“The path to success in real estate is littered with those who started and were never able to make a living — or possibly never able to make the transition from thinking it’s easy to hunkering down to do the hard work of building a business.” - See more at: http://www.inman.com/next/five-success-strategies-for-new-real-estate-agents-in-the-digital-age/#sthash.jWCEhiR4.dpuf
Our office is currently in the process of licensing three new agents. One will be a full-fledged agent, one will be a hybrid agent/transaction manager, and I will continue to be the marketing/relations manager with the knowledge to be able to assist clients to my maximum ability. All the same, three new licensed agents in an 9 personnel office is a great shift. For the two in-house new agents and hopefully for all of those out there who are considering or have recently been licensed, here are a few tips on how you can successfully break into the industry with confidence.
FINDING AN OFFICE. Each office is not the same. Outside of the industry, if you know an agent, they are all clumped into the same bin. That is not so. Each office has a different atmosphere, vibe, and different team versus individual structures. The numbers of variables from company to company are endless. I would recommend making a grid of your most valuable factors and as you interview with each company, rate and make notes on those elements. They may be such things as: commission splits, average office-wide inventory, use (or lack thereof) of technology, and how much in-office training is potentially provided. There are two primary routes you can go: franchise or local. Franchises will be robust in name recognition leading to more office-wide inventory, but this may come at the cost of less individuality and higher fees. A local, independent office will have inventory per agent, more independent control over the totality of office decisions, and you can represent yourself with local credibility and authority.
FOREVER STUDENT. As a new agent, your learning is not over. You enter an office with experience all around you. Ask for tips, assistance, and follow some of the agents along as they do such things as final walk-throughs, preparing CMAs, and even just sitting down after they have filled out a contract and listen to the ‘shpeal’ they give clients as they sign. This micro-steps will all teach you the nuances of the business in ways that make or break a successful agent.
MARKETING. I hope all new agents are lucky enough to be hired into an office with a marketing director or general office help that fills in as the marketing coordinator. As agents get busy, their #1 downfall is that the lower priority (aka non money maker) projects get put off to the side or forgotten all together. This get busy and neglect your core marketing tasks is exactly what creates the lows and highs of an agent’s income. There are a few things every agent can do for themselves.
- Build a starter contact list. This can be one person but just brainstorm who you can reach out to professionally to build your influence. This allows you to leverage yourself and announce your new formal position within a community.
- For all else, it is either going to be hardcore discipline or you need to hire a specialist in the field. Creating a website with valuable content, keeping it update by regularly optimizing the SEO, blogging, scheduling and planning events to remain a public figure in the community, and an infinite amount of other tasks will fall through the cracks and your brand, image, and baselines earnings will suffer if this part is neglected. This may sound harsh, but as sales professionals, many agents do not have the perfect skillset for technical personal marketing as well as high-volume and successful real estate sales. Build a team around you that will inherently boost your performance so that you can go from being the new agent to being an executive real estate professional!