Interview with Ron Climer – Advice for New Real Estate Agents
As you know by now, real estate is my family’s business. I’m a third generation Florida real estate licensee, and a second generation Orlando real estate school owner and instructor. My dad, Ron Climer, is a wealth of knowledge. I run into people regularly who took his class in the 1990s or early 2000s, or they sold houses with him in the 1980s. They tell me how much they learned from him. He and I talk about real estate almost everyday. I thought I’d interview him formally about some advice he would give to new real estate agents. Here’s my interview with Ron Climer…
Karen Climer: Let’s say I just passed the state exam, and I’m looking for a real estate broker. There are lot of things to consider, but what do you think is the most important thing when choosing a new broker?
Ron Climer: The most important thing to consider is “Do you like the person on the other side of the desk?”
It is critically important that you get your training. It is hard to be trained by someone that you don’t like. I assume the sales manager has his very best foot forward. His attitude generally permeates the office. If he is happy and jovial, everyone else is similar. Training is critically important. There has to be a good training program.
Karen Climer: I’ve picked my first broker. I’ve signed all the paperwork. I go to the office and sit down at my desk. What do I do in my first week?
Ron Climer: Make a list of your closest 200 friends. Mail them a letter with your business card in it. Ask them to refer to you anyone that needs to buy or sell real estate. Send one to your attorney, your banker, your customers from past jobs, your dentist, your engineer, your high school friends and teacher, your neighbors, your church members, your club members, your creditors, your debtors, your car salesperson, your kids’ teachers, your preacher. Do you know any painters or policemen? Do you know a nurse or a tree planter or a lawn maintenance man or a mechanic or an investment counselor? Do you know a waiter or xylophone player or a zoo keeper or a bookkeeper, or your old real estate instructor that taught you to pass the real estate exam?
Every training program in America tells their new recruits to do this. Five percent do. Ninety five percent don’t. Join the 5%. Then join the 5% of the 5% that sent this same list a Christmas card every year. Add to this list. Add your customers. Add your vendors. Add your co-workers that leave the company. Add everyone that you meet. That list will make you rich. Five percent of five percent do this. Join the five percent of five percent.
Karen Climer: In this day and age, should I really send a postcard? Do you think e-mail blast or Facebook post will suffice?
Ron Climer: In this day and age, you get an email and delete. Facebook posts scroll on by. But a postcard. Your friends will see that. Send a post card through the U.S. Mail. Repeat for Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween forever.
Karen Climer: Let’s say that someone is new to town, or maybe they don’t have a large sphere of influence. They don’t have referral leads because they are brand new to the business. How does a rookie agent like that find buyers and sellers?
Ron Climer: If someone is new to real estate or new to Orlando, calling for-sale-by-owners is the perfect prospecting activity. Calling and visiting with FSBOs is a wonderful new agent activity. What the sales trainer never tells new people is that you learn from FSBOs. They teach you all kinds of things about real estate that your sales trainer would never even think to teach you. FSBOs are perfect practice to perfect your rapport building skills. If you woke up five days a week with an appointment with a FSBO, success would be inevitable.
Karen Climer: One of the big fears that new salespeople have in any field is that they won’t be able to answer objections. They think, “Someone is going to throw out an objection. I’ll stumble through it and embarrass myself and my real estate career will be over before it starts.” Of course, it’s not really that bad, but that how a lot of new salespeople think. What is your advice in this situation?
Ron Climer: When are you going to come up with the best answer to an objection? When you are sitting in front of a prospect? Or when you are in the office working on it by yourself or with colleagues? I’m betting it’s the second choice. There are only a handful of objections you will hear in a listing presentation. You need a rock-solid answer to all of them. You will not come up with a stellar answer if you are trying to do it on the fly. Practice it beforehand. Whenever you hear a new objection, go back to the office with the trainer and some top sales agents and figure out a good answer in case you encounter it again.
KW Bold has a Facebook group where new agents ask how to answer common objections like, “We have a friend in real estate.” Old agents (like me) show them how to answer their objections. Check out the KW Bold Facebook page.
Karen Climer: I know when you were selling real estate teams didn’t really exist. Do you have any thoughts about whether a rookie should start off on a team or start off solo?
Ron Climer: When I was selling real estate, teams were a new thing. Today, they seem to be working very well. Some people are good on the phone but not in person. Someone else may be good in person, but not on the phone. Someone else is great on the phone but hates paperwork. If solo isn’t working for you, find a team that supports your weakness and accelerates your strengths.
Karen Climer: You sold real estate during high times and low times – seller’s markets and buyer’s markets. You managed to prevail through the storms. What type of person succeeds in real estate sales?
Ron Climer: The market is hot. The market is cold. Everything was different when interest rates were 18%. They were different when houses were appreciating 20% per year and the phone would not quit ringing. Shortly after that, every other listing was a short sale. It is nice if you can see the future. You can be certain what worked yesterday is not what we need today. What we are doing today probably won’t work next year. But the basics never get old. The person that learns the basics will succeed. Basics like:
- Listing is the name of the game.
- People do business with people they like.
- Knowledge is power.
- You can accomplish more in twelve hours than you can in six hours.
Karen Climer: Is there still room in the market for new Realtors? Everyone seems to know a real estate licensee. Can someone started out really make a living or are we at the saturation point?
Ron Climer: There is always room for new Realtors. Old Realtors are dying or retiring. People are leaving New York and moving to Florida. More importantly, there are a lot of agents who are not interested in doing what it takes to succeed. If you are willing to do that, you will do well.
Karen Climer: If someone called you up today and said, “I thinking about going to real estate school in Florida. Where should I go to school?” How would you respond?
Ron Climer: Absolutely positively, go to Demetree School of Real Estate. My favorite real estate instructor teaches at Demetree School. I taught her everything I know about teaching real estate. If you don’t believe me, check out her videos. Check out her online reviews. Absolutely, go to Demetree School of Real Estate.