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The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
02-01-2012, 09:58 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2012 10:12 AM by Laura Altobelli.)
Post: #21
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
(01-31-2012 05:48 AM)Jennifer Allan Hagedorn Wrote:  I learned the very hard way that when you're self-employed, ANYTHING on your medical record can make you uninsurable for years... it's really a serious issue...
The health benefit issue has been a big stumbling block for me--I have a couple friends who tell me that if my husband supported my career change, he would go back to work in an office so that it wouldn't be an issue, but I can't ask him to do that. It's taken him a lot of hard work to build his business into what it is, so it wouldn't be fair of me to tell him to throw it away after he's come this far. Fortunately [knock wood], neither of us or our son have any issues that hold us back from getting insurance---it's just that the price tag is hard to swallow!

(01-31-2012 05:48 AM)Jennifer Allan Hagedorn Wrote:  My first office was in the foothills outside of Denver which I thought would be very glamorous and exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't know anything about the area, the housing styles or the people who wanted to live there so I ended up focusing on in-town properties and fairly quickly changed offices to one that better fit my interests, expertise and commuting preference. Work where you know... I think you'll be a lot happier in the long run.

I lived in Denver (Capitol Hill) for a year, so I know what you mean about how different the populations are from one area of the city to another! The lakefront area where my friend lives and works is very unlike my area, even though it's less than 10 miles away----many of the log homes there started out as vacation cottages that were passed down through the generations. In contrast, my neighborhood has a lot of first-time homebuyers moving to the area for work (I'm close to the NJ turnpike and major interstates and centrally located between Philadelphia and NYC). People here have a totally different mindset, and one that I understand far better!

(01-31-2012 12:12 PM)Karri Wrote:  Good point Jennifer. I was always the kid in school who dreaded "group work." LOL. Not that I COULDN'T play nice in the sand box and I certainly had friends 'n all that. But if one kid was riding on my coat tails to get a good grade, I totally resented it. ... I guess I'm a little freaked about how to find that balance between having a couple colleagues you can trust/rely on for a little pinch hitting or help now and then and getting sucked into to yucky office politics.

Karri, I completely understand where you're coming from! I tend to be a control freak, uncomfortable with delegating---not necessarily because I don't trust that someone else can handle a task, just that I can't be bothered taking the time to explain something and not get the finished product exactly as I would have done it! I think a lot of that goes back to my experiences in school, where either A) somebody else got credit after I did all the work or B) the end product was mediocre because I didn't step in and do more when people weren't pulling their weight.

I consider myself to be a very self-directed learner, and I like the idea of seizing control of my activities, finding out for myself what works for me and what doesn't. That being said, I also relish the thought of going into an office and asking for all the dead files to see if I can breathe life into something that's been ignored by everyone else. I also feel like I don't have a big enough SOI in my local housing market. I don't want to isolate myself TOO much from the start. Karri, do you mind if I ask what your current business is? Just wondered if you see a lot of potential real estate clients in your current contacts!
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02-01-2012, 02:38 PM
Post: #22
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
I'm really loving you guys/gals! The new generation of SWS'ers!!! Of course, I still love the Old Guard, too...

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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02-01-2012, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2012 06:15 PM by Alberta Realtor.)
Post: #23
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
(02-01-2012 09:58 AM)Laura Altobelli Wrote:  Karri, do you mind if I ask what your current business is? Just wondered if you see a lot of potential real estate clients in your current contacts!

Hey Laura -

Boy do you sound like me! I'm very much a "do it myself" kinda gal. That said, I've learned the power of delegation for SOME things. But that can be taken too far too because truly, in biz, you gotta just bootstrap it until you can afford the help. And then when you DO have to delegate/outsource/be someone's "boss" you can be super classy about it b/c you've been there.

SOME of my biz contacts might be potentials, but mostly NOT. That said, I've lived here for a very long time and know the city pretty well plus have a decent enough "group 2" and humble little "group 1" to build off of. Plus my husband has a healthy little network of folks through his business/employees.

