I got my California real estate license in Dec. 2021 after passing the state test – on the very first try might I add – and it was one of the most fulfilling days of my adult life. While looking down at my letter saying I passed, one of my initial thoughts was, “I’m done with school! I don’t have to take any more classes!” Welp, that thought left my mind pretty quickly when I eventually joined my brokerage, Keller Williams Beverly Hills, and learned some things about the beginning stage of my real estate career. To say that I was surprised about some things a newbie REALTOR like myself has to experience would be a huge understatement.
Here are five things that shocked me after I received my real estate license.
1. Yes, you do still have to take classes
As I said previously, I quickly learned that I would, indeed, have to take more real estate classes. But, I think my reason is because of the amazing brokerage I signed to that’s known for its superior new agent training. Besides the MLS orientation, I had to take the GLAR orientation because all Keller Williams agents must become REALTORs. No exceptions. On top of that, KW has a special course for new agents called “IGNITE” that consists of 12 classes where newbies learn all the ins and outs of the industry, and how to kick off their businesses. Moreover, my Beverly Hills location has extra courses that new agents must take…
2. Mentors can take a portion of your first couple of commission checks
This, again, is because I chose Keller Williams as the brokerage to hang my license. But, before signing on the dotted line, I learned that the special mentorship program that I would be in at KW assigns me to a top-producing agent at the company who would take me under their wings and guide me as I start my real estate journey. From helping me with contracts and more, the mentor would be with me every step of the way. In exchange, the experienced agent would take a piece of my first two commission checks. But, honestly, my mentor is absolutely incredible. There have been some days where I didn’t even let her rest because I’ve called her a billion times to help with a client of mine. So, this check cut is fine by me. She’s worth it plus more!
3. Starting your real estate career – the right way – can cost a pretty penny
Before getting my license, I read that kicking off a career in real estate can be a bit on the costly side. But, I didn’t really understand that until I started shelling out the coins for my own. Here’s the thing. I think agents who don’t care too much about great marketing, especially in the age of digital media – also, it’s 2022 so they should! – wouldn’t get the importance of putting their best foot forward in the online space. But, those who do understand why that’s such a must know that paying for not only great but EFFECTIVE marketing will behoove their business. As a millennial who works in digital media every single day, I’m the latter. Today, if you have no online presence or a crappy one, like-minded millennials — such as myself, who are now the majority of homebuyers — will pay you dust.
4. You have to be patient
This one is a bit of a challenge for me because I always work with a sense of high urgency. So, to sit back for a bit and build much of the groundwork first is testing me, but for the better. I’m always on a thousand in my work ethic and am ready to hit the ground running. This definitely comes in handy, and my mentor actually loves this fact about me. I jumped right in the minute I signed on to the brokerage. But, to generate leads, finish these new agent classes and graduate my mentorship program will take time to complete, as well. This is fine though. I’d rather start well-prepared and know exactly what I’m doing than start ill-prepared and wind up making huge messes at the start of this new venture that can hurt me down the line anyway.
5. Franchise brokerages are soooo different from each other. Choose wisely…
Before I joined Keller Williams Beverly Hills, I interviewed with another KW office. I’m not going to throw it under the bus and reveal which one it was, but it was definitely a Los Angeles one – not surprising since I live in the city. I was so close to actually signing with that first office, but once I learned that the Beverly Hills location was the No. 1 KW office not just in LA, but the entire state of California, I knew I had to interview there too. Why would I not want to speak to and potentially join the winning team? Needless to say, I loved the Beverly Hills office a billion times more and signed immediately after my chat with the CEO of the company. I didn’t even leave the office until I put my John Hancock on the docs! From the listing advantages to the optimistic atmosphere to the location, location, location and so much more, I quickly learned that even though offices may belong to the same franchise, each one is independently owned and extremely different from the next. Take your time looking at brokerages to hang your license. Where you wind up matters.