I don’t know about you but 2022 seems to be blazing by when you’re busy. The first half of the year has almost gone and before you know it, it’s Mariah Christmas season again!!
I first got my real estate salesperson's license after Chinese New Year, which also means I’ve been a practicing realtor for four months. It's been quite the experience so far. Here are the five things that I have learned in my short time as a realtor
1. Even if you aced your exams, it has no real practical significance in the real world.
This reminds me of when I took French in university for two whole years before moving to France for student exchange. When I arrived, it was as if I had never spoken the language before and started from ground zero. It was quite disheartening, to be honest.
Taking the RES and passing it the first time is all well and good, but it takes actual practice to fully appreciate the work done by realtors. There are so many permutations of real-life scenarios (e.g. HDB vs private, resale vs new purchase, sellers vs buyers, bank loan vs HDB loans, landlords vs agents) that you start second-guessing yourself from time to time.
I contacted my mentors on numerous occasions and studied up on rules quite a few times to ensure I'm providing accurate information to my clients. After all, in real estate, there is a lot of money at stake, and mistakes might be costly, so I want to do the best for my clients.
2. There is a lot of waiting involved in the process.
When you contact 20 realtors in order to book a property viewing – you wait
When you arrange a full day of viewings and the timings are not consecutive – you wait
When you issue an Option To Purchase (OTP) to buyers and they have to complete a valuation and secure a bank In Principle Approvals (IPAs) – you wait
When you've completed and submitted all of your resale paperwork and the closing is two months away – you wait
Let me put it another way. I'm the type of person who would like everything done immediately, and I need all of the required information fast. I expect responses within 10-minute, and I want everything completed right now. I have learned to remind myself that some things are out of my control and that I should simply be patient for them to unfold on their own.
3. There are a million types of people in the world.
You have people who don't answer your messages after being reminded, and when they do, it's one-word replies only.
You come across buyers/tenants with unrealistic budgets, a lot of unrealistic requirements, and no matter how hard you try to advise them, they refuse to hear anything else.
You may also find landlords who will say “no” to the most basic requests of your tenant client such as cooking, allowing visitors into the apartment and no pets.
You also come across tenants who are on the verge of homelessness and need a place to stay within the next few days, prompting me to ask myself what is happening in their lives that would stop them from planning their home move on time.
4. At the moment, the real estate market is absolutely frenzied.
You've probably heard about it in the news, but you may not realize how fast the market is moving. Yes, rental rates are skyrocketing and apartment sale prices are likewise increasing at a fast rate. All of my transactions were completed within a week of the marketing. I've had a transaction done after only one presentation, giving the term "one-shot-one-kill" an entirely new level of significance.
There was also a public open house that I attended with my client with 17 other interested parties wanting to view the home at the same time. And when I marketed my first room rental, there were over 60 inquiries within 12 hours! It's incredible, isn't it?
I recalled when I first considered purchasing my current home, how I could afford to take my parents to a second viewing just to show them where I planned on living. Nowadays if you don't make an offer on the same day, the property will be snatched away and optioned to someone else.
Is it possible that the housing market will remain this hot? Probably not. The government has taken steps in recent months to mitigate the situation, and time will tell whether it had the intended effect.
5. Having a support system is extremely important.
It's extremely time-consuming to be a realtor part-time while having another full-time job.
So it's fantastic to have a really helpful and hands on partner who can construct and run your entire website for you. Muacks!!
I’m also extremely blessed to have wonderful colleagues and mentors (shout out to William and Kenny!) from SRI and my team at Haus of Pride for giving valuable advice to me since I embarked on my real estate agent journey.
To more good things to come: I'm hopeful that the future will bring even more success and positive experiences as a realtor.