by Dana Garrett
Tell everyone you know that you are working to get your real estate license. Tell them when you are taking the exam. (Of course, do not do any activities that require you to have an active license until it is!) Let everyone know when your license is active. Ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of someone thinking about buying, selling, or leasing property. Wear your name tag everywhere, a colleague once found her best client at the grocery store while waiting in line, all because she had her name tag on! Talk to people you know at your kids’ school, sports activities, clubs, organizations you may belong to. And of course, post on social media!
Read, a lot. There are a lot of great books you can find at your library about getting started in real estate. Make sure you are current on what is happening in the market, both local and national, from reputable news sources every day. Search YouTube videos on real estate – there are videos on door knocking, prospecting, farming, social media strategies, it’s endless! Find ideas on Pinterest. Look for great online resources, such as NAR and Breakthrough Broker. Read real estate blogs. Find podcasts to listen to on your specialty area of real estate. Take classes as offered by your brokerage, title companies, and lenders to grow your knowledge.
Gain experience by previewing houses/properties in an area you want to specialize in. We suggest vacant properties and make sure to let the listing agent/company know the purpose of the showing is for a preview! Provide feedback to the listing agent/company as well. This will help you get familiar with the neighborhoods, styles of homes, types of properties, etc. Also, it will help you learn to open lock boxes as well!
Ask some more experienced, successful agent in your office what was the secret to their success? You will be surprised at the varied answers you will receive. What works for one agent may not be the strength of another. Think through what these agents share and try to see what you think will be successful for you. Don’t give up if it does not work in a few days, it may be a month or more until you see the results.
Ask one of these agents if you can shadow them for a day. Maybe attend a buyer/seller consult. Accompany them on a showing. Go to a closing. Spend a full day with one of these agents and see what habits have led to their success and emulate it.
You are building a business, you need a plan! Create a business plan. There are some out there designed especially for real estate. A good one will break it down to the number of contacts you need to make to get a client from a lead to a closed transaction, based on how much you would like to earn! You need to know your numbers, so you have a plan in place to succeed.
We talked about telling everyone you are an agent, now you need to stay in contact with them! Make a list of 100 people, this can include family, friends, business associates, affiliate partners like lenders and title professionals, neighbors, people you know from your kids’ schools, sports, organizations you belong to.
Organize them into a database, there are some great CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs out there to help with this. Or you can create a spreadsheet with all the essential information. Keep track of when you contact these people and a note of what you discussed. Also, a note of when your next call/text/email should be. Find a reason to reach out to them on a regular basis.
Your first time reaching out should be a phone call/text/email to let them know you are now in real estate and want to make sure you have their information correct. A follow up call/text/email could be to update birthdays, kids’ birthdays, anniversary, check in on how life is going… the list goes on!
It can be as simple as “Hey John, long time no talk! I just got my real estate license, and I am so excited about my new career. I wanted to make sure I have your info updated so I can reach out if I see something you may want to know about, like if your neighbors decide to sell their house. Also, when is your birthday again? And your anniversary? Great, thank you! How are things with you?” These do not have to be long conversations at all, but each connection goes a long way.
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions as you talk to people:
How is the market? How is the market in (specific) city/town/neighborhood?
What’s happening with interest rates?
How long are days on market right now?
Hopefully, you did all the previously mentioned reading and research, so you are prepared to answer these questions!
Remember, you are an entrepreneur! You are in charge of the success or failure of your business. Most new businesses fail in the first 3 years, do not let that be you! It will take hard work and perseverance to make it happen. For every 1 yes, you will hear 90 no’s.
Also make sure you are working in your business, not just on your business. Your main goal every day should be to find clients. A lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in the mundane items, like creating brochures and social media posts, but remember that is not what brings you business! Because you need to…
Lead generation is your main job as a real estate agent, everything else is secondary to your success. You cannot build a business without clients, and it is your responsibility to find them! Time block – at least 2 hours, every single day, Monday – Friday, maybe even weekends too, to connect with potential clients. This can include reaching out to your sphere of influence, affiliate members like lenders and title professionals, farming a certain neighborhood, or even cold calling (follow FTC regulations on this and respect the no call list). Your goal should be to set at least 2 appointments, to consult about listing, buying, or leasing, with prospective clients each day. You should also have a plan in place for prospective clients that may not be ready yet, what is your follow-up strategy? The more you stay top of mind and check in with these prospective clients, the more likely they are to use you when they are ready to buy/sell/lease a property! If you make one contact and never follow up, they will find someone else more available to help. Create a plan for lead generation and follow up strategy, then stick to it!
It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to take consistent, hard work. Make sure you are dedicating your time, effort, and energy to your new business every single day.
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