If you were a new agent, what would you do first?

12 Replies

I am currently building SFR's in the Northern Colorado area one at a time. I GC the projects and complete a lot of the work myself; sub out the trades I am not licensed to perform. The big investor/builder guy who got me into building told me last summer to get my RE license. So in Aug 2014 I did the course work, achieved my license, and hung it with him.

Here's the thing - I get 100% of the commission, and he pays all of my fees until I get established. However since he is way too busy with his own stuff, I am on my own to figure out how to be a successful RE agent/broker. I have listened to tons of podcasts here, read books, but what I am figuring out is these super agents don't want to give away their secrets (understood), so their answers to the questions are very vague on what to do.

So - if you were a new agent and have already beat up your friends, family, co-workers.....what would you do next?    

Are you not listing the SFR's? How much time do you devote to being a GC? With that being said, do you have enough time to launch into real estate?

If you want to go head first into being an agent, then you'll have to get out there and network. Door knocking is a great way to get started. Almost NO ONE does it.

Well, is your goal to be a real estate agent, doing normal real estate things like show buyers, hold their hand through FHA loans, hold open houses, etc? Or do what you do now and be an investor/GC/developer? Not saying you cant do both, but soon your time will overlap big time and you will have to prioritize.

I'd honestly become an expert in a few farm areas, door knock and market them, and become the go to listing agent in those areas.  You can handle about 20 listings for every 2-4 buyers, not nearly as much of a headache.

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

Are you not listing the SFR's? How much time do you devote to being a GC? With that being said, do you have enough time to launch into real estate?

If you want to go head first into being an agent, then you'll have to get out there and network. Door knocking is a great way to get started. Almost NO ONE does it.

I am listing each build I do always in hopes of a pre-sale. But that is one at a time. I devote a ton of time to the GC role since I am at the properties a lot working myself. However, it honestly wouldn't hurt to sub out more so I can pursue other things like door knocking and such. Thank you very much for the idea! That's what I was hoping to hear rather than: start by reading books. Which is a splendid idea nonetheless, I'm just to the stage where I think action is going to propel me further at this point. Door knocking I shall a-go....

P.S......is there a right or wrong thing to say when Mr. or Mrs. homeowner/renter answers the door? 

Originally posted by @Anson Young :

Well, is your goal to be a real estate agent, doing normal real estate things like show buyers, hold their hand through FHA loans, hold open houses, etc? Or do what you do now and be an investor/GC/developer? Not saying you cant do both, but soon your time will overlap big time and you will have to prioritize.

I'd honestly become an expert in a few farm areas, door knock and market them, and become the go to listing agent in those areas.  You can handle about 20 listings for every 2-4 buyers, not nearly as much of a headache.

 The ultimate goal (Long-Term) is being able to build houses completely subbed-out, invest in residential, moving into commercial when the funds are present to make such a move. 

Short-Term goal is lively hood and cash flow. I gotta be able to live whilst building the nest to inject into investments. 

I really like your advice and I will start working on that now. 
Is there a secret way to talk to these people answering the door or is it a simple "Hi! I'm a real estate agent selling in the area and I would like to introduce myself" type thing?

I sure do appreciate your help!

BTW: I think we met at the first get together event at the bicycle cafe in Denver...... 

Usually its: Hey! How are you today?  I just wanted to drop off a neighborhood market report for ____________(insert specific neighborhood here), so you know whats been going on in your neighborhood lately!  You can see how 1234 main street and 2535 oak st sold in 4 days each for $10,000 over list!  Crazy market we are in!  blah blah blah.

You can usually do just a soft information drop off (branded with your contact info on there somewhere) and be good.  People are turned off by the hard sell, if you are just giving them info with no obligation, then you are good.  Maybe a market report and a branded note pad with a magnet on it.  I've seen those on refrigerators in most of the homes I'm in, great tool to keep your name in front of someone year round.

Cory you aren't going to get hand holding at 100% commission with a small transaction fee even.

New agents want the world and not pay a penny for it.

I eliminated agents from my brokerage years and years ago. Best thing I ever did for stress free drama. These days I just work with clients one on one as the principal broker and do my own investments.

It's just not worth it. 100% of zero sales in commission is still zero. If you made 50% commission but made 250,000 that year then which one is better?? I find at the per transaction you the broker have to come in and fix the agents mess-ups. Again not worth it. You are essentially doing their job and only getting a tiny trans fee.

If you want to do commercial then do not waste time at a mom and pop brokerage where they occasionally sell a mom and pop property or piece of land for re-zoning. What you do instead is find a specialist commercial R.E. firm and get trained up there.

You could also go work on a team for residential working the leads that come in.

