What are your thoughts on new agents entering the industry?
Janet Owen: I think it is great. I often have new agents call me to “pick my brain” about the industry. I love mentoring and I always tell them that if they care more about their clients than they do about the commission, then the commissions will come. I also tell them to create their own niche and be really good at it, and to have at least a year’s worth of savings because it doesn’t always happen right away.
Mike Golden: New agents are necessary in order for our industry to grow and evolve. New agents bring different backgrounds, skills and experiences, and it’s up to us to provide the right training and coaching in order for them to be successful. We believe that trying to maintain the status quo in this business weakens your position, so new perspectives, new attitudes, new ideas are not only welcome, they’re essential.
Laura Ellis: A career in real estate remains a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity for those with the skills and determination required to succeed. To maximize success, aspiring real estate professionals should make sure to align themselves with a company that shares their values and make sure that those values are embodied within the company culture. In addition, new broker associates should make sure that the company they affiliate with provides strong technology and marketing resources, as well as the one-on-one management support that will empower them to succeed.
Keith Hancock: I think this is a good time to get into the real estate industry, and across Illinois several hundred new agents a month are doing just that. A new agent needs to have the people skills that have always been a hallmark of the industry, but they will also need a finely developed sense of how technology can be used to facilitate the sales process.
Lynn Madison: I see fewer people entering the business in the coming years. Some that have recently entered the field aren’t making any money and we are seeing the number of transactions per agent coming down. Those that are succeeding seem to be with companies that have focused training. It’s tougher for young people to get into the business and brokers should be looking at how to assist Millennials in getting started, since many aren’t coming in from previous careers with savings to rely on until business starts to grow.
Rebecca Jensen: MRED’s broker numbers continue to climb. We expect more and more people will be attracted to an industry that is vibrant and technologically oriented. So much is occurring in our space that training and education will be more important than ever.
Chris Feurer: A larger percentage of our top-producing agents are fairly new to the business. I see this trend increasing over time. These newer agents are more likely to implement resources we offer, which have proven to be effective. It’s as simple as that.
Jeanine McShea: I think we’ll see more agents entering the industry in 2016 and even the addition of boutique brokerages that are new to the Chicago market.
Leslie McDonnell: We are seeing less agents entering the industry as the requirements are tougher. Also, people are understanding that being a real estate agent is truly a full time job.
Hugh Rider, the Chicago Association of Realtors’ 2014-2015 president, predicted News Corp’s purchase of realtor.com would be a “game changer.” While our experts also accurately predicted Zillow’s successful acquisition of Trulia and the emergence of realtor.com as a serious competitor, they couldn’t have predicted the feud between the two. The tension has since bled out of the courtroom and manifested in stunts such as Realtor.com’s physical “blacking out” of an Austin property in an advertisement aimed at Zillow, claiming the site’s listings are incomplete. And no one foresaw the arrival of a new service from Redfin, the Redfin Estimate.