Background (warning: this may be a yawn fest for some of you): I have a web marketing consulting/copywriting biz in which 99% of my clients were NOT local but rather all over the U.S (I'm in AB/Canada). Technically the business is still "alive" but I've stepped back from it almost completely. Took some time to recharge, regroup and rethink what I REALLY wanted to do in this next phase of my life. I got burned out from working sooo hard for what felt like not that much money (my rates were actually pretty high too). AND, the online world is a little nutso ... very abstract stuff (I worked with a lot of coach-y types and did a fair bit of coach-consulting stuff myself for clients). I'll stop there Wink

I was also feeling creatively burned out AND super isolated from what I now call the "real world." The online world is exciting but the shine wore off for me after 7 years ... BUT I have no regrets. I made some BIG mistakes and learned some BIG lessons. I also had some really awesome "wins" in my biz too. The cool thing NOW is that I'm going into this real estate thing with my eyes wide open about so many things I'd have otherwise not known.

(Yeah, there's a big ol' essay here that I won't bore you with!)

So at the age of 38 I'm doing a gigantic career change. I'm scared to death, mainly because I have two little boys and a husband who sorta like my attention now and then! But I'm magnetically drawn to this real estate thing. It's not even logical. I just realized I HAVE to do it.

I considered getting a "J-O-B" for a while. Even handed in a few resumes. And while I was waiting around for someone to call me for an interview I remembered how much I detest putting my life/happiness/income/all of it in someone else's hands. It was a sign!

I'm the type of person who works very hard at whatever I am passionate about. Figure if I'm gonna work my butt off, I might as well reap the rewards rather than a paycheck I have very little control over.

Okay ... THAT was way more response than you bargained for!! Hehe.

But thanks for asking!
Karri
(02-01-2012 02:38 PM)Jennifer Allan Hagedorn Wrote:  I'm really loving you guys/gals! The new generation of SWS'ers!!! Of course, I still love the Old Guard, too...

Jennifer - You get brownie points for calling me "New." Makes me feel all young 'n sassy again. Heart
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03-15-2012, 12:50 PM
Post: #24
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
I've been self-employed for more years than I care to add up, and under the new health care regulations, pre-existing conditions cannot be used to raise the price of insurance or keep you from buying coverage. THANK GOODNESS for that, as almost anyone over the age of, say, 50 has had some problem or another, even something very small. Nevertheless, it will be 2014, I think, before that rule becomes set in stone, so follow the good advice to get the best coverage you can afford and then never use it. Big Grin
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03-20-2012, 05:29 PM
Post: #25
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
HELP! I have a broker interview tomorrow afternoon with a real estate firm that usually only contracts with experienced agents. I just got my license but I have a pretty good resume and a lot of passion for this industry. I would like to be prepared with a 30-60-90 day plan but I'm not sure how to put this together or what to include for a new real estate career. Does anyone (Jennifer?) have some ideas or an actual plan. I would greatly appreciate any help...thanks so much!



"GOAL: When someone talks about you behind your back, you want them to refer to you as FIRST CLASS." -Jeffrey Gitomer
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03-21-2012, 05:27 AM
Post: #26
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Good morning Erin!

If you're brand new, it's my opinion that it will be your attitude and confidence that will persuade a broker who usually only "hires" experienced agents... although having a plan sure won't hurt... more on that in a bit.

But my first question is... are you sure you want to go to a company that isn't used to having new agents around? You definitely will need training and support, and offices that don't usually bring on new agents probably aren't used to providing the support you'll need. That's how RE/MAX used to be - any new agent who came on board was pretty much left to figure it all out on their own which is a recipe for disaster. NOT that most new agent training programs are all that good, but at least there's something in place.

The thing is... at this point, if you don't already know what your 30-60-90 day plan is... you probably shouldn't be going somewhere that is going to let you figure it all out on your own - does that make sense?

Now, if you asking me what I'd be DOING as a new agent in my first 30 days... and 60... and 90... here's how I'D answer (but most brokerages won't be impressed with my approach, unfortunately!).

