Posted over 6 years ago

5 things every new real estate agent needs to do to become successful

You decided to become a real estate agent. 

You went to school, bought your books, passed your exam, got hired by a broker, ordered business cards and took a head shot. 

Great start but now you have some daunting questions.

What do I do now?

What do I need to do to generate leads and close deals?

How does a new real estate agent become a successful real estate agent?

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Here are the 5 most important things a new real estate agent needs to do to become a successful real estate agent.

Normal 1453663100 Sphere Of Influence


What is a sphere of influence? Simply put, your sphere of influence are circles of people that you already know. This could be any of the following.

  • Friends and family.
  • Current and previous coworkers.
  • Spouse's current and previous coworkers.
  • Children's and/or Parent’s friends and family.
  • Neighbors.
  • Members of your church.
  • Doctor.
  • Dentist.
  • Handyman.
  • Landscaper,
  • Barber.
  • Hairdresser.
  • Accountant.
  • Mechanic.
  • Pool guy.
  • Dog groomer.
  • Day care provider.
  • Mailman.
  • Banker.
  • Little league coach.
  • Snow plow guy.

Your sphere of influence is the most likely place to get your first sales. Tell everyone in your sphere of influence that you are now a real estate professional and would like to help them and anyone that they know buy or sell real estate. In a perfect scenario your sphere of influence’s sphere of influence will now become your sphere of influence as well. Social media is a great way for you to stay in touch with your sphere of influence and tell them that you are now in the real estate business and would like to help them and anyone that they know buy or sell real estate.

(More information on how to best use Social Media in the last tip)

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Make it a habit to get contact information from every person you meet. If you are buying a new car get the salesman’s card. Ask your bartender or server for their information when you go out for the game on Sunday. Every person who gives you their contact information should be placed into your database. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. It should include the following

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • social media handles
  • Notes

In your notes section you will want to write in things like what the potential client is interested in, first and last time you corresponded with them and how you met them.

 Related: How does a real estate agent get paid?

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We have a term in the real estate industry "Listers Last" Simply put this means that real estate agents should focus the majority of their attention marketing to sellers, not buyers. There are several reasons why it makes sense to market to sellers instead of buyers.

  • You have more control of your time when working with sellers as opposed to buyers. This means you can do more business. Typically a real estate agent can service four times more listings then active buyer clients with the same amount of time commitment.
  • Marketing to buyers usually leads you to buyers. Marketing to sellers usually leads you to buyers and sellers. Nothing attracts buyer leads like houses for sale. When you are the listing agent your name is on the online advertisement and your sign is in the yard. Unrepresented buyers will call you after seeing your sign. Remember you can only sell your listing to one buyer. If five or six unrepresented buyers called you about your listing that ended up selling you can still work with them as their buyers agent and find them other properties for sale. You started with one listing and ended up with a listing and a handful of new buyer clients.
  • Trying to market to buyers without listings is like trying to chase down bees one at a time in an attempt to get honey. Why not just go to the bee hive? Real estate listings are like the bee hive. All off the bees are going to go to the bee hive just like buyers are going to go to the listings.

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Wait, didn't you just tell me to market to sellers and not buyers?

I am a firm believer that real estate agents should spend the majority of their efforts marketing to sellers, but beggars can't be choosers. When you are a new agent you do not have the luxury of referrals from clients you have worked with over the years. Zillow spends million upon millions of dollars every year on SEO and marketing. As a new agent I imagine you don't have that kind of coin so if you can't beat um join um.  

Advertising on Zillow is a great way to drum up some new business as the majority of people looking to buy a home do their searching on Zillow.  Zillow is the most widely searched real estate website in the world. In fact it was the 36th most used website in the U.S in 2015. 32,762 different websites link to Zillow. Zillow's closest competitor is another choice to drum up some business. was the 98th most used website in the U.S. in 2015. 18,069 different websites link to

When Advertising on Zillow you should focus your attention on getting the biggest market share you can afford in one zip code. This zip code should be the same zip code that you are doing all of your other prospecting and lead generation. Remember multiple touches is how you convert leads to closed sales.

Related: 50 Questions real estate agents should ask potential hiring brokers.

