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…Ron Climer recommends Demetree School

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.

By |2021-08-23T11:00:25-04:00November 27th, 2019|

What Can I Do With My Florida Real Estate License?

Each month, more than 2,000 people get a real estate in Florida.  Do they all become new real estate agents?  No.  If I had to guess, I would say that about half of them never use their license professionally.  What do the other half do?  As you learned in real estate school, you can advertise, buy, appraise, rent, sell, auction, lease or exchange real estate for another person for compensation.

In Florida, the most common paths are residential real estate, commercial real estate, and timeshare.  Let’s exam each of these individually…

Residential

You will have a broker, but you will basically work for yourself.  You have the freedom to set your own hours.  You get to decide if you will wear a golf shirt or a business suit.  You decide how you want to go about selling houses.  In exchange for this freedom, you will have to pay your own expenses.

It is generally recommended that you have about six months of living expenses saved up.  You will need to live on a budget.  You don’t get a check every week, so you have to plan for drier times.

You will work when everyone else is taking time off.  No one shows up to an open house on Tuesday morning.  You will be doing those on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Many people love the independence this profession offers.

Commercial

Like residential real estate, you are essentially your own business.  You have a lot of expenses, but you also have a lot of freedom.

The sales cycle is looooooong.  Often, you will work with a client for six months to a year before the deal comes to fruition.  Commercial real estate requires even more budgeting than residential.  You will get very large commission checks, but you may only get a few of them each year.

Your clients will be smart.  Very smart.  They know about business.  You need to understand business, so you can keep up with your clients.  As you gain experience, you will get the opportunity to work complex transactions.  Because of this, few people start off in commercial real estate.  Most people move into it later.  If you are the type of person who looks forward to waking up and turning to the business section of the Wall Street Journal, commercial real estate might be perfect for you.

Commercial real estate tends to focus more on commercial hours.  You won’t be showing property on the weekends, like you would in residential real estate. Your clients wear business attire, so you will too.  Your clients speak the language of business and finance, so you will too.

Timeshare

In some parts of the world, timeshare sales is not an option.  But in Orlando, Florida, where I am, timeshare is king.  There is no better career for a real estate licensee.  I know you are thinking, “Of course, you think that Karen.  You work for a timeshare company.”  That’s true.  I do work for a timeshare company.  But I was born into a family of commercial real estate investors.  My father sold houses.  So I’ve seen all sides of the business.  When I taught real estate, and didn’t work for a timeshare company, I still told my students that timeshare is where it’s at.

So why do I think timeshare is a great business?  First of all, you are an employee of a large company.  This means you have the resources of that large company.  You don’t have to hire your own administrative assistant.  You don’t have to drive your personal car around town.  You don’t have to spend hours at networking events to find new clients.  Anything you need, the company will provide for you.  This includes sales training, marketing material, copies of contracts, clients (yes, the company brings clients to you), and people to do things you don’t do (paperwork, legal issues, follow-up after the sale, etc.).

Because you are an employee, most timeshare resorts also provide health insurance, retirement benefits, paid time off, and many other benefits.  Try asking your residential broker to give you a paid holiday.

There is a lot of money in timeshare.  Most resorts pay some sort of combination between hourly and commission.  You will sell frequently, so you will get commission checks frequently.  The sales cycle is quick, like two hours.  People show up at the resort to get a free prize and walk out two hours later having bought timeshare.  That’s quick.

I can’t speak for every resort but where I work, the good sales reps are easily making six-figure incomes.  I’m not talking about the best ones.  The best ones make over a million dollars.  I’m talking about the good reps.  You know, the ones who are slightly above average.  They make six-figure incomes.  So yes, there is a lot of money in selling timeshare.

Many people love the intensity, camaraderie, and respect for individuality in this industry.

These are not the only three career choices — they are just the most common ones.  If I can help you get your career started, please give me a call.  I’d be happy to help you.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate

By |2021-08-25T14:41:04-04:00January 4th, 2018|

Can I Sell Houses Part-Time?

I run into people quite frequently who want to keep their full time job and sell houses on the side. This is a nice idea on paper, but I have never known anyone who made it work.  Likewise, I have never met a weekend workout warrior who looked like a body builder.  If you want to do anything exceedingly well, you have to do it full-time.  Real estate is no exception.

You won’t be selling many houses if you are trying it on a part-time basis. To succeed in real estate, you have to hustle full time.

“But Karen, doesn’t everyone want to see the houses on nights and weekends?” Yes.  In residential real estate, most of your customer interaction will be on the weekend.  But here are some things to consider…

  1. If I am going to hire a real estate agent to help me buy or sell a house, am I going to hire a weekend warrior or someone who has made a profession of it? For me personally, I want a professional.
  2. If you are working 40-hours a week at your day job and an additional 30-hours a week at your extra real estate job, when are you going to relax? Many people can pull off a 70-80 hour week occasionally, but sustaining it is a whole different story.
  3. A commissioned sales job takes discipline and drive. If your livelihood depends on it, that’s a huge motivator. If it is what you are doing for extra money, are you going to be motivated enough to serve your customers?

