Have you ever imagined being able to time travel and share your younger version the secrets to life? Image how much better your life could be if you knew then what you know now. Some rookie agents may not have the opportunity to ask a well-seasoned, experienced agent for advice or the lessons they've learned throughout their career - so we thought you'd find value if we collected tips veteran real estate agents wish they knew when they first started their career. Some of these tips derive from real estate agents from mistakes, some are from success - all of them are from experienced agents.
After reading this article, you will have the knowledge to make better decisions that will accelerate your real estate business and prevent you from making rookie mistakes.
- Be consistent with strategies and campaigns
- Set up a bank account and credit card specifically for your business
- Practice role playing to perfect your style
- Network with other business owners and learn about their success stories
- Create and stick to your morning ritual
- Develop a Business Plan
- Automate your marketing so you can spend more time on sales
- Build consistent lead flow with multiple lead generation channels
- Find a busy office when considering brokerage
- Be prepared for slumps
10 Real Estate Tips from Veteran Agents for Rookie Agents
1. Stay consistent with strategies and campaigns
Whether you are cold calling, working your sphere of influence, door knocking or online marketing - stay committed and consistent. Don't just abandon your strategies if the fail in the first 3 months, that is not enough time to conclude whether a marketing strategy is working. Instead, stay calm because most marketing strategies need 6 to 12 months to produce enough data to make an informed decision - don't forget to track the progress of your campaigns. Of course, you should reevaluate the campaign and readjust if it is a total dud.
Remember, we live in an instant gratification society. Those who seek instant gratification instead long-term achievement are almost always destined to become part of the 87% of agents that fail out of real estate. Take a look at the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment to learn more about the negative effects of instant gratification and benefits of waiting.
2. Set up a bank account and credit card specifically for your business
Keep your personal and business finances separated from each other. You will help you stay organized and make it far easier to track your gross commission income, monitor your budget, and track work-related expenses. Plus it'll be much easier to do your taxes and you'll have the opportunity to write off certain work-related expenses come tax season.
3. Practice role playing to perfect your style
Why? Role playing will help you develop your style, which words/phrases work best for you, you will become more confident with your words, and you could receive feedback from your peers so you can refine your communication skills. Truth be told, if you don't practice with a friend or associate, you'll end up practicing on clients. If you practice on clients, you will make mistakes or try to "fake it til you make it." If your client becomes aware of your lack of knowledge, that could damage your credibility causing the lead to find a different agent. Effective role playing can be the different between a new a new car, eating a nice steak, new shoes, or a failure. Don't miss your shot - practice role playing.
4. Network with other business owners and learn about their success stories
There are two important reasons to network with other business owners: to learn about their methods and strategies for success and to build relationships with influential members of your local market. Starting a conversation with a total stranger may seem intimidating but it helps when there is common ground to work with - like that you're both business owners - and if you role play. Once your relationship has been established, collaborate on affiliated marketing campaigns. Let them know that you love their business and you'll recommend your network to them. Business owners LOVE referrals and they will reciprocate your kindness by driving their business to you.
5. Develop and stick to your morning ritualHave you heard the saying, "If you beat the morning, you beat the day"? It's true. Your morning routine will either set you up for success or lead you down a path to failure. Some agents workout while others listen to podcasts. What are your non-negotiable tasks? What are you resources for industry news? How many leads do you need to follow up with? How many people will you prospect? What is your main focus of the day? Consider these questions when you plan your morning ritual. Below are common elements of an effective morning ritual:
- Exercise: workout, run, swim, etc.
- Learn: via print, podcast, radio, books, YouTube, or news; try to learn something new about real estate everyday.
- Execute the plan that you designed last night:
- Breakfast: It's still the most important meal of the day
- Review: Call back any leads that you generated over night, check your emails, confirm that all of your appointments and meetings will be completed and any time sensitive events that will need to be completed by end of day.
- Prioritize: Categorize your tasks into Group A, Group B, and Group C. Group A will be your main priority, it shouldn't have more than 5 tasks per day.
6. Create a Business Plan
A business plan will give you guidance for starting a business and help you establish your annual goals. It is crucial that every agent establishes a primary goal at the beginning of each year because it will provide direction through the year. A business plan will also help you assess the external factors that influence your business, so you can make anticipate trends and adjust your strategies. One of the external factors that influence your business are your competitors. With a competitive analysis, you'll learn about other agents in your local market and figure out strategies to beat them. Among other benefits, a business plan will also help you assess your budget and how you'll allocate your funds.
Start developing your business plan today, use our business plan template and video guide to help you plan for a successful year of real estate:
7. Automate your marketing so you can spend more time on sales
You're a real estate agent, which means you’re the amalgamation of a business owner, neighborhood expert and marketer - to name a few hats. Part of being a successful running real estate business is knowing when to delegate tasks and responsibilities. Many agents delegate tasks outside of their scope of expertise like accounting, photography, staging, and marketing so they have more time to do their actual real estate job - meet clients, show homes, and close deals. If you want to spend less time on marketing and more time selling, find a good automated marketing software like PropertyPulse. PropertyPulse can automate your social media posts and email campaigns so you can stay in front of leads and spend more time with your family.
8. Build consistent lead flow with multiple lead generation channels
Just as you would diversify your financial portfolio for stability, you need to diversify your lead generation sources so there's a consistent flow of fresh leads that enter your pipeline. Most agents have 1-3 lead generation sources, but you’ll need 4-6 sources to be a full-proof agent. Your lead generation will run thin when the housing market crashes, so you’ll need to utilize more sources to compensate for your loss of opportunities.
For example, let’s say you’re in a booming market - generating 4 leads per day from each of your 3 sources (12 leads per day total). When the market crashes, you might generate 2 leads per day from each source, cutting your leads per day in half (6 leads per day total). You’ll need to double your lead sources to maintain 12 leads per month to compensate for your loss of leads. Below are lead generation sources to consider leveraging in a stagnant housing market:
- Website – Optimize for search and/or search engine marketing (paid advertising)
- Facebook – Posts, paid ads, groups, etc.
- Twitter – Posts and paid ads
- Instagram – Posts, paid ads, close friends
- Pinterest – Post new listings
- Referrals – Direct, secondary, from other agents
- Local news and radio – Talk about the housing market, forecasts, projections
- Print advertisement – Door hangers, postcards, signage, hand written letters
- Divorces in your network
- Funeral homes
9. Find a busy office when considering brokerages
Along with desk fees, coaching, and available marketing tools, agents should consider high office activity when choosing a brokerage. A busy office is a good sign the brokerage has a good market share in their area and it means more opportunities for you. If the brokerage has a nice slice of market share, it usually means they have good brand reputation. Joining a busy brokerage can be more difficult than a slow one but it will be well worth the extra effort.
10. Be prepared for slumps
Sales is a roller coaster of emotions, full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Like any roller coaster, you should be prepared for the slumps as much as you are for the peaks. You can bounce back faster and stronger if you're prepared for slumps, so have a solid plan for recovery when you inevitability occupy one. A few ways you can prepare for slumps is to have a list of five to ten warm contacts in your sphere of influence that you can check on their real estate needs, have a good personal growth book with constructive advice on hand, or pulling together a support list of contacts that you can go to for advice.
As a new agent, researching new tactics and marketing industry along with developing your skill will be key to your success. Learn from other agents' experiences - successes and failures. This wisdom will help you make better decisions while saving time, money and resources.
Editors Notes: Originally posted October 2018. Edited to include sections 7-10 and grammar, comprehension, and brevity.