Getting established in the field of real estate can be a tricky prospect, especially if you’re switching from a completely unrelated industry. You have your license in hand and are ready to get going – or are you? Those first few weeks and months can be difficult to find your footing.
That’s why we have compiled this list of six of our best tips to successfully navigate those first few transactions from those who have been there and done that. And with a little momentum and know-how, soon you will be too!
1. Don’t Be A Secret Agent
Despite being excited about making the switch to real estate, you might be hesitant about letting your friends and family know. You might think that by promoting your new line of work, you will come across as pushy or like you expect people to work with you. If this is the case for you, you are confusing discretion (a good thing) with being overly cautious (not a good thing). Don’t be afraid to market yourself simply because you’re worried about what other people are going to think about it.
More likely than not, your people will be thrilled for you. And, by letting them know you are in the industry, you are starting to spread the word about your services. If they don’t need them, they might know someone who does. So hand out business cards and share your new social profiles with friends and followers alike. The contacts you create this way are worth every moment of feeling that may be coming across as a little too ‘salesy.’
2. Have a Mentor or Join a Team
Going solo or working as part of a team is a matter of choice. Whichever you opt for, make sure you have someone you can learn from in your corner. A mentor can help you make crucial early decisions and direct you away from common pitfalls. Their lived experience of the highs and lows of the industry can save you a great deal of time and effort trying to suss things out alone.
When starting out in any industry, you don’t know what you don’t know. For this reason, helping hands can be worth their weight in gold. You should never get too hung up on sharing early commissions – 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. To get to a place where you can head out and work independently, sometimes it pays to partner and/ or team up first.
3. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity
A vital part of gaining the knowledge and experience you need is grasping every chance you have to learn. This may come in the form of having a more senior broker who can observe and chat about the details of your early transactions. Being directly involved in the services you offer can make it tough to see things objectively and take note of things that went off course. But you need to be able to take a step back to understand what went right or wrong and can be done differently in the future. Remember, every transaction and contact you make in real estate can become a crucial learning opportunity.
Alongside this, attend as many seminars, conferences, and networking events as possible. Not only will they boost your knowledge, but they will help you make contacts in an industry that is very much about having the right kinds of connections. Then get right in there and get your feet wet with as many clients as will take you on. Anything you can do to generate income in those early days is great.
4. Find the Right Fit For You
Chances are you’re rearing to get going in the industry with your sights set on high future commissions, but patience is key when trying to find the right fit and situation for you. This is especially the case when you are looking to join an existing team. Be discerning, and go to as many interviews as possible. Use this opportunity to carefully evaluate the structure and training opportunities for the business and determine what they are looking for in you.
A critical part of this is evaluating the culture of the office. Don’t underestimate the impact of a toxic environment. You might think that you’ll be able to focus on doing your own thing, but you are going to need the support of your teammates much more than you think – especially right at the start. Finding the right place from the outset will mean you can get comfortable, relax and grow.
5. Develop Systems Early On
With your focus firmly fixed on sales (and why shouldn’t it be?), it can be challenging to pay attention to other aspects of being a real estate agent. When you’re part of a team, there will likely be various systems and processes already in place which means that certain tasks may fall on the responsibility of your colleagues. However, when setting up shop for yourself, you will have to develop specific processes that work for you.
Walking around with all the details of every transaction in your head can work while you’re going at it alone. However, if you’re thinking that you would like to expand one day, having systems in place and, importantly, down on paper will make onboarding other brokers, assistants, or team members much more manageable. If you don’t do it now, you’ll be kicking yourself down the line.
6. Run Your Business Like A Business
Again a fixation on revenue is essential to establishing any new business, but don’t leave other necessary things behind. In the early days, when things are a little all over the place, it’s not just systems that can suffer. Accounting, taxes, business hours, and work/life balance are a few other things that can become real issues when not dealt with right out of the gate.
Accounting is a key area of failure for many newbie brokers. Be clear on the ins and outs (or hire someone). And don’t underestimate the importance of keeping certain business hours and maintaining boundaries to keep up your sanity and still have a work/life balance. When you set your hours, stick to them. Clients will get frustrated if you’re not available at these times. Conversely, making yourself available 24/7 will eat into your family time and negatively impact your wellbeing.
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