-A Q & A session with The Mike McCann Team
The real estate field is a fast-paced culture full of motivated and success-driven individuals that consistently push themselves in order to serve their clients and reach their personal goals. An environment such as this, with large transactions, professional dress, extreme caffeine consumption and a whirlwind of activity, may give people an image of a cutthroat, Wolf of Wall Street/Boiler Room business atmosphere. Well, I am here to tell you that this is simply not the case. During my time working closely with a wide range of real estate professionals, I have not only witnessed a high level of ethical and moral practices but also a warmhearted and compassionate approach to business dealings.
One thing that caught me off guard upon entering into the real estate sphere was the welcoming nature of professionals in the field and their genuine desire to provide guidance and share knowledge. I quickly found that my new casual acquaintances were becoming fast friends. They seemed to be invested in my success, while going well out of their way to make connections, discuss possibilities and offer a helping hand wherever possible. Real estate pros truly grow by helping others to succeed. When I learned that my dear friend, Holly Chmielewski was becoming an agent I immediately referred her to The Mike McCann Team with full confidence that they would provide her with quality advice and answer all of the important questions that new agents have when they enter the field.
Of course, The Mike McCann Team was more than willing to share their experience and wisdom. We thought we might share the discussion that took place in order to help other real estate newcomers.
Why did you start working in Real Estate and why would you recommend this career?
“Personally, I entered this field because it is in my blood. My family has been in real estate my entire life and I have always admired the excitement and unlimited potential that the field provides. I would recommend a career in real estate, because it allows you to be an independent business owner, while still having the benefit of a strong support system which includes an established brand identity, office space, connections and colleagues. Also, the schedule is flexible and there is no glass ceiling regarding potential income.” – Jim Onesti
What kinds of skills or experience will I need in a real estate career and what skills will I gain while working in this field?
“You should definitely hone your networking skills and master marketing strategies. You will need an active mind, a creative spirit, a sense of adventure and a desire to conquer the unknown. A career in real estate requires a true desire to help others and explore your environment all day, every day. You need a lot of energy, because this job rarely involves sitting behind a desk and it is a 24/7 responsibility that tends to encompass your entire life.
“You’ll learn to be an amateur psychologist and therapist. Real estate transactions are sometimes very emotional events and on occasion emotions supersede rational thought. At those times, we, as advocates for clients, need to help a client see through the chaotic fog of emotion and show them a clear rational path to their goals. Our experience is the clarity that our clients rely on to guide them through a sometimes stressful time.” – Richard Fravel
What will my hours be like?
“Honestly? Real Estate is a 24/7 commitment. Unless you are sleeping, you are probably working. Also, make sure you are ready to work around the schedules of your clients.” – Bibe Chin
What will a typical day consist of?
“There is no typical day in real estate. However, there are predictable actions that happen any time, any day of the week. You will definitely find yourself showing houses, communicating updates and recommendations to clients, emailing and calling prospects, attending home inspections and settlements, marketing your listings, preparing for and hosting open houses and, of course, crisis management. Being able to manage your time and manage the unexpected in a calm fashion are probably the two most important traits for long-term success.
“It is also important to recognize and take advantage of down time which may come on a Monday at noon or a Thursday morning. Relish it! Go out to breakfast, see a movie, read a book, take a day at the beach. Your schedule is not the typical 9-5. In order to make it all work, you truly have to love real estate!”- Pam Rosser Thistle
How much money will I need to start up my business?
“I would recommend being prepared to support yourself for at least 6 months.”
– Stuart Cohen
What are most clients looking for in an agent? What must I do to get clients?
“Clients want agents who get back to them quickly, know the local market and can get them the house that they want or sell their house for the most money. They also depend on you to make what can be a stressful time – a smooth experience.
“From an emotional standpoint, they want your attention, time and even admiration for what they are doing. You need to take the spotlight off yourself and focus on your clients and their needs. Talk some, but it is more important to ask questions to get clients to reveal their motivations and needs.
