See that first blog post from me below? See how it’s dated March 2017? Turns out, as simple as real estate can be to get started in, it takes quite some time to build up all of the necessary resources and learn the system well enough to market yourself effectively. Who is going to search online for “real estate agent near me with no sales yet”? The beginning of this career can be a grind, but it’s also a great time to build your foundation solid as a rock so when you do start working with clients, you can give them quality service that they deserve.
As a new agent, you can also expect to work with a few renters first (those million dollar buyers and sellers will come with time). Although everyone knows real estate agents make their salaries from commission, and commission on helping someone buy a $500,000 house is much more than helping someone rent a $1500/month townhouse, beggars can’t be choosers. Plus the experience gained is invaluable to an early career real estate agent and those renters who you connect with may look to you down the road when they’re ready to buy a home. My second client ever was interested in renting a place near a local university while studying for his master’s degree. His preference was larger tower-style apartment complexes, so I found all of the complexes matching his description in the area and took a good portion of a weekend day showing him these options while answering questions about each potential space.
After my client had decided which place was right for him and he put in his application, I was informed by the staff member showing us the complex that since I was a licensed real estate agent, my broker would be entitled to a commission (of which I would receive a percentage). However, after chatting further with this individual, it became known that in order for my broker to collect this commission, my brokerage had to be in network with a compliance company, which required an application and a fee. After doing some research into said company and finding a plethora of questionable and uneasy reviews, my broker and I were both uncomfortable applying with this compliance company. This meant that the work I had put in to assist this client in finding a rental would result in no commission.
Turns out, after doing a bit more research, most apartment complexes in the South Florida area require some sort of compliance or extra steps for real estate agents to earn a commission to their brokers. Most brokerages aren’t comfortable with these requirements, which is why you don’t typically find agents who are willing to work with renters, especially those looking into apartment complexes. Even though this was a difficult lesson to learn so early in my career, it has taught me a lot about being prepared and focusing my energy towards activities that will help fund the costs of being in this field. I still provide some services to individuals looking to rent in apartment complexes, but usually just a list of the complexes in the area with a few tips and suggestions. Another day, another lesson learned!