In desperate need of some advice.

13 Replies

Hello again everyone. I'm really looking for some advice here. I'm doing the schooling to get my agent's license online through VanEd and am starting to get a bit overwhelmed. I've made it through a significant part of the course work (about half) and am at the point where I start filling out closing docs and stuff like that and I honestly don't feel like I've learned very much. Distance learning is definitely not my thing but I don't really have a choice unless I want to wait until July time frame to do traditional classroom schooling. I'm at a crossroads here: get through the online school and eventually pass the exams and risk having no clue what I'm doing when I get my license, or get a refund, wait until late summer, spend more money, do the course, and hopefully have the confidence to feel like I know what I'm doing. Any advice helps and thanks in advance. 

@Stephen Spradley   Pick a broker that provides a good amount of training.  They will take more of your money but it sounds like it would be the best fit for you.

Your education isn't over when you pass the exam.  I'd encourage you to push through, get your license, and then select a broker with a strong education/mentoring program to help you learn how to actually do the job.  You probably won't feel fully prepared when you get your license even if you wait and do the in person course.  (And if you do feel ready, you'll probably be fooling yourself...)  

I just went through this myself and chose to work with Keller Williams because of the stellar reputation for education, and so far I'm not disappointed.

When I took my real estate salesperson and Broker test in Michigan I too was overwhelmed. Our state test does not prepare you to be a real estate agent at all. Concentrate on passing the test by taking practice exams and then hang your license at a brokerage that has many agents and training.

When did we actually learn anything in school which is helpful in real life? I have and engineering and Masters degree in Computer Science and still I think I learned way more on the job in first year then all my years in school. Schools provide you theoretical education and internship/job is where you can apply some of what you learned at school. By the way, I never learned anything about Finance or Sales but I guess I can easily beat anyone with MBA in Finance or Sales who just got out of school.😀

@Alpesh Parmar   I do not know what you are talking about.  I use the Baillie-PSW primality test everyday in real estate.  I also do not see how anyone can get by without understanding the differences in neurexin encoding genes among the primates.

LOL

Michael Biggs Vey funny..I think you got the point. :)

I have never had to know how much concrete it will take to add a sidewalk around a property, although that was on my exam.   I ask lenders to figure out how much my buyer can afford.  I have never used much of the material I had to know to pass the state exam, so just get through it.   Title, contracts, fair housing, easements, etc., are all very valuable.  But there was so much useless material I just had to get through, so just get through it, and you'll find the reality very different from school. 

Lynn N wrote: "I ask lenders to figure out how much my buyer can afford." But at what point are you asking? This is pretty vital information to find out within the first 10 minutes of them walking into your office.

I got my license about 12 years after becoming an investor. I also had an MBA and about 1/2 year of law school mostly on contracts. The only reason I was getting my license was because with my license I could attend in person the RTC sealed bid auctions. I managed to win a couple of bids by being there in person. 

After 10 years as an active investor I already knew a few things:

Most agents are not very good at their job. This is not a knock on agents in particular, most people are not very good at their job. See also "the 80/20 rule".

A lot of people claim to be "not a good test taker" and throughout my undergraduate years I used to say that was shorthand for not knowing the material. One day it dawned on me that I was one hell of a great test taker; took the SAT hungover and finished in the top 10 in my state, on the law school admission test I scored in the top 10%, and had never taken a prep course. So there is such a thing as a "bad test taker", but knowing the stuff cold helps a lot more than most people think. While I was hanging out at the broker's office where I would hang my ticket one of the agents asked me when I was taking the test so I told him the next date. He just said, "oh, you'll fail it, guaranteed". 

I asked him if he'd like to make a friendly wager and we agreed on $20.00 (I wanted to make it $50). I made the same points that I made above and he said that wouldn't matter.

I took the test in a large college classroom, think English 101 your Freshman year. About 300 people in there. After all the explanation about filling in the circle, erasing completely if you change you mind, etc. (Seriously, we still have to explain how to take a standardized scoring test?) The proctor asked if there were any questions. One lady raised her hand and said that since some people have watches with alarms on them (this was 1990 so no cell phones yet!) could the proctor tell everyone to silence their alarms! I thought, "oh, you're in trouble lady".

About 20 minutes in to test time I finished up and started to leave and realized everybody else still had their head down. So I went back over all my answers and then I saw another guy start to get up. As we reached the hallway I asked him what he thought of the test; "easy as pie".

As far an not needing to know how to calculate how much concrete it takes to pour a driveway. I always thought that was as much a reading comprehension/native smarts question as a math question. The dimensions given are all liner, 30 feet X 24 feet, that must be converted to VOLUME, 6 inches thick because concrete is sold by the (cubic) yard.

For practice ask an agent, or a friend for a copy of a filled in contract and executed HUD 1. Study each blank on them and KNOW what goes in which space and why it's a particular name, number of legal description that goes there.

Originally posted by @Lynn M. :

I have never had to know how much concrete it will take to add a sidewalk around a property, although that was on my exam.   I ask lenders to figure out how much my buyer can afford.  I have never used much of the material I had to know to pass the state exam, so just get through it.   Title, contracts, fair housing, easements, etc., are all very valuable.  But there was so much useless material I just had to get through, so just get through it, and you'll find the reality very different from school. 

 You have to know how to lay concrete to pass a real estate exam?  Are they preparing you for a 2nd career if the RE Agent thing doesnt work out?

@Stephen Spradley there are practice exams you can sign up for online. They help narrow down areas where you are weak and will adjust the exam questions to strengthen you in those areas.

Just make sure you select your state. Some companies will refund you if you don’t pass. Look into it and get your license!

Best of luck!

Information overload.  Take a step back. Start over on the lessons. Think about how each form, topic, disclosure, etc. fits into the overall scheme of you protecting your client and the public in a real estate transaction.

Read outside sources on topics you still don't understand. It will come together. Good luck!

I'd say go ahead and wade through the current courses, take the exam, then find a low-cost brokerage (e.g. not $1200/mo desk fee unless you have money falling out of your pockets (in which case, let's talk!). My emp. brokerage is $25/mo, for example). Hang with a brokerage who assigns a mentor, then milk their brains for every last drop. 

Also take as much training from your brokerage and as many continuing ed courses from everyone as you can fit into your schedule. I've learned oh so much just going to cont. ed. in person and listening to the b*tch sessions by other agents. I learned a lot of things to NOT do, and even a few things TO do. :0) Different perspectives are great.

When I completed a listing transaction in February this year, everyone raved about how smooth the transaction was and how knowledgeable I was about what I was doing. They had no idea it was my first transaction. That was both flattering (always nice to hear good things about one's work) but also very, very scary in terms of what I might expect to encounter in future transactions. 

*Listen* with ears and mind open. Question everything, even the things that are "the way we always do them".  One of my favorite questions is "Why?". To defuse the defensiveness that question unintentionally can evoke I often expand on that: "Why is it done that way? I'm a newbie and just want to understand the whys and wherefores behind the whats."

Real world is definitely different from academic, in every industry, but I'm surprised at times at the stuff I recall and say to myself "oh yeah, they did cover that, and that, and that", it just wasn't relevant to me at the time because I had no real world context. 

I learned very little in real estate school. Once I got my license I followed around a few agents and my broker, that's where I learn almost everything. School can only teach you so much...

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