This article was largely taken from author Darryl Davis’ New Agent Success Starter Kit.
It’s an exciting time to get into real estate because we live in a world where it is so much easier to put a solid foundation in place right from the start. I’ve been in this business since I was 19 years old. We won’t talk about how long ago that was, but suffice it to say it before the age of customer relationship management solutions (CRMs) and online searches.
Fortunately, now there are many systems you can put in place so that you can begin to build a solid book of business. Let’s dive into some of these strategies.
1. Do your homework
Do a little homework to help you feel like you can speak with authority. This means diving in and learning your market.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to do is to start previewing homes every day. Take a notebook, and make notes on each property. Use keywords in your notes so that the listings are easier to remember, like “Cat House.”
2. Take advantage of broker’s open houses
Go to broker’s open houses to learn about what’s on the market. Broker tours or broker open houses are a tool that agents use to showcase their listings. It’s a broker/agent only event and an opportunity to meet other agents and see how they spotlight their listings effectively.
3. Check out public open houses
Go to public open houses, and see what agents are doing right. Observing successful agents is a powerful learning tool. You’ll pick up different styles and tips from every agent.
Keep your eyes open, be respectful and courteous. Ask what works and what doesn’t.
4. Do more research
Look at what properties are in contract and closed so you get a feel for pricing and time on market in your area. This will greatly serve you when you begin to price and list homes.
5. Go on appointments with experienced agents
Study what they do to be successful. Be mindful of how they serve rather than sell and how they manage the process. Are they doing a “presentation” or having a “conversation”?
6. Host public open houses for other agents
Open houses are a hotbed of both buyer and listing leads if done right and many more experienced agents find themselves too busy to host them. That’s a golden opportunity for new agents to be both helpful and get new business.
Work out referral agreements with the listing agents in advance – then provide extraordinary service when you host the open house! Here are 12 Top Agent Tips for Open Houses.
7. Host a neighborhood open house for other agents
Unlike public open houses, a neighborhood version is just for the neighbors. We suggest you get wedding-quality invitations and mail out to the surrounded 100 homeowners. Let them know that this open house is just for them and that the homeowner will not be there.
This is a great opportunity for neighbors to come see the property and ask questions about what their home is worth in the current market.
Offer a CMA or what we call a “Neighborhood Market Report” so that they have an updated idea of their home’s worth. This helps separate the lookers from buyers at your public open house, plus brings out those who might be thinking about selling now or in the near future.
8. Ask your broker if there are any ‘orphans’ in their files
An “orphan” is a client of the company’s from the past who is no longer represented by an agent of your company. They may have moved to another firm or retired.
So, you can then call those past clients an introduce yourself as their new representative for your company. Let them know you are there to serve should they have any real estate questions or needs.
9. Call for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) and Expireds
They aren’t nearly as scary as you’ve heard they are — and you already know that they have the desire to sell.
Your job now is to convince them that this is an amazing time to sell for a high rate of return and show them how you can help them navigate things like multiple offers, price negotiations and the legalities that come along with selling. (You totally can!)
10. Call your sphere of influence
These are the people in your orbit. Friends, family, colleagues, church peers, neighbors, etc. Don’t worry about being a pest — you’re not calling FOR a listing.
Just call to let them know you are in love with your new profession, that you have incredible resources available, and that this market is a little crazy and constantly changing so if they ever need anything — have a question about what the market means for their buying or selling power or just want to catch up — you’re there for them.
11. Start connecting in your community
This could mean knocking on doors to introduce yourself as the new neighborhood specialist, offering a CMA or collaborating with the area businesses to spotlight what they do best and ask them to spotlight you back.
It could also mean becoming a business partner for your area schools and PTAs. In other words, the more people see you, your name and your brand, and know that you are a trusted and reliable resource, the sooner your business will take off.
12. Prospect daily, or at least five days a week
I can’t tell you how vital this is. Not only because the more people you talk to the more likely you are to start putting business on the books, but because you will be building solid, must-have habits that you’ll take with you throughout your career.
I’ve known people in this business for decades who still fear prospecting and barely scrape by income-wise. It doesn’t have to be the case.
Make sure every call and every conversation you have is about helping the other person achieve their goals, get their questions answered and feel engaged. It’s about them — not you. When you do this, great things will happen!
Building a business from the ground up takes time, resources and support. Make sure as you take these first steps that you are working closely with your broker (they are your partner in this) and that you find a mentor or coach who can help you shorten the learning curves and expedite your experience level.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace when you stumble. We all do. Every single one of us. That’s not only OK — it’s the best possible teacher there is. One of my favorite sayings is, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.” You’ve got this!