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It was official. I had my real estate license, I had a vision, and I had a plan, but I didn’t have a clue. Opening the door and stepping into my new brokerage, all I could think was, “What now?”
The office was lined with three rows of desks, all equipped with huge black phones and used cigarette trays. I looked for signs of life, a smoke signal maybe. And then I met Sharon.
Thank goodness for Sharon. She had been a successful agent for 22 years and never forgot that her prosperity was built on basic business principles. She taught me how to take day one into year 33, and I am forever grateful.
For a new real estate agent, those frightening first few days can be a challenge to navigate — and not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Sharon.
Ultimately, the onus is on you to build relationships and gather all of the knowledge you possibly can, all the while honoring a set of unspoken expectations that will have a huge impact on how much you learn and grow.
Here are a few tips for navigating that all-important new agent etiquette:
1. Make the introduction
Don’t assume your co-workers know who you are. Introduce yourself!
Start with the person who knows everyone and everything about your new world: your front desk administrator. Ask to be shown around the space so you can get familiar with the tools and new surroundings. Ask to be introduced to other agents working in the office that day.
Don’t forget — or underestimate — the importance of this person. He or she can become your best friend and one of your most valuable resources. Treat him or her well.
2. Learn who your coworkers are
Study the office website, and put names with faces. Next, ask your new best friend to help you get to know who does what.
For instance, who is a producer, who works the most listings, who works successfully with buyers and so on.
By taking the time know your co-workers, you’re tapping into a valuable resource — not to mention flattering and showing respect for them — by recognizing their experience.
3. Offer your services
You walk in that first day with more than an empty briefcase and a tablet. You’ve got the time and the ability to help out. Start by sending a group email and offering to help your team members with open houses, showings and tasks.
They now know who their newest team member is, and they already see you as a team player. You not only shown them value, but you’ve also opened a door to learning the ropes from the best.
4. Be proud to be new, and be humble
Every successful agent had a day one. We all had to start somewhere. Kick things off by letting your team know you’re new to the business, new to the team, eager to learn and proud to be part of what they’ve built.
Your team will respond. Many others will take you under their experienced wing and take great joy and pride in knowing they are a part of your future success.
5. Show gratitude
If you plan to make it, you can’t fake it, at least not around your co-workers. They were all new once, and they know what you’re facing. You will need their help, experience, expertise and their most valuable resource — their time — for your gain.
Be grateful. Show your gratitude openly, sincerely and often.
After all these years, I have never forgotten my friend Sharon. She made “day one” of my career one of the most memorable and valuable I’ve had. She reminded me that my greatest resource, regardless of where I might be in this rewarding business, would be my ability to work successfully through courtesy, honesty, humility and gratitude.
By practicing the best of our fundamental human qualities, you can look forward to the years of prosperity and joy that come with it.