Real estate as a second career: The quick-start guide

Here are some refreshers on the basics of quickly getting off to a productive start in your real estate career

Drew Hannan of Drew Hannan Homes and Keller Williams in Rochester, New York is a former restaurateur and business owner who recently got into real estate as a second career.  He got a very fast start closing 42 deals in his very first year, and he’s here to tell us how he did it.

The advantages of joining a team as a new agent

Joining a team as a new agent can give you the credibility from the agency you didn’t have before. Your potential clients are less likely to question your experience because they trust the agency. You also get exposure to the agency’s system, which often includes extra leads that can be handed off to you.

“The learning is just so much quicker when you’re on a team than when you’re by yourself because you’re just exposed to everything,” Hannan says.

Even if you don’t want to stay with the agency long term, you can use what you learned about being a real estate agent when you go off on your own.

Your database is your business! It should be your top priority.

Think of everyone you meet as a potential client. Gather their phone numbers, email addresses, and any other contact information you get, and put them in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. Stay in contact with your database using calls, emails and meetings. Hannan said it’s these touches that set you apart from other agents your potential clients might know.

In fact, Marketing 101 would say that you need to engage in email campaigns at least once a week to your contacts. Once you have mastered that, you should expand your reach to other platforms such as social media or customer appreciation events.

“If you’re not in front of your database, someone else is,” Hannan said. He even suggests having coffee or lunch with former clients to keep in touch.

Don’t get overly romantic about the transaction itself.  Keep your focus on your true job, which is growing and improving the business.

Any agent can successfully complete a real estate transaction. It’s the marketing and good service that will set you apart from other agents.

The transaction is important, but the main aspect of your job is to continuously bring in new business. Hannan said being responsive and not making your clients wait for an answer is essential for any real estate agent.

Use your marketing campaigns to show your potential clients what you do better than other agents. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so let your clients know what you do best.

Get started in real estate on the right foot, and be ready to learn as much as you can. The first step, though, according to Hannan, is to set a goal for yourself and hold yourself to it.

For help finding a home or starting your real estate career, contact Drew Hannan at 535-752-3506 or drewjhannan@gmail.com.

Chris Haddon is an entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C., a partner at Hard Money Bankers and a co-founder of REI360.net.

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