In job satisfaction surveys, realtors regularly rank near the top. There’s no doubt that becoming a realtor can be a satisfying and lucrative career move. But the first few years in the new position can be a challenge.
The National Association of Realtors reports that, on average, newer realtors make significantly less income than their more experienced peers: The median gross income of realtors is just under $40,000, but those with 16 years or more of experience bring in more than $73,000. In their first few years on the job, new realtors bring in an average of $8,500.
These statistics indicate that new realtors face some real hurdles to reaching their full potential. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you. By working your business strategically and keeping an eye out for new income opportunities, you’ll position yourself for success this year and in the years to come.
For starters, consider these four tactics for increasing your income:
Specialize in new-construction and custom homes
The vast majority of realtors specialize in residential real estate. This means that, in some areas, the market is saturated with agents who generally provide the same services. How might you distinguish yourself from the competition?
One technique is to look into some lesser known residential real estate niches in your area. These might include new-construction and custom homes, both of which are growing steadily in the Pacific Northwest. Many homebuyers have never built a new or custom home before, so they’ll need guidance and expertise at each stage of the process.
Throughout the region, a growing number of customers are opting for new-construction homes to enjoy benefits such as affordability, desirable locations, and new features and finishes. In particular, custom homes are becoming increasingly attractive options for homebuyers who already own property or are in the process of finding that perfect plot of land.
Meanwhile, the custom route is becoming more and more popular in areas with a bit more space—such as on the outskirts of a suburb or out in the country. Customers love that a custom home gives them the chance to create exactly the floor plan that fits their needs, whether they have a multigenerational family, are looking to downsize, or want unique features that simply aren’t found in traditional homes. Custom homes also offer more flexibility when it comes to style, finishes, and appliances, so each customer ends up with exactly the home that he or she wants.
Familiarize yourself with land search and development
With more customers desiring new-construction and custom homes, there is also a growing demand for realtors with a deeper understanding of methods for finding and developing land. This is a particularly valuable service for customers looking to build outside of city limits, because the prospect of identifying the right property can be daunting with so much available land from which to choose.
Learning about site development can also aid in the search process, because you can offer customers insight into what challenges a particular property might present when it comes time to build. These might include steep grades, rocky soil, or a lack of reliable access roads.
Diversify your offering
New realtors sometimes don’t have the benefit of referral business for the first few years. But adding supplemental services can help you bolster your income while you build up that contact list.
Here are a few services you can offer that will fit perfectly with your real estate business:
- Apartment management
- Commercial real estate
- Home appraisals
- Market evaluations
- Property inspections
- Real estate consulting
Several of these services require some additional education and, in certain areas, certifications. However, for many realtors, a bit of extra legwork now will pay off for years to come.
Partner with a trusted homebuilder
Finally, consider teaming up with a well-established homebuilder in the Pacific Northwest. Entering a partnership can lead to countless customer leads. This is especially true for custom homebuilders: Many customers will seek out a trusted builder before finding their land, and then the builder will work with a realtor partner to identify the perfect property.
For example, Adair Homes has partnered with trusted realtors throughout the Pacific Northwest for decades. When homebuyers need help finding land for their custom home, Adair directs them to one of its realtor partners to ensure that the property search and purchase go off without a hitch.