You Got Your Real Estate License–Now What?
You’ve gotten your real estate license. Congratulations! But you know this is a tough business to succeed in… So what do you do next?
Find a Mentor—Learning from a successful professional is the best way to understand the inside of the business. They have experience with the things most likely to trip a new agent up—learn from them!
Choose a Niche and Find Out Who’s Already There — Picking a niche lets you focus your time on deepening your expertise, and in real estate, it’s the experts who earn the most money. In large part that’s because consumers today use the internet; they can learn the basics on their own. To be competitive you need to offer them the things they can’t find online: sound, personalized advice based on knowledgeable market analysis.
Now that you’ve picked a slice of the market to focus on, learn the lay of the land. Find out which local agents are successful in your niche by doing internet and in-person research. Nothing beats driving around your neighborhoods and noting down the names on the ‘for sale’ signs. Then look those names up in MLS for more information.
Get the Right Tools:
- A website
- A Cell Phone
- A CRM
A website and a cell phone seem like no-brainers, but their importance cannot be overstated. Your website is your first impression, since most leads will look you up online. Remember to avoid the common mistakes many agents make designing their sites.
A cell phone might also sound silly—everyone has one! But as an agent, you will be tied to your phone. If you limit your ‘responding to leads time’ just to the office, you’ll fall behind. Make sure you can integrate your email and your auto-dialer programs. Also check if your brokerage or CRM has an app. The more of your business you can carry in your pocket, the easier it will be to capture new leads.
New agents often avoid investing in a good CRM because it requires two things they generally lack: time and money. Get one, and learn to use it. For the first few months, tracking your leads on a whiteboard or in a spreadsheet might work, but once your business grows to even a modest size you’ll need a fully functional database.
Besides that, a good CRM saves you time by automating activities. You should not be inputting contact information manually or individually sending mass emails! A good CRM is a business assistant, helping you keep track of entire deals and lead relationships. It’s essential to succeed in this business.
Continue Your Real Estate Education – Earning your real estate license is an accomplishment. It’s also a first step; there’s a lot more to learn. Consumers expect an educated, knowledgeable agent, so any time you spend on advancing your education is also an investment in becoming the best in your area.
- Attend Your State Realtor Association Convention – These are full of free, current information about the industry and filled with formal and informal ways to continue your education. Plus, you’ll get your name out there. Your business won’t take off until people know you exist and what you’re working on. Tell them at the convention.
- Take the GRI Course – The Graduate Realtor Institute course is stuffed with useful information about ethics, marketing, good business practices, contacts, and more. Think of it as a crash course in the nitty-gritty details of real estate work. In other words, it’s crucial.
But where will you find the time and money to take advantage of these professional development resources? That brings us to the last point:
Write a Lead Gen Plan – We’ve got a whole blog on how a lead gen plan helps build your business, but here the basics. A a lead gen plan helps you:
- Know your message. Who are you? What makes you different? Hammering out your answers is the first step to a marketing strategy that brings in leads.
- Meet your goals. “Build my business” is a vague goal, which means it’s nearly impossible to accomplish. “Add 10 new clients in the next six months” is clear and achievable. These are the kind of goals that grow a business.
- Work with your limits. Over-committing your time or money is perilous, especially as a new agent. Laying out your business plan will help you say ‘no’ when you need to.
If you follow these steps as a new agent, you’ll build the strong foundation you need to be successful in the industry. Good luck!