Blog Archives - Getting Started in the Real Estate Business | ADHI Schools


AdhiSchools Blog

Getting started in the real estate business

How to Choose a Real Estate Broker to Work For: Key Questions You Need to Ask

New real estate agent joining real estate brokerage

Part of becoming a real estate salesperson, the law requires that you work for a broker. In case you are new to the real estate industry, examples of brokers are Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker

Part of becoming a real estate salesperson, the law requires that you work for a broker. In case you are new to the real estate industry, examples of brokers are Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker and Century 21. It’s important to company to work for - and making the right decision to that end - can absolutely turn into something of an existential question for any new salesperson. But at the same time, all hope is certainly not lost. By asking yourself a few key questions at the beginning of this process, and by understanding the potential pitfalls you could fall into if you make this decision haphazardly, you'll go a long way towards making the best possible choice in terms of both your career and your future. Do this company's values line up with my own? Obviously, the most important question you want to ask yourself before you choose a real estate broker to work for is, in many ways, the most immediate. Does the option you have in front of you line up with your own values? Meaning, is this the type of company you would feel good about working for to begin with? If you're the type of agent who likes to take a more personal and intimate approach to what you do, obviously you wouldn't want to work for a "real estate mill" who is simply trying to turn over agents as quickly as possible. Likewise, do the social values of the company and its leadership line up with your own? Making the wrong choice here could get you into some hot water. Don’t fall prey to the broker who claims to give you all the support in the world but then disappears when you actually need help. Make sure that you talk to some other agents at the company who have been there for at least a year and get the scoop on what it’s really like to work there. What are the opportunities to learn and grow within the organization? Another important question to consider before you choose a real estate broker to work with has to do not with the position you'll be starting at, but what that job might grow and evolve into over time. Obviously, the "right answer" here is going to vary in large part depending on the career trajectory you see yourself in. Some people aspire to be a part-time real estate agent - that's it - and they're totally fine sticking with those basic responsibilities for the duration of their career. But others want the opportunity to find a mentor and maybe even start their own team or have ownership in a brokerage. This will likely require that you get in touch with someone who will teach you the "tricks of the trade" and who can help mold you into a far more sophisticated agent than you could ever be on their own. Which of these two camps you fall into depends on what type of real estate broker you should look for. Again, some leave very little room for growth in the long-term and you may hit your ceiling pretty fast as far as advancement is concerned. Depending on your perspective, that may be okay - but if it isn't, you'll want to find the type of brokerage that actually offers those opportunities. Why Picking the Right Broker Matters More Than You Realize Again, all of this matters so much in large part because picking the right broker can absolutely set the tone for the rest of your career. This is especially true if you're a new agent, as you don't really have a standard definition of what "normal" is supposed to look like yet. You don't want to find yourself short-changed right away, or worse yet forced to accept that this is all there is to your career. You want to pick a company with a vision that aligns with your own to help bring that vision into reality. Likewise, being around a group of productive, like-minded people can definitely help put your career on the right track. But most importantly, starting with what might seem like a better offer initially - and then having to restart with a whole new firm later when you realize that wasn't true - may very well set you back. It's nothing if not costly to switch brokerages, mostly because the broker often makes the agent pay for things like their own business cards, "For Sale" signs and other collateral material. Therefore, picking the right broker today can help you avoid a lot of major issues and potential career setbacks tomorrow. Need help picking a broker? Reach out to me and I would be happy to talk through it with you. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

What is Escrow and How Exactly Does it Work?

Home buyers standing in front of house that is in escrow

One of the most important elements of the real estate process is also, for many people, among the most misunderstood: escrow. At its core, escrow is simply a legal arrangement in which a third party

One of the most important elements of the real estate process is also, for many people, among the most misunderstood: escrow. At its core, escrow is simply a legal arrangement in which a third party (typically referred to as an escrow company) temporarily holds a large sum of money or a piece of property until a particular condition has been met. In other words, if you're about to buy a brand-new home, an escrow company might hold onto some funds until the transaction has been finalized. At that point, the money would move into the hands of the seller and the title into the hands of the buyer and everything would close exactly as it should. Why Escrow Matters and When Is It Used? Depending on the transaction, escrow will be used for one of two different reasons. For starters, it's a way to protect the buyer's good faith deposit (also commonly referred to as earnest money) so that the money is guaranteed to go to the seller according to the conditions that have already been laid out for the sale. Secondly, escrow companies hold onto a homeowner's funds for the purposes of taxes and insurance for a lender and borrower - thus making sure that they actually get paid and that nothing holds up the completion of the transaction for any of the other parties. Special note: Escrow accounts don't cover ALL of the expenses related to one's impending homeownership. Things like homeowner's association fees, or money needed to pay current utility bills, would not be covered by escrow accounts. The key thing to understand here is that earnest money is designed to show a seller that a buyer is serious about making a sale. If the contract falls through due to anything having to do with the buyer, like if they suddenly decide to back out at the 11th hour, the seller is supposed to be able to keep that money. If no third-party escrow company was present, it's feared that buyers would try to keep funds that are no longer rightfully theirs. Likewise, the reverse is true. If the home purchase goes through successfully, that earnest money is supposed to be applied to the buyer's down payment. If that money were just handed over to the seller ahead of time, there is a fear that they might try to find some excuse to keep it.Obviously, this is problematic because of the sheer sum of money that you might be talking about. Additional Situations When Escrow is Critical to a Real Estate Transaction Another related concept it's important to understand has to do with what is called an escrow holdback - or a situation where funds are held in escrow beyond the completion of a transaction. One of the most common reasons why this might happen has to do with a buyer who may find something problematic with the home during a final walk through and home inspection . The seller may agree to fix the issue,but it will take a week or two - thus triggering the hold back and the funds to be held in escrow. Another situation that may require a holdback is when a buyer agrees that the seller can stay in a home for a longer period of time beyond the closing date. This, too, is quite common as sometimes sellers need additional time to get their new home ready. Likewise,if you're a buyer in the process of actually building a new home from the ground up, that money will likely remain in escrow not until the completion of the transaction, but until you've had a chance to sign off on all the work. Remember, Escrow Companies Are There for Your Protection Regardless, escrow (and by association, escrow companies) are essential in that they protect the best interests of ALL parties involved in a real estate transaction. They are seen as objective third parties with a tremendous amount of responsibility and they're often one of the major reasons why transactions are completed successfully at all. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Breaking Down the Role of a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator

Transaction coordinators calendar on ipad

An interesting thing about the real estate industry is that there are far more people involved in the sale of a home than a lot of people realize. Of course, there is a buyer, a seller and their respective

An interesting thing about the real estate industry is that there are far more people involved in the sale of a home than a lot of people realize. Of course, there is a buyer, a seller and their respective licensed real estate agents - that much is obvious. Sometimes, the roles are clear - nobody questions what an appraiser does, because the job description is explanation enough. But one of the most often overlooked positions in real estate is also, in a lot of situations, among the most important. The role is that of the transaction coordinator, and in a lot of ways their specific job may very well be one of the most important of all. What is a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator? While a transaction coordinator is not a legal requirement in a real estate transaction, as the name suggests, a transaction coordinator is a real estate professional tasked with managing all of the paperwork and deadlines involved in a real estate transaction. If you've ever purchased a home and felt overwhelmed about the sheer volume of paperwork you're expected to read and sign, just think about how the person who had to prepare all that paperwork must feel. Why are Transaction Coordinators Important to the Home Selling Process? The reason why this role is so important is because a good transaction coordinator is trained in every step of the sales process. A big part of their job involves monitoring the life of the transaction, from the moment a seller and buyer enter into contract all the way through the steps required to properly close. What Does a Transaction Coordinator Do? Just a few of the jobs they have to perform on a regular basis include but are not limited to ones like: Opening escrow Coordinating inspections Overseeing repair negotiations Communicating important updates to clients Monitoring all documentation that is submitted Coordinating the closing process and more. In a larger sense, this is the person who is making sure that the wheels don't fall off the car, so to speak. It's their job to both make sure that an agent never gets bogged down by administrative tasks so that they can always focus on the client, as well as to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and everything gets done properly and on-time based on the purchase agreement. Transaction Coordinators Help Simplify a Complex Process Overall, they're in charge of making sure that no unnecessary delays happen during this admittedly complicated process, all in service of the most important goal of all: closing a transaction and helping to create the most positive experiences for clients, no exceptions.
Getting started in the real estate business

These 9 Steps Will Help You Build an All-Star Real Estate Team

Real estate team breaking from team meeting

In the real estate world, building an effective real estate team is a growing trend. Rather than working independently, real estate professionals, and even our real estate students are starting to plan

