I remember the time when I passed the real estate brokers’ exam. I was still working in Makati then, and I didn’t really know what to do next. I never had sales experience and didn’t know where to start. So I thought of making some tips which I hope would help the new real estate brokers, based on what I have learned along the way during the past two years.
1. Get your PRC License
The best proof of your being a licensed real estate broker is your Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) license, so get this as soon as possible. You need this when you apply for accreditation with the different real estate developers, when you pay for your Professional Tax Receipt (PTR), and when you update your registration with the BIR. Here is a link to my post about my experience when I got my license last 2011.
2. Update your BIR registration
Before you get your commission, the seller will usually ask for an official receipt. You cannot give an official receipt if you have not updated your Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registration as a licensed real estate broker. So, better do this now.
Atty. Ernesto “Jojo” Perez II has written an excellent e-book on how to register with the BIR as a real estate broker. You may get a copy of his e-book if you subscribe to his website through this link.
Take note that when you update your BIR registration, you need to decide whether you will be VAT-registered or not. Some developers (like Ayala Land Premier) require their brokers to be VAT-registered, so check the requirements of the developers you are eyeing. As a general rule, if your income will not exceed P1,919,500.00 in a year, you are not required to be VAT-registered. You will be subject to the 3% percentage tax instead.
3. Start with Project Selling
I sought advice from experienced brokers at the association I belong to (REBAP-LMP, more on this later), and they suggested that new real estate brokers start with Project Selling (i.e., selling units of projects of developers). So, your next step would be to get accredited with reputable developers.
This advice is very practical because before you can sell anything, you need sales training and product knowledge training, which developers provide for free. Plus, you instantly have several inventories to sell, and in different locations to boot.
Moreover, unlike in General Brokerage (or even foreclosures) where a unit you are selling is usually unique (meaning if it’s sold you would usually not be able to offer another one immediately in place of it), in Project Selling, you would have many other units to offer to a hot buyer.
Lastly, if the reputation of the developer is solid, and the projects are really good and in great locations, some buyers have already made the decision to buy and your job as a broker is only to facilitate the purchase and provide after-sales service.
All these reasons make Project Selling a good practice ground for new real estate brokers.
By the way, if you would like to be accredited with SMDC, my friend, Ruffa Eugenio is a Broker Manager at Local Broker Network Division 2. We were seatmates at the Oath-taking as we were both No. 4 in the 2011 exams. She is likewise a UP BAA grad and CPA like me. You may contact her at 0906-279-6704 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be accredited with SMDC.
For those who would like to be accredited with DMCI, I suggest that you course your sales through our group at REBAP-LMP because of our Unified Accreditation Program. You don’t need to be a member of REBAP-LMP to be part of our DMCI group.
4. Join a reputable organization of real estate brokers
One of the best things that a new real estate broker can do to jumpstart his or her career is to join a reputable association of real estate brokers. You can learn from experienced and seasoned brokers and you can also tap their extensive network.
For newbies who know very little about life in the “real world,” advice from “elders” are invaluable. Really, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when faced with situations you have not encountered before – chances are, someone in the group has already experienced it. Your learning will be accelerated if you have mentors to guide you.
In practice, too, it is very important to deal with reputable licensed co-brokers that are trustworthy. I have heard of many stories about commissions not being shared, “sulutan,” etc. (not a pretty sight, believe me). Deal only with reputable and licensed real estate brokers. Remember this because if you don’t, you will really regret it. This little piece of advice will save you a lot of heartache.
FYI, Jay and I are members of the LMP (Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Paranaque) Chapter of the Real Estate Brokers of the Philippines (REBAP), and we are very happy to be part of this group. (By the way, Jay used to be with REBAP Marikina but he had to transfer to REBAP-LMP when we left Marikina because of our Ondoy experience).
If you are not yet decided which association to join, I would like to invite you to attend the 1st National General Membership Meeting (NGMM) of REBAP which will be held on April 4, 2013, Thursday, at Palacio de Maynila, Roxas Blvd., Malate, Manila. Registration starts at 1:00 pm. Please come in business attire. Check out REBAP and decide if you would like to join. Our home chapter, LMP, will be the host and the theme is “Cashing In On The Philippine Economic Boom”.
Our keynote speaker, Atty. Romell Antonio O. Cuenca, Director of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, will be talking about PPP and real estate. Prof. Roland Angeles will discuss the Philippine Economic Outlook for 2013 and other matters which will help real estate brokers maximize their income during the current economic boom. Real estate brokers will have the opportunity to learn about the latest projects of, and get accredited with, several reputable developers.
The learning investment for non-REBAP members is a very reasonable P600.00 inclusive of a sumptuous dinner and CPE credits. Definitely, the learning, earning, and networking opportunities for real estate brokers far outweigh the cost.
Those interested to attend may pre-register with the REBAP National Secretariat at telephone number 373-2281 or 374-2496 by April 1, 2013. Those who will pay before the event will have reserved seats. We hope to see you there!
5. Invest in a cellular phone, internet connection, and a laptop
I have no background in sales so selling is really a challenge for me. Since I am a bookworm, I turned to books and online resources, aside from learning from mentors. I still have a lot to learn and I try to improve everyday.
One thing I noticed that a real estate broker needs in order to sell is to be easily contacted. It would be good to invest in a reliable cellular phone and internet connection. I have a Globe line with SuperDuo so I have a wireless landline with unlimited calls to Globe and landlines. Other brokers have lines with all major networks (Globe, Smart, and Sun), plus Magic Jack, Skype, Viber, etc.
Jay suggests using an Android phone because you can easily access and sync your g-mail account with your phone. Aside from syncing your emails for offline reading, you can also sync all your contacts’ telephone numbers, which can easily be “restored” if needed (think of “accidentally” deleted contacts), or if your phone got lost. It would be a nightmare if you lost your phone or if it gets stolen, and all your clients’ contact details get lost with it forever. This is no longer a problem if you use an android phone with syncing to g-mail enabled.
For internet connection, we have a Sun Pocket WiFi. We can bring it anywhere we go, and we can use it when we use our cellphones and laptops to access our e-mails (you can tell we are heavily dependent on the internet). Any cellphone with internet connection can also be used as a wifi modem and as back-up when our Sun Pocket WiFi’s internet connection fails or is too slow. A good DSL connection is also highly recommended.
Lastly, a good laptop is very important for a real estate broker, so it would be good to invest in one. Some brokers use Ipads or tablets as they are easier to carry and are sufficient for purposes of presentations and accessing the internet and e-mails.
Speaking of the internet, you will definitely need a computer for internet marketing for real estate, that is assuming you already know how to do internet marketing. Anyway, I won’t discuss internet marketing as Jay should be the one discussing it as he is more experienced with it.
I hope this helps! Once again, congratulations to the new real estate brokers! Cheers!
Cherry Vi M. Saldua-Castillo
Real Estate Broker, Lawyer, and CPA
PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3187
PRC CPA License No. 0102054
Roll of Attorneys No. 55239
2013 Internal Education Head, REBAP-LMP
Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2008 – 2013 All rights reserved.
Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose.
*Advice Help Signpost picture from Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos