After months of real estate courses, you’ve passed your exam, earned your license, and selected your broker. Now what?
There’s a lot to do in your first two years as a real estate agent. In this post, we’ll cover the tasks you should complete by the:
By the End of Your First Month
Here are the tasks you should have completed by the end of your first month.
Finish Your Business Plan
You’re a small business owner now! So you need a business plan.
You’ll hear many new agents talk about being overwhelmed. And this is often because they lack focus. A business plan will help you organize the chaos in your head and get it documented so you have a clear path to follow when you start to feel overwhelmed or distracted by things like new marketing ideas.
A real estate business plan typically covers:
Branding (creating a unique and recognizable brand for your real estate business)
Finances (budgeting for both business and personal expenses)
Marketing (deciding where to spend your marketing time, effort, and money)
Operations (figuring out how your business will run day-to-day)
For a free guide to writing your business plan, check out The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Business Plan.
Reach Out to Your Sphere
Your “sphere” is basically just a list of everyone you know. Because these people already know you (and presumably like you!), it’s easier to convert them into clients than to convert someone off the street.
Within your first month, reach out to everyone in your sphere to let them know that you are now accepting real estate clients. Text, email, DM, call, Facetime, send mailers...just get the word out there to everyone you know.
Establish Your Social Media Presence
Almost 90% of marketers say their social media efforts have increased exposure for their business.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin across all platforms, choose one focus platform where your clients are most likely to see you. If you work with mature clients, Facebook is probably your best bet. And Instagram is ideal for Millennials.
Invest time in creating new posts and liking/sharing/commenting on other people’s posts. You’ll want to do this at least three days a week for your focus platform. Then you can just have a basic profile on the other platforms where you share recycled content.
Build Your Daily Prospecting Habit
The average agent prospects for 6.25 hours to set one client appointment, making an average of eight contacts per hour. This means it takes around 50 contacts to get an appointment. And to make that many contacts, you need to devote time to prospecting every single day.
Build your daily prospecting habit within your first 30 days as an agent to set yourself up for success.
Get to Know Your Market
Even though you’re new to real estate, you need to be seen as an expert on your local market. So you need to invest time in learning the ins and outs of your market asap.
Start each day by reviewing the hot sheets (the reports of new listings, sales, expired listings, etc). Pay attention to price points, hot neighborhoods, and how many days houses are sitting on the market. You want to share market insights with clients and prospects without hesitation.
By the 6-Month Mark
The immediate tasks of being a brand new agent are complete, and now you can turn your attention to longer-term lead generators and business builders.
Establish a Renter-to-Homeowner Program
A Renter-to-Homeowner Program is the perfect way to generate new buyer clients month after month. A Renter-to-Homeowner program allows renters to break their lease without any lease-break penalty as long as they buy a home from you.
Here’s how it works:
You meet with the managers of local high-end apartment communities to pitch your program and ask permission to post marketing materials around the property and host a Renter-to-Homeowner seminar for the residents.
With this program, you are actually going to pay the renter’s lease-break fee out of your commission. So the apartment community has nothing to lose. And for you, it’s financially about the same as paying a referral fee.
Explain the benefits to the apartment managers: 1) the lease-break fee will cover any vacancy loss (and more in many cases), 2) when the buyers move out, their unit can be increased to current market rates, and 3) leasing agents can land new leases by assuring prospective tenants that they’ll be able to break their lease whenever they’re ready to buy a home.
It’s a win-win-win!
Launch Your Website
Having a profile page on your broker’s website isn’t good enough anymore. In the 2020s, you need a website of your own. A website gives you:
Instant credibility as a new agent
A hub to direct all your online traffic to
Content for Google to index so it can recommend your site in searches
A place to demonstrate your real estate knowledge and invite engagement from prospects
Getting a website of your own doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Instead of hiring a web designer to build your site, you can rent a site from companies like Easy Agent Pro, Intagent, or Agent Image. And if you’re on a budget, or you just want complete control over your site, you can even build it yourself with the shortcuts available to non-techies today.
Ask for Referrals
It’s not enough to reach out to your sphere just once at the very beginning of your career. You need to stay in touch with your sphere so you stay top-of-mind; when anyone in your sphere hears “real estate,” you want them to immediately think of you.
So, by the six-month mark, you should follow up with everyone in your sphere again to see if each of those people know anyone who’s looking to buy or sell.
Find a Mentor
If you don’t already have a real estate mentor, do your best to find one by the end of your sixth month in the industry. Your mentor will help you learn the ropes, but will also be a career-long resource for you as a real estate professional.
By the End of Your First Year
By your one-year career-iversary, you’ll have effectively built your own business! Here are your tasks to complete between months six and 12.
Use Content Marketing for Long-Term Passive Leads
Content marketing (aka blogging) produces approximately three times as many leads as traditional marketing, but costs around 62% less!
When you publish a blog post on your website, it gives search engines like Google content to index. So when a prospective seller Googles something like “best time to sell a home,” your website could be listed in the search results, bringing you low-cost, relatively passive leads. Check out Mastering Blogging for Real Estate Lead Generation for more info.
Provide Ongoing Value to Your Sphere
You can’t expect your sphere to remember you as the go-to real estate pro if you’re not in regular contact with them. And if there’s anything better than staying in touch, it’s providing ongoing value.
Consider sending out monthly market updates to your sphere. Or a monthly list of local events. Just make sure you give them the option to unsubscribe in case they’re not interested.
Collect and Publish Testimonials
By the end of your first year, you’ve probably had a few closings! Congratulations!
To make the most of those closings for future business growth, ask your clients to write you a quick testimonial or online review. Make sure you publish these on your website (with your clients’ permission) so prospective clients can see real-world accounts of your expertise.
By the End of Your Second Year
Your second year is all about taking your business to the next level!
Finish Your Continuing Education Requirements
First things first: you need to complete your continuing education (CE) requirements to keep your real estate license valid. In most states, real estate licenses are good for two years, and to renew your license, you need to complete your CE courses before the end of your second year.
Don’t wait until the last minute. Some states, like Texas, require a 90-hour Sales Apprentice Education (SAE) course. So you’ll want to leave yourself plenty of time to complete your course.
After your first year, you’ll have an idea of the clients you most enjoy working with. It may be seniors looking to downsize, first-time homebuyers, or military service members. To maximize the ROI on your marketing efforts, narrow in on a single niche. Before long, you’ll be the go-to agent for that niche, and you’ll start seeing referrals left and right!
Diversify Your Income
Real estate commissions are great...until you hit a slow patch. Maybe your market is seasonal and sales stop during the winter. Or maybe you want to be prepared with a recession-proof income stream for the cyclical market downturns.
So during your second year, invest a little time in diversifying your income. Here are a few ideas:
Offer property tax appeal services to homeowners
Add property management services to your business
Invest in an income property or two
Publish books or courses on real estate investing
Monetize your real estate blog with affiliate links.
There are lots of opportunities to diversify your income in the real estate industry; choose one that works with your schedule and interests.
9 Key Milestones
As a new real estate agent, you have several key milestones to look forward to. Because every market is different, there isn’t a set time you should expect to hit each milestone. But when you do hit one, take a moment to celebrate!
Your First Call for Clients
Your First Buyer Client
Your First Showing
Your First Listing Appointment
Your First Listing
Your First Closing
Your First Commission Check
Selling Multiple Homes in One Month
The First Time You Hit Your Income Goal
All the best to you in your first two years as a real estate agent!