In the real estate world, building an effective real estate team is a growing trend. Rather than working independently, real estate professionals, and even our real estate students are starting to plan ways to build teams of agents that work with them to make their business run. These teams have one leader normally known as a “rainmaker”, then a number of support staff underneath who make things happen. If you are considering the team approach to real estate, getting a team off the ground can be your biggest hurdle. Here are some tips for starting and growing an effective real estate team that will fuel your success. Step 1 – Self-Evaluation The first step in building a real estate team is your own personal self-evaluation as the potential team's future leader. What are your strengths and weaknesses? By pinpointing these, you can start building a team that will support your weaknesses and build on your strengths. Next, consider what you need out of your real estate team. Do you need more buyer agents so you can list more properties? Are you looking for a Transaction Coordinator to help you with the paperwork on your files? Do you need help with your marketing and advertising copy? The answers to these questions will help guide you as you build out your organization. Finally, prepare your systems. Before connecting with people for your real estate team, make sure you have a foundationally successful real estate business and know how to generate leads. One of the biggest things that potential recruits will want to know is whether or not you have a system in place to bring in leads for them to handle. Once you have a system in place, people will be more willing to buy into your vision. Step 2 –Choose Your Professionals Next, choose the professionals you need on your team. Your needs will vary depending on your goals and your skills and weaknesses. It will also vary depending on the structure of your team, whether you are looking to manage a team of sales professionals to support your efforts as an agent or are looking to lead a team of agents. Some common pieces to a well oiled real estate team include: Buyers agents Contractors Appraisers Attorney Accountant Inspectors Copywriter Marketer Make your list, and start looking for qualified individuals to fill those positions. Note that lots of these folks don’t necessarily need to be full-time and on your direct payroll. Starting out as a new agent, you’ll want to build out a list of vendors that you know and trust to do the job right for your client. Step 3 – Start Hiring Now you are ready to start looking for qualified people and bringing them on to your team. Be careful about the professionals you hire. Make sure they are ready to work in a team environment and have the skills you need.The first person to bring on board as you build your team might be a virtual assistant or transaction coordinator. Your virtual assistant will manage email and office work so you can focus on the client facing aspects of your business. Your TC should ensure that your files are compliant and that all parties are receiving and signing paperwork in a timely way. The nice thing about building out the administrative functions of your team first is that the virtual assistant can often be turned on and off as needed and the TC can be paid on an a per-file basis. Make sure you're finding people who are a good fit for your team. One way to determine this is through personality testing. Personality testing will tell you if the person you're interviewing is a good fit for a sales-based business. Look for positive people with a passion for real estate to add to your team. The personality testing can be critical in preventing turnover of your team. The innate personality of a buyer agent will be vastly different than someone in a dedicated administrative role. Step 4 – Delegate, but Stay Involved Once you have a team working well under you, start delegating responsibilities. However, make sure you stay actively involved. This is not the time to walk away from your real estate business. Instead, it's a time to jump in and lead by example. If you've hired well, you should be able to delegate responsibilities with confidence, while still taking an active role in the day-to-day operations of your real estate business. Step 5 – Keep Recruiting Even after your initial team is set, continue recruiting quality talent, especially talented agents. If you have proven sales systems in place with active lead generation they will be attracted to your team. Once you have them, make sure you have the right incentives to keep them invested in your team. Retention is just as important as recruiting, and you'll only retain quality people if your team provides them something of value. Remember it is far more expensive to hire a new person than to retain an existing one. Step 6 – Focus on Lead Generation So what could you bring to the table that would make qualified real estate agents want to be part of your team? For many real estate teams, the answer is qualified leads. Finding a source for leads and then offering those leads to the professionals you bring on to your team is a key factor to the success of any real estate team. Your source may be direct-mail campaigns, social media postings, or other online marketing, but find a lead generator and use it well. Step 7 – Take Care of Clients Make sure you have a system for your team that keeps clients comfortable while they list with you. You may delegate this to one particular agent or team member, or you may have a proven system in place that each agent follows with their delegated clients. Keeping clients satisfied throughout the sales process will make your team more effective and help with your team member retention. Step 8 – Keep Refining Your Processes As you get the freedom to step away from the direct sales of your business, use your new time to refine your sales process for your team. Constantly evaluate what is and isn’t working and make changes and adjustments accordingly. Check with your team members regularly to ensure they are using the systems you have put in place to run their part of the business. Keep lines of communication open to ensure everyone knows what their responsibilities are and what they can expect from you. Step 9 – Add Training as You Continue Building After you start your team and get it moving along successfully, you may wish to grow it. Before on-boarding new licensed real estate agents or other real estate professionals, make sure you have solid training in place. Teach your new recruits what you expect and how your business operates, so they can come on board as solid, productive team members. Soon, your process will replicate itself as your team, and your income, continue to grow. Real estate teams should allow you to make more sales and close more deals than you can do on your own. With these tips, you can build a successful team, retain the talent you recruit, and see your income continue to increase year after year. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Breaking Down How Real Estate Agents Get Paid

Real estate agent looking at commission check

As a potential real estate agent it helps to understand how you will likely get paid for your time and expertise. I wanted to examine how agents commonly earn a living, how everything is split, and what's

As a potential real estate agent it helps to understand how you will likely get paid for your time and expertise. I wanted to examine how agents commonly earn a living, how everything is split, and what's risks you take on as a real estate agent in hopes of a payday. The Common Standard: Commissions The most accepted way for real estate agents to be paid is to charge the seller a commission which is then split among the buyer's and the seller's agent. This amount is typically between four and six percent of the sale price. Like most sale transactions, there are exceptions to this rule. Raw land sales, for example, sometimes can be as much as ten percent of the total sale price. On the other end of the spectrum, there are agents and companies that will work for a flat fee that is substantially less than on a percentage basis. Compensation programs like this are generally more common in seller markets where there are far more buyers than listings for sale. How Everything Is Split There are a few caveats to note about this seemingly simple arithmetic. The agent does not get to keep all the commission because they must work for a broker in California who will certainly take some portion of the total commission. When it comes to how brokers split the money with their agents, a lot of it depends on the agent's experience. A brand-new agent may agree to work for a much smaller percentage as a means of getting their foot in the door. A seasoned agent may take all of their commission and pay their broker a fee to rent their desk in the office. When starting out in our real estate industry, you can expect to keep between 50 and 70 percent of the commission starting out and this should increase with sales volume and experience. The Risks of the Agent It's not always easy to see the risks that the agent assumes if you aren't behind the scenes. Not only do agents have to pay the MLS fees as well as the costs of their insurance and dues, but you’re also taking some of the responsibility for the sale. For example, let's say the agent spends six months trying to sell a home. They've found an interested party, but the buyers haven't quite formalized their offer. If the seller gets cold feet at the last minute, the real estate agent will typically not be paid. (If the seller had received a formal offer and then refused though, then the broker may have still been entitled to their commission.) These risks explain why some agents seek salaried positions in property management for example rather than be beholden to the commission. These jobs do exist although they are on the rare side. The vast majority of real estate agents are commission-only for the duration of their careers. Agents do more than just showcase a property in its best light. The right agent can spot red flags before they turn into legal hassles, counsel sellers about the quality of the offers, and give buyers a better idea of when to jump at a deal. Their efforts are rewarded when the sale goes through, according to the terms of the listing agreement. Hope this helps explain a little about the world of the agent. If you’re interested in taking real estate classes, please give us a call at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

3 Steps to Creating a Budget for New Real Estate Agents

First year real estate agent calculating budget with spreadsheet and calculator

One of the most difficult skills for new Realtors to learn is budgeting. Along with good time management, the two skills are probably the core requirements for first-year success in this challenging profession.