Busy broker/agents closing deals have time for clients and helping buy and sell. If they average 500/hr or 1,000/hr and spend tens of hours helping you they are essentially pulling tens of thousands in revenue out of their pockets and losing money. Imagine getting asked multiple times a day or each week for the same one on one help.

Successful people and their wealthy clients value TIME. That is the one component above all is how effective your return on time is everyday.

That is why I like this site is you can just post stuff and it works around the clock where people can access it at almost anytime. So instead of 100 people asking the same question they can all just see an answer you put up to a question.

Hope it helps.

I have been flipping for 20+ years, and earned my Realtor license in 2007. At that time I tried going the retail side of real estate. Working with buyers, sellers, etc.. It wasn't for me.. I did find a niche working with investors.

Now I have my own brokerage and pretty much only work with investors. I help them with purchase, rehab, rental(property management) and sales. Hit me up if you want to know how I make money on all of these aspects.

If you are set on trying the retail side, then I would recommend you make a list of your top 200 contacts, and start marketing to them.. I think it's like 28 touches in a year(touch = email, phone call, snail mail, etc). Just tell people you are in the business and offer to help anyone they know looking to buy/sell a house.. Don't offer to help them directly, they will get the hint, but it's easy for them to rat out a friend. Also, if they say they know someone who may be looking to do something, then ask for that possible clients contact info. You can either say you know the recommenders or not, based off what they want.

Work on expireds. I had great luck with expireds. 

I'm 6' 3" and I never could get anyone to answer doors when I went door knocking. Find neighborhoods where there isn't one realtor that owns the market(check the solds over the past year and see who sold them). Any neighborhood with 50+% market share by one Realtor is probably not worth your money trying to market to them. Some may say 30+%. I read a stat somewhere which said you needed to market for a neighborhood consistently for 1-2 years before you would start seeing some good results.

Hopefully some of this helps.

@Anson Young  Thank You very much!! Very helpful! 

@Joel Owens I kinda knew going this route with this particular employing broker was going to be rough in the beginning, but I decided to go this route so I can work under him to build a better relationship for bigger deals down the road when I really need him. This guy does huge huge residential and commercial developments in CO, FL, CA, and Las Vegas. That's why he doesn't have much time to show me the ropes of simple RE transactions. I am very very willing to put in the hard work because I want it, I am just trying to hedge against putting a lot of effort & time doing the wrong things. Trial and Error is very expensive when there have been many others plow the path before me and know what to look out for. Which is why I am very grateful for everyone chiming in and helping out the little guy! I very much appreciate it! I might be barking up the wrong tree trying to sell RE as an agent when I might be able to achieve cash flow in a different avenue of RE.

@Lee Smith In terms of the expired's, what is the trick to talking to them on the phone. I can surely imagine everyone and their brother are out there pounding the expired listings.

Not sure why it wouldn't let me @mention everyone? Hm.  

Look around at what all the other agents are doing... and do the opposite!

Pick an area to farm and use the Post Office's Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to send out oversized postcards offering something of value, like a free report or home seller's guide.

As @Joel Owens  

said you get what you pay for. If you want to be a successful RE agent you need a mentor or a team to work with and expect to give away 50% of your commission. Trying to learn from scratch by looking at free info on the internet is going to be very difficult. You will get about 50 different answers on what you should do and how you should do it from some really good people and some people who have no idea what they are doing.

If you are looking to make 100k a year on your own in RE very quickly it is going to be a very disappointing venture. You can do it with a team structure in place or a great mentor but it will take you working full-time.  Being a great real estate agent is about building relationships and referral business and that takes years on your own. Focus on the people you know and market to them non stop. Door knocking and neighborhood canvassing is good as well, but you have to keep doing it month after month. 

Lastly when people tell you to read books, they are saying that because many books have been written on how to be a successful agent that are hundreds of pages long. Why would they re-write that info online for free when it could be bought for $10 by anyone.

millionaire real estate agent and cliets first are great books.

@Cory Calvin  I'm a little late to the party but you will make far more as a average builder than as an average agent. Only the top 2% make a good living at it. Personally I would stick with the building and figure out how to scale that (hint driving nails is not the way but you know that). The relationships there will eventually snowball on the brokerage end. Once you do a few transactions for people who buy homes from you they will in turn use you to sell and then it will snowball. Look at your big investor guy and learn his path and follow it. I would bet selling homes was not his way it was contracting and then investing and then agency. 

Keep doing what you are doing, use the RE license when necessary. Maybe you are working on a house, the neighbor comes over, you're swinging a hammer, not wearing a suit. They start talking about selling, you have a license, they trust you, got it? Real estate agents are like 17 year old boys talking about their conquests. If they say they make $100k they make $50k. Don't be fooled by the looks of things in their world. If I were you I would also get your GC license. That neighbor might not be selling but might need a new kitchen.

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