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As a new real estate agent you will need to spend the majority of your time on prospecting and lead generation. As you get deeper into your career you will of course need to spend time servicing these leads so you will have less time for prospecting and lead generation right? WRONG! The most successful real estate agents understand that prospecting and lead generation is the MOST IMPORTANT part of their business. As you get deeper into your career you never want to reduce your prospecting and lead generation. You actually want to INCREASE it. Servicing tasks can be outsourced to administrative assistance and new agents.

If you have trouble with time management make this a daily habit. Block off specific times of the day for prospecting and lead generation. Spend at least four hours a day on prospecting and lead generation.

What are the best ways a new agent performs prospecting and lead generation?

Social Media

Social Media is the best way to stay in touch with your sphere of influence. It is also a great way to grow your sphere of influence and continually remind everyone and anyone that you are in the real estate business.

Let’s focus on the big three social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To be a successful real estate agent you need to have a presence on all three of these sites. When you post something you should post it on all three sites. To save some time link your sites together so you can post things on one site and have it automatically post on the others.

To connect your Twitter account and your Facebook profile:

  • Log in to the Twitter account you want to associate with your Facebook profile.
  • Go to your Settings menu's Apps tab.
  • Click Connect to Facebook.
  • If you are not already logged in to Facebook, then you will be prompted to enter your Facebook login credentials. Enter your credentials and click Log in to sign in to Facebook.
  • You will then receive a prompt explaining that Twitter will receive certain information from your Facebook account. In order to continue, you must select “Okay.”
  • You will then be prompted to select the privacy settings for who will see your Tweets and Retweets posted to your Facebook wall. It is set to friends by default.
  • Click “Okay” to complete the process.
  • Your Tweets and Retweets will now post to your profile Facebook wall and your username will be displayed there as well. @Replies will not be posted.
  • Note: To link your Facebook updates to Twitter, use this application on Facebook:

To connect your Twitter account to a Facebook page:

  • If you have a Facebook Fan Page, or are the admin of one, you can post Tweets and Retweets from your Twitter account to your Facebook Page.
  • Follow the steps above to connect to your Facebook profile.
  • If you have not already done so, visit your Apps settings and grant Twitter the “manage pages” permission for your Facebook profile.
  • In your Apps settings, Select the page you'd like to connect to.
  • When prompted, click to allow permission to post to the selected Facebook page.

To share photos from Instagram to Facebook:


  • Go to your profile and then tap
  • Tap Linked Accounts
  • Tap Facebook and then link your accounts by providing your Facebook login info
  • Android
  • Go to your profile and then tap
  • Tap Linked Accounts
  • Tap Facebook and then link your accounts by providing your Facebook login info


  • Tap and then tap Settings
  • Swipe down to Preferences and then tap Share Settings
  • Tap Facebook and then link your accounts by providing your Facebook login info
  • Now when you take a photo or video on Instagram, you'll have the option to share it on Facebook from the same screen where you add a caption.
  • You can also share from Instagram to a Facebook Page you manage.

To link your Instagram and Twitter account:


  • Go to the "Settings" app on your device. Settings App
  • Scroll down until you find the "Twitter" option. Tap Twitter Option
  • Turn on ‘Instagram’ to allow it to connect to your Twitter account. Tap Instagram to turn it ON
  • Login to your Instagram account with your infos (make sure you're signed in to Twitter). Click the Settings button. Settings Icon
  • Scroll down and tap "Share Settings" Share Settings
  • Select "Twitter". You will be asked to enter your Twitter username and password. And you're all set! Select Twitter and enter infos


  • Login to your Instagram account. View your profile then click the "Settings" button (with the 3 dots) located at the very top right side of your screen. Samsung Settings Instagram
  • Go to "Sharing Settings" Instagram Android Sharing Settings
  • Select "Twitter" and login with your Twitter credentials.

Now that you have linked up your big three accounts it is time to get to work. You need to post and share things every single day. They do not always need to be advertisements either. You want to mix in advertisements with quality content that people will want to read such as DIY articles, market statistics, and popular housing trends. Everything you post needs to tie in to real estate in same way. By posting these types of things in conjunction with some advertisements you position yourself as the first thing people associate with real estate as well as stand a better chance at having your posts or tweets shared. People don’t typically share or retweet advertisements but they do share and retweet quality content.