First 30 days: spend 8 hours a day learning my systems, my market and my contracts. Yes, 8 hours a day for 30 days. I'd take breaks from learning everything I can about my new career to reconnect with friends and make new ones, but I would do no formal prospecting at all... I'd just immerse myself into learning my craft and the tools of my trade.

Next 30 days: Continue learning my market, but get serious about getting my sphere of influence database up and running... and reconnecting with friends and making new ones. The goal is for you to have at least 200 people in your database who know you and like you, so that they'll care about your new career (if they don't know you and like you, they won't care at all about your career).

Next 30 days: More of the same and hopefully you'll be working with some clients at this point, so you'll be busy taking care of them. It's probably during this period that you'll start getting your systems in place (contact and conTRACT management, listing tools, etc.) so that you can properly serve your first clients.

Now, if you want to impress most brokers, you'll walk in there with a plan to begin prospecting right away, 8 hours a day, with # of contacts and production goals, and don't even mention a desire to become Good At What You Do first.

Sorry, that's the cynicism in me coming out!

Thoughts?

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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03-21-2012, 10:55 AM
Post: #27
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Hi Jennifer,
I’m truly thankful for you and the knowledge you share. My intentions all along, since reading Selling With Soul, have been to create my business around that philosophy. I can’t imagine sitting through a broker’s training class with the next group of new recruits especially if they’re emphasizing “power prospecting”. I’m an entrepreneurial type - I take initiative, ask questions and catch on quick. I think that's why I feel I won't drown without a lot of hand-holding or extensive training classes.

I have an interview with one of the top agencies in Atlanta. Maybe starting at the top isn’t the best idea but I want to learn from the best starting out. I want to combine their expertise and market presence with my enthusiasm, qualifications and SOI. Then I want to perfect it by incorporating the SWS philosophy and ideas and strive to become an Exceptional Agent with more referrals than I can handle. I know it will take time, patience and hard work.

Your 30-60-90 gives me a great start on a plan. Thank you. I want to see what systems and procedures the agency has in place but I also want to purchase the Mega Toolkit this month. I have started to put all my contacts/contractors into an online database structured for real estate agents that provides information for listings, showings, transactions, etc. This seems extremely important to me and yet I find most experienced agents I’ve talked to don’t even use such a system (although they admit that they should be). I already have contacts wanting my help to buy and sell.

Jennifer I can’t express enough how important it was FOR ME to read your book FIRST when I decided on a real estate career. You got me excited but you kept me grounded about what to expect. You started the modeling process on this fresh clump of real estate agent clay. I’ll let you know what happens today.
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03-21-2012, 11:53 AM
Post: #28
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Please do let us know how it goes! And know that I'm already very impressed with you ;-]

My biggest concern is that there will be people available to ask questions OF... people who are willing to answer your questions. This is a huge stumbling block for all agents, even ones in training-friendly offices, and you'll have a lot more questions than you think you will, I promise.

But yes, I'd love to see you go in with *my* 30/60/90 plan and see how it goes over!

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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03-21-2012, 12:55 PM
Post: #29
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
(I'm on my iPhone here so apologies for typos/shorthand...

I'm in a city of about 87,000 and I have to say that just by keeping my "antenna" up and chatting/networking with diff folks connected to the industry Ive already learned a TON about broker culture as well as a few agents who might be helpful resources for me when I get started. Basically what I'm saying is that I consider myself to be building my personal and professional sphere NOW, so that I'm better connected/supported when the rubber meets the road ... and even as an introvert I have to admit that it's soooo easy to work "I'm studying to get my real estate license!" into the conversation Smile
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03-21-2012, 06:01 PM
Post: #30
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Good News! The meeting went so well that I have another appointment to meet with the CEO of the company on Friday.

More good news is that they want their agents to focus on building relationships and not using mass marketing techniques or cold calling to go after business - music to my ears!

The broker will be providing training and guidance. I am extremely confident I won't be left to fend for myself. Within this agency the branding guidelines are strict but there's a lot of room to Sell With Soul. More updates on Friday...
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