New to Real Estate? Tips for the Newbie!
All you need to do to get a real estate license is take a pre-license course, submit an application, and pass a test. Getting started and achieving success requires more time, effort, and commitment. Being a successful agent is not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of work, preparation, and hustling. You’re constantly providing excellent service to current clients, turning consumers into future clients, and generating new leads. Research and planning are essential to get your real estate business up and operating smoothly. Prepare early so you can hit the ground running after you earn your license.
Save MoneyYou’re essentially starting a small business, so you’ll need some start-up money to get going and weather a few months with little income. You’ll usually get commissions after your sales close, which could take months and it may take several months to see your first check. So, you need to save enough money to cover that, not only for living expenses but your business expenses as well. Prepare for the irregular income of a real estate agent.
Learn about Budgeting and Business PlanningMost real estate agents are independent contractors running their own small business. They handle much of the accounting and business planning. If you don’t have an accounting background, you’ll need to get up to speed on bookkeeping basics. Brush up on budgeting and learn how to create a feasible business plan, which should include things like:
- Target market
- Marketing plan
Learn About Your New CareerRead everything you can about the real estate industry and being an agent. Read books, blogs, and articles about practices, the sales transaction process, trends, and laws. Plus, it’ll help you prepare for the pre-license course and licensing exam. REALTOR.com is a great resource with many helpful articles about succeeding in real estate.
Learn About MarketingWhile your brokerage firm will do a lot of marketing, you’ll likely have to handle some of your own marketing too. You’ll need to prospect for leads and promote yourself in the local community. Marketing may or may not be covered in your pre-license course and sponsoring brokers provide different amounts of training for new agents.
Expand Your Tech SkillsA lot of real estate practice happens online now with MLS listing databases, social media marketing, email, virtual tours, and online document handling and signing. Learn more about software, internet tools, and online and social media marketing. Master Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and get more active. Think about how to develop your brand story one social post at a time. Keep it fun and engaging and express your personality as you start conversations and build communities around common interests.
Explore the AreaExplore the region where you’ll practice. The real estate market is influenced by local factors such as demographics, employers, and politics. When you’re selling houses, you’re selling the neighborhood too. Research successful agents and the local real estate market. Drive around and get to know each neighborhood. Think about which specialty would interest you: buyers, sellers, first-time buyers, luxury, certain neighborhoods.
Research BrokersMost states require salespeople to be sponsored by established brokers. The culture and reputation of the firm you join can have a big effect on your success. To choose the right real estate broker to work for:
- Calculate your expenses and income needs.
- Determine your training needs.
- Identify where you want to work and your specialty.
- Research several brokers, sales numbers, reviews, and marketing.
- Ask other agents about their principal brokers and firms.
- Narrow your choice to a few well-established brokers and ask if they’re interviewing new agents.
- After interviews, consider which broker and firm is the right fit for you and what you want to do.