May 4th - 2011

New salespeople advised to hit the ground running for real estate success

Ask any REALTOR® to recall their first day on the job and most will tell you it was overwhelming.

Ask any REALTOR® to recall their first day on the job and most will tell you it was overwhelming. Although registration education courses enable students to qualify as registrants, the courses don’t necessarily prepare salespeople for all of the daily challenges of a real estate career. 

As Brockville REALTOR® Ron Merkley remembers, “I had my first meeting with a potential buyer, and when I went to shake his hand, the price tag on my suit jacket dangled out of my sleeve...I didn’t have a clue what I was doing!” Although he made the sale, Merkley says he feels that a bit more guidance and preparation for the real world would have helped him immensely.

To help bridge the gap between the classroom and the realities of real estate, the OREA Real Estate College has developed A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training for Success. The kit includes three DVDs and a series of booklets. How Real Estate is Structured in Ontario highlights the benefits and services provided by organized real estate. Sales Training for New Salespeople presents interviews with salespeople and highlights many of the skills needed for a successful real estate career. Topics include business planning, time management, professionalism, prospecting techniques and strategies to help convert For Sale by Owners (FSBOs) to listings.

The importance of business planning, budgeting and – the lifeblood of any real estate career, prospecting – is emphasized early on in the kit. Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of failure among real estate salespeople in the first year of business is a reluctance to network with friends and family and an aversion to making cold calls. However, successful REALTORS® know that including these tasks as a regular part of their day has helped them succeed.

Thunder Bay Broker Mike Kostecki began his real estate career 22 years ago. “I remember thinking, ‘What do I do now?’ But then I got down to business and planned an open house for the next day.” Kostecki recalls that getting out every day to network with people in his community worked for him.

In the kit’s Training for Success brochure, new salespeople are encouraged to set goals for prospecting by assessing their income needs, converting those into sales goals and then translating prospecting targets into sales.

There are no shortcuts to building a real estate business, as the material explains. People who are just starting out may find it difficult to forecast the number of properties they need to sell to meet their income needs. Let’s say your budgeting exercise identifies that you need to generate $100,000 per year. Based on conversations with your manager, you understand that you would need to sell 20 properties in the year ahead in order to meet your target.

You will also need to figure out how many listings a year you’ll need to obtain in order to sell your 20 properties. Assuming that 80 per cent of your listings result in a sale, you’ll need 25 listings to generate 20 sales. If it takes five listing appointments in order to get one listing, you will need 125 listing appointments. If one appointment requires about 50 cold calls, and assuming you work 250 days a year, you need to make 25 cold calls a day. By the way, a cold call only counts when you talk to a human being. Your listings will also attract buyers who may not be interested in those particular listings but you can sell them other properties, generating additional income.

Although considered the salesperson’s most dreaded task, cold calling works, as Merkley -- who is now in the appraisal business -- will tell you. “I used to pick names out of the phone book at random and call them up. Instead of asking them, ‘Are you thinking of selling?’ I would ask ‘Can you help me? Do you know anyone who might be thinking of selling?’ Inevitably, I found someone who wanted to chat and the next thing I knew, they knew someone, and so on.”

Cold calling is just one type of prospecting that real estate salespeople can employ. There are other methods, and the kit outlines some of those approaches. These other methods include: converting “for sale by owners” (FSBOs); working a geographical farm (specific area); and working your personal contacts. REALTORS® must also be aware of the Do Not Call List and privacy legislation and how these can affect their ability to contact prospective clients while still abiding by the laws and regulations.

The OREA Real Estate College Mentoring Kit is a valuable resource for new salespeople but is also useful for brokers of record, who can use it as an effective training tool to develop new talent. The kit is available to members for $75 plus tax and may be ordered by calling (416) 391-6732 or 866-411-OREA (6732).

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For more information contact

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246