Like most things in life, there is no magic formula for becoming a successful real estate agent. As you can imagine, it takes time, hard work, and patience if you want to make it in this industry. While most new agents worry about passing the real estate agent test, but the real challenge is actually getting ahead once you’re licensed.
Let’s face it: there’s a lot of competition in the real estate industry. In fact, there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the U.S. alone. You likely won’t be the most experienced agent in your area, and that means you’ll need both a strong work ethic and hustle.
Do you want to avoid becoming yet another failed realtor statistic? If so, you need to plan ahead and get serious about this business. Passing the test is the easy part. Now it’s time to market yourself, build a network, and land the sale.
1. Save money before you begin.
Starting off on your own as a realtor is a great way to gain back freedom in your career. However, you have to be realistic. It’s unlikely you’re going to be able to support yourself with this path alone until you’ve built a reputation in this industry. Until then, you need to have a backup income source.
If you’re too busy worrying about how you’re going to put food on the table, you won’t have any time left to grow your business. That’s why you need to save enough money for at least six months to focus solely on your real estate business, or you need to practice real estate part-time. While this might not seem ideal, it’s much safer not to have to worry about how you’ll pay your bills when you’re first getting started.
2. Shadow another agent or broker.
Like any industry, you need to learn from the pros. If this is your first time in the world of real estate, there’s a lot to learn. While you can read all you want about logistics and marketing, this doesn’t help you with real-world experience. If possible, reach out to successful agents or brokers in your area. Many will let you shadow them if you’re willing to assist in their day-to-day practice. Learning about things like surveys, insurance, encumbrances, etc. is much easier when you have a mentor leading the way.
3. Make the most of technology.
The internet is no longer optional in the world of real estate. The National Association of Realtors estimates that over 50% of home buyers found their home on the internet. If you’re not on the internet, you’re missing out on these clients. This is especially important if you’re new to the industry and don’t yet have a wide net of references.
How do you get started online? First, set up a website either by yourself or through your agency. This will help you build authority. Next, create active profiles on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Become a member of the community by posting regularly and assisting buyers virtually. Soon, your leads will be coming to you.
4. Always follow up.
Following up is the lifeblood of the real estate industry. If you don’t follow up, you won’t make it. A lot of times you’ll meet clients who are on the fence about buying or selling their home. They’re interested, but they’re not ready to commit just yet, or they still have questions that need to be answered. Don’t take this as a no. Instead, learn how to follow up effectively.
You can’t leave your business up to chance. Don’t count on prospective clients to come to you. Establish a clear protocol for following up with clients after a first meeting. Did you speak to a client in person a week ago? Call them and ask if they’re able to schedule another meeting this week. Take the initiative in your own business.
5. Overcome the negative mindset.
Things will go wrong in your business. While we all wish we could control our lives 100% of the time, that’s just not how the world works. A client will get upset. They’ll decide to work with another agent. You might get a letter from your local real estate department. Things happen. It’s up to you to push past these obstacles and do what you can to turn the situation around. Don’t let this negative mindset drag your business down.
As a real estate agent, you get to help people find their dream homes every day. That’s something to celebrate, but it’s also something to take seriously. Unfortunately, the majority of new agents fail in their first year. This doesn’t have to be your fate. By putting your business first with these tips above, you can rise into the top percentages who successfully continue to land clients and build a strong future for themselves.