Lakewood University

How to Get Started as a Real Estate Agent in Ohio

How to Get Started as a Real Estate Agent in Ohio?

How to Get Started as a Real Estate Agent in Ohio?

There are many benefits to becoming a real estate agent. The job allows you to be your own boss, work flexible hours, and earn a great income while helping people achieve their dreams. Additionally, you avoid the repetitive day-to-day tasks of an office position.

However, the world of real estate is highly competitive. You’ll go against fellow agents and agencies to win clients and sales. Thus, it’s important to know how to stick out.

To be successful, you’ll need to know how to market yourself and your skills. Getting your name out there is vital to success. In this market, all publicity is not good publicity. Your reputation is the key to obtaining and keeping clients. Furthermore, to stay on top of the ever-changing market, you must do your research and keep an eye on trends. Basically, there’s a lot to plan for when you’re getting started.

It all pays off, though, as the average salary for new realtors can range as high as $81,500 in your first year. Importantly, your salary depends on your success. You must work hard to get your name out there. 

Below, we’ll go through 7 important steps on how to get started as a real estate agent in Ohio.

7 Steps to Success

1. Get Your License

If you haven’t already, you must get your license to begin your career. Ohio requires all realtors to have the proper background and education. Anyone with a felony on their record or civil rights violation for real estate cannot become a licensed real estate agent. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old and have earned your high school diploma or GED. You must also be a US citizen or be otherwise qualified under federal law.

Furthermore, you’ll need 120 hours of relevant training and coursework before you can get certified. You must pass whichever program you take with a 70%. Then, you need to find a licensed broker to sponsor you. Finally, you will be able to take the Ohio licensure exam.

Once you’ve passed, you’re ready to get started as a real estate agent.

2. Get Your Name Out There

Next, you need to consider how you want to market yourself. Unless you get your name out there, no one will know to hire you.

Nowadays, there are many avenues you can take to advertise your skills. Social media, traditional advertising, and word of mouth all work very well in real estate. However, traditional advertising is the most expensive route. Most new real estate agents won’t be able to afford the fees. 

Truly, friends and family are invaluable when you’re first getting started. Also, any connections you have through networking will help you find your first client.

Basically, ask anyone you know and trust to put your name out there. One of your friends likely knows someone looking to buy, sell, or rent a home. 

Furthermore, social media is great for building your business. However, this type of advertising requires more effort than you might expect. You’ll need to create interesting, unique, and eye-catching content. You won’t need to go viral to find clients, but you’ll need to make something memorable and attractive.

If you’re interested in making videos, you may consider explaining little-known things about real estate. Maybe you want to feature the town you work in. Or you can create an advertisement that shows what makes you unique. Chat with any commenters and network with other creators.

Also, think of how you wish to market yourself. Find your niche. Do you want to focus on lower- and middle-income housing? Are you more familiar with the city or the country?

You likely don’t want to say no to too many clients when you’re first getting started, but it’s good to plan for the future. Know where your expertise and preferences lie. If you know you’ll be more successful finding the perfect apartment in Cleveland versus a ranch in Kirtland, focus your marketing efforts there.

3. Do Your Research

Earlier, we mentioned you must research to stay on top of the market. This is true regardless of where your clients live. Laws, regulations, and interest rates change regularly. Additionally, housing trends change too. Sometimes, buyers follow fads and expect certain features. Other times, buyers may be willing to buy anything that’s on the market and affordable. 

Truly, we all saw how competitive and crazy the real estate world became during the pandemic. While the market has cooled considerably since then, it’s important to watch for other events that can stall or spur buyers.

Due to covid-19, many people found themselves enjoying the work-from-home lifestyle. As a result, these individuals either left their jobs to find work that allowed them to stay home, or their employers decided to offer it permanently. Great real estate agents follow these trends and know what type of clients to expect.

Basically, knowing what is going on in your local area, state, and the country helps you decide your next move successfully.

