It’s a hard road for first-year real estate agents.
You’re building your business from the ground up—trying to establish your brand while earning enough commission to keep going.
The key is to lay the foundation for what will be a lasting business. You’re trying to build trust in your brand, which will pave the way for you to become the go-to agent in your community.
Today, I’m going to give you five tips that will help ensure you have a successful first year in real estate.
Make an impression on your sphere
When you’re getting started in real estate, it’s not enough to simply reach out to your connections and ask for their business. You need to build trust among those people by positioning yourself as a dedicated professional—in other words, someone who is worthy of their trust.
You need to make a great impression on your sphere of influence—friends, family, social media followers—and let them know in no uncertain terms that you want to be their agent. Get them invested in your success, and convince them that you’re the right person to help them with all their real estate needs.
One way to do that is by sending them a copy of a personally branded, customized magazine from ReminderMedia. Each issue has your photo and logo, along with a letter—personalized down to the individual recipient—from you. You can personalize the back cover with a selection from a host of premade ads or build something customized to you. Many new agents choose to use this space to introduce themselves and explain what makes their way of doing business better than the competition. Our team of design experts can help you craft the perfect message to attract leads and garner referrals.
Host open houses for veteran agents
Open houses are a great way to connect with buyer leads. And, while you may not have an open house of your own just yet, you can offer to run one for a top-producing agent.
This is a winning strategy for all involved, which is why it’s become increasingly common. Top producers are busy, and they won’t necessarily want to devote four hours on a weekend to hosting an open house. You can take the event off their hands in exchange for being able to work the buyer leads who come through. You’ll get new connections while the veteran agent will still be that much closer to closing on the listing.
When you’re talking to open house guests, you’ll want to do everything in your power to stand out. The odds are high that these people aren’t only going to one open house. Over the course of the weekend, they might be seeing 5–7 different agents. All these agents are giving them business cards and flyers of different properties. None of that makes an impact.
By giving out promotional copies of your branded magazine, you can be the exception. At the end of the weekend, when they’re flipping through your magazine and enjoying all the amazing articles and photographs, they’ll associate you with giving them value.
Ask yourself: if you get six business cards from six people and a magazine from the seventh, who would you remember?
Call FSBOs and expired listings
There’s a good reason why so many agents still cold call FSBOs and expired listings.
These are the people who need your services right now. They actively want to sell, and you’re in a position to help them. Ultimately, you want to have an in-person meeting, whether that’s through a scheduled listing presentation or what Brian Buffini calls a “pop-by.” That way, you can get a better read on how this person is feeling and use that knowledge to make them more confident in you.
Again, it’s important to have an item of value with you during these interactions. Your branded magazine is particularly powerful, since you can show them the customization features that will allow them to promote their listing. After you’re done, you can leave it behind. They’ll enjoy all the articles and recipes. More importantly, they’ll have your contact information readily available.
My brother closed multiple deals using this strategy. He had no track record, but he was able to stand out. In his first year, he wound up closing 38 deals.
Practice proactive farming
When you’re looking to build your brand, what you really want to do is connect consistently. That’s where farming comes in. By regularly reaching out to the people in your community with an item like postcards, you can increase awareness of your business and earn more listings.
Of course, you can do a lot better with your farming when you follow up. That’s why I suggest not only sending something in the mail, but also supplementing that with what I call power door knocking. Go door-to-door in your farm.
Have conversations with the people you meet. Ask them whether they’re looking to buy or sell in the near future, or whether they know anyone else who might be. In addition to those people in your farm, pull up the information for the closest FSBOs and expired listings. Then, pop by those houses.
You know what I’m going to say next, right? Bring copies of your magazine. Leave them with your prospects. Before long, you’ll be getting calls from relevant leads.
Stay connected on social media
If you’re looking to grow your brand on a budget, look no further than social media. By connecting with clients and prospects on social media, you can build and maintain relationships by sharing valuable content.
One of the biggest mistakes people make with social media is starting and stopping. You need to consistently share things that will enhance your followers’ lives.
If you don’t have time to create useful content yourself, you can share articles and recipes from American Lifestyle and Start Healthy. That way, you can regularly offer content that resonates without having to spend a ton of time making it.
The great thing about making all these connections your first year in the business is that you’re setting the stage for the years ahead. By focusing on creating trust and building relationships, you’re laying the groundwork for a business that thrives on referrals and repeat business.