Navigating as a first year realtor doesn’t have to be difficult.
If it’s your first year as a realtor, the best thing that you can probably know is that there are many things you don’t know. Now, read that sentence again. As a first year realtor, you may have a firm grasp on theories and how the world of real estate is supposed to work. However, you most likely don’t have that much knowledge regarding how this all translates into practicality. That’s okay.
You may spend most of your first year trying to figure things out and mapping out the direction you want to take your career. Things may look daunting for you. But that’s just a natural part of working in a new field. To make things easier, we’ve compiled our top ten tips for first year realtors. Check them out below.
1. Clean up Your Public Profile
Perhaps the simplest way to properly establish yourself in the real estate realm is to clean up your public profile. For big transactions such as buying property, potential buyers will want to know that you’re a credible and trustworthy entity. In the digital age, the easiest way for potential buyers to do that is to sniff out your internet presence.
If you’ve set up public profiles such as Twitter, you’re probably going to want to delete any embarrassing tweets. If you’re fresh out of college, you might have written something quite inappropriate on your bio. Change that right away. Remember, you want to exude professionalism.
2. Start Right With Technology
Today, the internet is an integral part of any thriving business. If you want to successfully build leads and convert those leads into sales, you’re going to want to get comfortable with internet marketing.
Some agents who have spent years and years in the game can get by without any internet presence. This is due to the referrals and client network that they’ve built over the years. If you’re a new agent and are just starting out, you’re going to want to leverage technology to aid in your marketing efforts.
If you haven’t quite gotten your internet presence set up yet, you can market to potential clients through old-fashioned methods. Call, mail, and email prospective clients. You may surprise yourself and land a deal sooner than expected.
3. Be Confident
Some realtors today are starting out their hustle as young as 20 years old. If you’re part of this younger demographic, one of your biggest hindrances may be how you perceive yourself. You may be thinking that clients won’t trust you and find you legitimate simply because of your age. I want you to stop that way of thinking right now.
Change your mindset. You’ve done all the necessary preparation before launching your career as a realtor. As long as you act professionally and know what you’re talking about, clients will soon take notice. You may soon realize that their perception of you has changed and that they are treating you with the respect that you deserve. It may sound cheesy, but in this case, it’s best to believe in yourself.
4. Have a Budget
Majority of early-career real estate agents focus solely on short-term success. Short-term success is definitely important, but it is not the be-all and end-all of business. You may be focusing your efforts on getting your first few clients and landing your first few sales. That’s great, but as you reach each of those milestones, be sure to keep your spending in check.
It can be tempting to spend as much money as possible just to land a few extra sales. However, you’ll be better off in the long run if you spend conservatively and only as needed.
If you’re self-employed, it’s important to stay on top of not only your business expenses, but your personal expenses as well. This can be done simply by creating separate Excel spreadsheets for both your business and personal expenses. Set your monthly income goals at a high enough level to cover all of your expenses and land you a decent profit as well.
5. Have a Mentor
As I mentioned earlier, the best thing you can know as a first year realtor is that there are many things you do not yet know. There’s more to learn about real estate than simply selling and there’s no better way than to learn from an experienced mentor.
Find a successful real estate agent or broker who is willing to mentor you. If they simply do not have time to hold your hand and mentor you, make yourself useful by offering to assist them with their deals. You will still learn a lot through the process and you’ll pick up many of the tips and tricks that experienced realtors employ.
There are many documents involved in real estate that you simply do not learn about in school. You’ll need to have the ability to understand surveys, title insurance, liens, encumbrances, deeds, and much more. Your tasks do not end there.
You also need to be able to properly articulate to your client, in easy-to-understand terms, what these documents are and why they should care. You’ll feel much more confident in your skills if you’ve at least seen these documents in the course of a few real estate deals. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to be put on the spot by a client’s basic question and have no answer at all.
You can start by asking for past transaction folders and study the documents. If you need more involved guidance, you can always ask to assist an experienced agent in their next transaction.
If all else fails and you cannot or will not work with a mentor or any relevant figure who is willing to help you out, your next step would be to look for a broker who offers a good training program.
6. Avoid Assumptions
If you’re always making outrageous assumptions about the success and growth of your company, then you’re basically setting yourself up for failure.
