Like every new beginning in life, starting a new career is intimidating, daunting and downright scary. The real estate business holds many challenges for you: intense competition, a changing economy, burnout, unrealistic expectations, and plain old growing pains. You’re only human- it’s expected that you may become discouraged. Many real estate agents don’t survive their first year, often because their own fears and doubts get the best of them. If you can make it through your first 12 months, all kinds of rewards await, including a rewarding, long-term career. Keep …

Mold doesn’t discriminate; it can attack even the best and most beautiful properties. It loves warm, damp, humid conditions (think bathrooms and basements), and it lives and reproduces by creating spores. Mold is never okay with potential buyers or with the bank. Needless to say, if you’re helping your client sell a house, the mold problem should be resolved before any further steps are taken. Otherwise, you’ll need to disclose the issue or open yourself up to a lawsuit by the new owner. To avoid this: have the mold removed, …

If you work regularly with landlords and property managers, you know that dealing with evictions come with the territory. It may help your clients — many of whom may be buying investment properties or simply renting apartments — to know that you’re familiar with the basics of eviction. The bottom line: follow the rules, which vary from state to state, and sometimes even from city to city. They’re put in place so that evictions cannot happen on a whim. In just about every eviction case, a court order must be …

While it’s not legally required for real estate agents to attend home inspections, a good, dedicated agent who cares about clients should be there to advocate, ask questions, or even challenge decisions. A home inspection should not be left to the buyer or seller alone, who may not know the red flags that may arise or which questions to ask. Many real estate deals get broken because of some kind of issue that was brought up during a home inspection. Since it’s the agent’s job to advocate and negotiate on …

Although buying a home is still the core of the American Dream, most first-time homebuyers find the process intimidating and mysterious. Here’s your chance to help your clients better understand the homebuying process, and to educate them on many of the related expenses that first-time homebuyers often miss. Since buying a home is more than likely going to be the biggest purchase your client ever makes, keep them on guard by making them aware of the expenses that go beyond the cost of the house. Most costs are not so …

You show so many houses to so many people that you may forget that it’s a risky and potentially dangerous act. You never quite know who you are escorting through an empty property, and you may be unaware of traps that await you if you’re not as aware of your surroundings as you could be. Keep this checklist handy and look it over before you show your next house – and share it with your staff. Keep in touch Always let your staff and your broker know where you are …

Even the most successful real estate agents can recall suffering stinging failures at some point in their career. If anything, success in this business is as much about bouncing back from setbacks and disappointments as it is scoring big wins. First, is it your failure? Before you start analyzing the failure, it’s worth asking yourself whether it was truly your failure or simply an unfortunate situation that was out of your hands. Is it your fault that a buyer backed out of a deal at the last second? Or that …

Maybe it’s been a great year for you. Maybe it hasn’t been so great. Either way, if you’ve got some free time over the holidays, it’s worthwhile to sit down and try to calmly and collectively assess your past year of work. Here are a few things to consider. What drove the most leads? In the marketing business, it’s called lead attribution. Start by making a list of how you acquired each and every lead to determine what marketing activity made it possible: networking events, advertising in the local community …

To be clear, the holiday season is not the best time of year to be trying to buy or sell a home. But in real estate, the client is king. You’ll have buyers looking to grab a home before New Year’s and sellers desperate to get out just as quickly. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Do: Plan ahead Listing a home that is still occupied is always a challenge for sellers, particularly if they are typically at home during the day. Getting sellers to vacate the …

As you’re assembling a team to help you develop your business into a full-fledged real estate powerhouse, you need to think critically about the type of people you want to surround yourself with. First hire: Assistant The first step to building a strong team is finding somebody to take over much of the administrative work that you take on so that you can focus on generating leads and customer service. The top priority for an administrative assistant is finding somebody who is organized and competent, not necessarily somebody who knows …