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How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent in Boston

How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent in Boston

Aubrey Liss

A career in real estate offers unlimited income potential and the flexibility to make your own hours. It also offers the ability to make every day different from the one before. Unlike most 9-5 jobs, you can generate life-changing income if you’re willing to put in the work. Real estate is truly one of the only industries that has a direct correlation to the hours your put in and financial success. It’s imperative that you look at multiple real estate brokerages, not all real estate offices are created equal. You’ll need to figure out the ability of the office to provide you with the right teamwork, training, and technology in an environment where you can flourish. You’ll need an abundance of listings and leads to stay busy and hone your skills quickly. This will allow you to start out strong and make money immediately.

The easiest way to set yourself up for success as a real estate agent in Boston is to join the right team. If you’re a new agent, ask how many transactions the team or office close per day, week, or month. Ask them to show you their deal board, sold and/or rented listings. If you’re a more experienced agent, you should consider your options and compare offices to your current brokerage – you may find a better fit.

So, to become a successful real estate agent in Boston, how can you find the right team?

1. Follow the Inventory

The bottom line is the more listings you have access to, the better you can serve your clients in their search for a home. You can’t sell or rent listings you don’t have. It takes time to foster trust and build relationships. If you ever want the truth about a brokerage– request to see their key closet. Property owners would never give keys to unethical or lackluster offices.

The Real-Time Availability Rate (RTAR) for the city of Boston is 0.69% and for Greater Boston it’s 0.88%. This means less than 1% of Boston apartments are currently available for rent, and most brokerages don’t have exclusive access to any of them. This is why Low Inventory Syndrome (LIS) is a plague affecting most real estate agents in Boston right now! Look for a brokerage that sets itself apart with the largest proprietary database of listings and longstanding relationships with local property owners. It takes an office many years to acquire the best listings in the Greater Boston Area. Think of existing relationships as a giant time saver. Quality information at your fingertips can save you roughly 20-30 hours per week of prospecting time. In real estate, time is money!

Without access to enough inventory, you will find yourself showing the same properties your clients already saw with another agent. It’s embarrassing! If a real estate company is telling you that you must co-broke listings to survive in our industry – RUN! This means their real estate office has very little trust and credibility with property owners and that office is forced to co-broke. Great offices with the most listings have the highest number of direct deals for both sales and rentals. Fact.

2. Ask the Right Questions Before Joining a Team

Unless you want to be one of a thousand real estate agents in Boston showing the same tired listings, you’ll need to ask some specific questions.

Do not just ask: How many listings do you have?
Ask: How many listings do you have access to outside of the standard Internet Listing Services (ILS) everyone else does?

Without access to exclusive listings, you have no advantage. Clients want to see as many units as possible in as little time as possible. Clients want to see great listings. If everyone else can show your clients 3 units, you’ll be able to show them 6. Once clients hear that, they’ll only want to work with you- especially in a market as tight as this one. The number of listings you can show will dramatically increase your prestige and confidence.

Do not just ask: How many transactions does your office close?
Ask: How many of your real estate transactions are co-brokes?

While co-broking sales is often the norm, rentals are completely different. Sales have larger commissions and usually exclusive representation agreements on both sides. If most of an office’s rental deals are co-brokes, it means they have no inventory. Desperate offices are forced to resort to splitting rental commissions with other brokerages. When you’re working with renters, they’re typically free to work with different agents if they want. It’s up to you to demonstrate that you are the best agent for the job and how you can add value to their experience. That’s easy to do if you are able to say, “I can show you more apartments than anyone else in your price range, and we can see all of them in one day.”

Additionally, it’s not good as an agent to be forced to co-broke. Let’s do some quick math. The average rent for an apartment in Boston is about $2,400. If you’re co-broking with another office because you don’t have any listings, your gross commission would be $1,200. Even if your office promises “higher splits” at 65%, your take-home compensation is $780. Now, let’s say you work at an office that doesn’t need to co-broke, but offers a starting commission split at 50%- your take-home commission is $1,200- that’s $420 MORE for the same amount of work. So, when you rent about 80 properties in a year, that $420 average increase per deal is going to be huge. In fact, if you are freed from the need to co-broke, you’re going to net about $33,600 dollars more annually.

Do not just ask: Who is your top agent and how much did they close last year?
Ask: Can I speak to a few of your top agents?

Towards the end of your interview, ask to meet agents at their office, in particular – their top closers. This allows you to not just confirm how many listings and pre-qualified leads they have access to, but also allows you to get a feel for the office. Make sure to ask lots of questions and take notes to review later.

3. Take a Close Look at the Competition

Complete multiple keyword web searches and pretend you were a real estate customer. What would you type into google? If you keep seeing certain companies coming up on the first page of google, it would be a good idea to work with them. If that’s who you see first, it’s also who clients see. After all, experienced real estate agents in Boston can often triple their take home income when they go to an office that offers them more listings, better marketing, and a consistent stream of leads.

While there are a lot of “national real estate brands” out there – do a Google search and see if any of them come up for local keyword searches that bring in customers. Most of them don’t. Nearly all of them lean on their national franchise’s brand to pretend they have lots of inventory. Make them show you their database (if they have one). If they refuse to show you their available listings, what does that say about them?

True success in real estate starts with having the best technology platform providing the best listings and most qualified leads. Agents with this upper hand can quickly close transactions. Our team has access to 209,561 listings from 18,184 property owners. Ask other brokerages to show you how many landlords fill in their website requests to show their properties. If they can’t show you any, you might want to move on. In a tight market like we are experiencing now- landlords give their listings to only the finest offices. Our agents have a proven track record of success.

The Best Real Estate Agents in Boston Set Themselves Up for Success from Day 1

The most important factor to your success is access to the best listings and a constant stream of leads. Today’s customers demand an effective and efficient showing process so they can quickly secure the best property without delay. If you’re jumping in from a different sector, your current job may have given you the tools and transferable skills to succeed in the real estate industry already. However, even if your clients think you’re the best- it won’t lead to closed deals without enough inventory to show. Inventory is the key to success today. Skills can be honed, and expertise comes with time, but access to inventory requires a great team behind you.

New agents utilizing the Boston Pads platform often close $5K-10K in commissions within their first two weeks! These types of rapid commissions are unprecedented in the world of real estate. Nearly all agents at traditional brokerages often take months before closing their first transaction.

Now is a great time to start your career in real estate. We often hear other agents at traditional, no-resource brokerages talking about the fall as the “slow” season in Boston. Well, we couldn’t disagree more. We have listings coming in on a non-stop basis in every single neighborhood in the Greater Boston area. We know you can close $100K+ in commissions in the fall months alone- because our agents do. We welcome you in for an interview.

Learn more about real estate careers with our partner offices and apply today!

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Aubrey Liss

Aubrey Liss

Aubrey Liss has been a licensed real estate professional since March of 2004. Aubrey relocated to Boston in early 2005 and began working with Jacob Realty. With a well-rounded background of residential sales and longstanding family history of property development, she was instrumental in the expansion of the Jacob Realty sales team. Her policies and leadership qualities helped gain her the title of Director of Operations since 2006 for several leading brokerages. Aubrey stays engaged and well informed regarding the latest market trends in both investment and residential products. Ms. Liss enjoys helping agents and landlords develop properties to their highest potential for both sales and rentals depending on market conditions. Aubrey has over a decade of complex development experience including by-right projects and successfully navigating the variance process throughout the Greater Boston area.

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