18 Tips for the rookie Real Estate Agent (and some for the veterans)
Updated: Jun 3, 2019
1. Use Your Strengths to Shape Your Brand
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the first step to recognising this is being completely honest with yourself. If you can garner the strength to recognise your own foibles then it shouldn’t be a step too far to be honest with yourself about what you’re good at. Got it? Good.
This is important because in this day and age a successful agent goes above and beyond the very generic “I can help buyers and sellers achieve their home buying or selling dreams” even though it may be true, it’s important you recognise that everybody already says that.
Think about your social media and what it says about you? Do you still have a monobrow? Does your profile picture look like it was taken with a flip phone? Are you posting inappropriate thirst traps? If the answer is "YES" to any of these questions then you’ll probably have to have a good social media sweep. Think about how you want the public to perceive you and how you want to position yourself. Think about your attributes that people gravitate towards then focus and hone those traits. Shoulders square, back straight.
2. Automate Your Marketing So You Can Focus on Sales
For real estate agents, there never seem to be enough hours in a day. Try automating some of the most time and energy consuming processes, so you can focus on closing more deals. Using the newest platforms for advertising and staying on top of the newest technology is a good way to ensure that you're getting the most efficiency and bang for your buck. Apps like REAL Messenger will actually help you automate real estate lead generation with software also pulls listings from your MLS, capture your leads, and add them to its CRM and automated email campaign. It even includes and advanced map-search tool for potential homebuyers to pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for, so your leads will be primed before your first point of contact.
3. Get Out Doors
In this day and age social it’s easy to either make yourself feel like your being productive, look productive and in all fairness a bit of social media management can be productive. But not necessarily in the arena of being a real estate agent. Put it this way, it’s very similar to running a small retail shop. My parents owned a small restaurant and I finally went ahead and did the math one day and calculated the worked approximately 80+ hours.
This is because they would have to get up every morning, open up, stock take, stock buy, meet with their accountant, maintain OH & S all that good stuff. Similarly to when you start your real estate career, it’s your priority that every morning you get up and get out the door.
Go somewhere, meet some people, shake some hands, kiss some babies and all that good stuff. No Real Estate business potential is maximised whilst sitting in the office or at home. Get out into the real world and meet people. Look them in the eye and let them know that work in real estate.
4. Manage Your Budget
This one is more for the newbies out there. Figure out a budget for the entire year covering all expenses, this will keep your home and business expenses separated.
As for business, keep track of all expenses and run the business like a business. Open a separate bank account. Hire a bookkeeper or a CPA or even start your own profit and loss sheet (P&L) and save all receipts. So even when you do find your accountant a bulk of the work will already be done and it will save you tons of money. All of this stuff is super simple too, even if you’re not at a point where you need to hire an accountant make sure that you’re going about your business the right way. Platforms like Youtube are a great start but make sure you do your research. Learn some simple excel formulas to keep your expenses in check. But whatever you do, take it very seriously. This is your money.
5. Offer Sellers an Estimate or Comparative Market Analysis
Now this isn’t so much about the mechanical act of the actual estimate or the CMA. Put it this way, when I was just a budding freelancer I went down to the local tourist spots to see if there was any translation work they needed me to do for them. Now I thought I did everything right, I got up early, I drank my coffee, had a full breakfast and even wore my lucky rocketship underpants.
But surprise! Surprise! No one had any time for me. So I went back home rather discouraged but I ended up rethinking my strategy. Next weekend I went back with newly printed brochures, the only difference this time was that I placed a list of frequently used phrases for tourists and their corresponding translations. They ate that up like hot cakes. Before I knew it I had more work than I could handle. The point is, you have to let people know that you’re giving them value. Even if it means sometimes for free.
Even including an online web form on your firm’s website offering the user a free estimate of their property value also acts as a great web for catching a lot of emails.
Actual Real estate agents, on the other hand, can offer a free comparative market analysis so the user can see how much their house is currently worth. This is the best way to again meet some real people, make some good first impressions or even a great way to rekindle a flame with some already existing clients.
6. Focus on a Specific Area
New agents need to focus on one main marketing avenue until you have mastered it from beginning to follow-up. Whether you choose to focus on your sphere of influence, social media, video, FSBOs, expired listings, or one of the other million ways to get business, you need to concentrate on it until you start seeing success. So many agents get distracted by the next big thing; they rarely give enough attention to each marketing idea to begin seeing results. Social media platforms such as REAL chat, Linkedin and Facebook are all great platforms for building your brand
7. Establish Multiple Lead Generation Channels
New agents need to understand that the real estate business is the lead generation business. You must be generating leads at all times. There are tons of ways to generate leads. Find four or five ways that generate leads work for you. You will need multiple lead generation techniques to be successful.
