California Real Estate
Prepare for Success
After reading this Chapter, you will be able to:
identify the various costs and expenses in
starting a real estate sales career.
determine the start-up equipment needed to
begin a real estate sales career.
describe the personal attributes and factors that
help real estate licensees become successful.
list steps to improve your communication skills.
Prepare Your Finances
Many new salespeople leave the real estate business or
change their license status to “inactive” within the first year
because they are not prepared. In this section will cover the
What Do you Expect to Earn?
Get your Finances in Order?
Get Your License and Join the Board
Get the Necessary Equipment.
What Do you Expect to Earn?
Based on the median sales price of homes in California—
$540,000—most new agents expect to earn several
hundred thousand dollars in their first year. Although it is
not impossible, it is highly unlikely.
It takes a while to build your business and establish
yourself, new salespeople do not earn as much as
salespeople with six or more years of experience.
Income usually increases as an agent gains experience.
According to the 2005 NAR Member Profile, the 2004
income income is with over 25
nationwide medianMedian for Realtors the middle years
of experience is $92,600. in a series of incomes
ranked from lowest to highest.
Get Your Finances In Order
You must have at least six months to a year of
living expenses set aside.
It can take six months or longer before your real
estate career will be able to provide financial
support for you and your family.
Write a monthly household budget that
accounts for your household expenses.
Be as conservative as possible. It is vital to your
success that you have savings or other resources
to maintain your household expenses while your
real estate business is growing.
Get Your Finances In Order
You will need money to purchase the necessary
equipment and supplies to start your new real estate
In starting your new business it is important to be aware of
the various expenses involved in starting and maintaining a
real estate business.
Calculate all the business costs and expenses you can expect
Identify costs and expenses you may incur and decide
which are essential.
Then estimate what it will cost each month for the first
Start up Costs and Ongoing
Start-Up Costs Ongoing Expenses
Basic equipment (cell cost of doing Cell phone bill
phone, computer, PDA, fax, exam, will be to pay
passing the state Car maintenance
for your salesperson Internet and e-mail account
ongoing expenses are
Business cards Advertising
expenses that recur every
Letterhead & envelopes
month. Automobile insurance
Start-up costs are one-time costs.
(maps, pens, paper, etc.)
Association dues & MLS fees
Open house supplies
E&O & liability insurance
Signs and sign riders
Get Your License and Join the
The next cost will probably be to pay the fees to
join the local Association of REALTORS®.
Membership to your local association gains you
access to the free WINForms® software and
WINForms® is to the local board
you can go a free software program office and
that allows members toMembership in your local association
purchase the standard printed forms and other
includes membership in the California
complete, and print transaction forms
supplies you may need. of REALTORS® (C.A.R.)
from their computers. Association
and the National Association of
Membership also includes access to the Multiple
Listing Service (MLS).
Listings and the Lockbox
In order to show properties listed in the MLS you will need a
Only real estate licensees who are members of the local
real estate boards have the key or combination to open the
lockbox and get the property key. is a box that holds the key
to a listed property that is key” to open
Electronic lockboxes use a special “electronichung on or
them. near the front door of a listed property
The electronic lockbox key looks like a small remote and can be
updated by placing it in the special HotSync cradle.
There is a charge for the key and depending on the board; it is paid
monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Each broker and salesperson is issued an individual “key” code,
electronic lockboxes record who has opened them, the date and
time opened, and the office and phone number.
Listing agents have an audit trail so if anything is missing or
damaged they will know who has entered the home.
Get the Necessary
Equipment Technology is crucial
if you are to remain
Cell Phone competitive in today’s
real estate profession.
Communication is the “lifeblood” of real
E-mail – An e-mail feature will help you keep connected to
estate sales, and the cell phone is your
your office andprimary point of contact. accommodate a
clients. Some phones can
keyboard, if you plan to send lengthy e-mails.
Internet Access – Access to the Internet is great for quick
searches, accessing your company's website, or finding driving
Camera – A camera is a practical option on your cell phone.
While picture quality may be lacking, the convenience is
appealing. Quickly snap a photo and e-mail it to a client.
GPS – a device that uses satellite technology to track your
location and map out driving directions to a desired destination.
PDA – a handheld computer or personal organizer device. You
may choose to purchase a PDA phone that combines the best
of both worlds.
Contact Management Software
Contact management software is a database
program that allows you to manage and track all
Real Estate Productivity Software
of your client information and activities, including
names, phone numbers, addresses, websites, e-
Hybrid Software Solutions
Be mail addresses, last meeting dates, and more.
As a real estate salesperson, part of your time will
be spent driving clients around to show them
Errors and Omissions Insurance
A policy that covers various claims for errors,
mistakes, neglect, or carelessness in the normal
business activities of a real estate brokerage.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Dress for Success
♦ Listening Skills
♦ Ability to Work with a Variety of People
Respect Other Cultures
Respect Other Lifestyles
Dealing with Difficult Clients