Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week, we talked with Peter Vekselman, the CEO of Vekselman Coaching. After building one of the largest and most successful real estate investing companies in the southeastern U.S., Peter transitioned to real estate coaching, and he now instructs his students on how to become self-assured, confident, and successful investors through a one-year curriculum.
Atlanta Agent (AA): What is the most common mistake that you see in how agents conduct their business?
Peter Vekselman (PV): If you’re talking about a brand new agent, the No. 1 mistake they make is unrealistic expectations of this business. They misjudge how quickly it can start happening for them, how much money it will cost them to get up and running, how challenging real estate can be and the amount of knowledge they really need to become successful.
The biggest problem with agents as a whole is there are no barriers to entry. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can go get a license. If you start a McDonald’s franchise, for instance, you’re dishing out $500,000 to set it up. In real estate, though, you sit for an exam and you’re basically in business, and that ends up getting many wrong people into the business who are not meant to be their own boss.
AA: How do you recommend agents plan their businesses in a long-term fashion?
PV: I’m actually not a big believer in long-term planning, because the things that happen five months from now are directly related to the things you’re doing now. The basic fundamentals of this business never change. You have to market in January just like you market in July. I think that’s a common excuse from agents, that their “real” goal is becoming successful next September; it becomes a reason for doing nothing.
The basic fundamentals for agents is marketing, seeing people and seeing deals, and they are not seasonally related. Those are everyday things, and they are all important if someone wants to be successful six months from now, especially given the lag time in real estate. You could start marketing today and not see the results of closing for four, five months.
AA: Finally, what do you see as the biggest challenge agents will face in the coming years?
PV: We’re all fighting against technology. Before, the need for an agent was to access listing data. Nowadays, the buyer or seller has the same kind of access. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to focus on not the toys that come with being an agent, because everyone else has access to those toys. The ultimate fundamentals – people skills, sales skills, follow-up skills, negotiation skills – all the things that have nothing to do with technology will give agents the edge.