If you’re considering a move to a career in real estate, you have probably imagined yourself enjoying the spoils of success in your new profession. More freedom, more autonomy, and more money — what’s not to like about that?
While it’s perfectly reasonable to envision such things, you don’t want to be caught looking through rose-colored glasses either. A successful career in real estate is definitely within reach, but you should also know that it’s not easy, and the failure rate of new agents is fairly high. (Reported stats are all over the place, but most suggest about half of all new agents fail.)
So what can you do to not only place yourself in the successful half of new agents but also rise to the top of that group?
Well, the good news is that the attributes and behaviors that separate extraordinary real estate agents from ordinary ones are all learnable — which means it's entirely within your control. You just need to know what those attributes and behaviors are so that you can incorporate them into your new agent roadmap.
Here are a few new-agent keys to success:
Have a Support System
The best way to avoid a shakey start? Have your support system in place from the very beginning. The power players in your new agent support system will be your brokerage, your mentors, and the professional associations you join.
Your Sponsoring Broker
Choosing the right sponsoring broker is crucial because their brokerage will be your professional home base, where you’ll get the guidance, education, tools, and reinforcement that will shape your career. Look for a brokerage that offers training programs, focuses on new agent success, and has a culture fitting your preference.
When choosing which brokerage to affiliate with, you should ask what kind of mentorship programs they have in place for new agents.
The right mentor can be an invaluable guide during the launch phase of your new career. Learning the ropes at the side of a high-performing, more experienced agent will definitely shorten your learning curve. So, any sacrifices you have to make in terms of shared commissions or time spent assisting your mentor will definitely pay off in the long run.
Your Professional Associations
Joining national and local professional associations will provide you with networking opportunities, continuing education, and a platform to stay updated with industry trends and regulations.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is the largest of such organizations, boasting over 1.5 million members. Chances are, you’ll want to add to that number, which you can do by joining the local Realtor association in your area. In addition to the various forms of support they offer, you’ll also have access to their Multiple Listing Service, a platform for agents and brokers to share information about properties available for sale or lease. That benefit alone, is worth the price of membership.
Work from a Business Plan
Despite it sounding cliche, time and again, successful real estate agents will point to the importance of "treating yourself like a business." This starts with recognizing the need to build out a business plan that will serve as your professional roadmap or compass.
Even if you start out as a one-person operation, take the formal step of creating a business plan with all the traditional sections this type of document is made up of. This will help you truly refine your vision of what your business will look like, now and in the years to come.
Think about what you would want to say in these sections of your business plan:
Marketing and Sales Strategy
Services or Products
Create Your Real Estate Brand
Building a unique, compelling brand is one of the things that separates successful real estate agents from the rest of the pack.
The temptation is to try to be everything to everyone so that the whole market can be considered your prospects. But in truth, niching yourself (specializing) is usually the better way to go. By intentionally serving a specific segment of the market, you can focus your study and efforts on serving that niche. Your learning curve will be accelerated, you’ll become recognized as a go-to expert in the niche, and your marketing efforts will be more precise as a result.
Establish a Budget
Establishing a budget is critical for new agents. Understand your salary requirements, your day-to-day operating costs, and your initial investment needs before diving in. That should all be documented in your business plan.
Understand that the money flow of a commission-based career will have its ups and downs, especially in the beginning. Most industry veterans suggest having a cushion of six months to a year's worth of salary set aside to provide financial stability during transition periods.
Invest in a Client Relationship Management (CRM) System
In the client-centric world of real estate, a strong CRM system is a must-have. A good CRM can help manage contacts, track tasks, keep up with leads, and follow through on transactions, thereby boosting your efficiency and keeping you organized. Furthermore, from a long-term perspective, a CRM system will play a pivotal role in maintaining your relationships with past clients and managing referral business.
You Can Do This
The takeaway here is that your success as a new real estate agent largely hinges on your dedication, preparation, and grit. It’s within your control and within your reach.
So when you’re ready to launch your career as a successful real estate agent, please know that Aceable is prepared to help! Our affordable online real estate classes are endorsed by top industry agents and approved by individual state licensing boards.
Sign up for a real estate course today for a successful start to the career of a lifetime.