When you’re starting out in real estate, you wake up every day hoping and praying for success. You’re trying new things on the daily. Mailers go out to the masses with your branding plastered all over them.
Your email campaigns reach anyone who’s given you an email address. Pounding the pavement and networking have become second nature to you; after all, you’re trying to let everyone know you’re in the real estate business.
You even blogged briefly but decided it’s not for you. You’re simply not getting the traction you thought you would — even after what feels like a ton of effort and cash. It’s getting quite frustrating and discouraging. You don’t know what to do.
Never fear! We’ve put together a list of 65-plus advice tidbits on how to succeed in real estate — from real industry professionals speaking firsthand.
Obtain these qualities and skills
Before you get started, there are a few things you’re going to look inside and find — or at least make a habit of.
- A professional appearance
- A drive to help others
- A calm demeanor
- A strong work ethic
- Consistency with marketing and promotion
- The ability to get knocked down and get up again — it takes time and patience
- Commitment to others’ interests over your own
- An understanding of people
- Transparent principles
- Open communication
- Ethics (what are your principles, and do you stand for them no matter what?)
- Integrity (what you say and do must align)
- Honesty (what attributes are portrayed to clients)
“Ethics, integrity and honesty are connected. There are qualities and characteristics money can’t buy.” – Angie Coleman
Get your mindset right
The next step is to get your head in the game. Here are a few pointers:
- Decide what success is to you. It isn’t the same for everyone. Don’t confuse success with money.
- Figure out “your why.”
- Read The One Thing by Gary Keller.
- Also read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be! by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan.
- Read what other agents are doing; spend 30 minutes every morning reading.
- Join agent Facebook groups.
- Watch coaching videos on YouTube.
- Have a clear direction of where you want to be in your career, and then align your efforts to reach your destination.
“Too many agents don’t have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish,” Greg Lyles said. “When you lack clarity, you aren’t focused on what skills and resources you need to achieve your professional and personal goals. When you have a plan, it becomes much easier to identify opportunities, establish priorities and measure your progress.”
Work with people
- Treat your clients like family. Always be there for them. When you stop looking at the commission and look at the people you are helping, the referrals and money will be out there times 10, Rob Bryan said.
- Make customers, coworkers and business associates happy.
- Network a lot; be proactive and solicit business.
- Once you have the business, ask people for referrals and reviews on your website. It takes time but your referral business will sustain you.
- Help others selflessly.
“Dedicate two days a week to finding a way to help someone in their job or business in some way without advertising yourself while you do it. Build relationships. Not salesmanships.” – Frankie Thorpe
The cornerstone of every real estate agent’s business is lead generation.
“Lead generation + lead follow up = success. Everything else is gravy.” – Jason Cassity
- Hold open houses every day if you have the time — but do at least two a week regardless.
- Hold open houses for other agents (check state requirements).
- Talk to everyone you know; talk to everyone you don’t know.
- Make at least 20 real estate-related contacts a day.
- Script practice and role play FSBO and expired listing scripts, then call those people.
- Circle prospect around just listed and just sold homes.
- Once you’re comfortable on the phone, look into using a dialer and putting together your circle prospecting lists, aged expired lists — and then follow up.
- Keep building that database and providing it with timely value.
- Follow the schedule of lead gen, practice and role play, minimize time on marketing, admin and learning things you aren’t immediately using.
- Don’t discount floor duty — if you are decent at conversion, a lot of homes sold can come from that alone.
- Use your time wisely. Spend 80 percent of your time on the 20 percent of activities that make you money.
- Realize it’s a business. Invest in systems and scale them.
- Keep your pipeline full.
“The foundational key to real estate success is building a healthy pipeline,” Julie Nelson said in an email. “Every day, you wake up and ask yourself, ‘How can I add a quality lead to my pipeline today, and what is my fastest route to a paycheck today?’
“Yes, you need to be professional, a good communicator, bring excellent service, genuinely care about your clients and their results. But at the end of the day, your overall and long-term success (and sanity) in this business will be seriously connected to the health of your pipeline and your ability to feed it.”
Take our advice
- Focus on what you like to do, and allow others to do what you don’t like to do.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Ask questions, and have answers.
- Build relationships, and solve problems.
- Don’t work with people who make you nuts or waste your time.
- Figure out what your money-making activities are, and do those first before anything else in your day.
- Learn to time block. Follow the same pattern every day.
- Prospect, gain market knowledge, get education and have empathy.
- Allow the numbers to work for you. Choose the one thing that works, and stick with it. If you change your methods constantly you’ll never allow the numbers to work for you.
- If you have the funds, get a real estate coach.
- Treat it like a career, and be willing to sacrifice time and money while building your business.
- Understand how to apply the real estate laws governing what you do all day long and select a managing broker who will support you in your time of need.
- Memorize the Realtor Code of Ethics and ground all decisions based on solid ethical principles, and avoid any conflicts of interest.
- Choose actions that will help you become the person future Realtors will look up to and will seek out as a mentor 20 years from now.
- Be consistent in doing the small things weekly: prospecting new and existing clients and following up consistently.
- Actually put in 40 hours a week. Go to your office every day, find a system and work it.
- Set up one system on automatic, and then move on to the next one, thus building up different streams.
- Maintain momentum.
“Make sure you have something going on every day,” Adam Katzenell said. “Open houses, previews, tweaking your website, etc. Just make sure every day you are involved in learning activities and business-building activities. As you start getting traction with something, increase the intensity of it, and decrease other things.”