Are you new to the real estate business or just new to selling rural land and farms? Are you not-so-new and finding it difficult to stay in the real estate business in the current market? If you are either of these, I have a few suggestions that might help you be more productive in selling rural properties. OK, so you are probably asking, “Why would I share that information with you?”. It’s simple. The better you are at doing your job, the easier mine becomes. Self-motivated really, but you stand to benefit too. I’ve been around this business for a good while. I’ve seen agents come and go. I’ve seen agents come and stay. Here are a few tips that I have picked up along the way:
1. Don’t be afraid to NOT know something. Some of the worst problems I have seen in selling land arise from an agent being afraid to say, “I don’t know.” As a young agent in particular, you are afraid that it will make you look unskilled and unprofessional. Let me assure you, professionals say “I don’t know.” a lot! The key to this is being able to follow that “I don’t know.” with a sincere, “But I will do my best to find out.” No one knows everything about real estate. Once you get this concept, you are on your way to becoming a good agent.
2. Specialize in a few particular markets within the real estate business. Do not try to be all things to all people. Selling a gas station is a world away from selling building lots on a lake. Your network of buyers, sellers, and supporting professionals will be very different for those. You can’t be great at doing one or the other if you cannot fully immerse yourself into that market. Many agents make the mistake of trying to list whatever is available to list. This is a recipe for burn-out. Again, you can’t be all things to all people. Take time to learn what markets are available to you. Markets may be geographically limited and some may not. They are all dynamic and nuanced, which is why you cannot professionally participate in all markets real estate.
3. Once you have established the markets that you want to work in, communicate with the people in that market. No, I do not mean put the sales pitch on everybody in the market. Get to know them. Get to know the other agents in your market. Be a service to the other professionals in the market. They are a great source of referrals.
4. Get to know the individual properties you are marketing. The important aspects of ownership vary with the type property you are selling. Figure out what these are for your market and have that information readily available when you are asked about it. Again, please, if you don’t know it, don’t make it up! If you are working as a buyer’s agent, you have to know that buyer in the same way a listing agent needs to know his properties.
5. You are better off with a few good, marketable listings than you are with a hundred over-priced, unmarketable properties. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a listing that you do not think is salable. Don’t shy away from letting a client know that his or her expectations are not in line with the market. This will save you a great deal of angst in the long-run.
6. Track your results from your marketing efforts. This will help you spend your limited marketing dollars more wisely. Avoid the shotgun approach. Find out what methods and sources work best for the market you are in. Then concentrate on doing the best job with those avenues that work best. Sellers will want you to go with the shotgun approach. You can be a better agent for them by being able to explain that you spend your efforts maximizing proven methods rather than trying to cover all possible options.
7. Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes new agents get in a deal that’s over their heads. If they are not smart enough to ask for help, many times they will bumble around until they loose the entire thing. You are better off bringing in a seasoned pro to help you and to share your commission with them than you are to loose the whole thing. Be quick to partner with an experienced, successful agent and learn from them in the process.
8. Do not take rejection as a personal affront to you. Business is business. Once you see something is not going to work out, move on to something that shows more promise. Be careful not to jump to quickly though. If you are having problems deciding if a deal is worth working on, talk with your broker. Good brokers want you to be spending your time working on good deals too.
These are a few things that a new agent can do to help themselves be more effective and profitable. There are many, many more aspects that new agents will have to learn. New agents will not know everything there is to know just because they have a real estate license. As with anything worth learning, it takes time and experience. As a new agent, you will have to learn to persevere in order to obtain that knowledge and experience.
One tool that I would like to suggest is the LANDTHINK Community. There are seasoned land professionals participating in the forums there that will be glad to help you and offer their experiences. You will be more likely to get good responses from them if you participate in the forum so go there and start posting today!
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