One of the most difficult skills for new Realtors to learn is budgeting. Along with good time management, the two skills are probably the core requirements for first-year success in this challenging profession. What does it take to create a realistic budget for a new agent? In one word, the answer is "planning." Approach the task in much the same way as a family might make an annual or monthly budget, with research and tracking. Here are the three steps to building a budget that can work for any new agent and is adaptable as time passes.  Track and Analyze Carefully log every penny you spend for two weeks running and then apply some honest analysis to what you come up with. Logging of all the money you spend will reveal where there are "leaks" in your current monetary habits and will also show what expenses are absolute necessities. The effectiveness of this step, the only one that takes place before making a pro-forma budget, is based on the ancient adage, "Know thyself." Until you know what you spend, when you spend it, and why, there's no way to make a realistic budget. Build a Budget List every monthly expense and use a worst-case scenario to estimate average monthly income. If there's more income than expenses, you're still not off the hook. Be certain to go through each expense item and determine whether it can be reduced or cut out entirely. Are you spending too much on eating out, clothing, gifts? If so, snip those expenses down to levels that make sense. After working with all the data in a spreadsheet and getting a feel for what an "average" month looks like, write out a separate document called "Pro-forma Monthly Budget," and save it to your desktop. For the next two months, allow yourself to fine-tune the pro-forma budget with new revelations or data your forgot on the first go-round. At the end of 90 days, you should have a pretty accurate and useful monthly budget that can serve as a guideline for at least the first year of your practice. In several months, your skills and network will have changed enough to require another round of budget-making. Remember, budgets help you identify ways to cut costs and increase profits, and those are good things. The budget is your friend, not an entity to be feared. Plan for Emergencies Real estate agents can take a tip from personal budgeting theory: it's essential to have an emergency fund in place that can cover at least three months' of expenses. Every smart family has a fund like this and so should every real estate professional. Especially in a field where income is notoriously volatile, an emergency fund will help to smooth out the natural income vicissitudes. Final Thoughts There's no reason to reinvent the wheel, so do some online research about typical real estate agent budgets to get ideas about common expense categories that might not occur to you as a new agent. Be careful, however, not to assume anyone else's categories or specific dollar amounts will apply to you. Always do the hard work of tracking and analyzing before you begin to create your own personal budget. Remember, the real estate business is a marathon not a sprint. Being able to weather the storm is more important than ever now. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

8 Real Estate Careers Beyond Selling Houses

Person looking at three arrows painted on ground pointing to different paths

When most people think about working in real estate, they immediately think of selling houses. While residential sales are the most common occupation for those with a real estate license, it’s far from

When most people think about working in real estate, they immediately think of selling houses. While residential sales are the most common occupation for those with a real estate license, it’s far from the only option. In fact, there’s a lot you can do within real estate that has nothing to do with the conventional sale of houses. Here are some of the real estate jobs available for those that don’t want to just sell houses. Commercial Real Estate If you like sales but don’t love the idea of selling homes to residents, you can still find the career of your dreams within real estate. Instead of selling homes, you’ll sell and lease office space and property to businesses. But the differences between commercial and residential real estate sales don’t end there. In commercial real estate, agents must be knowledgeable about the sectors in which they work and provide valuable analysis to potential buyers. Since newcomers to an area might not know much about the region’s demographics or traffic levels, it’s the commercial real estate agent’s job to fill them in and help find the best location or tenant for a given area. Because of this added analysis, it can be a longer and more difficult process to make a sale in the commercial realm than in the residential space, but the rewards can be greater -- a commercial Realtor can make a great living. Real Estate Broker/Owner Although it’s commonly believed that a real estate license is the same across the board, most states actually have levels of real estate licensure. And if you’re not content to act as a conventional real estate agent -- or if you’ve been an agent and want to try something else -- there’s still a way for you to get involved in real estate without being an agent. Becoming a real estate broker requires a healthy dose of ambition, but there could be serious benefits down the road. As a broker, you’ll have your own firm where real estate agents will work for you. It’s a way to keep your hands in a lucrative business while also allowing you to start your own business, applying your knowledge and expertise in an industry for which there’s always demand. Property Manager Earning a license also opens up the door to becoming a real estate property manager. Property managers oversee buildings for owners. A common role for a property manager that’s responsible for the units within an apartment complex (or a series of homes owned by a person or company) and is charged with fixing repairs, collecting rent and finding new tenants when existing tenants move out. This type of job is for someone who loves real estate and likes accounting, but doesn’t want to become a Realtor. Property managers are generally paid based on the gross rents collected; property managers can also receive leasing commissions for screening and finalizing deals with tenants. Real Estate Assistant The life of a real estate agent isn’t for everyone. Not everyone wants to travel to open houses and to meet with clients. However, for those that simply want to work in real estate while remaining in one location, there’s a way to make it happen -- and you may not even need a real estate license to do it. A real estate assistant provides support for agents and brokers, including answering phones, posting listings and preparing paperwork. These tasks help the agents tremendously as they manage their workflow. It’s also a good introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the inner workings of real estate. A real estate assistant may realize that they want to be an agent after all, and they can continue to work as an assistant while they take real estate license courses. Financial Analyst Real estate agents and brokers are often too busy with their everyday duties to take note of emerging trends in the marketplace. That’s where financial analysts come in. Analysts look at real estate data and attempt to predict where real estate is going, particularly in the local area. Financial analysts that work in real estate are also tasked with finding attractive investment opportunities so that the company can properly allocate its resources. Being a real estate financial analyst means being based largely in an office; it also doesn’t require a real estate license. Most large commercial real estate companies will have analysts on their team. Real Estate Appraiser If you like numbers, but don’t want to be tied to a desk all day, real estate appraisal might be the career for you. You don’t need to go to real estate license school but you will need to obtain a separate appraisal license. Once you do that, you’re able to determine accurate property values for the houses you examine, based on the home’s characteristics and comparable sales data. Appraisers are used when houses are sold or refinanced. Inspector Outside of the agent, the bank and the buyer, an inspector is the most important part of any real estate transaction. Inspectors visit properties before they’re sold and look for potential issues that would not only impact the sale, but would cause problems for the buyers down the road. Inspectors must be highly knowledgeable in all areas regarding houses; they don’t need a real estate license, but if you’re interested in being a real estate inspector, you’ll need to understand the inspector requirements of your state. Loan Officer Real estate loan officers don’t actually issue loans. Instead, they’re the intermediary between the bank and the buyer. Loan officers help buyers to get approved for financing, point out any issues that inhibit a buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage and recommend products based on the unique situation of each home buyer. To become a loan officer, you don’t necessarily need a real estate license. Instead, you’ll have to take a 20-hour pre-licensure class that covers the laws and legalities around real estate lending. After that, you only need to pass the NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test and you’re ready to start working as a real estate loan officer. There are plenty of cogs in the real estate machine. If any of these fails to function properly, the entire operation fails. Even if you don’t want to be a Realtor or obtain a real estate license, there’s a career option for you in our great business. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

What Does A Realtor Do?

Man and woman realtors smiling

Most people think that in order to become a great Realtor we need to be good at showing and selling property," we tell ourselves. "What more is there?” In reality, it turns out there's quite a bit

Most people think that in order to become a great Realtor we need to be good at showing and selling property," we tell ourselves. "What more is there?” In reality, it turns out there's quite a bit beyond that. If you’re interested in obtaining your real estate license and become a full-fledged Realtor, it’s probably useful to learn a little bit more about what someone in that role actually does daily.  Once you finish our real estate license school and head out into the real world, you'll find that the daily responsibilities of a real estate agent are actually a lot more involved than you might think. Not in a bad way — but in a way that you should be familiar with before you begin those early days of your career. The Life of a Real Estate Agent: Breaking Things Down One of the most important daily responsibilities of any real estate agent actually has little to do with "selling houses" at all. Broadly, you need to be excellent at providing customer service to a wide range of people in a myriad of different situations. Be The Calm in the Storm Think about it like this: Buying a home is one of the most important moments in a person's life, particularly if it's the first time they're doing it. So it's an inherently stressful experience and one where people will be looking for an expert to guide them. The best real estate agents understand that they are the calming force in any transaction. You need to be able to provide people with the information they need to make the best decisions possible and you need to do so in a way that simultaneously instills confidence. It's a lesson you'll begin to learn in our real estate license school but that you'll have to perfect over time on the job. Understanding Contracts and Paperwork  Another major daily activity of a busy Realtor involves drafting and preparing things like offers and other types of paperwork. This requires a deep understanding of not only the laws and regulations in your particular market, but also the needs and requirements of the people you're actually working with. Remember that as an agent, you are someone else's advocate — they're trusting you to bring a level of experience to the deal that they themselves do not possess. To get to that point, you need to not only be aware of HOW to handle the paperwork that comes with buying and selling real estate, but organized enough to do so in the right way. That customer service element also intersects with the marketing side of the business — only instead of selling a property, you're really selling your most valuable asset of all: yourself and your abilities. Similarly, the busy real estate agents spend a majority of their day getting, obtaining and servicing listings in their marketplace. Most of the time, this is done by pouring over the Multiple Listing Service database, otherwise known as the MLS.  Most MLS databases are logical but sometimes they are not so intuitive. Only through practice running a variety of different searches can proficiency be obtained.   For example, how do you search for a single-story home, with a spa but no pool in a specific school district below $750 per square foot?  This search will take the expert Realtor 1-2 minutes, whereas for a rookie this same search might take 10-15 minutes.  Like most things - practice makes perfect.  If someone says to you, "I like this house we're looking at, but it would be better if it had X, Y and Z qualities," you should immediately be thinking of other properties you can show them. You can't do that without putting in the time to research what those listings actually are.  Working with the MLS is a crucial part of the daily life of a real estate agent. Don’t forget to prospect Most importantly, a real estate agent spends an incredible amount of time collecting leads from other sources, too — either via word of mouth from past satisfied customers or from referrals in the industry. Hitting the phones or door knocking can also be a great way to get a hot tip on a property before it actually gets on the market-  especially if it's one that you know would be perfect for one particular client. That aspect alone can quickly become an omnipresent part of the job — something that you should have at the very least in the back of your mind all day, every day. It's part and parcel for what a real estate agent actually does and, in truth, that rush of getting the jump on your competitors is a large part of why people love the profession in the first place. Get Comfortable Being Out and About Of course, a lot of your days will also be spent showing properties which is the aspect of the job that anyone who has ever purchased a home is most familiar with. But again, it's just one small part of a much larger story. Getting your start in real estate comes with the understanding that it's more of a far-reaching profession than most expect.  The great real estate agent is part therapist, part negotiator and available to answer any questions that their clients may have.   Hoping this helps. I’m always looking to bring value to our readers.  If I can help you, please reach out on Instagram @kartikspics or call the office at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

