Tips From the Pros: Generating Leads In Your First Year

So you've finished your pre-license coursework and finally have your real estate license. What now?

One of the most important aspects of the business is acquiring clients. Clients who will come back for repeat business, recommend you to their friends and family, and ultimately help you build the foundation you'll need for years of success. But where do you start when you're new in the industry and need to find your first clients? We checked in with 13 Texas real estate pros to round up their top tips for getting started as a new agent in the real estate industry. As one of our contributor Carlos Gradiz said, "I am a firm believer that sharing is what sets apart professionals from amateurs."

Carlos Gradiz - The Gradiz Group Texas Premier Realty

My pro tip: "My best advice to any student of Real Estate on how to maximize lead generation is to have a good tracking system, a value proposition and an achievable, realistic goal. Accountability is very important, be true to yourself and love what you do. In addition, a good support system or network of peers with similar goals is a must."

Len McPherson - Key 2 The City Realty | Team McPherson

My pro tip: "Lead gen" happens to be one of the most critical skills for any agent to master if they want to experience any sort of success in real estate. Social media has completely shaken up the entire real estate industry from what we promote, where we advertise, how & why we market, when we do it, and with whom we do it with. To date, agents and experts differ in opinions as to where new agents should start investing their time, money, & resources. As a Broker, I would tell any newbie to start with free online marketing campaigns, after all, you are your brand!!

Announcement emails & texts with video to family & friends, door knock in your neighborhood, post an intro video to Facebook page, make connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, & so forth because everyone wants a transparent, active agent. So that you keep continuous fresh content and stay relevant to your fans, go out and join a Meetup group, attend networking events & mixers with your local board, attend training classes, trade shows, volunteer in your community, etc. and be sure to take pics & videos of you being active to prove that you are credible and on the move. This lets people know that you serious about your career and helping others.

After getting a handle on your online presence, it's time to immediately sign up for paid online lead sources like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Adwerx, Zbuyer, Boldleads and the like so that you are exposed to a wider audience all at once and more importantly so that people get familiar with your face & brand. It is important to spread out your advertising dollars, monitor what's working, so that you have over 10 tried and true lead gen sources contributing to your database. All in all, real estate is fun, versatile and ever changing. Just be sure to always change with it!"

Karysa Meyers - All City Real Estate

My Pro Tip: "The first year in real estate can be difficult and you are bombarded with sales calls trying to get you to purchase leads that are cold. I found that the better and more cost effective way is to reach out to everyone you know and remind them you are now a Realtor®️, to make a daily social media posts & to hand your card out and talk real estate to everyone you come in contact with as much as possible. It is free and helps keep you at the forefront of peoples' minds when they think of buying or selling real estate or know someone who is."

Floyd Bagsby - FYI Realty

My Pro Tip: "As a millennial picking up the phone to speak with potential clients might be a difficult task, however in this business communication is everything! Learning about NLP, Human Behavior and the Psychology of Sales has really made an impact on my communication skills and my business. Your ability to effectively communicate with a potential client could make all the difference in their choice of an agent. Feel free to connect with me fbagsby@gmail.com or Instagram @floydbagsby "

Kori Hendrix - Raines Realty

My Pro Tip: My top 3 tips for generating leads in your first year of business are 1. Get a professional head shot.
1. Print nice business cards and always have one on you to share. 1. Establish your social media presence. Millennials are looking for their first homes online. They are tech savvy and image driven. In addition to your broker's page, create your own webpage, set up business accounts for yourself on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Zillow, Realtor.com. Share your new accounts and announce your new job to your friends, family, and friends of friends. Real Estate is a relational business. You have to start an engaging image based dialog they can follow. But be smart. Don't flood their inbox or blow up their Facebook feed. Share awesome content. 70% others' content, 20% original content and only 10% self-promotion. A slow steady drip of information about your local housing market, images of dream homes, local available listings, etc... will keep you in their mind and when some asks if they know a Realtor®️ or they are ready to buy themselves, they will remember that their friend is a Realtor®️ share your webpage. Your online accounts make it easy for them to link you to potential leads and for potential leads to find you.

