New Real Estate Agents

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam – Now What? Part II

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam – Now What? Part II

Last week we went over what first steps you should pursue after passing your real estate exam. For Part II of the series let’s assume you’ve selected a broker that has the values and culture you’re looking for, have a mentor, and that you’ve fine-tuned your budget. What’s next?

Real estate is not as easy as it looks. Making it through the exam to get your license is the easiest part. The next questions to ask yourself are how are you going to get clients and what type of client do you want to attract? It’s important to note that this is a two-part question. Take time to sit down and really think about who you are and what you want your brand to be. Do not be a jack of all trades and master of none. You can’t be everything to everyone and that means deciding on what type of client you want to market too. Maybe it’s military clients, relocation, or first-time buyers. Maybe you have a specific neighborhood you want to focus on. There are a lot of directions this can go in and that’s why it’s important to first look at yourself to then determine your branding.

Once you’ve determined your brand and who it targets you’ll need to create marketing material. Business cards being the first piece. Yes, they’re basic in terms of marketing avenues but, as a new agent, you’re going to want to hand one out to everyone you meet and be reaching out to your sphere to share that you’re now in real estate. Whatever you do, do not be a secret agent. Review your budget to determine how much you can spend on marketing material and then let that amount guide you on what pieces to create. Maybe you don’t have a lot of money to start out, you can easily create a market snapshot of a neighborhood you want to focus on and take that with you to go door knock. Maybe door knocking isn’t your thing. You could plan a mixer for your sphere, have it in your home to keep costs down and serve appetizers and refreshments. Again, the marketing goes back to knowing who you are, what your strengths are, and what clients you want to attract.

While you’re working on developing your marketing you’ll also need to be studying the market. Know what the latest trends are, what inventory levels look like, and learn the different neighborhoods in the area you want to serve. Studying the market is something you need to do for your entire real estate career. Become a walking talking local real estate encyclopedia. This prepares you to be able to share the market trends with anyone you come in contact with. You’re going to get the “how’s the market” question a lot. Be prepared to standout by knowing the figures and trends off the top of your head.

Last but, certainly not least remember that you are running your own business. Flexibility is touted over and over again but, the reality is it’s not as flexible as you might have been told. You will not be successful if you don’t commit to running your business. No one is going to tell you what to do every day or even tell you to show up. You get out what you put in and if you aren’t giving it your all day in and day out you’re going to struggle. Real estate is non-stop and it requires giving everything you have to become successful. You might not have the experience yet but, you can always be the hardest working person in the room!



I'm Not A One Night Stand Type Of Gal

I’m Not A One Night Stand Type Of Gal

This post is inspired by someone who stops by my office every 6 months and hands me her card and says don’t forget to send me business. It’s nothing against her, there are so many that are just like her but, she reminds me of a one night stand. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about her, I know her first name and that’s about it. She’s never asked if she could tell me about what makes her different, why she loves her job, or even how she serves her clients.

I love the relationship part of real estate. Yes, it takes a lot of time to form that bond and even more time to maintain it but, that’s the fun of it! We’re in the people business – if you don’t like forming relationships and nurturing them I can’t say I think real estate is for you. I also don’t think a lot of the businesses that are required to have a real estate transaction come together are either, i.e. loan officer, home inspector, radon company, termite company, title company, and the list goes on and on.

The wham, bam, give me business approach just leaves me feeling used. If the only thing you want from me is business I’m just not your gal. The vendors we refer are like family and they’ve earned that title. They earned it by showing over and over again that they would go to the moon and back for our clients and that they’re there if we need them to go the extra mile. It’s a mutual relationship of trust and respect and not only does it give us peace of mind we are recommending clients to the most competent professional’s it’s just plain fun to have a bond with a team that has the same values as we do.

While I know there will always be vendors that take the one night stand approach I have to wonder if it really works? Is it just a numbers game and then you hope you get lucky? If so I wish I could sit down and talk with them and show them a better way. Putting the time in to build an honest and genuine relationship will, of course, take more work and commitment but, it will go the distance. They won’t have to come by my office and ever drop a card and ask for business, because I’ll be sharing their information willingly with anyone who needs their services!



Lead Generation For Real Estate Agents – There's No One Size Fits All

Lead Generation For Real Estate Agents – There’s No One Size Fits All

There is nothing easy about getting started in real estate and even when you’re a seasoned pro it’s still not easy. The challenges are different but, the words real estate and easy rarely belong in the same sentence together. So as a new agent what should you do?


There’s a recurring theme in the new agents I talk to. When we sit down to talk about their challenges and where they want to improve they’ve all been told to cold call, door knock, and hold open houses to get leads. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of those lead generation techniques but, that doesn’t mean they’re right for every agent. Odds are if those were working these agents would never be talking to me.


As a real estate agent asking yourself who you are is the foundation for what type of lead generation you should conduct. What do you like to do outside of real estate? What makes you happy? What do you dislike? If you break out in a sweat like me at the thought of cold calling don’t do it! A broker I worked for early on essentially told me to cold call or else. I did it and I was horrible, as in the absolute worst. If you’re doing something that doesn’t align with who you are you’re not going to be very good at it and you’re going to dread it.


Do you like the idea of relationships more than cold calling? It might take you longer to grow your business but, you’ll be growing something rock solid that’s far deeper than a transaction-based business.

Farming can even be about building relationships. Building relationships doesn’t mean you call everyone you know and ask them to send you referrals. Building a relationship is about providing value. You get what you give. 


