Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: January 15, 2019
Real estate agents generally work “for themselves.” But that doesn’t mean once you earn your real estate license, your resume writing days are over. Licensed real estate agents must hang their license with a broker. And while it’s usually not difficult to find a broker to take you on in a given market, not all brokerages are created equally. The most desirable brokers in your market are likely a bit more selective about whom they add to their agent roster.
Your real estate resume presents an opportunity to shine a light on your skills and accomplishments, and earn you a seat in the interview chair with the brokerage of your dreams. Here are four tips you can use today to write a stronger real estate resume and open yourself up to bigger and better opportunities.
1. Start with a Strong Headline
People often focus their resume-building efforts on listing out professional accomplishments and education experience…just the facts. They forget that the ultimate goal is to tell the broker who they are, and why they’d be a great addition to the agent roster. (This is good practice for when you join a brokerage and have to sell your personal brand.) A headline is often undervalued. Many resumes don’t even include them. But a great headline can establish your identity and set the tone that the reader carries with them throughout your entire real estate resume.
The headline is where you emphasize your unique selling point. It’s your opportunity to stand out amidst a sea of other people who, just like you, have likely gone to school, had previous jobs, and know how to use Microsoft Office and the MLS. Think about why you would hire you. Are you a successful real estate veteran with a proven lead generation strategy? Are you a newly licensed agent whose previous experience in an administrative role at a real estate office gives you a distinct advantage? Are you a people-person who is comfortable making friends in a room full of strangers? Do you have past success in marketing or sales positions that translates well to real estate? These are selling points that set you apart, and that’s what the headline of your real estate resume should focus on. There are a number of great online examples of resume headlines to help you get started.
2. Demonstrate Self-Motivation
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any real estate brokerage. However, time and money spent recruiting people who ultimately don’t earn their license, or fail within the first year of earning a license, is a major loss for brokers. While many brokers have training and mentorship programs available, a broker’s ideal candidate is one who will hit the ground running with as little support from the broker as possible.
What does this mean for you? If you’re submitting your real estate resume to a broker in a market where you’ve already been successful, it’s simple. Your past success demonstrates you have already established yourself in the market, developed a reputation for excellent client service, and have what it takes to begin earning money for their brokerage.
If you’ve been successful in another market, and you’re relocating, you need to take that one step further. Your previous book of business is important to share, but your resume should also demonstrate that you understand the new market you’re moving into. Explain how you intend to apply or adapt the traits you’ve honed elsewhere into this new market.
As a newly licensed agent, you have an even larger task. You don’t have the past success to decorate your real estate resume. Focus on past professional experiences where you’ve applied self-motivation to overcome odds and be successful. Demonstrate you have the willingness and grit to get your hands dirty and succeed in real estate. As a newly licensed agent, it would also be helpful for you to show a prospective broker that you’ve thought about what it takes to be successful. A well-written, market-focused business plan or marketing plan would make a great addendum to your resume and would likely impress a broker considering whether or not to bring a brand new agent into the office.
3. What You’ve Done Matters More Than Where You’ve Been
The things you’ve achieved matter more on a real estate resume than where you achieved them and how long you stayed there. It is important to list previous experience, but the bullet points listed beneath those former brokers or employers is the meat of your previous experience.
List and explain awards you’ve won. Detail a successful project you took the reins on and point to the value of your leadership. Spell out impressive sales numbers and what you did to achieve them. A potential broker can’t see your determination. They rely on your accomplishments to paint the picture of you as someone they want representing their brand to the public. So brag a little—you’ve earned it!
4. Emphasize Your Specialty
A common mistake we all make when writing a resume is assuming that we need to appear to be an expert in everything. But that’s a fruitless endeavor. Nobody is great at everything, and trying to reflect that unrealistic reality on your resume will likely make you look like an expert in nothing.
There are naturally areas where you excel. This is your specialty, your personal brand as a real estate professional, and it’s the reason you’re an ideal candidate for this broker’s agent roster. If you have a knack for helping first-time buyers prioritize their needs and align their expectations with their budget, that’s a great asset! If you’ve honed a strategy for identifying sellers before they even know they’re in the market to sell, you’ve got something special. If you’ve developed a track record of efficiently navigating clients through foreclosures and short sales, that’s a skill you can hang your hat on. These personal assets belong on your real estate resume.
Brokers aren’t as interested in your knowledge as they are in your ability to apply that knowledge to make their business more successful. (In fact, the questions they ask in interviews are going to focus on answers that align your goals with theirs.) They don’t expect you to excel at everything. But there’s something powerful in having a roster full of agents who know what they’re good at…and know how to apply their talents for the good of the brokerage.
As a real estate professional, you know a thing or two about sales. The tips above will help you formalize those skills into a polished real estate resume that will open new doors to opportunity in your career. If you're newly licensed or about to be, consider education that can accelerate your success.