Agents, what's your #1 tip? (Plus, NEW BOOK!)

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In the spirit of helping new agents be the best they can be, we want to know: Agents, if you could travel back in time, what’s the ONE tip you would give to yourself when you were first starting out?

Instead of marketing to a bunch of strangers, strengthen existing relationships and then (eventually) ask them for referrals. They already know, like, and trust you so it's easier to get referrals through them than it is to build new relationships in hopes of finding a buyer/seller.

Make a list of 50 people you think like you enough to refer business to you. Talk to them at least once a month. On the third month, talk to them like you always do but include a request for referrals. Repeat every month.

If done properly, most of them should offer you at least one referral which will result in plenty of business. For those that don't, remove them from the list at the end of the year and replace them with new names. Rinse and repeat.

Look to the market for your niche before you start investing in marketing. Do a SWOT analysis for your market and try to find the segment or segments that are being underserved and target them. 

For brand new agents: read the contract and all buyer paperwork 10 times and then read them all again 10 more times and take notes on what you don't understand and ask someone. When you are new, you forget that to write an offer you actually have to understand every page that is in there so you can explain it to someone.

 Selling houses is great but this industry has so many different avenues to be successful in. My recommendation is to diversify your business model as much as possible: 
-Retail sales
-Wholesaling
-Build a brokerage
-Property Manage
-Project Manage (Other people's flips) 
-Flip your own properties
-Build your own rental portfolio


Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Instead of marketing to a bunch of strangers, strengthen existing relationships and then (eventually) ask them for referrals. They already know, like, and trust you so it's easier to get referrals through them than it is to build new relationships in hopes of finding a buyer/seller.

Make a list of 50 people you think like you enough to refer business to you. Talk to them at least once a month. On the third month, talk to them like you always do but include a request for referrals. Repeat every month.

If done properly, most of them should offer you at least one referral which will result in plenty of business. For those that don't, remove them from the list at the end of the year and replace them with new names. Rinse and repeat.

Exactly  my wife was a trainer for Floyd Wickman back in the day.  His son Gino has done very well with his books..

But what you describe is what I seen seen Lori do for years.. build a referral base.

Also for star agents in Northern CA  Martin Levy was I think the first mega star  he created the team concept before KW was even in business ( I think )  and that guy NAILED it..

I am glad to see BP talking about the life long benefits of creating a real estate sales business that can stand the test of time and once you get about 10 years in it can be very very good.. as opposed to wholesaling which to be successful is constant big budget marketing and you really don't build reporte' with your sellers like a good agent does.. and the buyers well they are investors and you know how loyal they are ..  They aren't!!  your just another wholesaler 

 

I'm not an agent but man does this sound like solid advice:

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Instead of marketing to a bunch of strangers, strengthen existing relationships and then (eventually) ask them for referrals. They already know, like, and trust you so it's easier to get referrals through them than it is to build new relationships in hopes of finding a buyer/seller.

Make a list of 50 people you think like you enough to refer business to you. Talk to them at least once a month. On the third month, talk to them like you always do but include a request for referrals. Repeat every month.

If done properly, most of them should offer you at least one referral which will result in plenty of business. For those that don't, remove them from the list at the end of the year and replace them with new names. Rinse and repeat.

For day 1 me: Don't show houses without a Pre-approval!  It not only causes you to waste your time, but also you show houses they can't afford, which causes them not to appreciate the ones they can afford.

Set goals and then reverse engineer what is needed to accomplish those goals. Setting a goal of making "X" amount per year sounds nice but it can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan of action on what to do day in and day out to hit that goal. 

Dont let other peoples opinions deter you from putting yourself out there. I have had my license since 2016 (part time as I also have a full time W2). I did not make a facebook business page until November of 2020 because I didnt want people think I was 'being a salesman'. I started sharing pictures and marketing materials for houses I already had in contract. Now that my entire friends list has seen me posting about it, I have had 3 friends ask me to help them sell their current home and buy a new one. Never did I ask them for business, I just shared what I was already doing. That is 6 in the pipeline right now just by sharing on Facebook. Dont let others opinions affect $ you could be making. 

Also, invest yourself! I have 4 doors now and plan to expand as fast as I can. 

Originally posted by @Jeff Brower :

Dont let other peoples opinions deter you from putting yourself out there. I have had my license since 2016 (part time as I also have a full time W2).

Hello Jeff,

How has your experience as a part time agent been? I am considering becoming a part time real estate agent, and would also keep my full time W2. Would you recommend this path, or would you do anything different? 

Has anyone else started out as, or currently is, a part time agent?  Anyone that jumped in with both feet have any thoughts on this?
  

 

Pick your first Brokerage carefully!  Where you start will have a big impact on your network and habits. Also, don't take buyers shopping until you have a copy of that pre-approval letter!

-Natalie

REALTOR® in Western MT


New agent here just completing my first year. Awesome advice in this thread I am printing it out and pinning it above my desk. Several pieces of advice I would give to myself on day one. 

1. Being a Realtor is taking a huge leap away from the comfort of a W2 job you are literally starting your own business from day one. Be prepared, have your finances in order because you will be living from your savings account for six months to a year. Do not distract yourself thinking about the commission check you have not made yet or the bills you have pilling up.

2.Being a Realtor is not just another sales job you are responsible for helping people make the biggest financial decision of their lives. For the first time home buyer, you are helping them to secure a financial base for their families future. Understand the gravity of this and do not think about the commission check EVER! Put your client's, their needs and their concerns first.

3. Know F.E.A.R. People are afraid of making a buying decision understand that fear and be able to help them to put in perspective. There are many systems for overcoming fear, my personal favorite; FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. (Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limits) 

4. You will be afraid of making a mistake. Tell people you are new! This is an amazing industry full of supportive individuals, teams and systems. The biggest mistake you can make is not being honest with another agent and trying to play off that you know it all. Trust me, you DO NOT!  Experienced agents have a world of knowledge and they are happy to share it. Always let them know from the get go that you are a new agent and you will be amazed how much they coach you through the transaction. Don't ever think that because another agent represents the other side in a transaction they are some how working against you. You are on the same team, you are both working toward the common goal of a successful transaction for your respective clients. 

TRUST other experienced Realtors, listen to them in the transaction. T.R.U.S.T.=Truth Respect Understanding Safety Transparency. If you bring this with you to every client and agent you will do just fine in this business.

looks like i've got to represent the less-travelled road again.  As a FORMER agent/realtor it is my humble opinion that becoming a successful agent requires only a few basic skills that most humans already possess.  What is under-appreciated is luck and longevity.  If you can survive as a real estate agent for at least 4 years, you're likely on your way to doing well, eventually.  
Picking a niche, segmenting your market, etc., is a nice strategy for your vision board, but far less important compared to the daily grind you need to embrace.