Real estate is a difficult field to master, requiring a great deal of education, the ability to multitask and tips and tricks that take a career to learn and apply. For new REALTORS® it can all be incredibly overwhelming. Fear not. Here’s a list of 10 Tips for New REALTORS® that can help everyone from the agent at their first day on the job to the 10-year veteran looking to help the new kids on the block find their way.
1. Find the Right Real Estate Company
Your first real estate company is usually the most formative in a REALTOR®’s career. Look for a broker who runs an organized, client-focused office with high ethical standards and processes in place for training. Does the company advocate technology? Do they have a strong presence in the local media? Do they market the company and the team well?
2. Find a Mentor
There’s no quicker way to learn the chutes and ladders of real estate than from a mentor. Good mentors are invaluable resources for the basic ins and outs of real estate, but their expertise goes beyond books and formal education and will help new REALTORS® with everything from being more efficient to quirks in your local market. Find a mentor who matches your style, is open to learning themselves and knows there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Watching them in action will be an invaluable education.
3. Create Your Business Plan
You’ll need a solid plan with steps for success in order to make it as a REALTOR®. Do your research and ask your colleagues for help when laying out your first business plan, establishing realistic goals for sales, marketing, spending and professional development. What is your strategy for reaching potential clients and what tactics will you use to achieve your aims? Business plans change all the time, but establishing a good foundation right out of the gate is a key component for success. Check out the Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS® here.
4. Be Realistic
On your first day as a REALTOR® you’ll probably have visions of the success you’re about to become, but start slow and be realistic. You don’t need to drop thousands of dollars on marketing, technology and giant billboards your first week on the job. Be tight-fisted with your cash and build your skillset and experience to learn, adapt and build into the REALTOR® you want to become. Slow and steady wins the race.
5. Focus Your Territory
You can’t do it all – not right out of the gate. Focus your energies on your territory and your expertise to find the best listings. Establish strong relationships and start to learn the ins and outs of your area so that you build a deep list of contacts and gather valuable research that you can use right away. Overextending yourself at the beginning will lead to inefficiencies, stress and likely poorer results.
6. Build Your Brand
Aligning yourself with a strong real estate company is the first step for many new REALTORS® but building your own brand is a career-long process that starts on day one. How do you want potential clients and colleagues to view you? What do you want your differentiators to be? Remember that you’re marketing yourself to fellow real estate professionals as well as clients, so be available, attentive and easy to work with. Ask for referrals, look for the gaps in your market and don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and pitch in to learn something new. Don’t be a secret agent – be a REALTOR®!
7. Know Your Stuff
Before you’re faced with your first real estate wrinkle, be sure you know your stuff. Know the relevant documents, disclosures, transaction terms, legal issues and housing laws. If your client has a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t improvise. Find the right answer and report back to your client to avoid any pitfalls. NAR also offers a number of benefits for REALTORS®. See how we can help you today.
8. Establish Productivity
There are a lot of black holes REALTORS® can fall into during the day – moments of inefficiency and distraction that will have you wondering where the day went. Set productivity guidelines for yourself to work smart and manage your time. Learn the difference between a motivated client and a perennial shopper. When is the right time to fire a client? What marketing ventures are fruitful and match up to your business goals and which ones aren’t delivering valuable ROI?
9. Keep Looking for New Clients
At some point you’ll find yourself working multiple transactions, fielding phone calls, emails, texts, messaging on Twitter, fighting to find time to post on Facebook and skipping lunch twice a week. And then, just as suddenly, you’ll close all your business and find yourself in a 30-day dry period with no qualified buyers or sellers in the pipeline. Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day of transactions so much that you stop looking for new clients. Keep that pipeline flowing to minimize your dry spells. Think to the future, not just the present.
10. Stop and Smell the Roses
All work and no play makes a REALTOR® less productive, less motivated and often less happy. Stop and smell the roses every once in awhile and enjoy what you’re doing. Mix up how you communicate with coworkers, connections and clients. Take lunch outside the office to network or work from home every once in a while to break up the week. If you find you’re getting overwhelmed by stress and work, take a step back and evaluate how you can save yourself before things get too bad.
Veteran REALTORS® – any good (and potentially embarrassing) stories to share about your first few weeks or months on the job? What lessons did you learn the hard way and/or who helped you become the REALTOR® you are today? Share your stories with us in the comments below!