Tracy Sutton - Fathom Realty

My Pro Tip: "My advice as a person involved in several different kinds of real estate businesses in my life, be SET!

S - Secure a good brokerage! Interview several brokers in person and see who fights for you the most, who listens to you the most, and who would help you establish your business based on their conversation. Make it known that you are interviewing them. Makes lists of the fees of all brokers and list the likes and dislikes as soon as you leave the office. Get a few cards of agents on their team already and call and question them. Take it all in, then make a decision.

E - Estimate cost for advertising. Look at all Real Estate marketing costs from expanding on Facebook, to websites offered by your brokerage or not, to buying leads. The internet has a plethora of information geared toward real estate agents. Try not to get lost in the salesmanship and again, talk with other agents all along the way.

T - Take the time to learn the MLS system and the “way” of the brokerage you have chosen. Ask for help when you need it and see if your brokerage has a mentor for you. Go to work every day and treat this career with respect, be patient, and put in the time!

The old adage of “doing the work and the rest will follow” is probably no more true than with Real Estate. Concentrate on helping your clients with this very important transaction. Be truthful, keep your integrity in place, serve your client, and the rest really will follow!"

Amy Ardoin - Platinum 1 Properties

My Pro Tip: "My first year in the industry I was bold. I would walk up to peoples' doors who had "For Sale By Owner" sign on them and ask if I could speak with them. I truly told them, "let me list it, put my sign in the yard, host 2 open houses and if I brought them a seller I would only take 3%." This brave move took off like wild fire and I nailed several homes that year. Of course because of my divorce I hid my sales under by broker at Platinum One Properties, in Houston. I created leads by myself, for myself, door to door! They keep knocking for me today!"

Sarah Dieter - JP & Associates REALTORS

My Pro Tip: "When starting in Real Estate finding clients can be challenging. I train new agents and what I tell them is to talk to everyone they come across and be helpful in their interactions. It's important to let your personal sphere of influence know you are in Real Estate and ask them if they can refer you to anyone they know looking to buy or sell. Open houses are a great source of leads when done right, it is important to host the open house on a brand new listing which drives more traffic then a home that has been on the market for a bit. In addition, if a new agent can afford it, they can always buy leads."

Charlotte Wagner - Results Property Group

My Pro Tip: "I've been in real estate over 17 years and have been a broker for over 14. My first piece of advice to my new agents is always: Use what you know.... Your sphere of influence. If you don't let everyone you know that you're now a Realtor®️in your sphere, you're losing business before you've even started!"

Kandice Gremillion - United Real Estate

My Pro Tip: "The first thing I would recommend a new agent do would be to contact everyone in their sphere of influence. Just letting your friends, family and network of contacts know that you are an agent and there to help them is a good way to get the word out. Building a business Facebook page that you post industry information to regularly is another way to spread the word, and it’s free. I have also used farming post cards over the years. Most agents no longer use post cards but people do keep them and I generally always get leads from them. Wear your name badge and let people you run into know you are an agent, and ask people if they know anyone who is considering buying or selling!"

Daniel Lee - Texas Premier Realty

My Pro Tip: "Knowledge and timing is key to finding that right home for your clients in this competitive real estate market. New subdivisions are popping up all around you so visit as many as you can and try to keep up with current inventory of available homes as well as preowned properties in the area that you are active in. I spend many hours in front of a computer looking at listings that are coming soon, active and active kick out. You need to be ready to answer your clients' questions on demand."

Michelle Lenderman - RE/MAX

My Pro Tip: "Wake up everyday with success on your mind. Set big goals and map out your way to achieve them with small steps. It's easy to get overwhelmed, so focus on one thing at a time. Find a great lender and title company that you trust, they are a bigger resource than you can imagine. Most of all, treat everyone involved in every transaction with kindness and respect. We are all in this together."

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." - Mario Andretti

Bill Rapp - Sun Realty

My Pro Tip: "For a newer agent or a veteran agent my best suggestions is to focus on the customer experience. Answer and or return phone calls promptly and try and make the process as simple as possible for your client. Make sure you attend your closing and bring a small gift like a bottle of champagne, and do not forget a thank you card. These little extras go along way in someone remembering you down the road for next time!"

Amanda Hagley
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