Follow this Advice for Your New Career as an Agent
When you finish your Pre-Licensing courses and get licensed you’ll likely ask yourself “What’s next?” It’s probably one of the biggest questions we hear from new agents and our affiliates. The best thing you can do is get your feet wet and embrace the challenge. And the next thing you can do is read this blog.
Top 10 Tips for Starting Your New Career as a Real Estate Agent
We asked agents to anonymously tell us a little bit about how they got started and what they would do if they were in your shoes. While this advice is based on opinions, we strongly urge you to read on and take with you what you believe will help in your journey as a new agent.
10) Experiment with Small Cost Advertising
“I’m a relatively organized person, which can sometimes be my greatest strength and weakness. It’s been great for generating leads and such, but it also limited me from taking risks. So when I started hitting a lag back in ‘14, I knew I needed to mix things up but didn’t know how to without spending loads of money.
“Talking with my husband, he suggested experimenting with low-cost advertising. What I did was, for two months, split up my ad budget among social media, traditional print ads, and local pamphlets. Through that, I was able to get a better understanding of where my target market was frequenting, both in real life and online.
“Even to this day, I still set aside funds to experiment with different types of advertising and mediums. Experimentation gives me the ability to learn how the market is changing and where I should be reallocating my advertising budget.”
9) Tap Into Your Sphere of Influence
“First starting out, I had this terrible anxiety when it came to talking to my friends and family about how I can help them. It was this fear of the judgemental. Thoughts like ‘He’s an agent now. Maybe that wasn’t the best career choice for him’ would run through my head all day.
“Honestly, this fear is just made up in your head. My tip is to instead ignore that little voice and be fearless. All family or friends can say is ‘No, I’m not interested.’ So what, they don’t want to give me business. Maybe down the line, after seeing my success, they will.
“It’s also a great referral system. Some of my biggest sales happened when friends said ‘I don’t need you as an agent, but I do know someone who does.’ To be honest, every conversation with your sphere is an opportunity, whether you realize it or not.”
8) Lead Generation Starts Before Coffee
“I once listened to this webinar explaining how you need to have at least 50 client touches before drinking your Starbucks coffee. My oh my were they right. Getting your touches in early helps to not only organize your day but to be more efficient with other challenges and tasks you need to do.
“This is what I do: Every day, I drive into the office and check the hotlists to see if any clients or leads live nearby. If so, I’ll give them a call and tell them about the listing, even if it’s not mine. Next, I go on all my social media accounts and Like, Comment, Direct Message, and Post; I want to be on their minds, even if it’s just for a quarter of a second of their day. Awareness advertising is a long-term move that requires patience. But it works!
“After that, I choose five clients and write handwritten notes. Happy birthday, how’re you doing, congratulations on your kid graduating. I will use any excuse to say ‘Hi, I’m thinking of you.’ And then I get back in my car and drive to the nearest Starbucks drive-thru (corona mask and all) and enjoy my frappuccino. Incorporating this into my routine has made my life so much easier.”
7) Use your CRM Tool to Your Advantage
“Staying organized is not my forte, which is why I invested heavily - maybe too much - into several different CRM systems throughout my career. Thanks to CRM, I don’t have to rely on Facebook to remember birthdays and can easily plan out my week for kicking ass and taking names.
“It’s such a great way to record and remember what I did yesterday, last week, or even last year. CRM allows me to be able to write down our conversations, making it easy for me to pick up our relationship right where we left it.”
6) Create a Brand that Highlights What You Do Best
“Your brand is everything. Before you go out there or create marketing materials, do your research and spend considerable time asking yourself these three questions:
- As a real estate agent, who am I?
- What target market can I service the best?
- What is my competitive advantage over everyone else?
“The first question establishes your brand. And there are many ways to say this, so really hone in on who you are as an agent and then spend time jotting down specific language that describes how you want clients to see you.
“The second question depends on your brand and requires research. For example, if you want to be the go-to out-of-state agent specialist, make sure people are actually moving to your area and that your brand resonates with that audience.
“The last question is very straightforward: What do you do that no one else can do? Are you a thought leader in the industry, or is it your hospitality skills that stand out? This can be many skills but I can assure you, the better you are at one thing will outweigh everything else.
“Do what’s necessary to be the best at that one thing and then make sure you’re competent at everything else.”
5) Find a Mentor
“Finding the right mentor requires you to do your due diligence, especially when considering the type of brokerage you want to join. Having a mentor who cares about your growth is extremely hard to find. Whoever you end up with, make sure you’re willing to work to their schedule. Remember, there’s not always a short-term benefit to anyone who chooses to be your mentor.
“That all being said, spend as much time with them as you can. I’m a big believer in learning through osmosis. The more you’re around them when they are on the clock, the more you’ll learn for your own benefit.”
4) Create a Viable Business Plan
“I actually recently used The CE Shop’s ebook on business plans and can tell you, it really helped. Every business is different but creating a plan, even one that you know will change is extremely important. It gives you a guidance system, similar to an airplane. Sure, you won’t exactly hit all of those goals and will be constantly evolving your business with time, but like a plane, it’s all about getting from Point A to Point B. And how we get to Point B is never, ever a straight line. But when you have a plan, it becomes much easier to make changes and still get to where you’re trying to go.”
3) Make Content That Engages
“Newsletters, blogs, Instagram feeds, memes, you name it. When it comes to 2020 real estate marketing, content rules. As an agent, you need to be creating as much as possible. It’s the best way to get your name out there without bombarding them with corny advertising.
“At the end of the day, you’re a community leader. There’s no better way to demonstrate that than through content that engages. If you don’t know what to say, think about who you are as a person. It’s okay to write about your favorite sports teams or your thoughts on Facebook practices. Just make sure to not offend anyone with your opinions, and try and bring it back to your services as an agent, if you can.”
2) Stay Educated on Current Trends
“Being the go-to resource for everything in real estate is not only gratifying, it leads to more business. Think about it, who would you trust more with a home sale, the guy who knows or the guy who doesn’t?
“The more you know depends on staying educated on current trends. Right now, for example, being knowledgeable about everything COVID-19 and how it affects the home buying process is essential for an agent’s day-to-day business. The more you know, the more you read, and the more you listen to the tom-toms, the more informed and prepared you’ll be as an agent. This will lead to higher transactions over time.”
1) Be Fearless
“At the end of the day, you can read every how-to blog or attend webinars but what matters most is your Fear Factor. It can be hard to shake off the nerves and anxiety that come with the job. But if you can find a release (I like to bike on my Peloton; my wife, also an agent, does yoga) that allows you to destress for the coming challenge, you can find success.
“Fear is the biggest obstacle agents have to overcome. It’s by far the biggest determiner of your career path. So be fearless and remember, there is no risk of putting yourself out there.
“Generating real estate business is a binary system, and once you understand that there’s no risk in putting yourself out there, the world is your oyster.”