A clear example of a common assumption first year realtors tend to make is that by simply telling your family and friends about your new business, you will get tons of referrals. This simply isn’t the case. The reality is that you will need to market actively through social media or through your website. In some cases, you might even need to send cold emails.
Making assumptions also limits your options. If you have a clear career path in mind, that’s great! But don’t let your assumptions get in the way of growth. A pleasant, yet unexpected opportunity may present itself. If you choose to ignore such a lucrative opportunity simply because it isn’t in line with your assumptions, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
7. Make Sure You Have a Website
Going to networking events and handing out business cards is a great way to connect with potential customers. It’s a great way, but it’s not the best way. A better way would be to create your own website.
In the 21st century, listings on the internet have become the main resource for consumers who are looking for specific goods or services. If you have any plans on maximizing your marketing potential and turning curious people into customers, you need to build a website.
You don’t need to build yourself a thousand dollar website. At the very least, your website should contain your contact information, credentials, and the option to sign up for alerts on real estate that interest customers. If you have some leftover funds in your budget, then you can choose to invest in a professional designer who can make your website truly stand out.
Ideally, your brokerage’s website should contain listings of the properties you have available. If those listings are dynamic and searchable by specific customer-provided criteria, that’s even better.
8. Be Selective
One of the most common mistakes made by first year realtors is that they jump on the first job they see. No matter what the listing entails, they choose to take on whatever work they can to quickly build up their reputation. This may sound smart, but it’s actually working against you. Get rid of your scarcity mindset. You have choices, so act like it.
If you begin to accept sketchy transactions, you’ll set up a reputation for yourself that won’t hold much integrity. Spend time selecting which properties and clients you choose to work with. Do not commit to sinking properties unless you’re absolutely certain you can flip them.
If you’re presented with something in a transaction that doesn’t seem ethical, it’s best to steer clear of it and avoid future problems down the road. Part of your job as a responsible realtor is to ensure that every aspect of a real estate transaction is ethical and legitimate, for the safety of both buyer and seller. If you feel like that duty cannot be fulfilled within a certain transaction, let go of the work.
9. Don’t Always Focus on Selling
Knowing tried and true sales techniques is highly beneficial for any real estate agent. That is simply a fact. However, not every action you take should lead to a hard sell. There are many instances in your career wherein separating yourself from the stereotype of a pushy realtor salesperson can help your career.
Rather than always focusing on making a sale, consider the other skills involved in performing your duties as a realtor. Early on in your career, excellent photography skills and the capacity to write engaging descriptions about listings will prove to be much more useful than selling skills. If you’re interested in learning how to take professional real estate photos using your iPhone, we have an article on that.
Even though work has been scarce and you’re dying to make a deal, think of yourself as a consultant rather than a salesperson. In the long run, you’ll develop better relationships with your clients and even make more sales.
Soft skills should also be a big part of your skillset as a realtor. You’ll want to focus on people skills, self-motivation, discipline, and problem solving. By investing in yourself and developing these soft skills, you’ll excel holistically as a realtor.
10. Never Stop the Hustle
Lastly, it is important that you remember to never stop the hustle. The market can change overnight and as they say, the early bird gets the worm. Stay on top of the happenings in the industry. Follow the trades and keep in touch with fellow professionals. Always keep your ear close to the ground.
The best realtors know that opportunities can vanish as quickly as they appear. When they present themselves, you’ll have to be ready to jump on them at a moment’s notice. As we mentioned earlier, you also have to be judicious. If you’re quick and smart about jumping on deals, you’ll go from beginner realtor to pro in no time.
Folger, J. (2020, April 30). Tips For Succeeding As A Real Estate Agent. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionals/043013/tips-working-real-estate-agent.asp.
Hot real estate tips for beginners. Microsoft. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business-insights-ideas/resources/hot-real-estate-tips-for-beginners.
Kimmons, J. (2019, September 23). Tips for Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent. The Balance Small Business. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/becoming-a-real-estate-agent-tips-2866404.
Kimmons, J. (2020, February 4). The Secrets of Successful New Real Estate Agents. The Balance Small Business. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/successful-real-estate-agent-2866537.