Q: I’m a fan of your column and just read the “Nine things you should ask an agent before hiring him or her.”

I just got my real estate license and I’m beginning to work with the top realtor in the area. Some of those questions could be quite deadly for someone just starting out, like myself.

I hope nobody asks for my resume, or if I use a lock box. As for how many houses have I sold over the past year? The answer is zero. We all have to start somewhere. I’m just hoping no one asks.

A: You seem to imply that because you’ve just received your real estate license that your life is starting from ground zero. I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself, so let’s take a closer look.

You didn’t ask, but if you had, I’d tell you that if you’re working as an “apprentice” of sorts to the top Realtor in your area, you will soon learn how to be a very good agent. You can’t ask for any better training than to watch a top agent work at her business day in and day out. If she allows you to help out, with her guidance, you’ll learn by doing.

What about the skills you learned in your previous jobs? Unless you’re just out of college, you should have some work history and skills that you learned during that work experience that will transfer over to your new career in real estate.

How about communication and research skills? Most jobs require that you communicate and do research about things. Being a great real estate agent means you’ve honed your communication and research skills nicely.

Even if you are just out of college, think about the experiences you had in college and how what you learned will make you a better agent.

Hoping no one asks you a tough question about your skills or the past or even whether you use a lock box isn’t the answer. You need to think about how you would answer that kind of question, and do it in a way that helps your client believe you’re up to the task.

Everyone needs to start somewhere, and after a year or so of working with a top Realtor, you will learn quickly and that experience will be invaluable in developing your client base.

Let me know how you’re doing a year from now.

Published: Apr 1, 2007