Whether you’re a rookie agent, a rising team leader or an established veteran broker, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. Follow our “Back to Basics” series to learn fundamental strategies, tactics, philosophies and more from real estate pros across the industry.
There are numerous advantages of being a real estate agent, such as a personalized schedule and uncapped earnings.
However, with the potential for great rewards, comes the potential for great risks.
For instance, it’s common to experience feasts and famines while working as an agent.
The instability of the career is a major reason numerous individuals think twice before entering this competitive industry.
I myself, experienced a boom my first month in the business, followed by a rocky second month. However, as a result of my own experiences, I’ve discovered seven ways to get yourself out of any drought and make it rain again.
1. Be systematic (and consistent) about organization
- Write a daily to-do list, input all the tasks into your Google calendar, and make sure every task gets done before you hit the sack.
- Organize your leads each month. I screen each prospect, color code them based on their “pain level” and prioritize. If I don’t have too many inquiries one month, I go back to leads from the previous month and reach out to people who weren’t in a rush to move.
- Book an appointment with leads as soon as possible. If I speak to a lead in May who wants to move in July, I book an appointment with them for July (and keep in touch until our appointment).
2. Keep in touch, incentivize and show gratitude
With each client, I strive to provide pre-eminent service. Naturally, these clients start referring me to friends. Yet, I continue to touch base with clients post-closing.
These clients additionally refer me once they notice how invested and helpful I am (even) after I receive my commission check. Once their lease ends, they reach back out to me again for a new apartment.
Whenever I close a deal with a client I like, I always buy them a gift. I additionally give them a referral incentive; for every person they refer me to whom I close, I send them $100 American Express gift card.
3. Be active on social media
Brand yourself, work with a marketer, and make your account interesting and in tune with your personality and lifestyle. Post reviews clients leave on to your handle to signify you’re reputable.
Additionally, create an interesting YouTube account to help get yourself out there.
Engage with users on social media sites like Instagram. For example, I once visited a popular Instagram handle @westvillagelife and interacted with its followers. One particular woman said it was “fate” that I found her; she was moving to NYC from London and needed an apartment.
Post hot listings on Instagram Stories. People reach out interested either for themselves or for their friends.
Start posting anything real estate-related to your social media accounts, including listings you have, articles you wrote and real estate news. This associates you with real estate in people’s minds.
Make it a priority to meet new people every day. Numerous times in the past, I’ve established rapport with the person sitting next to me at a coffee shop. When they found out I was a real estate agent, they told me they were looking to purchase an apartment and took my card.
I even once established rapport with an Uber driver, let him know I was an agent, and he consequently gave me his contact information as he was looking to buy commercial property.
Also attend networking events and clubs.
For example, I am involved with the UJA Federation of New York. UJA has numerous events every year for each industry. Go to these events, meet successful people in every field, and let them know you’re an agent (once you’ve established rapport).
I recently went to the annual UJA REX gala and befriended NYC landlords.
5. Know the season and market appropriately
Advertise as many open listings as possible. Real estate is similar to dating; it’s a numbers game. The more ads you have up, the more leads you get.
In terms of rentals, the winter season is dead in comparison to the summer in NYC. Thus, wintertime is a no-fee market.
Advertising an apartment with a brokers fee isn’t going to gain you much traction during the winter. Most new jobs also start during the summertime (when recent grads lease apartments with friends).
So summertime is big on three- and two-bedroom searches while the wintertime is big on one bedroom and studio searches.
Advertise listings that have good comparables. So when you take clients out, you can show them a bunch of other comps (in case they don’t like the original apartment they inquired about).
This is especially important if the apartment initially inquired about is rented. You then you have similar apartments to show him or her (so the lead wasn’t in vain).
6. Reach out to landlords and sellers for exclusivity
Being an exclusive listing agent is where it’s at in terms of making your business rain. For sales, find out listings that are for-sale-by-owner (especially ones sitting on the market for a while).
Reach out to the seller, and pitch; tell them that the longer the property sits on the market, the lower it sells for (say you can sell it faster and consequently get the seller a higher price).
Reach out to expireds. Pitch them to the seller that you can sell it faster than their previous agent. A similar process rings true for rentals.
Once you are exclusively listing a home, convert any of the leads for the home who weren’t interested in the property into clients, and find them another home.
If you are exclusively listing an apartment now for a landlord, do your best to rent it out well. If you do a good job, the landlord will continue working with you and allow you to manage his or her inventory.
If the landlord has a large inventory, this creates great continual income for you.
7. Be your craft
Constantly be on top of the latest real estate news, and know your craft well; become a continual student as knowledge is power. This makes you confident.
When you speak to people, you provide them value, and they want to work with you. We live in an age where people think they don’t need a real estate agent — prove them wrong.
We are in the business of people so your personality is so important. I’ve had numerous people tell me in the past how they appreciated I was “real” and not some manufactured machine (unlike other agents they’ve dealt with).
Stay groomed, and dress professionally. When I look at an agent who is dressed well, I automatically think they take their job seriously, have everything together and are consequently good at what they do. As the saying goes, dress for the job you want — not the one you have.
To make your real estate business rain and get out of any drought, it is important to be outgoing and organized, market yourself and your business appropriately, network, be motivated and drown yourself in a continual sea of knowledge and existence.