The New Real Estate Agent’s Success Manual

The New Real Estate Agent’s Success Manual

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Congratulations to all new agents who have recently obtained their real estate license! But what happens now that you've taken the first big step in your new career and passed the exam?

There are a few things you should do before diving into your new real estate career and starting your own business. In practice, there are three things you must do before you can begin working with renters, buyers, or sellers:

  1. Find a real estate firm to sponsor you.
  2. Create your company's website.
  3. Find a location to store and manage your contact information.

These three items will enable you to begin working as an agent, but they only cover the fundamentals. If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you must take additional steps.

Adopting healthy and wise habits in your first few years of employment will set you up for long-term success. So, before you start making cold calls and reaching out to brokerages, here are 13 steps every new real estate agent should take:

  • Treat your company like a company.
  • Make your own brand and invest in it.
  • Right away, concentrate on lead generation.
  • Begin expanding your network. ASAP
  • Look for other agents who can mentor you.
  • Improve your relationship-building abilities.
  • Be prepared to hustle and work hard.
  • Make a budget for your company.
  • Discover how to use real estate technology.
  • Understand your local market thoroughly.
  • Find the best brokerage firm for you.
  • Learn how to read contracts.
  • Prepare to wear multiple hats.
  • It's your company, so treat it as such.

You are essentially running your own business as a new real estate agent and independent contractor. This means you must give your new venture the attention it deserves. Make an investment of time and money in planning for your own and your company's short- and long-term success.
Outlining your business goals and the actions you'll take to achieve them is an important part of this. Make a business plan that includes your financial expectations, goals, and strategy for implementation. And try to stick to it as much as possible.
After you've created your business plan, your expectations or circumstances may change. That's fine, but make sure to update your plan to reflect the changes in your goals and expectations.
This is especially important if you choose to work independently for a broker rather than as part of a real estate team. When you're on your own, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of motivation and truly hold yourself accountable. So, hold yourself accountable for the decisions you make and the expectations you set.


Create And Promote Your Personal Brand

As a real estate agent, your personal brand is comprised of two distinct components: your marketing/sales efforts and your own personality. The most successful agents are excellent at marketing themselves and their companies. However, they use their genuine personality to stand out from the crowd. Over the course of your career, work on investing in and promoting both aspects of your brand.
This means having a strong online presence in terms of sales and marketing branding. In today's digital-first world, consumers typically conduct their own online research before making a purchase or working with an agent. Through their online marketing efforts, the best real estate agents are able to capture the attention of their future clients before they ever speak with them.
At this point, having a well-designed and user-friendly website is practically a requirement. However, additional online resources can help you increase your chances of being found by potential customers online. This can include regularly updating your blog and social media profiles, as well as investing in paid online advertising on Google or social media platforms.
Once you've drawn customers to your company, it's time for your distinct personality to shine. Your primary goal should always be to provide an excellent buying or selling experience for your clients. Making a memorable name for yourself and your company will help clients remember you better, which will lead to more referrals in the future.


Prioritize Lead Generation As Soon As Possible

New leads and listings are both essential components of real estate success. However, leads are sometimes a more important component of success than listings, especially for new agents.
Finding new leads will likely be easier for new agents who are still building their networks than finding a seller willing to work with you. Sourcing new leads are something that new agents can get started with right away. In contrast, it may take you longer to secure your first listing.
You can generate new leads in two ways: by finding them yourself or by using a paid lead service. Try your hand at lead generation by utilizing your network as well as phone and email outreach. Leads that you generate yourself are frequently of higher quality than leads obtained from paid sources. Though they are frequently more difficult to obtain.
Paid lead sources, on the other hand, can be an excellent way to reach out to a large number of contacts in a short period of time. This is particularly appealing for newer agents who want to reach out to as many potential clients as possible.
If you decide to use paid lead generation services, do your research and read reviews to determine which lead generation services provide real value. Here are some lead generation strategies and ideas to consider. has also compiled a list of the top real estate lead generation companies.