5 Things To Know Before Starting in Real Estate

Real estate agent going over blueprints

Frankly, Instagram has brought us a ton of new students. So many of our students enroll because they have seen social media posts from agents about how much money they make. Programs like Million Dollar

Frankly, Instagram has brought us a ton of new students. So many of our students enroll because they have seen social media posts from agents about how much money they make. Programs like Million Dollar Listing have contributed to this perception. While some of these stories are true and many agents do make a lot of money in our business, I wanted to write a quick article about things you should know before starting a career in real estate. I wrote a few pieces of advice - I thought the title was catchy - before anyone takes the first step in entering our business. You Are the Boss It may seem obvious, but people who have spent the majority of their lives working for a manager or supervisor are often surprised by how much discretion they have over their daily schedule. There aren’t any wake up calls in our business. No one complains if you show up 5 minutes late - or don’t show up at all. Worse yet, if you work for a “virtual brokerage” there might not be a person available to bounce ideas off of or to get advice from when you find yourself in a rut. When a decision needs to be made, you are often the person who has to be decisive and take action. You Need a Business Plan Being a self-employed person means that you need to come up with a business plan that provides a roadmap for your real estate business. How much money are you setting aside for marketing and advertising? How many transactions do you plan to close in a month, or in a year? Does your business plan call for you to work from a real estate office or work from home? How much time are you setting aside for your business if this is part-time work? In addition, you also need to understand your tax obligations. You will have to pay quarterly taxes and budget for this. You'll need to track your business income and deductions to ensure you pay enough every year. Most agents have a CPA or other tax advisor that they lean on regularly for this. It’s Useful To Have a Cash Reserve What social media posts and television rarely show are the slow periods. There will be a time when you don’t close anything and your pipeline isn’t progressing as quickly as you would like. This period can especially hold true for the brand new licensee that will have a minimum 90-day window to get a handle around the business. Always have at least a small cash reserve built up before starting, and keep adding to it little by little. By having a nest egg, you'll be able to weather slow periods and continue to build until you are at the point where you have a steady pipeline of closings. Your Schedule is Flexible... Sort Of It's true that you can work whenever you want. So if you are a night person who loves working at 2am because it is quiet and calm, you can do all your paperwork and get your online marketing accomplished during those hours. On the other hand, remember that you will have clients that can and will contact you at unpredictable times. A certain property may show up that a client wants to see right away and that showing may not have been “in your schedule” but you may feel the need to drop everything and pivot. If you become a residential real estate professional you will likely have clients that work 9-to-5 jobs. The only times they have to look at a house or arrange for a showing are evenings and on the weekends. Are you accounting for this in your plan? Somehow Differentiate Yourself from the Rest of the Pack You have a real estate license. That is an accomplishment not to be undermined. Remember, however, that you were in a full classroom of other people who also obtained their licenses. They’ll likely be working in the same neighborhoods as you. Additionally, you will also be competing against established, veteran Realtors which will be an even more competitive field. Establishing your personal brand and differentiating yourself is absolutely mission critical. Figure out what makes you unique, whether it is your marketing skills, market knowledge, or negotiating techniques. Then let people know about your skills so that they each out to you first. Start Your Real Estate Career Today Are you ready to make the move into real estate and gain the education you need to succeed? Visit our website to learn about how you can gain your license and start this exciting career. Side note - My intention with this article is not to discourage anyone from starting in our business. It’s simply to pepper a little bit of realism in the basket of fake Instagram and YouTube videos. I have many students that make into the 6 and 7 figures annually. It is possible, but everyone is looking for the secret sauce that’s going to make them successful. The truth is that there is no secret - it’s just hard work. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Can I start real estate part-time?

Weekly time sheet for part time real estate agent

As of early this year, there were more than 2,000,000 real estate licensees throughout the United States. Of that number, around 1.3 million were members of an Association of Realtors. Additionally, a

As of early this year, there were more than 2,000,000 real estate licensees throughout the United States. Of that number, around 1.3 million were members of an Association of Realtors. Additionally, a good portion of this group has had their license for one year or less - further evidence that our industry is a competitive one. But real estate sales isn't just a highly competitive business - it can carry it’s share of stress, too. It can certainly feel like something of a grind, especially in those early days, which is why jumping into this particular pond head-first might not be the best idea. Likewise, many people who wish to enter our business don't actually have the financial ability to start on a full-time basis. But that's okay, because becoming actively involved in real estate part-time brings with it a wide range of benefits that can't be ignored. Not only can this help you confirm this is something you actually want to do, but it can assist you in creating a transition plan to get you to full-time and to replace your 9-to-5 income in a thoughtful, intentional way. Starting a Career in Real Estate: Breaking Things Down The first thing you need to do to start a part-time career in real estate involves coming up with your own unique solutions to some of the common challenges people face. Scheduling, for example, is often a difficult hurdle to overcome. It's not necessarily easy to be fully available for your clients at a time that works for them when you have another job to worry about. Unfortunately, there's no "one size fits all" solution to this issue as every situation is unique. Just know that it can be done, but you'll need to hone your organization skills and communicate your hours to prospects clearly and concisely to keep everything flowing as smoothly as possible. Likewise, it's imperative that you get your own expectations in order. Becoming successful in real estate is already time-consuming - not to mention how long things can take when you're also trying to continue your current employment. If you think that you'll somehow be able to A) work a full-time job, B) do real estate part-time, and C) keep your nights and weekends free, the chances are you're going to have to sacrifice one of those three things. You can only have two, so pick the ones that are most important to you before moving forward. This is on top of family or other personal obligations you might be faced with. In terms of the actual logistics of becoming a real estate agent, you'll first need to take care of getting your real estate license. This involves figuring out and completing your pre-license requirements, which we can help you with. If you schedule is tight we offer online correspondence real estate courses too. Once you sit for and pass your real estate license exam, you can then take another critical step in joining your local board. This Association of Realtors organization will allow you access to the Multiple Listing Service, also referred to as an MLS for short, that acts as a centralized repository that all Realtors in your area can use to list properties, view market statistics and more. You’ll need your license in order to join the association of Realtors which is why our pre-license courses are so important. Finally, you'll need to find a broker to work with. Here, you have two options: large, national brands like Coldwell Banker and Century 21 or smaller, independent and locally operated brokers. The former will come with benefits like major name recognition, but the latter will offer an intimate connection to the local community that could be quite helpful. Again - every market is unique so there is no "right answer" here. Think about which option fits best with your long-term goals and which offers the most favorable terms as far as the percentage of the commission you enjoy, desk fees and most importantly training. As a part-time real estate agent, you’ll want a company that offers training around your schedule as it will probably be less flexible than someone starting on a full-time basis. Yes, starting a real estate career part-time is going to be time-consuming and no, it isn't going to be easy. But it is absolutely possible if you enter from the right perspective and are consistent with your efforts. As the old saying goes - "anything worth doing is worth doing right." As always, I'm looking to bring you as much value as possible.  If I can be of service, send me a message or call the office at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

How To Become A Local Real Estate Expert

Real estate agent studying charts for local housing market analysis

Obtaining a real estate license after passing the real estate exam is only the beginning of your career in our great real estate business. The next step (and in many ways the more important piece of the

