The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates that there are nearly 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States, and with new agents hitting the market every day, competition can be fierce.
Any new real estate agent is pumped to be starting in the biz and dreams of success, but those first few months are not always easy and some adjustment time is often needed. Brokers can help alleviate some of the common day-to-day struggles that new agents face by offering advice, being there to answer questions and teaching them what it means to be a successful agent.
Of course, getting off to a good start is desired, and that can be accomplished by following some of these helpful tips.
1) Find a "Work" Home for Yourself: Before you can help others find their perfect homes, it’s important that you find your ideal work “home” in either a large national brokerage or small local firm—whatever you are more comfortable with. This decision is key and will affect where your career goes, because if you’re not happy, the chance of making your clients happy diminishes. Make a list of what you value most from a brokerage partnership (education, training, use of technology, etc.) and seek out those that meet your requirements. Be sure to work in an office that offers support in all aspects from how to make a cold call to how to handle legal issues. Find a company that views you as an investment and is committed to making you successful.
2) Shadow A Co-Worker: Your brokerage is probably full of successful agents; find a mentor and spend some time listening to how they interact with clients and emulate some of their moves. Ask them for advice and see what challenges they overcame in the early days so you don’t make the same mistakes. An experienced agent can lead you in the right direction quickly.
3) Listen: Sure, your job is to be the expert, but it’s important not to talk over your clients and try to instill your thoughts and ideas over theirs. Pay attention to what your clients are saying and really looking for. Ask them questions help you understand exactly what they want. An agent that’s a good listener will form a long-lasting relationship with a client. Use these listening skills in the office as well. Pay attention to trends and keep your ear to the ground on anything noteworthy in the industry.
4) Find a Niche: One mistake that new agents sometimes make is trying to be all things to all people. Finding one’s niche—an aspect of you that you are very passionate about that helps people put you in a category in their mind—is a great thing to do at the beginning of your real estate career. Having a niche makes a great first impression, it defines your passion, it separates you from your competition, it enables you to create a perception around what you do, it captures “top of mind” awareness for future prospects and referrals, and most importantly, it helps people to remember you.
5) Establish Yourself Online: The National Association of Realtors reports that 91 percent of agents have some sort of social media presence, and its importance grows every day. You can barely be in a room without someone being on his or her cell phone, tablet or laptop, so having a presence online is vital to reaching new customers. Be sure to create a user-friendly website with your photo and contact information clearly visible. Register on local review sites like Yelp, create accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and start a real estate blog showing why you’re an expert. Also, be sure to stay active on your sites to keep people coming back. You want to build a strong reputation so whenever a local buyer or seller thinks of real estate, they automatically think of contacting you. NAR shares that 90 percent of homebuyers look at homes online and 45 percent of these house hunters first saw their new home online and connected with an agent that way. Don’t miss out on this opportunity because you’re not tech-savvy or don’t want to spend time on the Internet. It’s the 21st Century—you need to be connected in every way possible for success.
Connecting with potential buyers and sellers through social media is a great way to establish yourself online, but most are not sure where to start. Homes.com Social is designed specifically for real estate professionals who are looking to build their social audience and increase their engagement with consumers. As a new agent, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools in place to help you succeed and engaging with your social audience is a great place to start that process.