Begin Expanding Your Network. ASAP

As a brand new real estate agent, your network is crucial. It should be one of the first things you try to improve.
Your network can help you connect with other successful real estate professionals who know the business and can offer you advice and tips. It can also assist you in learning more about your local market, receiving referral opportunities, and locating a mentor.
However, some newer agents make the mistake of believing that their network should only consist of other agents and realtors. In reality, your network should include other real estate professionals as well as affiliate businesses. Other agents and realtors, brokers, inspectors, general contractors, home repair technicians, and so on may be included.
As a new agent, you might be wondering, 'How should I begin expanding my network?' The good news is that there are numerous ways to begin meeting more real estate professionals!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Participate in online real estate industry communities through social media or other forums.
  • Sign up for newsletters from your local Board of Realtors or the NAR to stay up to date on industry happenings.
  • Attend real estate industry events, such as lecture series and panels, to network with other professionals.
  • Participate in your local community to meet potential clients.

Whatever activities you choose to prioritize, make sure to balance the amount of time you spend growing your professional network and getting to know your potential clients. For more networking ideas, has compiled a list of networking opportunities for Realtors and agents.


Find Mentors Early In Your Career

This should not come as a surprise, but you should start looking for a real estate mentor as soon as possible. It's usually best to do this while you're still studying for your real estate license. When you attend classes in person and can rely on a teacher from Champions School of Real Estate or Kaplan, it can be easier to find a mentor or get a recommendation. This is especially important for new agents at the start of their careers who are earning it online through Real Estate Express, RealEstateU, or AceableAgent.
Before you've formed any habits of your own, the beginning of your career presents a critical window of opportunity to learn from some of the most successful agents. It will allow you to absorb your mentor's practical, procedural, and operational knowledge. You'll learn how to check real estate listings, qualify new leads, conduct multi-touch outreach, generate marketing ideas, and more.
You'll also learn best practices and tips for your local market. One of the best parts about having a mentor is that you can bring your questions to them and get honest answers. At the start of your career, there is a lot to learn about the real estate industry. Having a mentor to whom you can turn can help you avoid situations in which you are unable to respond to tricky or tactical questions from clients.


Relationship Building Is A Necessary Skill

The other side of the networking coin is relationship-building. Learning how to build strong relationships goes hand in hand with expanding your professional and client networks. To get the most out of your network, whether it's 5 or 500 people, you should also have strong relationship-building skills.
Another point to consider for new agents is that prioritizing relationship-building can help generate more business. Having good relationships with your current clients to ensure that those deals go smoothly is one thing. However, the relationships you build with clients can be the key to unlocking future business success—hello, referrals.
Making personal connections with your contacts can be one of the most effective ways to strengthen your network ties. Getting involved in the local community, for example, can provide you with more opportunities to meet and connect with people in your area. Attending town hall meetings, local sporting events, or joining an ultimate frisbee team are examples of such activities. This will assist you in broadening your sphere of influence,' or the number of people who are aware of you and your business.
Similarly, you can strengthen your network ties within the real estate industry by participating in more real estate community events, virtual events, conferences, panel discussions, and so on.


Expect And Welcome The Hustle

For those who are dissatisfied with their 9-5 job, becoming a real estate agent or realtor can feel like a dream come true. It provides flexibility, the opportunity to be your own boss, and the chance to be an entrepreneur. However, one common misconception about the real estate industry is that you can get rich quickly.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is unlikely.
Most new agents do not make a lot of money in their first few years. In fact, many new agents may not receive their first commission check for several months. As a new agent, you'll have to work really hard for a while.
One of the best ways to prepare is to start with enough savings to get you through the first few months (even if you don't make any money). Another way to prepare for the first few years of your career is to create a reasonable budget.
Keeping yourself motivated, organized, and diligent will help you get through the first rough patch in your real estate career.


Make And Stick To A Budget

Running a business without first developing a budget is akin to making a souffle without first reading the recipe. Both will inevitably end in disaster. Consider a solid financial plan and budget to be the recipe for your success. You still need to add other ingredients (such as motivation, personal brand, network, and hustle) and combine everything. However, sticking to the recipe will give you a much better chance of success.
Creating a smart, well-informed budget for your company can help you achieve a few key goals:

  • Create a feasible business plan.
  • Determine your financial goals.
  • Monitor and respond to your performance.
  • Know where your money is going.

