As a new real estate agent, you have plenty to be excited about. Not only can this be a very lucrative career, but it’s also rewarding and fun. When you’re just starting out, you'll be faced with a lot of decisions, and the choices you make can have a long-term impact on your career. We recently spoke to two experienced REALTORS® and asked them what advice they would give to agents who are just starting out. Here's what they had to say.
1. Choose the Right Managing Broker
When asked for her number one tip for new real estate agents, REALTOR® Tonja Westerfield recommends not settling for your first option.
“The most important decision a new agent must make is which company and managing broker is a good fit for them and their business," said Westerfield. "Since most new agents don't have a business plan, they should look for a company that provides training and tools to not only learn to navigate the real estate business but also how to become a successful agent without spending money they haven't earned yet.”
When starting your real estate career, look for a broker that offers mentoring programs and other support. This can be critical for new agents still learning the ropes and will help put you on the path to success.
2. Guide Your Clients with Solid Advice — But Do It With Care
As a REALTOR® and Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert, Amanda Reichert has a lot of experience guiding clients through critical decisions. One of her top pieces of advice?
“As an agent, it’s important to know what’s in your lane and what isn’t and to be very careful to not cross over into areas where you are advising on matters that could be perceived as legal or financial advice," she recommends. When a client needs advice that is beyond your scope of expertise, always refer them to the proper professional.
3. Use a Budget and Don't Forget About Taxes
Switching to a commission-based career can sometimes be a challenge.
"Part of learning to grow your business is to be prepared to budget your money so you're not living commission check to commission check,” said Westerfield. She recommends keeping good records of your income and expenses and implores all real estate agents not to forget about taxes.
"Don't forget Uncle Sam, he comes knocking on your door," she said. "Set aside a portion of each commission check in a separate bank account, so you know you’ll have the money available to pay your taxes when they’re due."
4. Hire a Tax/Accounting Professional
While you may be an expert in real estate, it’s also important not to try to do everything on your own.
“It's important to find a professional to assist in setting up your accounting so you have a system in place as your business grows," said Westerfield.
Reichert also has some advice when it comes to taxes.
"It’s important to track all business-related expenses because as independent contractors we spend a lot of money that can be tax deductible," she said.
5. Be Prepared to Make Yourself Available
Finally, whether you’re a brand new real estate agent or you’ve been in the industry for years, it’s always important to put time and effort into building your career.
“Real Estate looks easy, but if you are in this business, you are a fiduciary for your clients and you need to take it seriously,” Reichert says. “Make sure you are available for your clients and other agents for calls, texts, emails, showings — just to name a few.”
Ready to Start Your Real Estate Career?
Building your real estate career will require work, but the results are well worth it. As you prepare to grow your business, remember to continually seek out education that will help sharpen your skills and make you a true asset to your clients.
Aceable’s professional development courses provide both new and experienced agents with valuable information designed to help you take your career to the next level. Check out our current course offerings today!