows that the sale of only one home a month can generate $50,000 a year in commissions, according to Goff.

As to those concerned about a declining real estate market, Goff says such a condition has its advantages.

“At the end of this year, 80 to 90 percent of the marginal Realtors will let their licenses expire,” due partly, he says, to the approximate $400 cost of renewal.

The resulting void, he says, coupled with the Valley’s bright job prospects and continuing growth potential, should provide more than enough incentive to attract newcomers.

Scott Agnew, managing partner of Keller Williams East Valley Realty and other Keller Williams franchises, agrees with Goff’s assessment, noting that current market conditions are less an aberration and more like real estate used to be.

“This is the kind of market it was when I got into it,” says Agnew. “You had to knock on doors, do prospecting, follow up within minutes. It was a great way to learn because that was ‘normal,’ and that’s how normal real estate is done.”

In those days, he adds, “The older Realtors were out there licking their wounds; I was out there doing business. I didn’t know any different.”

During the past several years, conditions have created a somewhat illusory environment, according to Agnew, resulting in agents who don’t understand the need for organization, focus and hard work.

He likens the current state of the industry to starting any business, emphasizing the need to have the financial resources to survive the inherent rigors.

“You wouldn’t start a business without operating capital, and you wouldn’t launch a career in real estate thinking you weren’t going to have some expenses.”

Agnew also advises anyone considering such a career to seek out brokerages that are learning-based and that teach the fundamentals a new entrepreneur needs to succeed.

“It’s a training and accountability environment a newcomer needs, not one that just provides them with leads.”

Agnew likens the development of a successful Realtor to another segment of today’s society.

“If you want to be an awesome chef, you go to culinary school; if you just want to be a weekend cook, then watch The Food Channel.”


web site hit counter