Your budget can also serve as the primary metric for assessing the overall performance of your business. For example, did you spend more money on online advertising than you planned? Did you meet or exceed your income targets for the year?
As previously stated, developing a budget will assist you in navigating the early years of your real estate career. When creating your first budget, make a list of your expenses and think about a few different cash flow scenarios.
There are resources that provide real estate budget templates. However, Microsoft Word and Excel can be used to create completely customized budgets. And, depending on the type of benefits provided by your brokerage, you may be able to use these tools for free!


Learn How To Use Real Estate Technology

Despite the fact that the real estate industry is very people-centric, real estate technology will quickly become your best friend. If you're not as tech-savvy as you'd like to be, familiarize yourself with various types of real estate technology before embarking on your career.
If you're wondering, "Why all the fuss about real estate tech?" consider how much time and money these tools will save you.
Real estate CRMs, for example, offer users a centralized database for storing, organizing, and tracking contact information. They are also capable of automating outreach, follow-ups, and reminders. One of the most significant advantages of investing in a real estate CRM is the ability to organize all of your contact information so that no leads fall through the cracks. has more information on how to find the best real estate CRM for your company.
Lead generation tools are also becoming increasingly important for agents. Along with these two key pieces of real estate technology, there are numerous non-real estate-specific tools that can help you run your business more efficiently. These are some examples:

  • Software for document creation and management
  • eSignature application
  • Software for creating and hosting websites
  • Software for email marketing
  • Software for creating content
  • Learn everything there is to know about your market.

A successful real estate agent has extensive knowledge of the local and regional housing markets. Keeping an eye on the local market allows you to stay up to date on what properties are currently available, allowing you to be a better resource for your clients.
This is especially true if you're working with home buyers who want a real estate agent who can advise them. Some important questions to consider about your local market include:

  • What is the demographic makeup of the rental and home-buying populations?
  • Is it primarily made up of students, first-time buyers, families, older couples, or military and veteran home buyers?
  • What is the population density, and how does it affect demand and competition for desirable properties?
  • Is the neighborhood walkable and accessible by public transportation, or do most people drive? (This may influence how flexible renters and home buyers are about how close the property is to their place of employment or school.)
  • What local regulations exist that may have an impact on the market?
  • What are the average home purchase prices in your area and across the state?


Find The Best Brokerage Firm For You

Before they can begin working with clients, all new real estate agents must find a brokerage to sponsor them. But don't choose a real estate firm solely because you need a licensed broker to work for. You should exercise caution when deciding which broker and agency to work with.
Before choosing a brokerage, take the time to research different firms in your area. Pay close attention to whether the firm is a good fit for you in terms of:

  • structure of commission splits
  • the firm's size (e.g. national vs. local brokerages)
  • cultural compatibility
  • buyer vs. seller agent ratio
  • additional charges
  • benefits provided by the company (e.g. free website space or real estate technology)

Finding the best brokerage can be difficult for all agents, regardless of experience. However, this can be especially difficult for new agents who have no prior experience working at other real estate firms. That is why has created a guide to assist new agents in determining which type of brokerage is best for them.


Practice Your Contract Reading And Analysis Skills

Real estate agents are in charge of guiding their clients through the entire buying and selling process. This includes reading and comprehending the terms outlined in the purchase agreement, lease, and power of attorney contracts.
Don't worry if this sounds intimidating—you won't need a law degree to understand the contracts! However, you should spend some time becoming acquainted with the various types of contracts. Remember to complete each individual contract before meeting with your clients. After all, your customers are putting their trust in you to guide them through what could be one of the most important decisions they face right now.
Individual contracts do not require you to understand every word of legalese. However, you should be able to confidently walk your clients through each section of the contract. One advantage of having a mentor early in your real estate career is that you can go to them with any contract questions.


Learn To Be A Jack Of All Trades

Independent real estate agents work as one-man sales teams. However, you will also be your company's photographer, copywriter, marketer, customer service representative, accountant, and office manager. You may find contractors or other real estate professionals who can fill one or more of these roles as your real estate career progresses.
However, as a new real estate agent who must be frugal with their money, the majority of these tasks will fall on your shoulders. So, for the first few years of your career, you'll need to wear many hats.
Focus on developing your skills in all of these areas rather than just the sales aspect of the job. This could imply taking an additional class or two on the side to hone your photography skills. Alternatively, it could imply purchasing books on how to become a more successful small business owner.
Whatever method you use, continue to learn throughout your career. It will benefit you in the short and long term by allowing you to diversify your skill set.

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