If you’re new to real estate, we have a few trade secrets to share.
Mark Nash (a Chicago-based residential real estate broker and columnist who writes for realtytimes.com) has compiled tips from successful agents who’ve been in the business for a while. Take heed; these tips can put your career on the fast track.
Get a good managing broker. This is one thing successful real estate agents tell freshman agents again and again. The first broker who will carry your license will set you on your career path, so choose wisely. Look for a broker who values sales (of course), training in real estate (you’ll need it) and technology (it’s not the wave of the future—it’s the wave of the present). Talk to people to get a sense of a broker’s reputation. A broker who champions and practices professionalism, efficiency (as in good time management), and consumer satisfaction is a winner.
Join a network. Learning the ropes can be like climbing a steep mountain. A professional organization with an established training department and a strong market presence can pull you to the summit. Find an agent-driven association. Make sure it’s an active group that focuses on traditional and new marketing strategies including direct mail, newspapers, yard signs, websites, email blasts, and social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Have a marketing plan. As an agent within a real estate organization, you can think of yourself as a business within a bigger business. Like any other small business franchise, you’ll need a solid marketing plan. That plan should incorporate sales targets, financial resources for marketing, technology and training, and a detailed plan for creating, pursuing and converting leads. How will you make this plan? Your managing broker, who essentially is your mentor, will be one of your best resources. And so will the business section of your local library. And don’t forget the Internet.
Build a brand. You’ve got to make a name for yourself. Or, in 21st Century marketing speak, you’ve got to build your brand. Come up with a catchy tagline. Set yourself apart from the competition in some way. Go out of your way to educate your target clients so they’ll think of you as an expert in your market. If you earn a good reputation, you’ll find fellow agents will funnel referrals your way.
Be a process expert. It’s all in the details. If you want to help your client sell or buy property, you have to know the transaction process. This includes things like transaction terms, documents and disclosures. Ask your managing broker all about them, making sure you get the lowdown on the common stumbling blocks in your market and how to steer clear of them.
Be nice. This one’s a no-brainer. Real estate prospecting and selling is as much about people as it is about lots and houses. So be nice to the people you interact with. You need to connect with them emotionally, not just financially. All your knowledge about architecture, interior design and landscaping means nothing if you don’t. Practice being even-tempered, patient, welcoming and reliable. You’ll be amazed how these “soft” skills translate into hard sales in the long run.