Being a Real Estate agent is something thousands of people take a run at yearly. I mean why not, you can make a lot of money and be your own boss and according to the mass public you don’t even have to work hard or a lot, right?
Wrong, so wrong.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports 87% of agents don’t last 5 years. I would be willing to bet the agents that don’t make it to year 5 had a poor first year. Here are 10 action items to crush your first year in Real Estate.
- Get a CRM
Your database is your best friend as a new agent, experienced agent and seasoned veteran. A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is your referral source, your client tracker and lead management software. It is the single most important tool in your arsenal. Many agents don’t dial this in until several years in the business. Get a head start and make it priority number one from the get go. There are many way to organize this, but the most important thing is to use it. Start by adding everyone you know, everyone in your phone, all of your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn and your email contacts. Tag them all as either Mets (People who know you) and Non-Mets (People that don’t know you). The best CRM is the one you will use, but some key features are those that give you the ability to mass email, mass text and create tasks. Some of my favorites for new agents are Lion Desk and Contactually.
- Clean Up Your Social Media and Make a Plan
Your Social Media is a CRM that you are already using, you might just not realize it. First clean up everything that might turn a buyer or seller off from hiring you. Don’t make your page look robotic, but you might want to delete the photo of you doing keg stands. Make it a point to post Real Estate specific items and still keep a personal presence so that your network doesn't do an eye roll overtime you post. Don't be the one that begs for business, be the agent that provides value and knowledge.
- Be Active
This is easier said than done, but so important. You don't have to be selling to be active, although it certainly helps. What do I mean by be active, well don’t work one day then take the next five off. Real Estate is a momentum business, and taking daily action is the best way to build that momentum. Get in the office, get on the phones, tour properties, read blogs, listen to top producers, watch podcasts and webinars. Make daily choices that build momentum and when you see it paying off, don’t stop, keep moving forward.
- Come From Contribution
Real Estate is a sales business, which is a blessing and a curse. Many sales fields have bad stigmas according to the consumer, and real estate is no different. For every great agent there are ten money hungry slimy ones. Be different, come from contribution and your clients will notice the difference. Going the extra miles when a buyer needs help, asking questions to make sure you are understanding their true needs and wants, these are the little things that separate the winners from the losers and generate raving fans that will refer you business over and over.
- Open Houses
Open Houses were the best way for me to get both right now business and nurture business. Focus on price bands that move quickly in your market and great potential for first time home buyers they are gold for all agents, especially new ones. Use a lot of signs, I suggest at least 12, but 15-25 is the magic number. You don’t have to be fancy and for the love of whatever you worship, don’t stalk the people around the house. Introduce yourself when they walk in, let them know you are their for any assistance, and give them space. Ask questions after they have walked the property that will build rapport and give you a glimpse into where they're at in the home buying process. Find a solution to their problem and you are already halfway towards building their trust.
- Lead Gen Every Morning
It can be very easy to feel overwhelmed as a new agent. You have a couple clients and everything is gong great. What happens if one changes their mind, or you spend so much time on them and then they close on a house and you're left with a nice check but nothing for the next two months. Lead generating everyday will keep you from hitting valleys for long durations at a time. Nurture the leads with your CRM and make it a point to talk to potential leads every day. Pro Tip: Get your lead gen time in the mornings, make it a non-negotiable and protect that time.
- Take In Training & Implement
Training and learning is on-going for all experience levels, anyone that tells you they know everything is not someone you want to learn from. Take the classes at your office, invest in coaching, read books and make notes every step of the way. Your training is only as good as the process you take to implement. Knowledge is power, but the power is useless if you don't take action on it. Try taking action on one or two new things weekly, if you try to much at once you won’t actually get anything done at all.
- Find a Mentor, Make it Worth Their Time
Mentors are a great source of knowledge, but be careful of abusing their time. If the answer can be found online or in a Facebook forum, go that route. Always be appreciative, buy them lunch or coffee and you will find they will be more accessible. Make notes of the information they give you and try not to ask the same question twice. Having one mentor is great, but two to three is even better.
- Go to Events
Events and seminars are incredible opportunities to learn and grow as a new agent and even an experienced one. They also offer opportunities to network with agents that could turn into long term referral partners with you. Diversify the types of events you attend and you will become a well rounded agent.
- Find two or three Investors and Find them Deals
Investors are wonderful clients and a great source of knowledge. They are typically lower maintenance than traditional clients, are quicker to judge a house’s potential and offer insight on how to analyze a deal. If your agent trusts in you enough you may even be able to list the homes when they're ready for sale, giving you opportunities to learn both sides of the transaction in a quicker turnaround period.