Looking for a career that offers low barriers to entry, incredible flexibility, and virtually unlimited earning potential? Want to work in an industry that’s rapidly growing, exciting, and meaningful?
While there are any number of ways to get into the real estate industry, becoming a real estate agent is widely considered to be the best path forward.
But in order to be successful in this industry, you have to do more than just get your license and print off a few business cards. You need a proactive plan that helps you stand out and enjoy more opportunities.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your chances of being successful:
1. Take Your Education Seriously
So many aspiring real estate agents take the education process lightly and simply see it as a means to an end (getting licensed). But the reality is that real estate license courses are full of valuable information that you’d be wise to embrace and retain. By taking your education seriously, recording notes, and letting the information marinate in your brain, you’ll end up with a much deeper knowledge of the industry than most people have when first starting out.
2. Choose the Right Broker
Once you become licensed, you have to hang your license with a broker. Some will try to downplay this decision and convince you to simply go with the one who offers the best commission splits, but this is poor advice.
The truth is that your first broker will either stunt your growth or catalyze you to bigger and better things. You want someone who is willing to invest in you, train you, and equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed.
Do your due diligence and ask around. Based on firsthand feedback, you should be able to identify high-growth opportunities without much trouble.
3. Narrow Your Focus
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of real estate agents in your area. The best way to stand out is by narrowing your focus to a specific niche of the market. There are a number of ways to do this, including emphasizing buyers or sellers, working in a specific zip code or neighborhood, or focusing on a particular type of property (multi-family, condos, new construction, etc.). While you might have to turn some prospective clients away, you’ll eventually become proficient in your area of expertise. This makes it easier to generate referrals and build credibility.
4. Partner With Other Agents
It’s never fun to have to turn a prospective client away, but that’s why it’s valuable to have a team of people. By partnering with other agents, you can create a referral network where you each refer out clients based on the other agent’s area of expertise. This can be a nice way to make some extra income without having to do anything other than making an introduction.
5. Maintain Connections
Once you make a connection, you want to keep it. (This includes past clients, acquaintances, and even people you’ve referred out to another agent.)
David Kramer, executive vice president at Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, does this by buying lunch three to four times per week for his contacts. With an average bill of $50 per meeting, Kramer has found that this strategy delivers a 10 percent average return on investment. When compared to the 2 percent return on investment he gets from mass mailers, Kramer sees this as a much better use of time.
6. Build Out Your Online Presence
In today’s marketplace, you need to have some presence online. And while you never want to be the person who is constantly posting your listings and direct messaging your “friends” and connections for leads, there’s something to be said for utilizing social media as a branding tool.
The best approach is subtle. Your profile picture and description should make it clear that you’re a real estate agent. Likewise, your contact information should be featured prominently. In terms of sharing content, make sure no more than 30 percent of your posts are promotional. You want to engage with people on a human level – occasionally spritzing in some real estate value so that people know you’re knowledgeable in this area. When it comes time for them to hire an agent, you’ll be top of mind.
Putting it All Together
If you’re looking for predictable pay, there are plenty of salaried jobs you can apply for. But if you’re looking for potential and freedom, consider becoming a real estate agent. The path to the top is not easy, but it is clear.
Follow the tips outlined in this article, and you’ll eventually move into the upper echelon of agents who are responsible for earning the majority share of commissions.