8. Be Persistent
The oxford dictionary defines persistence as: Continuing firmly or obstinately in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Now this is something that New real estate agents need to know. Building business takes time, elbow grease, hard work, and effort.
To build a sustainable career in real estate or any industry for that matter, all newbies must be willing to put in the man hours building a following an audience and database of network and contacts and learn how to work it provide value, and be consistent.
9. Create Partnerships With Movers
Some agents negotiate a deal with moving companies—they provide the movers with clients and cover the cost (or part of the cost) of a move. [In return, the moving company refers their clients to the agent.] After all, what is an $800 moving bill when the commission you make from a sale is $15,000.00? Everyone likes a discount, and the word “free” will get a lot of people interested!
10. Spend Ad Dollars in the Right Places
You have to think about what sets you and your company apart from all the other real estate agents and companies? But even more importantly is that transcendant in your advertising and marketing? The real question is;
how much money are you spending on ads? Could you be putting that to better use? And more importantly how? that coming through in your ads? And the bigger questions are: How much are you spending in advertising and are you spending it in the right places? Which media should you increase, and by how much? Which media can you decrease, and by how much?
11. Use a Professional Photographer / videographer
Never go cheap on listing photos. Your reputation means everything in this business, and nothing is worse than a potential client looking up one of your previous listings and finding non-professional photos taken on a 2009 iphone. You have about 0.5 seconds to capture a user’s attention these days. Think about it, think about how far and fast you scroll through any news feed on your phone to how fast you swipe on tinder. You have about 0.05 seconds to capture someone’s attention before they move on to the bigger better deal.
When spending money on quality real estate marketing, don’t shy away from photographers that are more expensive or if you can’t afford it strike up a deal with budding freelancer trying to stack their portfolio tenfold. The latter actually might be a better deal for you as often times newbie photogs are trying to get their work out their and will also share their photos and videos with their own network. But don’t start off with the whole “it will be good for exposure yadayada” their eyes will probably glaze over and only hear half of what you say. Be honest, let them know you need some help, be nice or your approximation of nice and if you can’t pay them properly in the short term make sure you make up for it the next time round or pay them after you’ve sold your house.
Remember you’re paying for a service that you can’t execute yourself. As you hope to garner respect as an agent, make sure you respect those that are versed in a different arena. It will repay you tenfold.
12. Join a Busy Office
Consider joining a team for a while or find a top producer who has overflow business. Top producers always have extra business. I gave a lead to a new agent that another agent said was no good. She sold a few properties, her friend sold a few properties, and their friends sold some more. All told, it was 27 sales over two years.
13. Create a Personal, Relatable Brand
The best tip I can give to new real estate agents need to build a personal brand. In my opinion, people looking to buy or sell a home are more familiar with individual agents than the broker they work under. Great examples are Ryan Serhant from million dollar listing, Gary Vaynerchuck, Charlamagne tha God or even Marthur Stewart. But remember the key words are personal and relatable. Don’t pretend to be someone your not. I don’t have an ass like Ryan Serhant so I wouldn’t go sticking mine out all the time, I have no idea how to arrange flowers so I wouldn’t go arranging flowers. After you’ve got an idea of what your personal brand looks like or what it represents then get onto social media. Utilise apps and platforms like Youtube, Linkedin and REAL Chat to give creating a personal brand will help you stand out from all the other real estate agents in today’s market.
People like ryan serhant
14. Work Your Sphere
While nearing my real estate license expiration, I knew it was time to search for a local broker. I didn’t know much about the differences between brokerages, so I called a trusted friend who has been working in real estate locally for 15 years and had been my real estate agent. I asked him, “If you were starting all over today, who would you go with?” [His insight helped me find the perfect broker.
15. Niche Down to Attract Clients
Become an expert in one specific area of real estate. The market is saturated with agents casting a wide net of “contact me for all your home buying and selling needs.” Be an expert in a niche.
16. Prepare for Dry Spells
One thing I would tell anyone who is considering entering the business is to make sure they have a financial cushion. You are not going to walk into the real estate business and make money. In fact, it could be six months before you see a sale.
17. Use the Latest Technology & Marketing Strategies
Whatever you do don’t be like those really old dudes we all despise that don’t know how to google something. Stay on top of the latest technological trends a marketing strategies.
Working in real estate is a complex career, and you want to make sure that in this technological age that you use technology and not vice versa.
So try and stay ahead of the game, you have to evolve with the industry and stay current with new developments, technology, and marketing outlets. Stay up to date on the latest real estate apps from general apps that chew through emails like Edison Mail to social apps specifically for real estate agents such as REAL Messenger. Apps and tech will not only help you stay on top of the
18. Amp Up Your Social Media Presence
Promote yourself and make it easy for people to find you online. It’s where most real estate searches begin, after all! Create social media accounts as well as accounts on real estate listing sites.