First-year agents are feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks now more than ever. Coach Darryl Davis offers some advice about how to make smart money moves that will push your business forward with low or no-cost ideas.

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Getting into real estate can be an exciting but expensive time in your career. It all adds up from courses and licensing fees to board and association dues, marketing materials, and brokerage fees. However, it’s all relative when you consider that an agent can make as much as an attorney or doctor, depending on their market and hustle.   

I’m a firm believer that agents shouldn’t spend money they don’t have to market themselves. There are many budget-friendly ways to build your business and your brand without breaking the bank. Here are five tips to save you money as you build your career towards future success.

Make the phone your friend

It doesn’t cost you anything to pick up the phone and start prospecting. Start with your sphere (friends, family, and people in your network) and let them know that you are a licensed resource they can call when they have questions about how the changes in the market can and will affect their real estate buying and selling power. Come from a place of service and stay connected consistently. Here are some scripts to get you started.  

Use social media

Though maybe not in the way that you think. As a new agent, you will probably be bombarded with offers to purchase social media advertising. It can be pricey, especially in light of so many recent changes in algorithms.

One strategy I love that my students put to good use every day is to tap into the neighborhood Facebook groups for the neighborhoods you would like to service. For example, I live in Wading River, NY. Our community has its own Facebook group where people share ideas, recommendations, local news, etc.

It’s literally like a digital farm that doesn’t have to cost you a dime to participate. Become the mayor of that neighborhood by participating, serving, helping, communicating, and sharing in these kinds of groups. For every five or six times, you help or take part in online conversations, you can share something about real estate.

Make it something of value like market trends, an offer for a market analysis, a checklist, or guides that provide valuable information and tools for consumers. 

Use the resources that come with your NAR membership

From consumer campaigns to statistics to branding to one of our favorite tools RPR (Realtors Property Resource), incredible tools are waiting for you. RPR is absolutely one of our go-to recommendations for terrific prospecting, presentation, and tech training for agents.

Their support team is amazing as well. We’ve actually hosted them to teach our members about the system, and our audience was blown away by how easy their platform is to use and how much value it brings to their business.   

Become a community ambassador

Hit the streets and knock on some doors in the neighborhood you would like to create a presence in. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, that’s all the more reason you should do it. There’s not much competition.

Have an inexpensive item of value that you can offer, such as a Neighborhood Market Report certificate which tells them that you are happy to give them a report on what their home is worth in this market.

You’ll also want to tap into any community events in the area and connect with the local schools and businesses. It won’t cost you anything except time, energy, and the print cost for certificates; the reward could be a listing (or three)! 

Open houses

I love to hear story after story from new agents that host open houses for their colleagues, especially in this market. We are seeing a lot of success for agents. They use neighborhood open houses to generate seller interest from the surrounding neighbors who might be interested in selling and develop buyer leads from open house attendees.

If this low-cost strategy is not on your radar – now’s the time to lean in. Here are 12 Open House Tips for you to get you started. 

 There will be plenty of time in your career to lean into the “spend money to make money” strategy for success. In these early days, use the wide spectrum of low-cost or no-cost tools and solutions available to you.   

Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.

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