The first year as a real estate professional is filled with all sorts of emotions—excitement over passing the licensing exam and beginning a new career path as well as uncertainty about the speed in which income and success may come.
If I had a dollar for each time an a newbie agent asked me how to crush his or her first year in real estate, I’d be able to retire and buy my own island in the tropics. But, since I’m still here, I’ve decided to summarize my top 10 tips for killing it your very first year right here.
10 Tips for Success in Your Very First Year as a Real Estate Agent
- Pick the right brokerage. First and foremost, if you do not align yourself with the right brokerage from the start, you may find yourself searching for a new brokerage in a year or so. Seek a brokerage with ongoing support, good tools, and a strong and friendly administrative team. Do not—I repeat, DO NOT—select your brokerage because it provides you with the best commission split.
- Seek a mentor. If you are going at it alone, make sure your new brokerage has a mentor program and that your mentor is actually going to be available to support you with whatever you need. Will the mentor be able to attend appointments and showings with you? Will the mentor be willing to assist with negotiations or allow you to shadow at his or her appointments? If the answer is ‘no’ to either of these, keep looking.
- Join a team. Unless you are starting out with a huge database and a marketing plan already in position, then your best bet for the first few years is to join a team—particularly a team with a rainmaker who shares the leads. In this way, you can cut your teeth and start generating buzz and momentum post haste.
- Use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). Right now you are just getting started, so you feel like you are in control of all of your tasks, activities, and leads. However, once you get a little momentum, you’ll begin to see that there are so many details that can get easily overlooked. Select a CRM and start using it immediately. Zoho and Hubspot are free; Lion Desk is included for free at many associations. And, some brokerages also offer a CRM. Whatever you have, use it.
- Make a marketing calendar. Immediately start marketing about your new business to every person you know. Go through all the contacts in your cellphone and start considering how you can connect with each and every one of them through your marketing activities—from social media posting to email newsletters to postcards and mailers.
- Attend networking events. One of the best ways to grow your business quickly is to attend networking events both within and outside the industry. While these events may not seem productive or fruitful because they do not often produce immediate results, over time the long term effects on your increased closings will be visible.
- Take classes. Real estate is one of those industries where there is always more to learn. Whether you’ve been in the business for 2 years or 20, no two transactions are the same and there is always more to learn. Sign up for a few online classes or webinars each quarter so that you are growing your knowledge at pace with the industry.
- Join online forums and social media groups. There are plenty of online forums and social media groups with real estate pros—some even have upwards of 50K members. Joining and participating in these online groups can be helpful in providing you with new ideas and solutions to problems you are experiencing.
- Hold 52 open houses. If you want to be successful, commit to holding one open house per week—preferably at a home with a low price point that will sell quickly. Create an open house marketing plan and work that open house utilizing every possible lead source in order to obtain buyers and potential future listings.
- Read books or listen to audiobooks. Personally, I’m a huge fan of audiobooks because real estate pros are constantly in their cars. But, start slowly and make a list of 5-10 books you’d like to read in order to gain a new perspective on your career, your motivation, or business building in general. To begin, I’d suggest Atomic Habits by James Clear or Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
My last and final piece of advice for crushing it your first year in real estate is to leave your ego at the door. The first year is a time to learn from others, while at the same time closing as many deals as you can. Remember that those around you, particularly office administrators and transaction coordinators have got you beat a thousandfold when it comes to experience, and these folks can be a tremendous resource when it comes to contracts, documents, and risk management.
Got any tips to add to the list? Feel free to share ‘em in the comments section below.