Every real estate agent's goal is to become a trusted professional people turn to. However, achieving that status and moving away from the “newbie” label isn't always easy. To grow from “newbie” to “seasoned,” agents can proactively work to earn veteran status in their profession. Consider the following six top steps to help any "newbie" start a career in real estate:
1. Develop a Personal Brand
The key to success is to project a cultivated image and develop a personal brand. This persona is what will help cross the barrier from newbie to veteran status. Successful agents who have earned the trust of their community find this goodwill to be a tremendous asset to their brand.
To start, agents should select three adjectives to define themselves and commit to emulating those traits. Over time, this helps demonstrate to the public these personal attributes are who an agent is, and, in the long run, it'll significantly help to establish your professional reputation.
2. Position as a Local Agent
Once pre-licensing, exams, and all the other nitty-gritty associated with becoming a real estate agent are complete, it's beneficial to make moves to position oneself as a local agent quickly. Here are some priority tasks for establishing yourself as a local agent:
- Connect with a local sponsoring broker
- Create business cards and promotional materials (or get familiar with those your brokerage provides)
- Research your local MLS and learn how to navigate it effectively
- Familiarize yourself with the local neighborhoods, schools, and other factors homebuyers will look for, whether you plan to use them as selling points or the starting points for a home search
- Establish social media profiles (and be active!)
Once the foundation is established, start networking as soon as possible. In real estate, not unlike other professions, it often boils down to who you know more than what you know—the more extensive the professional network with quality relationships, the higher the potential to generate leads.
3. Strive to Present as a Professional
One of the initial steps to take is to present yourself as a real estate professional. In real estate, appearances do matter. Paying attention to the following can go a long way towards overcoming the newbie status.
- Dress to impress
- Practice good grooming
- Develop great communication skills
- Practice good listening skills
- Make direct eye contact with clients
- Pay attention to body language
- Always smile!
When presenting as a professional, it's important to learn how to fit in with the community. For instance, if working in a laid-back vacation destination, dress professionally but also fit in with the locals (e.g., don't dress as if working on Wall Street).
4. Learn the Local Area
New agents should invest substantial time getting to know the local real estate market inside and out. If clients know more than agents, that will quickly become a problem. Striving to learn about local properties, including but not limited to home types, neighborhoods, schools, public transportation, and economic drivers, helps build knowledge.
Study MLS listings, watch trends, and always dive deeply into the specifics of any property before speaking with clients about it. Bottom line: agents need to always be on top of their game if they want to demonstrate the right level of expertise necessary to succeed.
5. Establish Good Working Habits
When getting started as an agent, it's essential to establish good working habits from the get-go. This helps you present yourself as a true professional and demonstrate to the public that the person they're working with is a qualified expert in the field. Good working habits help agents move from amateur to experienced status.
Good working habits include always being on time, returning calls, practicing good organization, and being accountable for steps taken. New agents can also ask relevant questions and learn how to anticipate what clients want to know. If the agent doesn't know the answer, commit to finding it—always be truthful. Over time, a reputation for being trustworthy, ethical, and reliable will go a long way toward developing great personal branding.
6. Schedule Time to Pursue Leads
Setting up a robust online presence and distributing marketing materials is a great start, but it's not necessarily going to start bringing in clients immediately. Plan to spend a fair amount of time chasing down leads.
A good rule of thumb is to plan to spend a few hours each day making calls or getting out in the community to pursue leads. List potential leads, identify at least two, and then attempt to set up appointments. Dedicating time to this each day will yield results over time.
Agents who join a team often get the benefit of having leads provided for them—you can use the extra time in the day to focus on turning those leads into conversions and fine-tuning exemplary service, netting you and your brokerage more sales, more commission, and happier clients.
Success as a real estate agent doesn't happen overnight. However, with commitment and perseverance, these efforts will pay off over time.
Interested in a career in real estate? Contact The Ashton Real Estate Group to learn more about joining a great real estate team with over $1 billion in closed transactions in 2021 alone!
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