I’ve been in real estate a long time and talked to a lot of real estate licensees. I have never know anyone who used their license on a part-time basis and made real money at it.  I say jump in the water with both feet or stay on the shore.

Having said that, you can definitely get your real estate sales associate license at nights or on the weekends while you keep your day job. Then once you get your license, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.  When you get to that point, give me a call, and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate

By |2021-08-25T14:42:46-04:00December 26th, 2017|

How To Get A Real Estate License In Florida

Selling real estate is one of the most exciting careers on the planet.  The first step in your new career is getting a real estate license.

There are four steps that are necessary to get the license:

  1. Complete the real estate license application. There are two things I like to point out about the application.
    1. The name and address on your application needs to be the same name and address that’s on your government photo ID. If you need to update your ID, now would be a good time to do that.
    2. The application asks a few questions about your criminal history. Read that questions carefully before you answer them. If you have ever, at any point in your life, been convicted or pled no contest to a misdemeanor or felony, you need to disclose it. This includes juvenile offenses, adjudication withheld offenses, and offenses that you were convicted of but forgot about. In addition to that, you have to include the arrest record and final disposition for each offense. That means you have to call the county courthouse where the offense occurred and get a copy of the case file for each incident.  You will not be approved for a license until you submit these documents.
  2. You also need to complete your electronic fingerprints. It doesn’t matter if you got your fingerprints done last year for your job or for some other license. You have to get your fingerprints completed for this license. A good source to do that is Pearson Vue. You can call them at 877-234-6106 to schedule it.
  3. Once you complete the application and fingerprints, the DBPR will approve your application. You will receive an email from Pearson Vue that says you are exam eligible. In other words, you are approved to take the Florida real estate exam.
  4. Enroll in Demetree School of Real Estate and pass the class test. The class lasts 63 hours.  You need to get a 70% on the class test. You can take an in-person class or an online class.

These first four steps can be completed in any order. I recommend that you do steps in the order I suggested.  If you do them in the order I suggested, you will be able to take the state exam right after you finish class.  If you go to school first, you may have to wait several weeks after school before you can take the state exam.

The last step is to schedule a test date and take the Florida state exam. The test is administered by Pearson Vue. You need a 75% to pass this exam.

Once you pass the exam, you can find a broker and start making money. If you are looking for a good career in real estate, contact me and I can help you get started with an excellent broker.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate

By |2024-01-17T17:12:20-05:00November 30th, 2017|

Three Reasons To Start Your Real Estate Career In Timeshare

I talk to people all the time who are just starting their real estate career.  Some people ask me, “What’s the best area of real estate to be in?”  I often suggest timeshare.  Even if people tell me that they are interested in residential or commercial real estate, I sometimes suggest they work in timeshare for a year to get a solid foundation in sales.  There are three reasons that I suggest starting your real estate career in timeshare:

  1. You will learn to sell. Timeshare salespeople are the best salespeople in the world.  Customers are paid to come to the sales presentation.  As the family drives into the parking lot, they make a secret agreement on how they will deal with the sales presentation.  They pinkie swear with each other to not buy anything.  After talking to Joe Salesperson for two hours, they walk out having spent several thousand dollars.  Your average real estate salesperson can’t do that.  But your average timeshare salesperson does that several times a week.
  2. You will get the best sales training in the world. It’s no mistake that timeshare salespeople are good at what they do.  Nearly every timeshare company has paid training where they teach you how to sell the product.  The best companies have training that includes sales psychology, reading body language, and negotiating skills.  These are skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.  Not only will you be provided training, you will be provided customers so you can hone the skills you learned.
  3. You will get good at sales because that’s all you will do. In residential and commercial sales, you will spend half of your time prospecting.  You will attend networking events, join civic clubs, mail out postcards, and talk to hundreds of people, with the hope that when they finally need your services, they will call you.  Once you’ve sold a house, you will also spend a lot of time dealing with title companies, mortgage companies, inspection companies, and a host of other people involved in the transaction.  You are not paid for this time.

In timeshare, the prospect is brought to you.  When they decide to buy, your job is finished. Someone else takes over to handle the paperwork, financing, and everything else.  Your job is to sell them, and that’s it.  You will do it many times a day, so you will get very good at it.

If you sell timeshare for one year – just one year – you will have a solid foundation to start any other sales career.  You will begin your residential or commercial real estate sales career as someone who knows how to sell rather than someone who unlocks the front door for customers.

If you need any help starting your real estate career, I can help.  Call me at (407) 493-3974.

Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate

By |2021-08-25T14:51:23-04:00August 29th, 2017|
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