A career in real estate can be financially rewarding. One sale can generate commissions that total what most people make in 6 months working a regular office job. But selling property is just one way to earn from a real estate transaction. The other is by helping clients buy property as a Buyer’s Agent.
A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate professional. But unlike a listing agent who represents the owner of the property, a buyer’s agent works on behalf of the buyer. He or she does not sell property.
What is the advantage of being a buyer’s agent? You are working for a person who wants to buy property. A typical buyer is someone who has studied the market, reviewed his or her finances and has committed to purchase property. You can’t get a warmer lead than a qualified buyer.
A buyer’s agent is also paid commissions. In practice, this is paid out of the listing agent’s commissions although some buyers’ agents may require another payment arrangement such as a flat fee or an hourly fee.
So how does one become a buyer’s agent and find work?
- Get Certified
It is not enough to be certified as a real estate agent. If you want to become a buyer’s agent, you must also be certified as one.
Certification as a buyer’s agent involves learning new skills and training for a different type of transaction. You will also be working for clients which have an entirely different objective from sellers.
Buyers will wrangle for the lowest price while sellers want to get the best value for their property. A sales transaction is a tug-of-war between buying and selling forces. As a buyer’s agent you must learn how to bring negotiations in favor of the buyer.
You have to develop new skill sets and frame your approach from a different perspective. If you were previously a listing agent, you will find that working for the other side will be a completely new experience.
There are certification courses on real estate buyer’s agents online or you can contact the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia or REBAA and inquire on their services.
- Understand Your Market
Not all buyers are alike. Some want to buy their “dream home”. Others want to create wealth. Those who want a dream home prioritize accommodations, amenities, type of neighborhood and conveniences. Those who want to create wealth favor market forces, level of demand and available supply.
The common denominator would be pricing. As buyers, they would want to acquire property at the lowest possible price.
You should know which areas or cities have properties that would cater to these types of buyers. Investors most likely would have deeper pockets are more open to consider suburbs and neighborhoods in high-profile states like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Meanwhile those who are looking for their first home may be more open to consider properties located in Tasmania, Victoria or New South Wales which have lower median property prices.
Find out cities and suburbs that have close proximity to schools, commercial centers, public transportation, business districts and hospitals. Take the time to conduct research on the peace and order situation, seasonal changes in weather, unemployment rate, interest rates and economic opportunities available in the area.
- Prepare Your Collaterals
Clients do not want to waste time working with someone who is not prepared. It does not start and end with gaining knowledge and proficiency as a buyer’s agent. You must likewise be ready to do business as a buyer’s agent.
Before meeting with clients, make sure you have the following collaterals ready:
- Company or Business Profile.
- Buyer’s Agent Representative Agreement.
- Buyer’s Agent brochure which highlights key points in the buying process and its different stages.
- Estimates on cost of services.
- Client testimonials; if any.
- Calling cards.
Prepare a slide presentation of your service that you can show to prospective clients from your laptop.
- Establish Your Credibility
The hardest part in any new venture is getting started. Landing the first client can be a challenge because it is human nature to associate experience with expertise. But there are ways to mitigate this:
- Set up a personal website about your buyer’s agent business.
- Blog frequently; 3 to 4 days a week should suffice.
- Write long form blogs; 1,600 words or more and initially focus on providing valuable information on what a buyer’s agent does and how having one will benefit the buyer.
- Distribute your content through social media, relevant blogging communities and publishing sites.
- Offer free e-books, consultation sessions and set up podcasts where you can invite reputable resource people in the industry.
- Build Your Network
Networking is a critical part of a real estate agent’s schedule. Whether you are a listing agent or a buyer’s agent you must always look for ways to build your network.
- Be active in social media especially LinkedIn.
- Join social media focus groups and actively participate in discussions.
- Attend networking events, real estate conventions and industry trade shows.
- Attend open houses and auctions.
- Do e-mail marketing.
It is never too late to become a buyer’s agent. If you are serious about pursuing this career, start out by building your knowledge and developing the required skill sets. As you gain proficiency, you will become more confident in approaching potential buyers. All you need to jumpstart your career is to sign up that first client.