Starting out as a real estate agent at a young age can be overwhelming. Being a real estate agent is a very social job that depends on knowing where to look to find new clients. If you’re young and or new to an area, it can seem impossible to be successful. You’ll think to yourself “how am I supposed to do this when I don’t know anyone?” Yet that doesn’t have to be the end of your hopes and dreams. Despite some setbacks that are expected for younger agents, young real estate agents in their twenties can and have enjoyed successful careers in the industry.
How Young Real Estate Agents find Clients
If you’ve just moved to an area or don’t know many people, it can be hard to find new clients. Older agents with more experience typically are more trusted by prospective buyers. Younger agents thus face a problem of not having enough proven experience and a lack of clientele.
One way to streamline this process is simply going to as many networking events as possible. Join your local young professionals networking group, go to industry mixers, find anyway possible to get involved in the community. The more you network the larger you pool will get and you’ll be able to find clients more easily. Find different and clever ways to bring up your profession without sounding like an elevator pitch.
Networking with busier agents in your office is another way to streamline clients. Sometimes seasoned agents who aren’t looking to take on new clients will farm out events such as hosting open houses.
Don’t Just Go for the Money
In truth, the payment mechanisms in place for real estate agents are not the best. The average age for real estate agents is 57 according to the National Association of Realtors. Pay is largely based on a split commission. The agents work for the brokerage. When the brokerage gets paid their commission, the agents get a cut of that commission. Young agents typically get paid somewhere around 30-40%. As with most things, the more experience you have, the higher your commission is.
It’s important to pick the right broker, however, keep in mind that simply going after the broker that pays the highest commission split is not necessarily the best route. Many young real estate agents want to get paid, but there’s great value in picking a broker that provides the experience necessary to get higher commission splits later on in your career. Many agents fail in the industry because they don’t get the right training. Agents that select brokerages that work hard to train their agents and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in the business are better off than those who simply go with the higher commission split. Earning a 100% split doesn’t help when you aren’t selling houses. Successful young real estate agents starting their career will seek out the best happy medium between the two.
Overcoming the ‘Age’ Question
Like with most things, age will be a factor only so long as you allow it to be. It’s true that some will be less likely to trust a younger less experienced agent, but the reality is that everyone begins with zero experience. It sounds cliché but age is only an issue if you let it be an issue. Most buyers want an agent who is competent, returns calls, knows what they’re doing, and who communicate well and effectively. If you can demonstrate these things to clients, they will trust you. There may be agents in their 50s who are not as good at those particular things. If you can demonstrate that you are, people will notice and your age will cease to be an issue.
Ultimately, when people ask things like ‘how old are you’ or ‘how long have you been in the business,’ what they are really trying to find out is, ‘do you know what you’re doing?’ If you are competent and know what you’re doing, then it will not be a problem. People want someone they can trust. Again, this is where finding the right brokerage is key. If anyone questions your experience you can then simply note that you are a part of a well experienced office that you may consult at any time.
Another angle is that younger agents have more time as opposed to more experienced agents who have long and congested client lists. By having more time you can offer a more personable experience and dedicate more fully to your client.
Advantages a Young Real Estate Agents
While being young in the real estate industry can provide some challenges, there are also many advantages to being young. Most agents are in their 40s and 50s. Many begin their careers later in life. Starting early can be an advantage as you’re still at a phase of your life prime for soaking up information and gaining experience. The more experience you have, the more successful you can be. Starting younger allows you to learn the trade in and out and gain great experience. Some agents who start later in their career are thrown into the industry with little to no experience and have to teach themselves along the way.
Another huge advantage young people have right now is the ability to adapt to technology. While not necessarily universally true, in general, younger people are more tech savvy and can use technology and social media to market themselves in new ways that didn’t exist in decades past. Things like promotional videos are great ways to market individuals and real estate investor businesses. By using technology to their advantage and marketing themselves, young agents can make up for their lack of experience and use these tools to gain clients.