Wanted: A job with an 87% Failure Rate.
I read a report recently that said 130,000 people became Realtors since the pandemic. In fact, there are more Realtors than listings for sale!!!
In Florida there are 275,000 licensed Realtors and in Palm Beach Country over 26,400 (I actually added it up).
Palm Beach County is unusual in that I estimate that we have 4.5 times as many Realtors as the rest of the country. I did a scientific study (asking a Broker friend in Richmond Virginia) who had a similar county size population and they had 6,000 Realtors. That is probably about right.
Why do we have so many Realtors?
- It sounds so posh! “I’m a luxury real estate agent” sounds better than “I wash dishes”. The dishwasher might be making infinitely times more than the “luxury real estate agent” with the glamorous head shot taken in 1998 and photoshopped to death – but image is everything as they say.
- It seems easy! Look at dem yo yo’s. You open a door, and they buy a mansion. Those guys aint dumb. Great Room floor plan and fabulous view. That’s the way you do it. Money for nothing and your checks for free.
- Safety School. The test is like getting into your safety school. Granted it is a lot of hours and you do have to study, but it’s not medical school or beauty school.
- Default profession. In Florida it really is because most of our jobs are hospitality oriented. You are either a realtor, mortgage broker, financial advisor, restaurateur, contractor, entertainer, in the golf or boating fields, or in the medical industry. I was in the textile field before real estate. That is a New York business for the most part and we just haven’t had those specific industries here, although that is changing.
Why is the Success Rate So Low?
- Because it’s hard work! Every Realtor of ours I have ever talked to never really got how much hard work was involved in the interview process. The test on the exam means nothing. There is so much knowledge that is needed. Contract knowledge, inventory knowledge, research knowledge, computer knowledge, marketing knowledge, etc.
- Training is Awful. It’s the best part of what we do. We do a lot of 1-1 specific training and role playing over real-world situations. Every other firm does big classroom settings and is really “make it on your own”. Our staff to agent ratio is high per agent. One has to make sure the training program is good. 3 to 6 months go by quickly.
- Follow Up Skills. For whatever reason, things move slower in Florida. Follow up is demanded and must happen fast. A New York Minute frame of mind definitely translates because most don’t have it.
- It’s a Sales Job. Liking people, touring homes, enjoying design are all good ancillary/enhancement reasons but if you are not strong at sales and follow up, then forget it.
- It’s a Particular Type of Sales Job. It’s not a retail type of sales job where everyone comes to you like at a car dealership or even new home sales. You’d better be good at outreach and networking.
- Handling the Negative. Lots of negative can happen in real estate sales. It’s emotional and not always rational. Realtors don’t always return calls. People can be at their best and their worst.
- Handling Rejection. If you don’t have a thick skin, then forget about it. It isn’t personal.
- Handling the Stress. Not as easy as it seems. See the above. When you are handling a lot, you need to take a lot of deep breaths.
Is Real Estate For You?
- Must Work Twice as Hard in the Beginning. This is because you don’t have the knowledge and don’t have a pipeline. What you do today may not pay off for 6 months or 6 years from now.
- Must have a Reserve. We pay for all our agents’ marketing costs. This lets them concentrate on selling and not be bogged down with costs. Since there is no pipeline, agents often try to save too much money and don’t put it into marketing or lead generation. They run out of cash quickly.
- Must be Willing to Persevere. It’s a patience game in the beginning. You have to look at the first year as building your pipeline, learning, and not wasting a minute. There is too much competition.
- Must have Sales Sense and a Sense of Urgency. Lackadaisical types and not loving the hunt just won’t cut it.
- Must Enjoy It! I always ask the question of what an individual wanted to do when they were a kid, and why real estate now. They have to love what they are doing and be people pleasers.
If you made it this far, WE WANT YOU! Check us out and Apply!
Jeff Lichtenstein is owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury real estate brokerage selling real estate in Jupiter and homes in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has 20 years of real estate experience, has closed over a 1,000 transactions, and manages over 50 agents in a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Some publications he has been quoted in.
Feel free to ask him a question directly at jeff@EchoFineProperties.com.