Obtaining a real estate license after passing the real estate exam is only the beginning of your career in our great real estate business. The next step (and in many ways the more important piece of the puzzle) is to prospect for clients. The high level question the must be asked and answered by the new agent is: What does a buyer or seller want in their Realtor? And next - How do I meet those needs? Simply put - buyers and sellers are looking for a local real estate expert. Buyers want someone who knows what local restaurants are great, where the nightlife is, what schools are perfect for their kids, and what amenities are popular in the neighborhood. Sellers, on the other hand, want a local Realtor who knows what the current and future market outlook is, what the comparable sales look like for the house when compared to other similar properties on the market, and at what price to market the home. So how do you become a local real estate expert for your clients? Here are several strategies to implement once you finish your real estate courses and become a Realtor. Go to Local Government Meetings and Chamber of Commerce Events Government meetings and chamber of commerce events will play important factors on how you grow your business and connect to community members. You'll want to pay attention to any changes, regulations or votes coming up with the city council or planning commission that will impact the local real estate market. These meetings could discuss zoning regulations or upcoming development projects, for example. Information gathered at this event can allow you to better track the market and inform clients of developments that can affect the home buying or selling process. I remember one friend of mine who was showing a high-rise condo to a buyer on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The buyer found a home online that he wanted to see and reached out to the agent for a showing. Directly across the street was an empty parking lot that was in the early stages of being the site for a new high rise development. If approved, the new structure would have completely obscured the southern view from the living room and bedroom and would have also casted a dull shadow over the pool deck. The fact that the agent was plugged into the local planning commission and had actually attended some of the Homeowner Association meetings meant that he was in the know and ultimately able to advise the buyer on the proposed development. Surely a large building blocking your view that breaks ground shortly after the close of escrow would be a nightmare scenario for the uninformed buyer. At chamber of commerce events, you can network with other businesses. You can learn about the roles these employers have in the community, and can share this information with buyers. It’ll also be a great chance to meet other entrepreneurs and refer business to one another. Get Involved in Social Events and the Community Prospective clients like to see that real estate agents are getting positively involved in local events. Whether it is partnering up with a local blood drive or volunteering time at an animal shelter, these tactics show that you want to invest your time and work in building a strong and welcoming community. Also, attend social events such as festivals and get to know people. Shake hands with organizers and speak with the local residents. People will remember your friendly demeanor at the event as they will be inclined to speak positively about your real estate business with others. There’s nothing wrong with telling people that you are in the process of obtaining your real estate license now and start building those relationships early. Of course, you won’t be able to do anything that would require a real estate license, but there aren’t any laws against getting to know people in the area. Show You Are an Expert in Emails, Social Media and Personal Interactions After taking real estate classes Los Angeles, you've gained the knowledge to help people with their real estate dreams. Yet you also have to show them that you are a local expert. You can do this through your correspondence, social media accounts and interactions with clients. Once you get your license, you’ll need to define the areas where you’ll want to build your real estate practice. Study the properties in those areas and the overall market on sites like www.dqnews.com and in the Multiple Listing Service. Over time, you’ll get to know the types of properties in those areas, the number of certain residential properties (single-family homes, duplexes, and multi-family structures). Also, you've gathered the data about recent home transactions, buyer trends, and average sales prices. Take all of this data and pepper it throughout your emails, newsletters and social media sites. Drop in facts that will draw in a person's interest and convince them to take the next step in calling for your services. You want to impress them with the market insights that you've gathered as they will feel confident about your skills. In addition, you want to do the same at face-to-face meetings and appointments with clients. Showing people that you've done all the real estate homework will allow you to gain repeat business and positive reviews that will help your career. By immersing yourself in community events, attending government meetings, and sharing your local expertise through social and other media, you can solidify your position as a top real estate expert in the local market. It’ll be easier to convert leads into real estate transactions by showing your in-depth knowledge about local market trends. As always, please call my office at 888 768 5285 or visit our website for information on real estate classes online or in the classroom. If you are getting ready to prep for the real estate exam and you need a real estate crash course click here. Always looking to bring you value. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Is Now A Good Time to Get Into Real Estate?

Birds eye view of houses in new housing development neighborhood

Are you thinking about enrolling in real estate license courses? If so, your first thought may be whether or not now is a good time to start. How’s the market doing? A career in real estate can

Are you thinking about enrolling in real estate license courses? If so, your first thought may be whether or not now is a good time to start. How’s the market doing? A career in real estate can be very rewarding and it all starts with the right real estate school. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the demand for real estate agents and brokers will grow by 7 percent from 2018 through 2028, a rate that’s faster than average for all job growth. Demand is out there for well-qualified, dedicated agents willing to learn the industry from the ground up. Should You Enter a Career in Real Estate? Timing Is Everything Those wondering if they should become a REALTOR often ask themselves whether now is the right time based on market conditions. The short answer is that while your initial timing can matter remember that getting your license now can open the door for years, no matter how the market swings in the short term. Here are some answers to common questions: #1: What Is the Market Like? The real estate market grows and expands on a consistent basis. There are times when market activity can and does cool like back in 2008 and 2009. However, the current market remains robust with the possibility of ongoing appreciation. Put that aside for one moment, though. Remember that people are always buying and selling real estate no matter what the market does. Keep in mind that there are always consumers looking for their first home or to downsize after the kids move out. There are always new developments and opportunities. In other words, there is always the need for a qualified real estate agent. #2: But Is The Economy Slipping? While there are valid concerns over how long the economy will continue to grow at its current rate remember that transactions happen in all economic conditions. More so, many people move into real estate investing when the stock or other markets begins to decline. I talked briefly about this in an earlier article. That’s because real estate is viewed as a safer and more tangible investment for some. This also creates opportunities for individuals looking to grow their career. #3: Are Houses Selling Today? The answer here is “yes” as well. More so, in the long term, there will be an even higher demand for homes. I don’t think anyone believes that the population is going to decrease throughout the United States any time soon. The current economic climate has helped push home values high. A combination of low interest rates and high demand have sent prices soaring in many areas. In some areas, they are simply out of reach for some buyers. As home prices begin to slow their rate of growth, they will become in reach for more consumers, especially those looking to buy their first home. Homes are selling and will continue to sell. Starting a Career in Real Estate - Is It Right for You? People will always be buying and selling homes. Demand will ebb and flow. Real estate agents committed to providing a high quality of service to their clients will continue to see significant demand for their services. Your buyers be might everyday consumers looking for their first home as home prices fall. Or, you may be able to work hand-in-hand with investors who are looking for good deals. Real estate classes help you prepare for every market condition, too. If you: • Enjoy real estate and looking at homes and buildings • Love helping people • Like to negotiate • Want the flexibility of working on your own schedule • Want unlimited income potential A career in real estate could be right for you. You can meet the California real estate license requirements though our real estate school in as little as 54 days and start taking advantage of the current market climate. Once you establish yourself, there’s no telling how the market will work in your favor. A shameless plug, ADHI Schools is the number one real estate school in California. We can walk you through the pros and cons of being a real estate agent. Call us at 888 768 5285 or visit adhischools.com to pass your real estate exam the first time. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Interview Tips For Realtors

Real estate agent candidate shaking hands before interview

Once you complete our classroom real estate courses in California or real estate classes online, you’ll need to put your license with a broker if you want to go to work. At this early stage in your

Once you complete our classroom real estate courses in California or real estate classes online, you’ll need to put your license with a broker if you want to go to work. At this early stage in your career, you are probably full of enthusiasm and at the same time have some serious questions and perhaps some lingering fears about whether not you're making the right career decision. One of the most important steps you will take as a real estate salesperson is to choose a broker, the place where you will, in effect, hang your hat along with your license, and build your initial reputation in the field. Whether you're already licensed, or are shopping for a place to take your real estate classes, finding the right environment is all-important to your future. Even though it's not a lifetime commitment, your choice of initial affiliation will affect not only your earning ability, but also your learning curve, your growth potential as a real estate agent, and your long-term success and fulfillment as a professional. Brokers also want to ensure that new agents who join their firms will be compatible, hard-working, knowledgeable, committed, enthusiastic, and a good match for the company culture. How should you evaluate your opportunities? What are the steps to take to assure the best possible fit? To prepare for your interview, expect to be asked the following questions by a potential employing broker: 1. What drives your decision to become a licensed real estate agent? Do you have previous sales experience? Is money your primary goal? How do you intend to support yourself until the sales (and closings) start rolling in?   2. Do you have a monetary goal in mind? If you've given even a little thought to this, you will probably answer this question with a specific dollar figure; then you can go on to explain that you intend to grow your earnings over time to reach your ultimate goal. Also, you'd be wise to impress a potential broker with your knowledge of real estate facts and figures. It's not detrimental to disclose that, in the beginning, you view real estate as a part-time gig, until you can build a reputation and a clientele. This disclosure is important because it will help to understand whether or not the brokerage’s training calendar is going to be a fit.   3. How much time and energy can you devote to the business? Real estate, unlike a 9-5 job, requires evening and weekend work, coupled with high levels of client accessibility. A broker will want to know that you understand the time commitment, as well as the energy it takes to see a transaction from listing to closing, or from initial contact with prospective buyer to the accepted offer by the seller and the escrow ultimately closing. Real estate can be an extremely rewarding -- and profitable -- profession. But it requires knowledge, dedication and commitment. Show a broker those three qualities, and you'll be on your way to a mutually beneficial association. If you need help being placed with a broker or are considering the first steps to real estate licensing or passing the real estate exam, call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Understanding off-the-top fees as a Realtor