4. Plan Carefully

Truly, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Almost no one anticipated the covid-19 pandemic nor its impact on the world. Anything can happen that will impact the market. A plant or big business near you may close. World events may change the economy. Or another real estate agent might swoop into your area and create more competition.

Thus, you’ll need to plan your finances and business carefully. To remain successful, you will need a backup plan.

Make sure you’re putting money aside from each sale into your savings. Also, while investing in yourself and advertising is crucial for marketing, make sure your budget isn’t eating into your savings.

Home sales aren’t guaranteed. There are busy seasons, and there are slow seasons. Plan ahead.

5. Network, Network, Network

As mentioned above, networking can help you score clients. A good word from a friend, family member, or another business is invaluable. Truly, your network will be one of your biggest marketing tools.

If you ask any seasoned real estate agent, they will tell you that building your contacts is essential to success. Leads and clients trickle in through social media and ads. However, people want to go to someone they can trust for something as big as real estate. And word of mouth is trusted more than any ad or video out there.

Additionally, networking does more than drive in clients. You’ll meet people who can become part of your team. A great real estate team is seen as a huge benefit for clients as they won’t need to hunt for everyone they’ll need to make the buy.

Instead, you can refer them to a quality inspector, lender, and more. Sometimes, these partnerships will come with added benefits for both you and your client.

6. Master Your Communication and Negotiation Skills

A huge part of being a successful real estate agent is talking to people. You’ll need to convince clients to hire you, negotiate terms between buyer and seller, network, and market homes and buildings.

Buying houses is huge for almost everyone. Your clients will be juggling a lot to keep a deal going. As a real estate agent, it’s your job to keep them updated and let them know their next steps. When you’re helping your client buy a house, you’ll be with them for every step of the process, from touring to having them sign their name on the closing papers.

Thus, they’ll need to know they can trust you. More than providing accurate information, you need to give prompt updates. Sometimes, a delay can result in tragedy. For example, you didn’t let your client know what the seller wanted, and someone swooped in with a better offer.

Additionally, most homes will need some sort of fix or update, whether it’s needed maintenance or buyer preference. Regardless, sometimes it may be a make-or-break for your client.

Know how to speak to all parties. This may include getting your buyer to back off of an unrealistic upgrade and getting your seller to ask for a more realistic price. Ultimately, if you don’t know how to communicate effectively, you’ll be in a world of trouble.

7. Open Houses

Open houses are valuable for a variety of reasons. Beyond getting a lot of traffic for home, they serve as a great networking opportunity. Every person who walks through the door is a potential client. Thus, you can benefit even if the home doesn’t sell.

However, the open house must be well-prepared. For example, a dirty or smelly house or one that’s otherwise poorly planned may damage your reputation.

No one wants to arrive at a home to find the open house times were listed incorrectly or that the house is falling apart. Plan ahead and consider making the space inviting with staging furniture, free snacks or drinks, and by greeting each guest warmly. Truly, you cannot judge a book by its cover. You never know someone’s situation when they walk through the door.

Thus, never leave a potential buyer in the cold, even if you’re not sure the house is right for them.

Final Thoughts

A lot goes into getting started as a real estate agent in Ohio. You’ll need to be prepared and plan for every step. Becoming a successful real estate agent requires strong communication skills, knowledge of laws and regulations, and the ability to follow market trends. 

However, know that you are your biggest resource. Everyone goes through the same process to get their foot in the door, but your knowledge and skills set you apart from the crowd. Thus, make sure you invest in yourself. Get quality training to prepare for the real estate licensure exam and your new career. Also, it’s never too early to start planning. Even if you’re not yet licensed, start watching the market now.

Also, consider getting a start on your social media account. Building your audience can take time. So, get a head start today and find your following. It’s also a great time to learn what content will be successful.

Lakewood University’s Ohio Real Estate Sales course provides you with everything you need to succeed. You’ll get top-quality training from an instructor with over 40 years of experience. In addition to receiving a certificate, you earn the necessary 120 hours of training to take the exam. This program touches on the needed subject areas of real estate principles and practices and real estate law, appraisal, and finance.

Ready to get started?