Which property agency should I join after passing my RES exams?
If you've passed your RES exams, CONGRATULATIONS! It wasn't easy and you deserve a pat on the back for the commitment you put in!
The next step is to select an estate agency to join. Not all agencies are the same and all have their pros and cons.
As a new agent, you might find it difficult to choose the best fit for you right away and it is understandable.
After all, as a new agent, you are raring to go and will not be able to discern all the REALLY IMPORTANT platforms versus the "Good to have" ones and there are advantages that each agency promotes.
After being in this industry for more than a decade and being in my 4th agency, I have learnt about what really counts in selecting the right real estate agency to join and who I choose to associate with.
I started out my career thinking that a big local brand or MNC real estate consultancy brand were important as more people would have heard of or know of them.
It is true. At first.
But never is the agency's brand more important than the person that you are and the value you bring.
If I may distill my experience to the essence of what I wished I knew when I first started out, these will be the 4 main points. Hope it helps you gain clarity in decision making.
1st, Quality of people you work with
So, I came to realise within less than a year that no customer asks or talks very much about the firm I was with; and it never was the reason whether I secured an exclusive listing or not.
Fast forward 9 years after starting out, I discovered that what I needed was in fact great quality people around me in order to succeed.
People who were better than me in their own ways and could inspire me to greater heights.
Not just a great brand to shelter me.
I am the brand. The people I choose to associate with are the brand - a Living Breathing Brand.
Clients stick to us for who we are and even forget which agencies we are from.
Now, by great quality of people, I don't just mean great sales; but great attitudes, helpful and encouraging personalities and people who uphold good values and ethics.
People who will be there for you in good times and bad; who genuinely celebrate your successes wholeheartedly with you.
People who lift you up; not pull you down with their own insecurities.
Take note that finding a mentor with alot of experience/top in sales does not automatically mean quality mentorship as I have witnessed time and again throughout my career.
Thus, be aware of whom you will be working with.
Always spend extra time to get to know your potential mentor, meet future teammates and do your own background checks. Social media alone might not paint an accurate picture.
Tip 1: It is important to observe whether your would-be mentor is willing to put aside their time and attention for you as it will be indicative of whether they are present both physically and mentally.
Real estate leaders juggling sales and leadership constantly have to struggle between allocating their time to either pursuit and it can be telling if throughout your meet up session, he/she keeps checking their phones or picking up phone calls.
Tip 2: Observe whether your would-be mentor spends adequate time getting to know you and customise a business plan for you or jumps right into giving you a one sized fits all plan for your business.
In my experience, people have their unique strengths, weaknesses and inhibitions and it is crucial that mentors are able to identify them and provide bespoke mentorship for each individual.
This approach has given me the best outcome so far.
Wisdom is spending more time researching now so you won't have to pay for it in multiple-folds later.
It is easy to be taken advantage of and I have seen agents getting the shorter end of the stick unaware of what is normal and not, burdened to do routine tasks for their mentor/seniors without knowing their rights or even paying for stuff that should be free.
In one of the worst cases I knew about, a poor agent was made used of by his mentor for a year and eventually dropped out as he made zero income throughout his ordeal.
In other cases, new agents could be misled down ethically questionable paths and short cuts through the lure of easy and big money, and eventually burn out from conflict with their values or having karma catch up with them.
Therefore, being with the right company of people is important to help you have an enjoyable career with longevity and to do well and do good.
Real estate mobile apps and technology are an important force multiplier these days and can change your fortunes drastically by multiplying the number of tasks you can complete in a day.
Common challenges of agents are the repetitive prospecting, marketing and following up work that takes up too much time and effort on a daily basis. These days, we incorporate advanced practical technology to help us cope with leads generation and marketing tasks automatically.
With more time freed up for higher value tasks like face-time with clients or time for your loved ones, you will find real estate much more lucrative and enjoyable.
Take note of this as almost all agencies will say they have mobile apps.
However, we all know that these days anyone can build an app but having just having one is different from having a tested, proven and practical app that REALLY will help you save time, effort and money.
If in doubt, never hesitate to ask for an in-depth demo of what the app can do.
Have technology work for you and not manually repeat routine tasks with your time and energy.
Work smart; not just hard.
Check out NAVIS technology in-depth here.
3. Training Programmes
These days basic trainings are no longer enough as younger generation of DIY customers and fixed rate brokers have emerged.
As such, advanced real estate training topics such as creative mortgage and financial strategies, property holding and structuring techniques and long term timeline and exit plans for investments are necessary for property agents to learn and internalise to remain valuable and relevant to consumers.
These skills enable agents to adopt an investor's mindset themselves and construct proposals from scratch with maximum cost and tax savings.
We call this future-proofing our agents.
Advanced social media marketing and targeting strategies are also the name of the game nowadays as agents adopt "push marketing" to close listings quicker.
Ensure that the team or real estate agency you are joining provides such lessons, scripts and presentation slides that can help you master these topics quickly so that your deployment time can be shortened.
If you can, also check to ensure that the syllabus is updated and relevant.
Creative headlines and sensationalised marketing can easily obscure the actual quality of the training.
4. Project Opportunities
It is critical that your agency has a large pipeline of major new project launches in Singapore as this would bring you ample opportunities for your clients to explore.
Project sales typically pays higher commissions than the resale market usual of 2% and sometimes can even go all the way up to 10%.
Of course, there are usually catches to these really high commissions but I will not go into it in this article.
Also, appointed agencies for developers always have the upper hand in marketing and closing sales as they have access to 1st hand information and pricing before everyone else. (Check out some of OrangeTee's current projects pipelines here.)
Hence, prior to signing on the associate application form, always do your own checks and enter with eyes wide open.
To summarise, when you are out searching for a good real estate agency to join, do ask about and observe these 4 points to ensure you get the best possible start and support for your career:
All the best and I bid you fair winds and following seas! = )
Looking for great real estate career mentorship to shorten your learning curve?
Get a 1-time free 30 min career consultation. Schedule one right now.
Drop me a WhatsApp/Email if you would like to start your career with our team or attend our next real estate recruitment seminar!
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Stuart Chng, Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications. Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively. Read his clients' reviews here.
- Find out more about a Property Agent's Career Path with OrangeTee.
- Passed your RES Exams? Find out what immediate steps to take next to quickly reach your goals!