Rolled up dollar bills

Recently, I’ve been getting many questions regarding “off-the-top” fees that real estate companies charge their agents. If you are working at a real estate company, you are probably subject to

Recently, I’ve been getting many questions regarding “off-the-top” fees that real estate companies charge their agents. If you are working at a real estate company, you are probably subject to some kind of commission split between you and the company. Imagine it's 60/40, 70/30, 80/20 - whatever it is you'll have some split with your broker. This means that you will get a portion of the real estate commission and your brokerage gets a portion of the commission. Generally if you go work for a massive franchise like Century 21, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX or Keller Williams, they are also going to have an “off-the-top” fee. Remember, this is in addition to your commission split. Typically, this is anywhere between three and eight percent of the total commission. This represents a royalty to the franchisor. So Keller Williams corporate in Austin, or Coldwell Banker corporate in New Jersey gets a portion of your commission before you do. . As an example, let’s say you earn a $10,000 commission and your company charges a 6% off-the-top fee. Before your commission split is calculated the company will take $600 out of the $10,000 and send that to Coldwell Banker in New Jersey. Now you have $9,400 left. Your commission split will be calculated on that $9,400. Once you finish taking real estate classes, you are naturally going to interview with various real estate brokers and an important question to ask is “What’s my commission split?” However, you’ll also want to ask if there are there any other fees that are deducted before the commission split is calculated. Some brokers will charge an errors and omissions insurance fee for professional liability insurance. Some brokers will charge you a document scanning fee, or some other “desk fees” to work there. As a newer agent these are questions that you need to ask of the broker and be as educated as possible so you are fully aware of what you're getting into. If you are interested in taking real estate classes in Los Angeles or Orange County, please visit our website. If we haven’t yet connected on Instagram I would love to get to know you - I’m @kartikspics. Love, Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

How to Choose a Real Estate School

Licence

How to Choose a Real Estate School I know that many of you who are considering our real estate school are also cross-shopping — as you should. During this decision process, you're going to look

How to Choose a Real Estate School I know that many of you who are considering our real estate school are also cross-shopping — as you should. During this decision process, you're going to look at our program and stack it up against other real estate schools, community colleges and online schools. This makes sense, because smart shoppers do their homework.This is why I want to take a moment to explain why our program might be a good fit for you. The Numbers Speak for Themselves First off, you should compare our pass rate for the real estate exam with the current statewide statistics. In a recent month, there were 3,987 people who scheduled to take the real estate exam. Out of those scheduled, 3,494 showed up. Of the 3,494 that took the exam, only 46 percent passed that month.As a potential real estate agent, it’s very important to align yourself with an education program that has a proven system to give you the greatest chance of passing the exam - the first time! Why Does Our Program Work? I chalk it up the overall process of our entire program. We're going to provide you with excellent support, flexibility on when and how to take classes, a great faculty and solid course materials. • Full-time support: Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is available five days a week, Monday to Friday. Our representatives are all professional and highly trained. Compare this with smaller real estate schools that simply don’t have the resources that we do. • Flexible locations: We have many brick and mortar locations if you want to do the classes with a classroom component. This definitely plays into the convenience factor when you're trying to find a school near your home. Here's the best part about it: You get unlimited access to any of these locations' classrooms for twelve months! So, if you need a place close to your friend's house or dentist's office, we have your back. We also have online classes too if your schedule is more scattered. • Great online real estate classes: No other online school in California has the amount of video that we do. These aren't amateur videos either, but instead are done with professional lighting and audio and great camerawork to ensure you have the most professional set of real estate materials available. • High-quality instructors: Our faculty is simple the best out there. All of our instructors are extremely professional and knowledgeable. Some of our teachers have been presidents of large real estate organizations. One was even the VP of the global MLS. Another has done over 700 short sales and foreclosure transactions during his career. These are not isolated cases, each one of our instructors is screened for their teaching ability and personality before we hire them. • The right course material: When you take classes with us, you'll get three tangible college-level textbooks, not just PDFs. You get that "real school" feel by having a solid book in your hands. These textbooks contain hundreds of practice questions to help prepare you for the real estate exam. • Convenient (and affordable) crash courses: Start out with a bang! Our upper-tier  packages also include an intense (and fun) two-day live crash course.  This is going to give you the skills and knowledge needed to pass the real estate exam - the first time! Try It Before You Buy Naturally, you don't want to commit to something before you have a chance to try it out. That's why I'd like to offer you a free guest pass. With this pass, you can visit any location of ADHI schools at no cost or obligation.To sign up for a physical classroom guest pass, go to the main part of our website, scroll down and then enter your email in the information box.  We will immediately send you a guest pass. Come hang out with us! We would be excited to have you in the classroom! If you can't come in person, you're welcome to try out one of our online classes. Sign up for a trial account of our online real estate school. Scroll to the bottom of the page and check it out! Shop Smart I highly encourage you to compare our programs side by side with other real estate schools that you might be considering. I'm confident that you'll find that we have much more to offer than the competition.At the end of the day, you need to make the right decision for you. However, I think you'll be very happy if you choose us. Check out ADHI Schools today! - Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

Costs To Become a Realtor Explained

Student counting money for real estate license cost

What Does It Cost to Become a Realtor®? To start, we should differentiate between a “real estate licensee” and a “Realtor”. Remember, that to become a Realtor, it’s not only the exam and

What Does It Cost to Become a Realtor®? To start, we should differentiate between a “real estate licensee” and a “Realtor”. Remember, that to become a Realtor, it’s not only the exam and license fees, but also association of Realtor’s membership dues that you have to pay. I’ll discuss all of these through this blog post. A little plug – Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram,and subscribe to our YouTube channel. It’s also important to keep in mind that prices for real estate education, exams, and licensure will vary state-by-state. That said, let’s look at the costs below. The main expenses you’ll incur on this journey are: Statutorily required pre-license education Classes at our real estate school currently range between $150 and $499. The price difference depends on whether you want to take the classes online or with an in-person component. Our online classes are great and our in-person classes are legendary. It’s really up to you. One other thing – please keep in mind that these prices are subject to change. While we haven’t raised the prices of our program in years, depending on where and when you read this post, things may have changed. The best thing to do is check our website or call us at 888-768-5285. Also, realize that some states do not allow the future real estate professional to take their classes online. Arizona, for example, requires that you take classes in person. California allows you to do either or a combination of both. Check with your state to determine what the requirements are. Exam fees In California, the current cost of the real estate examination is $60 for salesperson applicants and $95 for the broker exam. If you happen to fail the test, the state requires that you pay this fee again. Pro tip: Don’t fail the exam. Study with our amazing real estate exam prep site here. Not sure what the difference between the sales license and brokers license are? Check out our video about this here. License fees/criminal background check The fee mentioned above is only for the exam. The state of California requires that you pay a license issuance fee as well. This is $245 for the sales license and $300 for the broker license. This fee is to be paid every four years when the real estate license is renewed. You’ll also need to go through a Livescan criminal background check – even if you’ve been through this before. This will cost $49 to the Department of Justice in California plus whatever the livescan operator charges. Typically it’s another $20 on top of the $49. Association of Realtor dues + joining a brokerage If you’re a residential real estate professional, you will need to join the National Association of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors, as well as join a brokerage in order to do any act that would require a real estate license. Your board dues will cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per year depending on the association of Realtors that you choose. Joining an association is mission critical as membership will provide you: ◦ The MLS (The most accurate database of current and former real estate transactions and tax information) ◦ Zipforms (ultra-convenient program that helps you draft complete contracts) ◦ E-Key (grants access to show properties) Join a brokerage Each company offers unique fees to agents that join them that vary. You may have a monthly office fee, website fee or pay up front for photocopies. You’ll want to interview a few of them first to make sure that you’re in the right spot. Optional Expenses Just because I’m terming these “optional”, it doesn’t mean that they’re not important. Being a full-time agent requires paying careful attention to your image online and in the community. Investing in these following items can boost your reputation. • Getting professional headshots that are updated yearly can cost between $100 and $500 per session, depending on the photographer you use, nature of the photo shoot and number of photos you need. Accurate and good-looking professional photos are important in order to appear credible to new prospects. Imagine a fuzzy, outdated, 10-year old MySpace selfie being used on an agent’s website and business card. This looks lazy and doesn’t help the agent gain credibility. When you take the time to invest in your professional image, it helps win the trust of new leads. • When it comes to marketing and promotion expenses, the sky is the limit. Your marketing expenses will depend on how much you want to invest in these: ◦ Boosting posts on social media: $5-as much as you want to spend. ◦ Open houses: Varies depending on how much food and drink you’re providing. ◦ Fliers and ads: Physical fliers are still necessary in many cases. The costs are minimal if you have an office printer and a set amount of prints you can do per month. Postcard marketing is also a tried and true method to gain new seller leads. We recommend our affiliate farming.cards listed here. Get Your Real Estate License in California If you want to know more about getting a real estate license in California, feel free to contact us today. -Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

