There are some basic truths when it comes to building a successful real estate career. I know because when I canvassed some of our industry’s top leaders, time and again the similar themes emerged!

Below is some sage advice from my good friend, Rob Reuter, who began his career as a licensed agent working on a top producing real estate team. He has since been working with the National Association of Realtors in Chicago, where he directs YPN (Young Professionals Network) and just announced his new role this week as director of communications networks within NAR. Rob is a savvy leader with expansive insights! He has seen some things!

RobReuterHow to get from new agent to top producer

by Rob Reuter

1. Find a good mentor(s), aside from your office’s designated broker, and someone who is actively selling real estate full time. Take them to coffee on a weekly basis and ask questions. Have them hold you accountable to your goals. Also, a mentor with 30 years of experience is great, but the same could be said for a 32-year-old who has been selling for 10 years and has continued to grow year over year. Mentor doesn’t have to mean older.

2. Have a business plan and execute it. (Here is a link to a very relevant blog post I wrote on this subject.) Proactively look for business. Sphere/referral business is great for the long run, but starting out you need to be much more aggressive: open houses; expired listings; FSBOs; geographic farming (and now, big data target marketing: SmartZip); and social media/online presence. I cannot emphasize enough on spending your time on income-producing activities.

3. Choose a GREAT customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Working your database consistently over time will have positive results. Grow this database DAILY.

4. Technology is great, but don’t plan to ever solely rely on it for generating business. Real estate is a relationship/people business that can never be replaced by microchips, robots or websites.

5. Prepare to be extremely responsive whether it’s in response to a lead or an inquiry from one of your current clients. With today’s smartphones, people expect very timely responses, so if you aren’t responding in a timely manner, you risk losing a lead or upsetting a client. Also, be prepared to communicate with clients based on how they want to communicate. If they prefer talking on the phone, or texting, emailing or DM’ing through social, be prepared to do it … quickly.

6) Bonus: Do not burn through your first paycheck (or any, for that matter). Make sure you set aside money for taxes (30 percent?), retirement (10 percent), and for your business. You will need to spend money (wisely) to make money. There’s a reason why the average age of a Realtor in the U.S. is 57, and that is because they are, on average, working longer and retiring later. Start saving early in your career.

Teri is the founder and real estate coach at mentoring, guiding and shepherding new agents to identify their core strengths and values, design a business vision that inspires them, and connect them with the systems and tools and brand to help them achieve their goals. Reach out to her on Twitter: @TeriConrad and @ConvosTMatter.

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