New Real Estate Agent Success Guide
Welcome Aspiring Agents! I’ll be finishing my 3rd year as a Realtor® this Spring. I have been blessed to sell about 60 homes my first 2 years in the business. I am not a local of my town and I began fresh out of college, so this success has been attributed to a few key things I believe anyone can replicate. Here are 9 success tips for you new Agents.
- Get a mentor. While obtaining my real estate license I figured there would be no better time to shadow and help another Broker in the business. I didn’t know anyone since I was new to Charlotte so I found the blog of an Agent who had similar style to mine and reached out. I ended up working with Genevieve Williams, a successful in town agent, for a year as her part time assistant while she allowed me to attend listing presentations, showings, and just observe how she worked. It was the perfect transition into such a fast moving and abstruse career.
- Attend a national Real Estate conference. This seems counterintuitive to many since you aren’t quite making the big bucks that first year to be able to travel for seminars and extra vacations. However, 6 months into my first year my husband and I made the decision for me to attend the National Association of Realtors annual conference in San Francisco. This experience was paramount to my success over the time to come as it opened my eyes to all my RE business could be while providing invaluable insight for my hungry mind.
- Scheduled your week on Sundays. My dad (an Agent in Charleston, SC) taught me this tip and he learned it from his Life Coach, Mary Anna Lewis. Taking the reigns on my week before it even begins allows for prioritization of what is most important and gives the opportunity for me to run my week without it running me. I do time-blocking in which I literally schedule in my personal priorities (workouts, dinners, activities) as well as business priorities (blogging, marketing, office time, etc). Certainly the week ebbs and flows as things come up, but if I can get some of the major items set in stone, they are much more likely to happen.
- Find your Sweet Spot. This lesson is one I’ve been learning over the last few years in many aspects of life. We are all created differently so the best thing to do is embrace the uniqueness instead of working against it. What the heck does this have to do with real estate? I’ve learned that there are many different types of successful agents. Some are great at cold calls, some have an eye for interior design. Some have lots of friends and some prefer to keep business and personal life separate. There are agents who are great at giving gifts and those who favor the budgeting side of business. Over time it’s become evident that the best and most fulfilling use of my time is to cultivate personal relationships. I do this with personalized, intentional closing gifts and notes. I do this by bringing tulips by at Easter. I do this by inviting clients to social events with Interior Designers. This is the part that makes business fun for me because it suits my passion. Find your niche, go with what makes you tick and work it. You are your best salesperson when you are your truest self.
- Be a Yes Girl (or Guy). Other successful agents in my office began to take notice of my diligence and willingness to succeed. They began sending me referrals they didn’t have time or energy for and I became their “Yes Girl.” The first few years in the business, saying yes to these invitations is so vital. It was about 1/3 the source of my business in year one. My suggestion is to not only say yes, but be the first to respond to these requests, and be sure to let the agents know you are available and willing.
- Set aside 30% of all commission checks for taxes. Y’all, Uncle Sam does not mess around and I’m here to tell you I learned this the hard way. The government will take an average of 30% of your commission income so be sure to set it aside. Otherwise you may end up with a $35,000 bill at the end of your year…
- Block out a full day in December for Goal Setting. So. Much. Fun. I love this part, partly because I love that I spend the whole day at my favorite coffee shop. Not only are we customer service reps, we are business owners! I suggest setting detailed goals and writing them down. I set not only numerical goals but also WHY goals for the reasons behind what I’m doing. Having a visual way to track my progress throughout the year has been a great motivator. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and Lara Casey’s Goal Power Sheets are some of my favorite outlines to follow.
- Live for something higher – emotionally, mentally, and financially. For me, this is my greatest calling and catalyst. When we are living for ourselves, the money, the fame, it is draining and unfulfilling. Let me be frank, this job is HARD. Seriously, one of the hardest jobs I think there is. At the end of some days I’ve played the role of Realtor®, counselor, financial advisor, attorney, friend, employer, and employee. Having a strength that is not my own is the only way I get through some of the tough days. Not only do I rely on the Lord for emotion stamina and mental wisdom, but also financially. Sanders and I choose to set aside a portion of our income (a tithe in Biblical terms), which allows us to see that the money we make is not our own but is a gift we’re given to steward for a period of time. Living for something higher gives a purpose to the problems.
- Be comfortable with screwing up. If I had a dime for every time in my first few years that I screwed up and learned a valuable lesson, I’d be rich. Even the experienced agents mess up and learn greatly from those mistakes. Fear tries to hold us back from achieving our potential by reminding of past mistakes or insecurities. Don’t listen! I believe that the Lord equips the called so if you are in this business, take it seriously and know that you have all you need to succeed.