There’s no one size fits all when it comes to running a real estate business. Where you’ll go wrong is if you decide not to be authentic and just do what someone is telling you. I’m not saying you’re going to love everything you do but, if it feels like it’s not genuine or coming from a place that doesn’t match your personality it’s not going to work. You might get some clients but, I guarantee you they won’t be the kind you enjoy working with or feel aligned with.


Whatever route you take to get business make sure it’s one that’s authentic to you. If that’s cold calling, great! If that’s farming, great! If that’s connecting with your sphere, great! Every single lead generation idea you can think of works but, only when the person doing it is confident that it’s the right approach for their business.



Top 5 Reasons Real Estate Agents Fail

Top 5 Reasons Real Estate Agents Fail

Why do the majority of real estate agents fail?


A friend of mine who is newly licensed reached out to me last week to say he thinks he just “stinks at this real estate thing.” Questions immediately came to mind when I saw his message and it got me thinking about just how many real estate agents fail.


Depending on the source the percentages vary from 85-90% in the first five years. That’s a HUGE percentage and yet the perception remains both with the public and many interested in real estate that you get your license and start making serious money. It couldn’t be further from the truth.


There are a variety of reasons real estate agents fail. For this article, I’ll stick to the top 5 reasons real estate agents fail. Whether you’re already licensed or studying to get your license being aware of why agents fail is important. You’ll want to avoid these reasons to avoid becoming part of the statistic.


Not Knowing How To Lead Generate

There is no one size fits all for lead generation in real estate. Which is a great thing because it means real estate professionals can generate business in a way that works best for them. The problem is that if you don’t know how to generate leads and referrals you’re going to fail.

Successful real estate agents know exactly what they’re going to do to generate leads and how they’re going to do it. They know their business depends on it. One of the first things new real estate agents should do is create a business plan that outlines how they want to generate leads.


It doesn’t matter if it’s through door knocking, social media ads, or any of the other hundreds of ways there are to generate leads. What matters is the agent knows what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it.


No Understanding Of How Or Where To Market

If you shake a tree 20 real estate agents will fall out. What are you going to do to make yourself stand out? Real estate agents who look at marketing as an opportunity to say look at me…ME…ME…ME will find themselves blending in and not getting business.


A self-serving mentality is a sure fire way to fail in real estate. Your marketing needs to come from a place of value and be consistent with your brand.


Share helpful advice, personal stories, checklists, and first-hand experience. Solve a pain point your audience has. No one cares if you sold 5 houses last week and are “crushing it.” Serve your audience with what they can actually use.


There are a ton of different ways real estate agents can market themselves but, until you have a plan in place don’t spend a dollar on marketing.


No Mentor Or Coach

I purposely didn’t list this one first to illustrate that you’re going to need someone to teach you how to lead generate and market yourself correctly. Whether it’s your broker, a team leader, or a successful individual agent who you partner with as your mentor or coach you’re going to need someone to teach you to be an expert.


This is, in my opinion, a factor that can make or break a new real estate agent.


Passing the test to get a real estate license is easy and teaches you absolutely nothing about actually selling real estate. The test is just like school, memorize the info and then answer questions. Day to day life as a real estate agent requires running your own business which requires an extremely high level of various skills in order to be successful.


Soak up every ounce of knowledge from someone who is successful and who already has a business like the one you envision yourself creating. Be a student of the industry and be willing to make less money in return for gaining expertise. You cannot put a price on expertise and I see far too many new agents focusing on their splits when it comes time to select a brokerage or team. Stop worrying about commissions because 100% of nothing is nothing.


Get Into Real Estate For The Wrong Reasons

A lot of real estate agents fail because they get into the business thinking they’re going to pass the test, start selling a ton of houses and make a ton of money. If it were that easy everyone would be a successful real estate agent. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s not forget the average real estate agent makes $40,000 annually.


Another reason people get their real estate license is they love “looking at houses.” Yes, houses can be nice to look at but, that’s not what real estate is about. Simply opening a door to let someone in a house is not going to get you anywhere remotely close to being successful in real estate.


If you want to get into real estate you need to first ask yourself why. You are signing up to assist people with what is most likely one of the biggest investments in their lives. That comes with a massive responsibility to be an expert and advocate on their behalf.


Poor Work Ethic

When you become a real estate agent you are entering the world of entrepreneurs. There will be blood, sweat, and tears to become successful. If you have a 9-5 mentality you are going to fail. Successful real estate agents work long hours, nights, and weekends.


You don’t get paid to show up when you own a business. Real estate is not for everyone nor is owning a business.


Real estate is flexible in that you can very likely run errands on a weekday which equates to your personal business revolving around your client needs. It is not flexible in the sense of being able to work whenever and wherever you want.


It requires working every day, there is always something to do. Many agents fail because they don’t have a plan or action items to complete each day.


Successful agents make themselves available to their clients and respond quickly to phone and email contact. Being successful in this business requires a high level of communication and it’s not uncommon for that to occur 7 days a week. Agents who don’t put the work in will not be successful.



Closing Thoughts

The perception of what being a real estate agent involves and the reality are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The barrier of entry into the profession is low and the failure rate is high. Being a successful real estate agent might look easy on the surface but, being in business for yourself is never easy no matter what the industry is.


The failure rate is staggeringly high but, if you understand what you’re getting into, surround yourself with the right people, and work tirelessly you can beat the odds and become successful.