So you’ve completed your pre-licensing course and have passed that state and national exam for being a licensed real estate agent. What’s next? It’s important to plan your steps so that you have an idea of what and how long it will take to make the money you’d like in real estate. Here are some ideas for what to do the first year in your new career.
Your first step is to find a brokerage. This could be difficult knowing where to start. You may have had brokers visit your pre-licensing course, or have heard good things about certain companies. Take your time interviewing with brokerages and asking the important questions: Do they have a mentoring program? What is the commission split? Do they offer training and post-licensing courses? Is there any reward incentives for your success? Walk around the office and get the feel for the building and the people. It’s a good idea to visit several and choose the one that is most comfortable to you.
You may have decided there is an area or neighborhood that you’re interested in focusing your business. Take the time in your first month to get to know the area and become educated. You want to be knowledgeable about the area before you begin taking interested clients on appointments.
In your first month, it is a good idea to buy all the tools you will need. A computer and smart phone are musts for this business. A good camera is a good idea to so that you can take pictures of your listings. If you aren’t computer or social media savvy you may want to seek help in those areas because this will be an important part of your business.
First Three Months
You’ve settled into your office and hopefully have been assigned a mentor. Now is the time to sit down and develop a marketing plan. The old adage “you need to spend money to make money” could not be more true in the real estate business. You will get your first clients and grow your business by marketing yourself. This is where that knowledge of social media platforms comes in handy. You also want to start making a list of potential clients. Create a list of people who may have real estate needs now, or will need help later. Creating a newsletter monthly and sending it out with real estate tips is a good way to keep your name in the mind of potential clients. Everyone you meet is a potential client.
Have daily goals. Talk with your mentor. In the beginning, you may just tag along on listing appointments and open houses. Each day you should be looking for a way to find potential clients. Word of mouth and referrals go a long way in the real estate business, so you always want to make sure your customer service is on point.
First Six Months
This is a good time to hone your listing skills. Before you go on a listing appointment it is important to be knowledgeable about the property and the comps in the area. Have your camera at the ready and listen to your client’s needs. It may be a hard pill to swallow for an owner to hear that their house won’t sell for what they believe it is worth. This takes practice, so a good start is to attend a lot of appointments with your mentor or a seasoned agent.
Selling real estate can be very lean at times. When you are first starting out you will have wanted to build a security savings account so that you can cover your bills before your business takes off. Once you begin having some transactions, put more money into the savings account to get you through lean times.
First Nine Months
By the end of the first year in real estate you may have found your niche. The area you feel most comfortable selling and listing. It could be condos or townhomes, or maybe foreclosures. You can become the expert in that niche and will receive referrals because of your knowledge.
Get involved in your community. This is a great way to meet people and let people know the business you are in. Giving back to the community you sell is also a way to show people you are invested in the area.
Don’t forget to continue your education. This first year take as many courses as you can to learn the ropes of selling and listing real estate. Knowledge is power.