I have decided to begin the process of getting my real estate agent license in Kansas.
I want to help others on their path to home ownership and help our lives by gaining an edge in our own investing efforts.
But, we live in a small market (population around 12k) about 45 min south of Kansas City. (Ottawa, KS 66067 - if you want to look it up)
My questions deal with the size of our market and the logistics of actually making a career out of being an agent in a small market.
My local market:
As I look at Realtor.com this morning there are 107 properties for sale in my zipcode. 48 are homes rather than lots/land.
Expanding the search to within about ten minutes drive adds about 30 more houses to the mix.
In my town there are five brokerages and a few that list properties that are located in nearby cities. The ones in town average about eight agents each.
The median price of homes listed is $115k. I believe that number is a bit skewed upwards by some higher priced homes. A more realistic number for homes I feel I would want to be involved with is closer to 90k.
1. Is the market too saturated with agents to actually be able to make a living here?
2. To agents in small markets - how far away do you normally conduct business? Is a 30-50 min drive too far to list homes/help buyers purchase?
3. How far away is your office? Does it matter how far it is?
4. How far are you located from the homes you are involved with?
I appreciate anyone taking the time to answer. I realize that you get out what you put in to this career and that it is possible to make any situation work - but sometimes it isn't realistic from a time vs money standpoint.
@Brady Keim I do not believe the market is not too saturated, the whole United States is too saturated with agents and that is why you need to bring your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
As an agent, in the long run you will provide a higher income for your family by focusing on a smaller area and slowly expanding that when you take on new agents (when you open your own shop). Focus on an area with about 300-400 homes (maybe a local HOA), then capture that market as the market expert. After you take the market share of that area (around 25%-30% of listings/buyers) then you can create more business through signage, word of mouth, mailers, door knocking and being the dominate agent in that market.
2. When just starting out, my $.02 would be to grab a listing/buyer where you can (30-50 miles away) to get that ground knowledge of negotiating, how transactions flow, and everything else about the process. This should be all while you are marketing heavily in that small market I mentioned.
3. I would not worry about how far away the office is to your clients, a listing appointment you will be meeting those people at their home, and a buyer mostly the same thing. If they ask to meet at another location and it's not close to your office, a coffee shop is perfect until you have multiple offices. Just be upfront and let the people know where your office is if they ask.
4. I have focused on two areas that are 5-8 minutes away from my house. I do take other referrals in other locations, and will accept that until I hold the market share in those two focused locations. It's about picking a location and focusing your efforts, and if someone wants you to help them buy a house 30 minutes away when you are new go ahead to get that experience/knowledge of the business.
Good agents can fit in anywhere. I am in a very small market at the Lake of the Ozarks and I think a good agent here could generate a ton of business and take it away from the part time agents that don't have a clue.
I have seen an open house flyer covered with recipes and no mention of the date of the open house, just Saturday at a time.
I have received thank you letters from visiting an open house on a multi-million dollar listing addressed in an envelope without a name and a complete address, no idea how it made it here.
I see listings with no photos, no marketing and yet somehow these people manage to get 2 or 3 listings a year and maybe sell one as a part time extra money gig.
A full time agent that took the time to learn their craft and do it well, could easily grow a business.
In Kansas City, most agents do focus on a farm area of two or three subdivisions.
Growing up in Paola however, I know you might need to take on all types of listings - houses, multi family, farms, and commercial or list in the entire county, where ever the MLS covers.
1. Is the market too saturated with agents to actually be able to make a living here? 87% of agents leave the business within the first two years. Do you have what is necessary (Sales/Lead Generation) to make it while the others fall off? (Focus on listing agreements (Leverage), not buyer representation)
2. To agents in small markets - how far away do you normally conduct business? Is a 30-50 min drive too far to list homes/help buyers purchase? Draw a circle around your brokerage encompassing a two-hour drive in each direction and focus here to start.
3. How far away is your office? Does it matter how far it is? How far are you willing to drive? It does not matter, The Keller Williams office in Abilene, TX has an agent which lives 2 hours away.
4. How far are you located from the homes you are involved with? (Where are you door knocking and who are you cold calling?)