• Accountability partners, 'time-blocking,' talking clients into not buying homes and treating first year as 'grad school' among tips from vets.

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Phil Faranda's brokerage, J. Philip Real Estate, might not have survived the housing bust, which struck just two years after he launched the company, if he'd chosen to start his career at a brokerage just for its brand or commission splits. If he had, he might not have learned the important lessons and business tactics from the top-producing team he chose to join instead -- knowledge that has been key to helping him weather the real estate slump, said the Briarcliff Manor, New York-based broker. "Choose your mentor, not your letterhead name or split," Faranda said. That's the no. 1 piece of advice Faranda has for new agents. Drawing on social media comments, we've compiled a list of other pointers for greenhorns. Contribute your own in the comments section and we'll...