Congratulations! After weeks or months of preparation, you are officially a licensed Real Estate Agent!
But where do you go from here? How do you get the word out, find clients, and make some money?
You learn a lot in real estate school, but you don’t learn much about how to actually build a business.
Your first step is to put your license with a broker. If you haven’t chosen a broker already, interview with several to find a good fit. Some of things you’ll want to know include:
- Do they have agents who mentor newbies or the opportunity to work on a team?
- What is their commission split with new agents and when will your split increase?
- What are their administrative charges? Do you pay those upfront or do they deduct them from your commissions?
- Do they have desk space you can use for free or for rent?
- Do they provide free printing and copying?
- What marketing do they provide? Some brokers provide a website, business cards, signs and other marketing materials.
- Do you have to share in floor time or attend any mandatory meetings
Once you have joined a broker, registered with your local Realtor’s association and attended their orientations, find a mentor to work with. This might be an experienced agent within your brokerage or a team leader whose team you can join.
You need to have someone that doesn’t mind frequent calls or texts as you work through your first few transactions. If you are on a team, your team leader has a vested interest in your success as part of your commission will go to your team leader.
You will want to have someone look over your shoulder, checking legal documents for mistakes or ommissions, and guiding you through each step of the transaction from making offers all the way to the closing table. It takes completing a few transactions to learn the lingo and feel comfortable answering questions without double checking with another agent.
When you have your support system in place, start marketing yourself!
- Get a headshot taken, order business cards and a name badge, and set up your website.
- Announce your new position on your social media sites.
- Send an announcement email out to everyone on your contact list.
- Mail postcards to your neighborhood or area you want to farm.
- Wear your name badge when running errands and pass out your card to vendors you frequent.
- Attend networking events sponsored by your Realtor’s association, Chamber of Commerce, or other agencies.
- Volunteer in your community, representing your brokerage.
Work for free at first…well, sort of…There are several ways you can get experience that can eventually lead to paying clients.
- Host open houses for other agents’ in your brokerage. Take contact information from potential buyers that come through and follow up with them.
- Ride along with another agent to showings to see how they are conducted.
- Accompany your mentor agent on listing appointments and take copious notes for when you get your first listing.
- Attend other agents’ open houses. You will learn about your market area and may meet a listing agent that needs a buyers’ agent to refer to!
- Take snacks or lunch to the offices of local lenders, insurance agents, home inspectors, and title companies to get your face and name recognized.
- Schedule coffee meetings with lenders and learn about their products and how the lending process works. They will be happy to help you knowing you are a good referral source.