So many things to think about when you finally pass that final course and obtaining your license are in the final stages! So, what exactly does it take to succeed in real estate?
First of all, it takes a lot of patience and long days. It’s not all that glamourous and clients don’t just approach you to represent them. You have to work hard. Very hard. What you put into this career is exactly what you are going to get out of it. On top of all of this, you have to make a name for yourself and learn the industry and the current market. The real estate courses don’t teach you EVERYTHING. Most of what you encounter in your days will be new and you will need guidance and practice.
I spent about seven years of my life training new realtors alongside my Mentor and former Broker, Merle Donawa. I was fortunate enough at a very young age to be able to learn what it takes to be a successful real estate agent. Here are a few pieces of advice for any new realtors starting out.
Brand Yourself; Not Your Brokerage
If you’ve read any of my branding posts, you know how strongly I feel about branding yourself – both professionally and personally.
What makes you stand out against the competition? What can you offer your clients that is different from other realtors? There is something special about each one of us and that is one of the things that will set you apart when building relationships in this industry.
When I say brand yourself, I mean brand the person you are. It means portraying yourself in your community as a positive person who is knowledgeable in the real estate market. Build a name for yourself. This takes time. And a lot of work. People will remember you when they need to, but you have to work to build their trust in the meantime. By branding your brokerage, you are building that company's name. You are not destined to be with one brokerage your entire career. Some agents change brokerages numerous times until they find the perfect fit. However, the more you change your brokerage, the worse it is for your career. Do your homework and know that which ever brokerage you choose to sign on with, that you are 110% happy with them. My next piece of advice breaks down why this is extremely important....
Your Brokerage Matters
I cannot stress how important it is for you to find the right real estate brokerage. As I mentioned before, the more you put into your career, the more you will get out of it. This also goes for your brokerage: you get what you pay for. When interviewing brokerages and meeting branch managers at different locations, ensure that the brokerage has a great support system. By support I mean training, front desk assistance, manager assistance and also broker support. As a new realtor, you will have a hundred and one questions and by having this support system in your corner, it will be easier for you to get through any obstacles.
It’s important that you feel comfortable enough to approach your support system whether it’s questions regarding offers, listings or even just how to complete a form or which form to use in a situation. You have to be able to ask questions. Some realtors feel that they are on their own. And really they’re not. It all depends on the brokerage you choose.
When I signed up with my brokerage, it was because I knew the manager from years and I felt comfortable enough to go to him with any questions. The current manager of my brokerage has really helped me the last year or so when I have had difficult clients to deal with. Having his support and knowing that I could call him with any problems was reassuring to me that I was able to give my clients the best service I could.
Do not, and I stress DO NOT, go into this industry setting a goal so high that you literally burn yourself out trying so hard to achieve it. Your first year in real estate is your trial year, as I like to call it. Learn as much as you can from other realtors, put yourself in as many different situations as possible and learn to get through them. Take the time to train yourself with every form and attend as many training sessions as you are able to. Feed your brain with as much information as you can because the more you know about this industry and how it works, the better you will be able to service your clients.
Set goals for the first year, second year and third year. Start off on a low scale and work your way up to where you want to be. Then re-evaluate your path and increase your goals as you see fit.
Being realistic in your first year simply means to take in all you can and don’t sell yourself short. You may want to sell the million dollar home to get that high commission, but you also have to make sure that you are educated enough to sell that million dollar home for a seamless transaction and be able to get top dollar for your clients.
Create a Schedule and Stick to it
It’s so easy to do as you want when you don’t really have anyone to report to. Real estate is an industry where you can make a lot of money and be very successful. But it comes with putting in a lot of time. TIME which cannot be wasted. And you must be determined in all that you do.
Wake up every morning early and hungry to be successful. Get dressed and make your way into the office with a plan for the day. Your schedule should incorporate such things as training, cold calling, open houses, networking, lead generation and marketing to name a few. Your office training schedule should be a part of your own training schedule. Create a schedule and work on perfecting it as you learn and master new skills. Don’t skip days. In your first year, you want to put in extra time since you will also be learning the techniques and strategies seasoned realtors have already mastered. Have a business plan and constantly refer to it. It’s always best to create a quarterly business plan in your first few years. Don’t be afraid to modify your plan and goals.
Treat Your Customers Extremely Well
Your clients are your main source of income. Treat them with the utmost respect and pay attention to their every need. I always say “treat people how you wish to be treated”. In real estate, that is extremely true. Your clients are making the largest investment in their lives and by having a Realtor they are able to have full trust in goes a long way. Referrals are an important part of our business and in order for us to get referrals; our current clients should experience service at its best which in the end makes it easier for them to refer you to their friends and family.
Real estate can be a very rewarding career. The amount of work you put into this career determines your success. It’s not a career for the lazy. Long days and late nights are part of the hustle. It’s a career which offers so many opportunities to really make it your own. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and brand yourself. Because in the end, your clients will remember the service that YOU gave to them, and that experience will last a lifetime.
Nikki | xo