7 Tips To Help You Rule Your World
It doesn't take too deep a swim into the pool of real estate to know that there's always a lot to learn. You undoubtedly soaked up a lot of useful knowledge during all those hours of pre-licensing education, but once you swim out on your own, you quickly see how much there still is to know.
Much like life after college, first starting out as a real estate agent can sometimes feel pretty overwhelming.
1. Find a Mentor
Our first tip is a simple one: Accept that you know nothing and learn from someone who does!
Finding a good, ethical mentor that you click with is essential to making it in real estate, as they can tell you everything you don't even know you don't know. With a mentor that you can confide in and ask questions, it'll be much easier for you to build a solid foundation under your nascent real estate empire.
Many agents even recommend finding a brokerage based on the mentorship that will be provided.
2. Study Up
One of the great things about the industry is that real estate touches everyone. There's no shortage of books, movies, blogs, and agents to learn from.
For books, we recommend first checking out Gary Keller. Of Keller Williams fame, Gary Keller's obviously a name to know in the industry, and agents of all backgrounds will find his books very applicable to the day to day business. His book The One Thing is especially useful in determining the purpose behind your scheduling.
As far as movies, Glengarry Glen Ross is a great starting point. Originally written as a play, the film came out in 1992 and has since become an unofficial training manual for real estate and sales agents. Also of note is The Big Short, a film about the recent housing crisis that won a Best Screenplay Oscar in 2015.
3. The Time Block
As discussed in The One Thing, time blocking is an essential tool for getting things done. Unfortunately for all aspiring entrepreneurs, there are only 24 hours in each day, and no matter how hard we try to add more, they just won't budge.
By chunking your time into segments, you can guarantee you spend time on the things you need to accomplish each day. A key aspect to successful time blocking is that you must replace whatever time block you erase.
For instance, say you spend 9-11am every day making calls. If one day you have another commitment during that 9-11am block, then you'll have to reschedule that two-hour block elsewhere in your schedule.
By intentionally cutting your time into appointments you must keep with yourself, you stay accountable and organized, instead of just floating out in the ether of self-employment.
4. Manage Your Customer Relationships
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is a type of business software essential to keeping client information organized. Many agents recommend using a CRM system before you feel you even need it, just to create the habit for when you do need it.
CRMs come in many forms, and most options can be shaped to fit your needs. For more info, check out our blog post on automation.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Referrals
Real estate is a social business, and the more people that know and trust you, the better business will be. If someone enjoyed working with you, chances are they'll recommend your services to friends and family, and you want to be sure they know how great that is.
Each time you close a deal, be very clear about how much you like referrals, but don't scare them away with your enthusiasm.
6. Save For the Lean Months
Real estate's a cyclical beast, and market conditions can change abruptly. With no way to see the future, the only smart thing to do is to store away money for the possibility of a market slowdown.
The accepted wisdom is to have about 6 months of expenses holed away in savings. These savings include insurance, as well as business expenses like payroll taxes, advertising materials, and brokerage fees.
7. Be Professional
This last point is both obvious and the most imperative. You're a brand new agent out on the streets, and it's important that you understand how you come off to strangers. While you're of course striving to be the greatest real estate mogul since Thomas Jefferson, you have to realize that you don't know everything.
Be kind, rely on your self-motivation, and don't work yourself so hard that you show up looking like a crazy person.