“In order to gain new clients, sometimes it is just a matter of being available; for example, being present at an open house. Many clients will actively seek an agent on their own, which is why marketing yourself is extremely important. Most leads come from open houses, referrals, web-based leads, networking and mailings. Once you have a prospect, give them info that they cannot get somewhere else – such as a new listing you know of that might work for them, a connection to a lender or an explanation of the 10-year tax abatement program. You should strive to become their go-to resource.
“You must have systems for staying connected to longer-term prospects. I send emailed postcards every week, letting people know where I will host open houses. My open houses are my office hours. If someone wants to see me live, I tell them to come to my open house.” – Pam Rosser Thistle
How do I determine if clients are serious about making a transaction or not?
“Serious buyers will take recommendations such as getting preapproved and looking into suggested homes and neighborhoods. They typically have a good idea of what they are looking for and are willing to invest time exploring neighborhoods on their own. They will also make decisions quickly. If they start asking you real estate related questions and are familiar with what’s on the market, they are probably good prospects. Someone who wants to buy will take as much time as they need, 24/7, no apologies. They will text you at midnight if a good house comes on the market – asking you to show it to them before work the next day.
“You can also simply ask them how serious they are about making a transaction directly, as long as you do so in a friendly and professional manner.” – Andrea Boelter
What is the best way to learn the real estate business?
“In order to be successful in this field you must find an experienced mentor and take every class your Broker offers. You should always attend conventions and take as many classes as you can while you are there. Continue to read up on real estate news in order to stay informed and be sure to keep up to date with all of the necessary documents as well as the constant changes and updates. I would suggest working every open house that you can in order to develop your sphere of influence. Most importantly, be available.” – Mike McCann
What is the best way for me to get experience and training early on?
“The first step is to find a good mentor. After that, I strongly recommend sitting in on open houses in order to learn and network as much as possible. You can also reach out to veteran agents for shadowing opportunities. If you choose to join a team, you will be provided with a built-in support system and a great deal of knowledge from experienced professionals. I have personally learned a lot from joining private, real estate related Facebook groups and simply previewing available inventory. Beyond that, I recommend getting out into the community and volunteering in order to build relationships and bond with your peers.” – Michael Goldstein
Are open houses a good use of my time?
“Without a doubt! Open houses are an incredible way for young agents to get started. We sell a ton of houses, because of open houses. Many buyers who do not want to be tied to agents go and shop on the weekends. It is a great way to meet people, be a source of info, learn the inventory, and meet prospective buyers.” – Ryan McCann
What technology will I need to learn? What equipment will I need?
“First off, a good smart phone is absolutely essential because you must be able to keep in touch with your clients and access TREND on the move. It is also crucial to keep up with new advancements that will help you to become more efficient and assist with marketing. Also, GPS is definitely a must!” – Lauren Acker Kratz
Should I join a team?
“Yes, in my personal experience, joining a team is the best move a young agent can make. Instead of just jumping into the business, you will be able to get training, advice and experience from your teammates. In my case, the team that I joined also had incredible assistants and systems that help to maximize efficiency. This allows me to focus on what I do best… selling houses!” – Ryan McCann
What area should I focus on?
“I would suggest that new agents work in areas where they feel comfortable and knowledgeable. They should also research local developments and up-and-coming areas. When they settle on some general boundaries, they want to be as informed as possible about that location. They should know the pricing of sales and rentals as well as the demographics and desirable features of properties. You need to know what people are looking for!” – Paul Chin
Hopefully this advice is helpful and assists new agents to hit the ground running. Fortunately for real estate newbies, the answers to all of their important questions are typically only a desk, text or phone call away.
One piece of advice that almost every agent on our team seemed to want to impress upon up-and-coming agents is that the key to success in real estate is working hard and absolutely loving what you do. We wish Holly Chmielewski good luck and an amazing real estate career.
Written by Patrick Kaisinger (Mike McCann Team Blogger Extraordinaire)