You must constantly focus on growing your friends and followers list on your social media profiles. Join groups or lists and make sure to use hash tags on all of your posts or tweets. Always use pictures with your posts or tweets. Content that includes pictures is viewed 94% more than content that does not include pictures.

Direct Mail

An oldie but a goody. Directly mailing potential customers is a tried and true strategy that will lead to sales. Pick a target area and start mailing to them. You can mail them any of the following

  • A letter explaining who you are and what you can do for them.
  • A calendar with your picture and contact information on it.
  • A bottle opener keychain with your contact information on it.
  • A pen with your contact information on it.

The area you choose as your target area should be a neighborhood that a lot of your social media friends and followers live or do business in. It typically takes multiple touches to convert a lead into a sale. You will want to mail the same area multiple times throughout the year.

Phone calls

Call your contacts once a quarter to touch base. Let them know that you are still in the business and ask them if they or anyone they know needs anything in relation to real estate.

Call for-sale-by-owners (FSBO's) 

  • Many new agents are hesitant to reach out to people that they don’t know, but these are people who are motivated sell their home. If you do not call them you can't sell their home. If you do call them best case scenario you get the listing, sell their home and end up with some additional buyer clients that did not end up buying this particular house. Worst thing that can happen is they say no and you can't sell their home which is where you already started. It is important to note that they may originally say no but that should not stop you. You can ask them if you are allowed to bring buyer clients to their property. They will be impressed with your determination and this gives you the opportunity to prove how much traffic you can bring into their home.

Call expired listings

  • Every day you should monitor the MLS in the areas that you target. You can even create a “hotsheet” in the MLS to notify you of any listings in your target area that expire each day. Call the owner and discuss their property and why it did not sell. If they have not set up a listing appointment with you during that phone call drop off a marketing packet on their doorstep.

Door hangers

Walk neighborhoods and place a door hanger on everyone’s house. Focus on the same target areas and neighborhoods you do your other prospecting and lead generation activities in.

Wish people happy birthday every year

You can do this by mailing them a card or by doing it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Related: How to grow your business using Bigger Pockets.

Carry a pocket full of business cards at all times

Never leave home without a pocket full of business cards. Do not go home until your pocket is empty. Include your business card with the bill at a restaurant. Place your cards on bulletin boards wherever you go. Hand them out to your cashier at the grocery store. If you use a urinal at a Cleveland Cavaliers game go ahead and place a business card on top of the urinal.

Wear a name tag everywhere you go

Get a name tag that says Realtor with your name underneath it. People will see this when you are at the grocery store, bank, gas station, restaurants etc. I gives them a reason to speak with you and you a reason to speak with them.....about real estate.

Want bonus points.....wear it upside-down. If you wear it upside-down it will get people who may not have talked to you otherwise a reason to strike up a conversation with you because they can't resist the urge to tell you your nametag is upside down.

Normal 1453662795 Realtor Nametag Upsidedown

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Comments (9)

  1. Good Tips! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've been struggling to generate leads, good advice.


  3. Great, detailed article!

  4. Excellent article! I'm bookmarking this one. I will be needing this information soon. I'm in the process of choosing how & where to take my classes. Any recommendations on a great online real estate school? Thanks for your article!

    1. Thanks for reading Arti Piland. Glad you liked it. 

      Schooling will very state by state. I am in Ohio were there is currently no online pre-license curriculum.

  5. Thanks for the article! My exam is coming up and I will be embarking on my career and I am soaking up all the advice I can get.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Kelly. Be sure to come back to this blog and let us know how the exam went. Good luck!

  6. Great advice! It's best to stick to basics but execute each task daily and eventually your business will expand.  While I was studying for my real estate exam, I began reaching out to local investors, as I knew that a couple of investors would lead to a lifetime of deals.  My primary focus is to work with investors.  I learned everything about investing and how to add value to my clients.  Today, my real estate group is averaging 5 deals per month, and growing.  Add a niche to all of the items above to expand your deal flow.  Real estate is a grind, but love what you are doing and stick it out.

    1. That sounds great Brian. Keep up the good work. Picking a niche is a great way to propel yourself to expert status rather than someone trying to dabble in everything. Diversity is nice but you don't want to end up a Jack of all trades, master of none.