How to Get Started in Real Estate
A Five-Step New Real Estate Agent Business Plan That’ll Set You Up for Success
Congratulations! You’ve decided to become a real estate agent! You’ve got your real estate license, a space to work, a great cell phone plan, and a calendar ready to fill with appointments.
Don’t worry. The Stay Paid pals have got you covered. This week, Luke and Josh offer a five-step, 90-day plan for how to get started in real estate that will set you up for success:
- Build your brand.
- Create a CRM.
- Get leads.
- Invest in real estate marketing materials.
- Find a mentor.
Build Your Brand
The first thing you want to do as a new real estate agent is build your brand, which, in the case of service-based professionals like real estate agents, often means building your personal brand.
There’s something about brands you need to know up front: you’ll have a brand regardless of whether you purposely build one. That’s because your brand is not a company name or logo—it’s what people say it is.
A brand is the collective perception of who and what you stand for. Consequently, to build a brand you need to control perceptions. In the case of building a personal brand, you need to ask yourself who do you want people to say you are? And what values do you promote in what you do and how you do it?
Once you know the answers to those questions, you can start to make decisions and create a brand development plan that will promote your brand as you envision it. Luke and Josh suggest you begin with deciding on your visual image, your voice, and your unique selling proposition (USP). Listen and you’ll get the details.
And if you want to know more about branding, check out this blog post, The Definitive Guide to Branding Your Real Estate Business. As usual, the advice was originally targeted at real estate agents, but it’s applicable across industries and professions.
Create a CRM (contact database)
To create a CRM, or customer relationship management system, isn’t difficult, but it’s essential that you do it.
Your clients and all the people who make up your sphere of influence are among the best lead sources for realtors. For that reason, you absolutely need a way to track your contacts and important information about them.
There are companies that will create a CRM for you, but you can easily build a CRM from scratch (and for free) using Excel, which makes it easy to sort and filter information. Do this now, at the beginning of your career and when you have fewer contacts, rather than later when you have hundreds.
At the beginning, you’ll want to fill your contact database with the names of friends, family, and social contacts like people from your gym, place of worship, and a previous career or workplace (if applicable).
If you want tips about how to create a CRM, Luke and Josh have a Silver Dollar episode that can help. And for even more information about the types of information you should include in your database, you can read this short piece, Take Your CRM to the Next Level with These Tips.
“How to get real estate leads” is one of the most frequently searched questions, not just among new real estate agents, but also among agents with experience. It’s certainly the question Luke and Josh most receive from Stay Paid listeners.
The breadth and depth of your real estate CRM and lead generation go hand-in-hand. As said above, the best real estate leads will come from your database. These are the people who know, like, and trust you. When your contacts recommend you to their friends, family, colleagues, and social connections, you’ve essentially gotten their endorsement.
And it’s easier to land a listing from a referral than a cold call.
During the episode, Luke and Josh suggest how new real estate agents, in particular, can get leads. And Luke gives a fantastic tip—exclusive to new agents—that will win over any skeptical prospect questioning your lack of experience.
Invest in real estate marketing materials
New real estate agents typically don’t have a lot a money when they start out. That’s okay. What you don’t have in check equity you can spend in sweat equity.
You’ll need to put in the time to make cold calls, be active on social media, and talk with anyone who’ll take a business card.
But once you get that first check, and for every check thereafter, you’d do well to put aside at least 10% for marketing. You need to get and keep your name out there consistently if you’re going to surpass your competition.
Email marketing, social media marketing, print advertising are all necessary in a competitive market.
Find a mentor
In Stay Paid episode 179, Keith Harrington from Shark Tank talks about how to find a mentor and why having a mentor or accountability coach, especially as a new entrepreneur, is so valuable.
During the episode, Luke talks about being a mentor to Stephen, his brother. If you’ve been a fan of the podcast, then you know Stephen is a real estate agent in Virginia who is doing incredibly well. At least some of his success is due to the coaching Luke provides him.
Having someone who knows what you need to know, and who is in your corner routing for you, can be one of the most important parts of your entire business plan.
- If you don’t build and control your brand, someone else will.
- In service professions, YOU are your brand, so embrace your personality, be yourself, and be authentic.
- When you believe your mission is to help others, asking for favors and help becomes a straightforward habit.
- It’s easy to become distracted by operational tasks, but don’t do it. Spend all your time prospecting. Delegate the other stuff to someone else.
- The only way you’ll get great experience is through experience.
If you’re going to implement only one of these five tips, then make it “start prospecting for leads.”
Episode 179: Shark Tank’s Keith Harrington on Mentoring and Meeting Goals.
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