There is little doubt about it: These are interesting times for the U.S. real estate industry. Following the upheaval of 2020, experts predict that home prices, home sales and mortgage rates will all increase this year. They also predict that potential buyers will still be drawn to the suburbs and to homes with spaces that facilitate remote work.
Established real estate agents instinctively know how to capitalize on these opportunities. They also know how to survive a volatile market.
But what if you are just starting out? Here are seven tips for success for new real estate agents in 2021.
1. Start with the basics
Real estate insiders say self-assessment is one key to being an agent. In this context, they encourage new agents to:
- Do a critical analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.
- Do an honest self-evaluation to determine which qualities separate them from their peers.
- Identify career goals and milestones.
Once new agents complete their self-assessments, they can create a business plan or strategy that serves as a roadmap for success. In addition to the issues detailed above, a comprehensive plan should identify the new agent’s target market and its characteristics. The plan should also identify how the new agent can best serve that market.
2. Do not be afraid to do the grunt work
Real estate is a tough business. The agents that tend to do best are talented, ambitious and determined to get to the top. But that alone does not guarantee success. After all, everyone starts somewhere, and more often than not, that is at the bottom.
As a new agent, you must put in a lot of hard work to establish yourself in the industry. Do not be afraid of it. If you are starting out on your own, for example, you will probably be answering the phone and greeting clients yourself.
If you are starting out with a large firm and someone asks you to relieve the receptionist or secretary, don’t argue. Just do it. You may be surprised at what you can learn.
3. The learning curve doesn’t end once you have your license
Speaking of learning, the learning curve for a new real estate agent does not end once they have their license. Therefore, experts urge rookie agents to enroll in as many relevant continuing education classes as they can. This is one of the best ways to learn more, boost credibility and establish your reputation as a committed professional.
4. Seek out a mentor
Some experts also encourage new real estate agents to consider finding mentors. These are experienced agents who are willing to help their new counterparts learn the ropes. They provide guidance, advice and tough love when necessary.
A good mentor will not make a new agent better simply by telling them what they want to hear or holding their hand, but by pushing them to improve.
5. Identifying potential buyers and sellers
With all of that being said, the bottom line is that a new agent will never be successful if he or she doesn’t do any prospecting. What is prospecting in real estate? It is simply the process of finding people who are willing to engage in real estate transactions. In other words, it is the process of finding people who need an agent to help them buy or sell residential real estate.
In some ways, it is easier than it sounds. Some experts recommend that new agents begin by approaching people in their immediate sphere of influence (SOI) and building from there. An immediate SOI generally includes the agent’s:
- Former classmates
- Barbers and hair stylists, doctors, dentists and so forth
- Acquaintances from their place of worship
6. Nurture your sphere of influence
An agent can build their immediate SOI by adding people that they meet at social gatherings, community events and so on. The agent’s next step is to inform everyone in their database that they are a licensed real estate agent.
They should also take this opportunity to let them know that they’re is available to help prospective buyers or sellers. The agent should also keep contacts in the loop about any transactions they’ve has facilitated as his or her career progresses.
7. Branding, branding … have we mentioned branding?
Working at a large agency with a good reputation certainly has some caché. But even that won’t guarantee a new agent’s success. In fact, the difference between a good real estate agent and a great one doesn’t hinge as much on where they work, as on their personal and professional branding.
Branding is a daunting concept for many new agents. However, it is an important one for anyone who wants to know how to become a successful Realtor. When new agents create their brand, they are essentially crafting their professional image. This is accomplished through effective use of visual media (websites and social media platforms), promotional material and effective personal conduct.
Today, the effective use of 21st century technology also plays a big part in successful branding. In addition to websites and social media platforms, this technology includes contact management systems, marketing software, and various applications (apps).
In real estate, as in life, there are no guarantees. Following these tips won’t automatically make you the next star of a glitzy real estate-based reality television show. But they may help you as you embark on your career as a real estate professional.