The real estate business is one of the most important and potentially lucrative careers in the commercial and residential real estate industry. A beginner real estate agent or realtor wears many hats; an analyst, a consultant, a marketer, a negotiator, and even an auctioneer. Once in a while, the agent also performs the service of a loan officer, a clerk, and an appraiser.
The work of a real estate agent is intense and often involves working nights and weekends in order to generate leads and get clients. As a result, most agents work way beyond 40 hours a week.
Even so, anyone can learn how to become a successful real estate agent. If you are wondering how to get started in real estate, here are 7 things you need to know:
1. Real estate is a business, not a hobby
A hobby is something you can afford to be careless about since you have nothing to lose. For instance, if chess is your hobby, it is not a big deal if you don’t play for a few weeks. If you want to make money in real estate, you must handle it as a business and not a hobby. When you are careless with the real estate business, you are likely to experience great loss.
As a beginner real estate agent, you are probably an independent contractor. This means that you are responsible for managing your own business. If you are serious about making money, you will need to invest in relevant courses and training to enhance your skills in real estate lead generation, marketing, and more.
Related: Generate Leads: Tips for Any Starting Real Estate Agent
2. Relationships are everything
When it comes to real estate marketing, relationships are your bread and butter. As a beginner real estate agent, you need to learn how to maximize your relationships with a wide range of people. Start by asking yourself two simple questions: ‘Who do you know?’ ‘Who knows you?’ Your answers will show how big your sphere of influence is. The greater your sphere, the easier it will be for you to attract prospects and convert them to customers.
One of the best ways of networking in real estate is by participating in industry and community activities. Attend local government meetings. Join the local realtor’s association. Go for real estate exhibitions and conferences. Be sure to treat everyone you encounter with the same attention and courtesy, regardless of what they can do for you or who they are. You never know how they will benefit your real estate agent career in the future.
Once you have established a few relationships, it is very important to sustain them, whether or not they are helping you to generate income right now. You can send email newsletters, personalized notes, and birthday cards to prospects. Connect with them on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Each connection you make comes with some value. Therefore, you should never lose touch with your real estate leads, customers, prospects, and other local professionals.
3. A mentor is an asset
As a beginner real estate agent, you have to grasp and be able to explain terms such as title insurance, encumbrances, surveys, deeds, and liens. You don’t want to be asked questions by hiring companies or real estate clients that you cannot answer. In addition, you should have the skills for checking real estate listings, generating marketing ideas, and qualifying real estate leads. This is why it is important to find an experienced real estate broker or agent that would be willing to show you the ropes. Having a mentor allows you to learn how the industry works through observation and asking questions. Terms such as cap rate, return on investment, cash on cash return, mortgage, and vacancy rate will no longer be strange.
4. Don’t start without savings
When getting started as a beginner real estate agent, make sure you have enough savings to sustain you for at least six months. This will help meet your needs even if you don’t earn a real estate commission or a beginner real estate agent salary. If you have a day job, it would be advisable to keep it for a while until business picks up. Be prepared because beginner real estate agents can sometimes go for months without striking a deal.
5. A great personality opens doors
As an agent, you are not just selling real estate deals; you are selling yourself. This is why it is very crucial to develop a personality as a beginner real estate agent. Whether you are a musician, nature lover, biker, dancer or travel junkie, embrace who you are. Being authentic allows you to build strong relationships with real estate prospects and customers. Get involved in community activities that you are passionate about and look for real estate leads. It is much easier to market yourself to people with whom you share something in common.
However, remember to be moderate and set some boundaries. If you get too personal when dealing with customers or prospects, you might end up pushing them away instead of connecting.
Related: 7 Characteristics of the Most Successful Real Estate Agents
6. Hustling is inevitable
Competition in the real estate market is very stiff. A beginner real estate agent will be competing against giants such as Trulia and Zillow as well as experienced agents for visibility and leads in the housing market. Therefore, the only way to compete with the best real estate agents is to hustle hard. Successful businesses don’t create themselves; they are made. When starting out in real estate, your level of hard work will be directly proportional to your level of success.
However, hard work as a beginner real estate agent does not necessarily mean working for 14 hours every day. It’s not just about putting in long hours, but spending your time doing what is required to close the deal. Hustling is also about being ready to work when you get a phone call from a prospect on a Saturday afternoon when watching a movie. However, this does not mean that you should neglect your family. Learn to find a balance that brings about success.
7. Technology is your friend
When learning how to be a successful real estate agent, you cannot afford to ignore technology. Buyers and tenants can now find any information they need online at the click of a button. Take time to educate yourself on the new real estate tools which can help you qualify leads and grow your business through predictive analytics. Mashboard is one such tool. It will also help you find and assess a wide range of investment properties such as condos, single family homes, apartments, multi family homes, and townhouses for your clients. You can also find accurate names, emails, numbers, and addresses of property owners!
Related: 4 Real Estate Systems Agents Need to Have in Place