How To Be a Successful Real Estate Agent: 5 Tips for Your First Year

Getting started as a new real estate agent can be both exciting and intimidating. 

You’re building your own business and constantly learning. Every day is an adventure! You’re also probably comparing yourself to the more experienced agents who are closing deals regularly and wondering how long it'll take you to get there. 

Learning how to be a successful real estate agent usually takes some time. Our article on what to expect in your first two years as a real estate agent outlines the big milestones of new agents and when you might reach them. But you can fast-track your path by heeding the advice of those who have gone before you. 

Not sure where to start? We can help! We asked active real estate agents and experts for their top real estate tips for new agents. 

These simple tips will help you establish yourself as a successful real estate agent in your first year of business. 

5 Real Estate Tips for New Agents

1. Have a Goal

Real estate expert Chris Heller recommends that all new agents start with a goal. Having a strong goal gives you something to strive for and keeps you motivated. 

The best goals are S.M.A.R.T:

  • Specific. “I want to be a successful real estate agent” is too vague. You need something more concrete.   

  • Measurable. Choose a goal with a quantifiable way of measuring success.

  • Attainable. Keep your goal challenging but realistic. 

  • Relevant. Choose a goal that will move your new business forward.

  • Time-limited. Give yourself a deadline. 

Examples of SMART goals:

  • I will add 10 new contacts to my sphere every week in my first year of real estate. 

  • I will sell six homes in my first years of real estate. 

  • I will close on $2 million in sales in my first year of real estate.

2. Create a Daily Schedule

A daily schedule helps you develop discipline, build routines, and eventually automate success. 

“If you follow [your daily schedule], your plan and your goal will be achieved," said Heller.

Example of a simple daily schedule for real estate success:

  • Wake up early to exercise and get a healthy breakfast. This will help you start your day right. 

  • Start your workday by studying the market. You want to know about new listings, contracts, and sales. You want to know which property types and price points are hot. 

  • Invest an hour each morning in skill building. In your first year, focus on the top 10 skills of successful real estate agents

  • Dedicate two hours each morning to generating new leads. Your job isn’t just buying and selling, it’s finding buyers and sellers to represent. 

  • Use lunchtime for networking. Invite other agents, real estate investors, mortgage brokers, lenders, and appraisers to lunch.

  • Spend afternoons on showings, listing appointments, and consultations. Remote work has made schedules more flexible, allowing more buyers and sellers to meet during typical workday hours.

  • Get enough sleep. This will let you recharge so you can hit the next day fresh.      

3. Find the Right Mentors

Once you finish your education and licensing requirements, you'll have a solid foundation for your new real estate business. However, there's still much to learn from working in the field.

"Be eager to learn, and don't wait for someone to train you," said Erin Hybart, a real estate agent at Client's First Realty. "Dedicate and schedule the time to learning and perfecting your craft."

One way you can do that is by finding the right sponsoring brokerage that will support your growing career. You can also pick the brains of experienced agents.

"I suggest a new agent do an information interview or have a conversation with as many other agents as possible," said Hybart. "Ask about their tough deals, real estate horror stories, and the usual issues they encounter. Find out how they overcame the challenge or situation. There are many things to learn in real estate, so the sooner you learn to anticipate the hard stuff and handle the tough scenarios or deals, the more success you will find."

4. Work Daily to Build Client Relationships

As you get started, you'll need to focus on building relationships and keeping track of your growing network.

"In real estate, build your network from day one and store it in a CRM or database," said Hybart. "It's about relationships, not just sales, so working your database is key to success. Choose tech that follows you across brokerages so you're never tied to a brokerage that doesn't support your business." That way, you can change brokerages in the future without losing your client base. 

Brian Coester, a real estate agent and the CEO of Real Estate Connection, echoes the importance of establishing new relationships.

"Best 10 people before 10 a.m., seven days a week," said Coester. He also recommends creating or putting yourself in environments where you can find leads. This could mean volunteering with local organizations, getting involved with youth sports where you can meet parents, or just wearing a real estate name tag as you run errands in the neighborhood. 

5. Ramp Up Your Marketing Efforts

Surface-level relationships aren’t enough to ensure that your network will contact you when they’re ready to buy or sell. You have to go deeper so you're the first real estate agent the people in your network think of.

"By deepening the relationships, you’ll become top of mind with those people when they have a real estate question or need,” said Heller.

Take social media, for example. Building followers means that you can show up in their feeds regularly. If you’re producing social media content that resonates with your audience, you’ll build trust, increase engagement, and gain even more followers.

"Make your face known," said Hybart. "Stay consistent on social media with one recognizable profile picture that never changes — unless your entire look changes. Your visibility grows as people recognize you."

You can also email a regular market report or newsletter to your sphere. Or send old-fashioned cards in the mail to help your friends, family, and acquaintances celebrate birthdays and holidays. And consider creating a regular schedule of simply texting people in your network to see how they’re doing. No agenda; just letting people know that you’re thinking of them. There is value in that.   

Set Yourself Up to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent

As you establish your real estate business, remember you're not just selling homes — you're building a brand and network of clients from the ground up. It will take time and consistency. However, with the proper expectations, a tried-and-tested strategy, and real estate tips from experienced agents, you can become a successful real estate agent, even in your first year.

If you don't have your license yet, we can help. Enroll in Aceable's pre-licensing courses to fulfill your education requirements before taking your state's licensing exam. Just a few short months from now, you could be working with your first buyers and sellers!

Want to get your Real Estate License? Begin your Pre-Licensing Course today!

Get Started Now!

Updated 3/4/24

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