The Importance of Follow-Up in Sales

Real estate agent calling clients and prospects to follow up

FOLLOW UP IN SALES   If you have ever sold anything, you know that it’s extremely rare that a sale is made on the first contact. Even for something as benign as a shirt or bag, the customer

FOLLOW UP IN SALES   If you have ever sold anything, you know that it’s extremely rare that a sale is made on the first contact. Even for something as benign as a shirt or bag, the customer may need to come back to the store or review the item online a few more times before committing to the purchase.  Before you enroll in a real estate school, it's important to be aware that real estate sales is just that - sales.  Follow up is probably the most important aspect of the sales business. Much of the time, it will take at least 3-4 contacts before your customer signs. In the case of real estate sales, it might take even more contacts as the sales cycle can be longer given the transaction size. Even though this is a fact of business, most sales people don’t follow up nearly enough or as hard as they should.Reaching out to customers after an initial contact makes several positive impressions at once.   Here are just a few of them. Follow-up and follow-through show your client: • You're trustworthy. • You're available. • You care about their experience. • You think they're special. Mastering the art of the follow-up helps you become a more successful salesperson. • You learn what the customer expects or wants. • You give a customer the chance to be heard. • You can convert a contact into a lead. • You make the contact more inclined to work with you over other agents. • You stay fresh in the customer's mind. Even if they're not ready to buy/sell right now, they may be later. With so many benefits, you should definitely pursue following up as a key prospecting strategy to help you nurture leads and build more business.   How Many Times? Statistics about agents who followed up more frequently versus those who didn’t are staggering. A recent report shows that agents who follow up on their leads five or more times made at least $200,000 per year. Those who followed up less frequently, even three times, reported significantly less earnings.To many of you, three times seems like a lot already, but it looks like five times is the magic number. Real estate depends on many tenacious sales tactics like this one. If you need to overcome the fear of prospecting, remember that the sale is made in the follow through, not in the initial contact. The Nature of an Effective Follow-Up If you're not following up with customers, you're setting yourself up to fail. The real estate game is all about gaining new prospects and leads. As such, you must constantly build your sphere of influence, your pipeline and ultimately gain the trust of new people.But before you pick up the phone or hop on the computer, you should take some time to review the best practices of a follow-up. It's more than just randomly calling people you meet. You need to contact people intentionally. • First, have the right attitude. Sit up straight and exude confidence in your body language and voice. Your customers can sense if you're not sure about what you're selling. • Follow up with hot leads first. These are the people who are most likely to become clients. You will get a higher success rate when you prioritize hot leads. Plus it’s easier to build your confidence with warm and hot leads rather than “leads” that are unlikely to buy. ◦ Segmenting your contacts is a valuable habit that will help you determine which contacts are more likely to lead to a sale — and therefore more worth your prospecting hours. Try cutting your prospects into groups of “hot” “warm” and “cold”. You must define what “hot” “warm” and “cold” mean. To me, a hot lead is one that will sign a contract in the next five to seven days. ◦ Follow up with a new lead within the first day. ◦ A hot lead should be reached every day ◦ Contact cold leads on a less frequent basis, between monthly and annually, depending on the nature of their real estate needs. Hit multiple channels Some people prefer one kind of contact method over the other, so being present on multiple channels can do wonders in reaching them. Here are a few to try: ◦ Phone calls ◦ Emails ◦ Text messages ◦ Social media DMs ◦ Event invites ◦ Direct mail postcards (check farming.cards as a valuable tool). Vary your approach You can make direct calls some days or use softer marketing techniques at other times. Sometimes offering informational content reaches leads without seeming too "salesy," such as sharing home-buying tips on a blog or advice on HVAC repair in a video. Learn Real Estate Marketing and More at ADHI Schools This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a great real estate marketing strategy. When you take our online real estate classes, you'll learn the ins and outs about becoming a great agent who can nurture great client relationships.  Follow up is a critical part of that.   -Kartik
Getting started in the real estate business

3 Reasons People Fail at Real Estate

Real estate agent handing over key

Over the past 15+ years, I have taught literally thousands of people real estate at ADHI Schools. This has amounted to over 11,000 hours of real estate classes in a classroom setting. In short, I’ve

Over the past 15+ years, I have taught literally thousands of people real estate at ADHI Schools. This has amounted to over 11,000 hours of real estate classes in a classroom setting. In short, I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen people join the business during deep recessions and also in the best of markets. I’ve witnessed many people start out in different circumstances and have noticed three common reasons may fail to launch their careers once they leave our classes. This is true whether students take real estate classes in Los Angeles or otherwise. Understanding these pitfalls can help you avoid them and ultimately succeed. My deepest wish is for you to be successful in your endeavors, and a large part of success is avoiding common mistakes. I recently recorded a YouTube video onthree reasons I think some people fail in the real estate business if they’re not careful: 1. They Fail to Treat It Like a Business When people get into our industry, they often don’t manage their time well. The flexible hours that real estate provides can shock a former 9-to-5 salary worker in terms of the level of freedom they suddenly have in their schedule. The change in routine feels nice. It’s tempting to get lazy. Instead of jolting awake to the alarm clock at 5:30 am, they realize they can sleep in if they want to. This also means they can stay out a little later. This often starts a cycle of time mismanagement. They’ll start to go to bed a little later and then sleep in. When they had a 9-to-5, they would hit the gym at 6 am, be out by 7 am and be in the office by 8:30. But in real estate, agents can wake up when they want because they don’t need to be in the office at any set time. Their new flex hours, which could potentially be an asset, are now a stumbling block. On the other hand, those who treat real estate like a real job maintain structure. They show up at their office in the morning and are ready to work. They don’t leave whenever they feel like it or treat it like a part-time gig. If you want full-time success, you need to be prospecting like a full-time job. You also need to constantly improve on your know-how and build upon your expertise. Think about this analogy: You have a restaurant that opens at 11. Do you show up right at 11? No! You arrive a couple of hours early to do kitchen prep so when the doors open at 11, you offer great food and service to your customers. The same goes for real estate. You need to apply the same discipline to your time as you did when external forces were dictating when you showed up and worked. 2. They Fail to Remember It’s a Sales Job Your real estate job comprises two basic components: lead cultivation and closing. A lot of people float along hoping to stumble into deals handed to them by friends and family. Sure, you can probably survive the first six to ten months with deals from friends and family, but what happens when you sell the houses of everyone you know? What if you don’t have a big sphere of influence? Are you actively prospecting? Do you use social media to reach out to new prospects? Are you actively promoting yourself online and with everyone you meet? This is a sales job! A lot of people aren’t naturally comfortable with the idea of being a salesperson. As a salesperson, you need tenacity and passion. Reaching out to new prospects and leads may initially feel uncomfortable but eventually you’ll get more comfortable with selling. You need to constantly be looking for new leads even when you are busy, so that you never have a time when you’re not. 3. They Run Out of Money When you start the business, you’ll need to pass your real estate exam and pay license fees and association of Realtor dues. These can all add up quickly, especially if you’re using your own money to market and promote your listings. Because escrows are often lengthly, it’s important to understand that it takes time to close on properties. During this time you’re not getting paid, so the first six to ten months can be rocky financially. I see some people return to the 9-to-5 job because they run out of money — however, this whole situation can be avoided with some preparation. Before you start making enough to go full time, it will take time to build up a pipeline in the first year. Have some savings set aside or a spouse to support you until you make enough to sustain yourself again. Overall, a financial safety net increases your chance of success during an agent’s first year. Learn What It Takes to Succeed Are you interested in learning more about the exciting real estate business? Do you want to take real estate classes online or do you want to attend real estate school in Orange County? Take our classes to get a leg up in the California real estate market.
Getting started in the real estate business

Keeping Your Job During Layoffs - Life as a real estate agent

Licence

I was reading the Los Angeles Times this morning and came across an interesting article entitled “How to keep your job during layoffs”The article advises that the following be done:1. Anticipate what

I was reading the Los Angeles Times this morning and came across an interesting article entitled “How to keep your job during layoffs”The article advises that the following be done:1. Anticipate what your company needs.2. Keep up your skills.3. Stay positiveI started to think that the above also applies to life as a real estate salesperson.Anticipating what your company needs is important to stay relevant as an employee. How does this apply to life as a real estate agent? What about anticipating what your clients need? This is very important. What if a new listing comes on near one of your listings that is less than yours? Price reduction anyone? What about a new listing that comes on the market for one of your buyers? Staying relevant and timely is important no matter what you do.Keeping up your skills is also important. When was the last time you took a class or went to a seminar? Many local associations give free classes for short sales and REO properties these days. Take advantage of these and keep learning. My mom always used to say ‘In order to earn more you have to LEARN more.’Finally, staying positive always helps no matter what you are doing. Click here for one of my favorite videos about this.
Getting started in the real estate business

Starting in real estate - should you work on a team?

