Entering the real estate industry can be difficult, especially with so many seasoned professionals as your competition. Whether you specialize in buying or selling, getting started on the right foot is key.
You might think you have the basics down after passing your state’s license exam, but facts and figures are just one aspect of the complex world of real estate representation. Here are a few tips to facilitate a smooth transition into your new career.
Set a daily marketing schedule
The easiest way to get off track in real estate is by letting your marketing strategies slide as soon as you drum up a little business in the beginning. Unless you have a wide-ranging client base, pulling in new clients regularly helps maintain a steady income. The primary way to gain new business is through well-researched and targeted marketing techniques.
First, determine who your key audience is and why you’re targeting that audience. Where do you live? If you’re an agent in a big city, young families and professionals might be the best demographic to hit. Internet marketing through agent advertising, social media and a branded website are three important areas to tackle in the beginning. Then, you might extend your reach through search engine optimization (SEO), internal networking, external networking and more traditional forms of marketing, like business cards and print ads.
Make sure you have a weekly outline of marketing tasks and goals. You might start with five social media posts per week for each profile, website updates with two pieces of fresh content and selecting lead-generation services through Zillow or Trulia.
Join a team
The first few years of being an agent involves a lot of cold-calling and assisting at open houses. While this might not feel like “hands-on” experience, it is an important step to understand the very basics of the business.
When selecting your first brokerage, opting for a national brand can assist with initial training and a well-known brand to piggyback off of. Alternatively, a boutique brokerage helps agents get more head-first direction, due to their smaller size and geo-local specialization.
In some national and boutique brokerages, you can join a team where you receive a small portion of the commission earned for each deal. You’re pretty much insured at least some income, mostly for deals you wouldn’t be able to pull as a new agent riding solo.
Real estate salaries aren’t always guaranteed, so if you have expenses to cover and don’t have the time to let the bills pile up, joining a team is financially smart. Keep in mind, you’ll be one of a few, so you’ll lack the same brand recognition you could build if you were working with clients on your own.
Start a blog
A very wise, very rich man once said, “Content is king.” It should also be said that fresh, quality content is king. No matter what you write, there’s a chance someone else has posted it online the past. But, you can provide your fresh perspective.
Don’t simply copy and paste others’ work (that’s actually called plagiarism, and it is illegal) unless you have a syndication partnership with the appropriate sourcing and linking. Rather, talk about things that interest you regarding the local trends in your specific market, thoughts about real estate development and news or lifestyle tips you’ve learned in your first few months, or years, of real estate.
Optimizing your search engine standings — also known as SEO — is pertinent to your online marketing, especially when you’re using content as a stepping stone for a positive online reputation. Some agents hire an SEO expert to help them optimize on-site and off-site keywords and tags, but it’s relatively easy to learn with the right tools.
Make sure you read up on white hat SEO best practices; otherwise, your site could be penalized by Google and all of your hard work will go down the drain.
Whether this is your first job or your last, becoming a diversified and experienced agent takes time and practice. Don’t think you’re an ace because you landed one or two deals early on in the game. The best agents are always open to learning new technologies and best practices, no matter how many years they’ve been in the business.