Becoming a real estate agent means you are entering a lucrative field with literally unlimited earning potential. You already have passed your local exam and have your real estate license, so you know all the laws and regulations regarding the real estate profession. However, what are the basics of getting started? What practical steps do you need to take to launch your new career correctly with the highest chance of success? Read on to find out the basics of starting out your career as an agent on the right foot.
Pick the Right Agency
Your agency is one of the first titles that define you on your website and business card. What does this place stand for, what does it say about you, and how can it help you as an agent? When looking for the right agency to work for, you will look for how it will affect you in three main ways.
- Your visibility.
- Your reputation.
- Your earning potential
When you join hands with an agency, their reputation and company culture become intertwined with yours. If you join a place that has a shady character, you will inevitably become tainted by that same reputation. It is wise to investigate the agencies around you to find one with good reviews and high client satisfaction because that’s the kind of place that will help you thrive as an agent. You want to end up at a place where the culture is positive, there is a sense of integrity, and, above all, where agents like to be.
Going to a chain brokerage may sound like a good idea for visibility but the fees associated with them make it not profitable as a starter. Yet, at the same time, you don’t want to go to a place that isn’t well known where you won’t have a chance of getting any leads. You need to do your research and find the happy medium between reputation and visibility with reasonable fees. As a new agent, you will need some guidance and support, so consider going to a place that will help you with administrative and marketing support but won’t suck you dry with fees and unfair commission splits.
Build your Sphere of Influence
Who you know and who you will meet makes up your entire business as a real estate agent. Everyone you know is a contact and everyone who is interested in buying or selling can become your real estate client.
Do you feel like there is not much activity going on with your leads? Then cast your net wider. Get involved in the community, especially in activities that you are passionate in like joining a fitness club, parent volunteer organization, or hosting neighborhood parties. Building trust involves personal interactions and people ultimately choose an agent they trust. Keep your card on you at all times. You never know when you are going to meet a new lead.
Cultivating a good reputation in your community contributes to your overall brand as a real estate agent, and the more diligent and present you are, the more reliable you will appear to be to potential clients.
Once you join a good agency, you will be connected with all of the company’s resources which usually includes a website and other promotional perks. This is your time to get online and build your brand. You can personalize your website’s blog and flesh out your “about me” page to give your potential real estate clients a picture of who you are and why they should work with you.
Now that a great majority of people have email and social media accounts, being present online will help you keep track of your contacts as well. Using CRMs and email automation will help you send automated soft marketing campaigns to keep you on your leads’ “radar”. Also, according to Placester, more than 80 percent of agents are using Facebook to keep in touch with clients and leads, so having a business page there is crucial.
Another efficient way to build an online presence is to get on all the major websites where homebuyers begin their search like Zillow and Realtor.com. You will encounter many leads who are starting their search who usually don’t have an agent yet. With a complete profile and positive reviews on these websites, your chances will increase in getting more leads online.
Once you get the ball rolling, constantly check yourself and be honest about your performance. When is the last time you emailed some leads? When did you last take the time to ask for reviews? Did you meet anyone new that you haven’t followed up with yet? If you see a gap that needs to be closed, make it a top priority.
Never Stop Learning
Even after getting licensed, the learning process should never stop. Taking real estate courses every so often is good for your professional development and will help you progress as an agent. Courses like the ones you can find on Designations will help you learn and gain confidence and also credibility with your clients. Every experience you have will also be important in making you the agent you want to become.