Every year when Real Trends’ “The Thousand” list comes out, it’s topped by an Agent who holds the Guinness World Record for home sales.
“He only sells new-construction residential properties and he works with volume builders only,” according to Katie Warner at BusinessInsider.com.
He has also created a MLS platform, HomesUSA.com, “… for home builders to track the progress of their homes and manage listings” Warner adds.
On last year’s list, Ben Caballero, categorized as an “individual” agent on all but the 2020 list, had 5,801 transactions resulting in $2,270,911,643 in sales – nearly four times the volume of the agent in second place.
The list has changed a bit in 2020 and now includes a category for “Agent-Owned Brokerage” stats. Naturally, Caballero dominates this category, with 5,778 transactions with an “average price” of $2,248,698,983.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a market on earth where the average home price is more than $2.2 billion, but apparently there is, if the folks at Real Trends are right.
At any rate, whatever that dollar amount reflects, it’s a whole lot of money. The agents in the next two spots aren’t doing too shabby either.
Surprisingly, new construction isn’t a particularly popular niche. With numbers like Caballero’s however, it should be.
If you’d like to get in on some of this impressive income, you may want to give new home sales a whirl.
Do you have what it takes?
From what we’ve read in our research, “tenacity” is a quality that will suit your gig slinging newly-built homes.
John Rymer at ProBuilder.com, however, adds more to the list of traits to look for in an article geared to assist builders when looking for a “New-Home Sales Superstar.”
- Avid goal setter
- Asks the right questions
- Financing expert
- Passionate about new-home sales
- Exudes enthusiasm
- Takes responsibility for results
- First in the office, last to leave
- Perfected the follow-up process
- Always showing value
- Persistent and fearless closer
If this list sounds like you, selling new construction may just be your dream career.
First, the cons
Let’s get the bad news out of the way up front.
Just as with the broker under which you choose to hang your license, so goes the builder. Some value ethics and high standards. Others, not so much.
For instance, horror stories abound from sales people of one nationwide builder with a highly- recognized name.
“They are not building homes as they say ‘to industry standards,’ and … you will violate your Realtor ethics code if you are successful at [company name] and will be asked and expected to pretend homes built below building codes, with no supervision, with the cheapest material in the industry are worth the over-market prices the customers are paying.”
On this particular website, there is a total of five reviews for this builder, they are all negative.
So, choosing the right builder will be challenging.
Then, there is the commission structure and, no, you won’t be making 3% (minus your broker’s cut) on each sale.
One of the aforementioned reviewers of the unnamed builder stated that “the commission rate is not 1% as I was told in my interview. It is .05%, the lowest in the industry and the lowest rate for any [company name] division. The max you are guaranteed to earn is .07% and you can get 1% if you are lucky.”
Then, when you sign on to become a new home sales consultant, you are no longer an independent contractor, but an employee of the builder. There go all the benefits of owning your own business, such as your schedule being your own.
Naturally, there are other cons, but these are the ones that agents should carefully consider.
The pros of working with a builder
The obvious plus of becoming a new home sales consultant is that prospects come to you. You will need to follow up with buyers (or their agents), but no more cold calling and chasing after business. You may even pick up a listing if a homebuyer has a home to sell and hasn’t chosen a listing agent.
As an employee, you’ll most likely receive benefits, such as medical and dental. It’s also highly likely you won’t work on major holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
If being a business owner doesn’t agree with you, but you hope to remain in the industry, becoming a new-home sales consultant may just be for you.
How to get your foot in the door
Caballero grew up surrounded by real estate – both parents were in the industry. He took a rather circuitous route to where he is now, but along the way he began building homes, which became challenging due to economic conditions.
There’s more to how he ended up specializing in new-home sales, but suffice it to say, he didn’t just start calling builders to see if they needed an agent.
Starting from ground zero – knowing nothing about working with a builder and how the process differs from selling existing homes – is challenging.
Your best bet is to visit a few sites, introduce yourself and get to know the reps. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Everybody has to start somewhere so they may be sympathetic to what you’re going through.
Do some research on your own. Learn all you can about:
- The different architectural home styles
- Blueprints (and how to read them)
- Home construction methods and materials
- Site layout and design
If, on the other hand, you are a learned, new-home sales scholar, and you have a proven track record of moving 50 to 100 listings a year, you’re way ahead of the pack.
Call the builder to set an appointment and then be fully prepared to wow him or her with a marketing plan to beat all marketing plans.
“All it takes is a little bit of time for an agent to understand builders — why they do what they do — to reap the rewards the new-home market can deliver,” according to Caballero.
Want to be “just like” the best agents in the country? Here’s how.
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