Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in real estate.
This week, we talked with Julianna Giordano, Broker/Owner/Instructor with International Palms Realty
Miami Agent (MA): What are some of the pitfalls new agents encounter when working with clients?
Julianna Giordano (JG): The most common pitfall that most new agents have is running out too quickly to engage with clients or advertise without being prepared or having learned how to use the necessary tools and documentation in order to take care of the client. Once a new agent gets their license activated, they get access to the MLS and a whole slew of tools on the state and national level. They need to first play with those tools and learn which tools are appropriate for what situation. They need to learn what forms are necessary for certain situations. Also, they should be taking as many classes in as many subjects or topics as possible. That’s their first few weeks in the business before even thinking about taking out a client. They don’t know what they don’t know yet, especially with regards to liability for themselves and their broker.
Even so, there are a lot of things new agents aren’t taught in real estate school. They need to find the right brokerage that is willing to teach them the things that classes can’t. There are many class instructors that are not practicing real estate professionals who don’t have the ability to practice real estate in the state of Florida. They understand the theory, but they might not have the experience to tell new agents how to apply what they’ve learned, or even what’s right for the agents.
MA: What are some of the creative, unconventional or non-traditional things you teach new agents on approaching the real estate business?
JG: I’ve had a class that I’ve been teaching for years that’s called “So I’ve Got My License, Now What?”. It’s a two-day boot camp that takes an agent from start to finish on activating the key tools, apps and websites so that they can set it and forget it to hit the ground running. We also show new agents how to fill out forms and contracts and what to expect from closings. We don’t describe it, we walk new agents through what can make or break a deal, like home inspections, appraisals, closing process and financing, all from start to finish. Many people think they have a boot camp, but it doesn’t properly walk new agents through the processes. We give agents contracts and walk them through, line by line, for both buying and selling. We are making sure we are arming agents with the best tools and knowledge possible, and we’re giving them the confidence and competence to do their job well.
MA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had been given when you started in the business?
JG: The number one question I hear people say “I wish they had told me that in school” is on expenses. The key thing is that agents are starting their own business within the brokerage. The average expenditures for a new agent, from taking classes to filling out your applications, you’re going to have to spend just under $2,000. Board membership is around $700, $400 for a pre-license course, it’s another $150 for the state application with fingerprints, and then they have to pay for signage, business cards, marketing and advertising, starting a website, and it also depends on the brokerage. Some Brokerages and Boards leverage their Membership numbers to negotiate better pricing for their Agents on aquiring key tools and applications that they desire. Otherwise Agents are stuck in “A-la-carte” scenarios, and paying through the nose.
That’s why it’s so important to know how to interview for a broker, and how to decide what brokerage is right for them. That’s something I teach in my boot camp as well. Agents leave companies at the drop of a hat, which could have been prevented if they asked the right questions to learn if the broker could meet their needs. Sometimes it’s not the broker’s fault. Sometimes a new agent comes into a brokerage expecting that the broker would train them, and that was not something the broker had set up, then who’s fault is that? It’s both, because that wasn’t properly communicated.
Do you want to be featured in our Viewpoints? Fill out our contact form, and you’ll be featured too!