Dear Dave: I recently graduated from college, and I think I'd like to get into the real estate business as an agent. I don't have much real world experience, so what can I do to learn and become a great real estate agent?
Congratulations on finishing college. It sounds like you're ready to hit the ground running.
I think the first thing anyone in your situation should do right now is get a first-hand look at the day-to-day life of a really good real estate agent. Find out what someone who sells 100 houses a year does on a daily basis, how they got to where they are, and how long it took them to get to that level in terms of skills, referrals, knowledge, and recognition in the marketplace.
You might consider driving to a nearby city-one that's far enough away so that competition won't be a factor-and finding a superstar agent. Tell them your situation, and ask if you could ride around with them for a day or two and pick their brain. Basically, I'm talking about interviewing them and finding out how you can be them when you grow up. Believe me, you'll learn tons about the technology and marketing sides of things, too.
Real estate is probably the perfect example of The Pareto Principle. It states that 80 percent of the people make 20 percent of the money, and 20 percent of the people make 80 percent of the money. Learning as much as you can as quickly as you can is a great first step to making sure that you're in that top 20 percent.