You’ve finished your real estate training and passed the licensing exams -- so now what? You might have learned a lot about property law and the process of closing on a house -- but what about the practical side of the business? If you’re finding yourself worried about how to jump-start your career and become a successful real estate agent, the following five tips will help.
10. Use the Internet
Success in real estate is all about being the person someone finds when he or she is looking for help to put their home up for sale or buy a new one. In the modern age, that means using content optimised for search engines and utilising free social networking tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn effectively. Create an agent page for yourself on Facebook, and other sites such as Instagram or Twitter as well. Update your LinkedIn page and be sure to polish it, so that you have a quality photo and plenty of keywords to help people find you, including your city and state, your real estate licenses, specialities, and so on.
You will also need a quality website that includes SEO keywords for your area (known as local SEO), as well as testimonials from clients, photos of homes you’ve sold or are selling, and a great biography. Create a newsletter too, and send out regular updates every month or so. What’s more, send an email to your personal network to let them know you’re now in real estate. And of course, you also need lots of business cards.
9. Join Business Networking Groups and Attend Industry Events
Don’t stop with just online networking, however. You also need to get your name out there and meet people in person. It might start out slow, but you will be surprised at how many people come out of the woodwork and seek you out once they know you’re in business. Join your city’s chamber of commerce, as well as any other business networking groups in your area that have a lot of members. Attend the group’s events regularly, and always present yourself professionally.
Industry events are also a great platform to expand your professional network. Real Estate companies and agents host various seminars, open houses (not for properties but for professionals in the field) and trade shows. This will not only give you an opportunity to network, but it will keep you up to date on the latest industry and market trends. If you are aware of who will be attending you might want to create a list of people you would like to meet.
8. Have Networking Material Ready
The most straight forward promotional material you need are business cards. Beyond that though a strong social media presence, website and adverting are important. The last can be costly, but you can negate the cost by investing in social media and other online advertising such as Google Adwords which are less expensive than traditional advertising. But, it is worth noting that if you are a physical business, it is often wise to use traditional advertising as well as digital. Having media to refer both other professionals and potential clients to, will help you make a better first and hopefully lasting impression. It also shows an expected level of professionalism that other entry level professionals probably won’t possess.
7. Volunteer Your Time
Get your name out there by contributing to a local non-profit. Groups such as Habitat for Humanity or a local homeless shelter are great places to give back - but also to connect with other people who are involved in housing and development in your area. You never know who will turn into a referral.
6. Find a Mentor
Ideally, you’ll be working at a real estate company that trains its new hires, and matches them with seasoned agents who can help them learn the local market. If not, though, you need to go out and find that person yourself. Local real estate associations can be good places to find someone willing to take you under their wing.
5. Get an Internship or Shadow a Professional
Usually, if you start a new job, there will be a probationary period so you can prove your ability to fit into the office’s culture, meet the demands of the position and have the interpersonal skills necessary to do the job. You can acquire this experience by requesting an internship at a real estate office. Not only will you learn practical aspects of the profession, but you could also use it as a job opportunity. Although rare, if a company or supervisor is impressed an internship might turn into permanent position.
If you have difficulty finding a real estate office that will give you an internship, approach an agent and ask them if they would allow you shadow them. It is much easier if you already have a relationship with an agent, but it can’t hurt to ask even if you aren’t familiar with them. If nothing else, you might make a new professional connection.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Your first year in real estate can be overwhelming, and you may not see as much initial success as you’d hoped. By setting SMART goals, however, you’ll be able to take note of even the small amount of progress that you are making. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. The first month, for example, you could set a goal to hand out a certain number of business cards and to attend a certain number of networking events, as well as making one sale. When you meet that goal, set the bar even higher. Bit by bit, you’ll begin to achieve more and more.
3. Continuous Learning
The real-estate market is in constant flux, so keeping up to date with both industry trends and current events can greatly benefit your entrance into the market. Being familiar with architectural styles, building materials and features that either inflate or devalue a property can also be extremely beneficial. There are various licenses that you must acquire depending on the state, so to jump start your career; you’ll have to jump through a few of those hoops first.
You can also continue your education by taking some courses at an affordable college or trade school. Keep your eyes on the news too as they can be a valuable crystal ball of the market’s future.
2. Maintain a Healthy Public Image
People want to purchase high-value real estate from an individual who is trustworthy, helpful and they like. Combined with volunteer work and internships. Hopefully, you will be able to create a public image that inspires clients to look you up and give you a call.
1. Get Clients
The one sure-fire way to jumpstart your career in real estate is by getting clients. If you do all of the things on the list, it should be the next logical step. The real estate market can be very competitive, so be prepared to work hard, consistently grow and be persistent.
Getting your career started in real estate is going to take hard work and perseverance - but by following these steps, you can finally begin to see your business grow. Not only will it grow but it will flourish because if you are a successful real estate agent, it can be an extremely lucrative career. It is also very rewarding profession as you will help people purchase their first business or home and make their dreams come true.
Are you a real estate agent? What steps did you take to jumpstart your career? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article was first published in July 2015.