Real estate team gathered around a desk to discuss strategy

I received an email from a student today asking if I thought he should work on a team as he starts his real estate career. This is an individual decision and is one that should not be taken lightly.One

I received an email from a student today asking if I thought he should work on a team as he starts his real estate career. This is an individual decision and is one that should not be taken lightly.One of our instructors, Chris Montague, started in the business and worked on a team with a top producer. He says that he learned sales skills and discipline that he would not have learned if he started on his own. I have uploaded his mentor Robert Adams' interview with us to YouTube. You can check it out hereI am blogging about this because I suspect that some of you may be considering working on a team as well. Before you make this decision, I would recommend reading this article that does a good job of pointing out the pros and cons of the team model.
Getting started in the real estate business

Interviews with ADHI students and the real estate community

Licence

As part of our new website I had the good fortune of interviewing three groups of people recently. The first group was comprised of current Adhi students.The second group was a group of students who had

As part of our new website I had the good fortune of interviewing three groups of people recently. The first group was comprised of current Adhi students.The second group was a group of students who had taken classes with Adhi Schools and passed thie state exam within the last one to six weeks.The last group was comprised of industry veterans. A common theme in nearly all the interviews was that people taking the classes and in the real estate industry want to take control of their own destiny and put their future in their own hands.Stay tuned for the videos.
Getting started in the real estate business

An interview with ADHI Schools' administrative manager

Interviewing adhi schools administrative manager

The following is an interview with Sophia Lopez, the administrative manager of ADHI Schools. She is a licensed real estate salesperson and has been with the company since 2005. Q: How did you end up working

The following is an interview with Sophia Lopez, the administrative manager of ADHI Schools. She is a licensed real estate salesperson and has been with the company since 2005. Q: How did you end up working with the school?A: I was working with another real estate company that was downsizing. Kartik taught a class there and ended up hiring me right away!Q: What do you think sets our school apart from others?A: Accessibility to our staff and the live element of our courses. Come check out one of our classes!Q: You have seen hundreds and hundreds of students come through our doors. What do you think separates successful students from unsuccessful ones?A: Determination and students that are persistent and eager to learn. Asking questions is a must.Q: Do you have any advice for those applying for the exam?A: Go to one of our crash courses and do questions and answers over and over again.Q: As an assistant to Kartik Subramaniam, you have seen real estate agents that succeed and those that are less successful. Any advice for new agents?A: Don't get discouraged and stay focused. Come to the office everyday. Something will pop up! Treat this business like a regular job.Sophia can be contacted at sophia@adhischools.com
Getting started in the real estate business

An interview with a former ADHI student

Video recording interview with past adhi schools student

Nicole Lindler is a 23 year old graduate of ADHI Schools. Here is a little bit of our interview for this blog:Q: How did you hear about our program?A: I got referred by a friend who also took the classes

Nicole Lindler is a 23 year old graduate of ADHI Schools. Here is a little bit of our interview for this blog:Q: How did you hear about our program?A: I got referred by a friend who also took the classes at ADHI Schools who said the instruction was great!Q: Why did you want to get a real estate license?A: I've always had an interest in real estate. My parents are big investors... It's always been a passion of mine and something I'm interested in.Q: What did you do before you took the classes?A: I was a student at USC majoring in marketing and English. I recently graduated.Q: What are your plans with your license?A: I want to sell real estate in West Los Angeles, a very selective market. I have set a couple of personal goals for myself that I would like to reach.Q: How many times did you have to take the state exam before you passed.A: LAUGHS... Just one of course!Q: Any advice for a new student or someone thinking of registering?A: There's no time like the present. Anyone can be successful in real estate if you are motivated and just get started!
Getting started in the real estate business

Breakfast with a Prudential Real Estate Legend

Breakfast dishes hashbrowns scrambled eggs pancakes

The Prudential Legend award is given to Prudential real estate agents that have achieved Chairman's Circle at least 5 times. Currently, Chairman's Circle is at least $300,000 in income or 70 residential

The Prudential Legend award is given to Prudential real estate agents that have achieved Chairman's Circle at least 5 times. Currently, Chairman's Circle is at least $300,000 in income or 70 residential units sold in one year. I had the opportunity of having breakfast with a Legend inductee Daniel Bryant, broker/owner of Prudential California Realty in Sierra Madre. Bryant has had offices in Monrovia, Pasadena and Sierra Madre. Formerly he has held senior positions at Bank of America and Cushman and Wakefield.On a recent Sunday morning I met Mr. Bryant for breakfast at the San Gabriel Country Club where he is a member. We talked about the state of the real estate market and what it takes to be successful.To paraphrase our conversation:Dan echoed something that I head often from brokers and managers about the business: "Treat this like a job. Show up at a certain time every day and go to work. You will get business."Send handwritten notes every day. These really make an impression.Market to people that you have existing relationships with. They know, trust and like you already. This is a great place for new agents to start looking to get business.Real estate is all local. Certain markets will get hit harder than others. Know yours - your clients are counting on you.Dan Bryant is always looking for new salespeople. He can be reached at danielbryant@earthlink.net.
Getting started in the real estate business

I'm getting into real estate... Should I get a new car?

Line of new mercedes benz cars at car dealership

Ughh. The age old question. Real estate is all about image and flash, isn't it? I say hell no! As long as your car has the following you should be fine:Air conditioningHeatingKEPT CLEAN AT ALL TIMESThere

Ughh. The age old question. Real estate is all about image and flash, isn't it? I say hell no! As long as your car has the following you should be fine:Air conditioningHeatingKEPT CLEAN AT ALL TIMESThere is no need to put yourself in debt as you start this career. Some managers say "Go out and buy yourself that new car. The payment will make you work harder!" Is your manager/broker going to make your car payment for you until your deals close? Why put that undue pressure on yourself, especially in this soft market. Wear clean, well-pressed clothes. Pick up your phone. Return calls. Have a clean car. Most of all - DO YOUR JOB.
Getting started in the real estate business

How to choose a real estate office

Empty open modern real estate office in orange county

Upon finishing the required courses at ADHI Schools, LLC many of our students ask, "How do I pick a real estate office to work for?" Definitely a complicated question. The main thing to remember as a

Upon finishing the required courses at ADHI Schools, LLC many of our students ask, "How do I pick a real estate office to work for?" Definitely a complicated question. The main thing to remember as a new agent is to pick an office that has a structured and scheduled training program. Don't be enticed by high commission splits (easier said than done - I know!) or empty promises. Learn the basics like how to fill out a contract, how to get clients and service them right. Give it time - The money will show up if you stick with it and do a good job! When interviewing brokers be sure to ask for a copy of the WRITTEN training schedule. If the office doesn't have a WRITTEN program and structure chances are they are just "winging it" and you should beware.Also be advised that some offices do have desk fees. Technically desk fees are calculated by taking the total expenses of an office and dividing by the number of salespeople. As an example, if an office has total expenses of $20,000/mo and 100 agents, each agent may be required to pay $200 to offset the hard costs of running the office. This is a watered down example of how desk fees are calculated, but each broker has their own policy in terms of what is charged to the agent and when these fees are paid. Typically, you may expect to recieve a slightly higher commission in this type of office because you are paying in each month, but again every office is different.Brokers that are affiliated with a national franchise may also have something called an "off-the-top" fee. This ranges from 4-8 percent and is calculated before your commission split. As an example, if you were on a 60-40 commission split and there was a 5 percent off-the-top fee, 5 percent would be deducted from the gross commission prior to calculating your 60%.Example: $10,000 gross commission. - 500 (off-the-top/franchise fee) -4,000 (40% to broker) ________ $5,500 (agent take home)Got questions about a certain office or what they are offering? Call our office today at 888 768 5285. We'll walk you through it. Or better yet, call us for recommendations. We'll lead you in the right direction!