in "The Biz"
Let's review some ideas on how to start with a sound foundation and a solid plan!
Let’s talk about the money
One of the toughest challenges new agents experience is having to spend money without making any for a while. It might be six months before your first commission arrives. Joining national, state and local associations, the MLS and other expenses can add up! Money (or lack thereof) is one of the primary reasons newcomers drop out of real estate. Avoid this scenario by knowing how you’ll cover your working and living expenses from the outset. The good news is that leads will become clients and transactions will fuel commissions...it just takes a little time.
As an independent, self-employed professional it’s up to you to produce revenue and the sooner you realize you are the business, the better off you’ll be. Though daunting, that’s what makes real estate the “sky’s the limit” career it is. Of course, your broker and other members of your team can help, but it’s up to you to determine your professional future. Ask lots of questions and engage with other agents. Their experience and knowledge is worth its weight in commissions!
Plan your work
After settling your financial situation and understanding the power of your position, the next and ongoing task is to develop a personal road map to success. We shy away from calling this a formal “Business Plan” which suggests all sorts of detailed analysis and projections. After all, you’re just starting. You’ll probably learn something every day that can be used to update your plan. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages. It has to read more like directions to put a swing set together.
A personal summary
Who are you and what do you have to offer? Of course, we’re in real estate to earn money, but it can offer so much more if we continually develop ourselves along the way. Helping people navigate through buying and selling is a really big deal and it can be very rewarding personally. What kind of agent do you want to be and how will you shape yourself to fit that mold? How will you exploit your strengths and develop your weaknesses?
A niche can be nice
Many agents build a niche for themselves. For instance, they might focus on serving sellers while others work as buyers’ agents. Niches can be subdivided any way you want. Some agents concentrate on new home sales while others know everything about vintage properties. The possibilities are endless. The good part is that you will narrow the competition by working more vertically while developing creative ways to reach out and grab the attention of your niche’s members.
How will you market your services? Early on, accompany other agents on listing presentations and home showings. Every interaction during the course of your work day ties into marketing. Think about what just happened and critique your performance. List all the ways you will market. Everything from business cards to office desk time, social media to mailing. Be sure to learn about your brokerages Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and use it.
Goals are great
Of course, this area is one you’ll want to update regularly. Think about where you want to take yourself on this journey. How many transactions over time and how you’ll achieve them? It’s not just about commissions, it’s about using your precious time and your place in the world. Goals give us a brighter future. As they say, go big!
To summarize, have your finances in order and be sure to plan your work and work your plan...every single day is another opportunity to succeed!