I'm a new agent! Where do I start?
By Sarah Bernard
Just got licensed and don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there. Some of us come right out of college, some from the corporate world, some out of semi-retirement.
No matter where you’re coming from, heading straight ahead into a career that is paid completely on commission is scary. From my personal experience, and from listening to the challenges of my coaching clients, here are my top five recommendations to get you off the bench and into the game:
1. Show up. Every day, five days a week, on a schedule. If you’re coming from a corporate job, this is easy. If you’re not, it may test your endurance, but getting into a professional 8 a.m.-5 p.m. mode right away will set you up for success like nothing else. Don’t get into the mindset of “I am in real estate because the schedule is flexible.” That’s the mindset of failure, in my opinion (excuse me for being so blunt). Go into any real estate office and the people you see working are the successful ones. The ones not there may not be in the business in a year or two. Once you get going, you’ll be in the office less and out with clients more, but getting into the workday routine of a pro will allow you to determine your schedule as you get busy (not your clients), and set you up for as normal a life as you can have in this business.
2. Let everyone know you’re in business. Social media, personal notes, email announcements—take advantage of every communication tool available to you to announce your new career. Be sure to let people know that you have the backing of your team leader, mentor or broker guiding you so when they hire you, they get the experience of these people, too. Let them know you are serious about your new business, excited to help them with their real estate needs, available just to answer questions and be their “everything real estate” resource. Then, put all of these people on a schedule to hear from you regularly—once a week to start, once a month as you get busy. If no one knows the shop is now open, you won’t have visitors, so let them know.
3. Check out the inventory, once a week at least. You’ve got time, so become an expert on your local market. Use some of that 8-5 time in Tip No. 1 above and get out to see properties. You can simply schedule an “agent preview” whether or not you have clients. Plan to preview all new properties in your target geographic areas weekly. You’ll have something to talk about when people ask you about the market, which they will.
4. Write a newsletter. Start this right away. Create a simple “market overview” newsletter or email that you can send out weekly. Include information on properties you’ve previewed (Tip No. 3), selling or buying tips, economic stats that you can get from the NAR website or a Google search and /or links to articles. There is a ton of information out there about real estate that you can condense and share with your peeps. Doing so will immediately set you apart as an expert, whether or not you really feel you are that expert just yet. (You’ll quickly become one—don’t worry.) Don’t include recipes and things that we’ve traditionally seen real estate agents sent out. Keep the topic to real estate and you’ll set yourself apart from the rest. If you’re worried about format, just make it a simple email. Don’t worry about being fancy for now.
5. Enjoy your downtime. We all need to recharge. Don’t be that agent that is one-dimensional. Enjoy the things you’ve always done and get out into the community. Have fun, eat well, exercise, journal, read books, go see movies and spend time with your family. I can’t emphasize enough how the recharge time will give you the stamina to help you to have maximum energy for this new career.
Share these tips with your team leader to get their input from their experience. They’ll have more ideas to help you structure your perfect week's schedule, too. Take your new job seriously from the get-go and you’ll be reaping the benefits for years to come.
Sarah Bernard, senior coach for Workman Success Systems, came to real estate from a career in corporate marketing and property management. Licensed in 2014, Bernard sold $6 million in properties with 12 transactions in her first year and was Rookie of the Year. Five years later, she has grown a team that includes three buyer agents and support staff. She is committed to learning and improving her team management every day. Contact her at SarahBernard@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.WorkmanSuccess.com.