What’s the most important piece of information and industry-related advice you wish you’d have been armed with early on in your career? This week, our readers weigh in with their valuable insights.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

It’s officially New Agent Month here at Inman, and we’re here to give you all the tips you need to success as a fresh-faced agent in the field. Because in today’s topsy-turvy market, every agent could use a little guidance. And what better way to learn important lessons than with insights gleaned from those who’ve been in the biz for years?

Last week, we asked our readers to share advice they wish they could’ve received when they were first starting out in the industry. From paying your estimated quarterly taxes on time to learning ways to promote yourself and your business, here’s the information you wish you’d been armed with early on in your careers.

  • Don’t let veteran agents bully you around. Remember they are just as nervous as you. Every client comes with a new set of problems. When representing a buyer, ask the neighbors about potential flooding issues in the neighborhood, even if the property is in an X zone!
  • That I would have far more time available than money coming in. The time can be well-used for formal and informal learning, planning systems and processes, and getting your feet wet. Fine-tuning will come later, when you have a more solid base of knowledge plus experience.
  • I wish I knew an agent who I could shadow. A top agent who ran their business like a business and picked up those habits that I could carry on today.
  • That every day, even 20 years later, you will learn something new. The agents who roll with that are the ones who last!
  • How to promote myself.
  • That this is a business and the business happens to be real estate. This is not a hobby.
  • The one thing I wish I had done — not so much known — is to keep really good records of all of my closings in an electronic format and then stayed in touch with those first year clients. I often think of those clients from the early years as I was learning the business and wish I had stayed in touch with them in a more consistent manner. Now, it would seem strange to reach out and say, “Remember me?” But we all live and learn, and now, I do my best to create ways to stay in touch and honor their contribution to my business.
  • Being successful in real estate takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Dual career is an option so you have money to live on while pursuing your dream of real estate. 
  • That I’m in charge of my business and that I set the rules — not the public. I learned early on that I needed to take time off and not work seven days a week.
  • How important it is to know your contracts and how to explain them.
  • Learn more to earn more. You got a license to sell real estate. Now your real education begins. Get a CRS designation. Get a mentor. Join a mastermind. Teach a class. School is never out for the pro.
  • Mentorship.
  • You don’t haven’t to be licensed for a number of years before becoming a luxury specialist.
  • That early involvement in organized real estate and associations increases your success rate and bottom line.
  • That new(er) agents do belong where the industry “big boys n girls” are. Go to those conferences and conventions, and start talking to those you look up to.
  • Avoid shiny pennies; mine for silver dollars.
  • No. 1: Operate like your business operation depends on you working hard everyday. It has zero to do with where you hang your license. If you don’t produce, you’re not getting paid. No. 2: The housing market will change. There will be crashes in some eyes and corrections in other eyes. Don’t ever panic. Changes will happen, and housing will continue to flourish. You will be a great asset in either market if you understand this scenario.
  • Pay your estimated quarterly taxes on time. Why? Because the IRS interest and penalties are insane.
  • You want to look back in 20 years at your bank account and have money from each transaction you have ever closed.

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.

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