Ep. 22: Making the Most of Your Rookie Year in Real Estate

According to the NAR, 87% of new real estate agents fail within the first five years. So, what does it to take to last (successfully) in such a cutthroat industry?

In this episode of Stay Paid, we invite second-year agent, Stephen Acree to share his thoughts on what has helped him find success and land in the top ten out of 1,000 agents in his area.

Key Points

  • Jumping on the phone and taking action is crucial
  • Surrounding yourself with successful people will motivate you
  • Having a vision and knowing where you want to go is helpful

About Stephen Acree

Seven years ago, Stephen Acree had every intention of becoming a police officer. A graduate of Liberty University with a major in criminal justice, it was only fitting. However, a multitude of speeding tickets derailed his plans. After spending a few years building his customer service skills at a call center—and recognizing that he’s expendable—he took the plunge into real estate.

Stephen’s first year was monumental, to say the least. As a rookie, he sold 35 properties which landed him in the top ten of 800 agents in a competitive marketplace. This year, he has set his sights even higher with a goal of 100 transactions.

What is the biggest challenge in real estate?

The first year is going to be the hardest year. You have zero leads and zero experience. You also don’t know how to prospect, or even who to prospect to. Because of this, your conversion rate is extremely low. Without the experience, you end up having a hard time converting what little leads you do have. In fact, last year my conversion rate hovered around 25 percent.

Where did you get your leads?

After having zero luck, I decided to pony up and pick up the phone. I started called FSBOs from Zillow, and ended up booking four appointments in one night.

How are you holding yourself accountable to your goals?

For starters, I’m surrounding myself with successful people. In addition, I’m doing whatever I can to make sure that I’m motivated and keep the desire going strong. I immerse myself in podcasts, learning ways to grow my business, and make sure I always have someone to check in with. That being said, it’s important for any new agent to have a mentor. Someone who you can bounce ideas back and forth with and who will motivate you when the going gets tough.

What is your desire to speak the truth?

It’s a longstanding moral conviction. Ultimately, speaking the truth is going to benefit you in the end. You’re not helping anyone if you’re not telling the truth.

What systems do you utilize?

Just recently, I hired an inside sales rep and I have an assistant. They set up my appointments and put them on my calendar. My assistant then follows up with the lead to confirm the appointment.

For each listing presentation, I bring a few marketing tools, including my magazine. I also follow the same marketing plan for each listing. My assistant takes care of sending out my email and text message blasts.

If you don’t have systems in place, then you’re not going to be able to follow through with what you said you were going to do.

Why do you think so many agents fail in the first year?

Because they don’t have a vision of where they want to be. Without a good vision, you won’t be able to implement the appropriate systems to reach your goals, and then you’re going to be drained.

Where have your deals come from this year?

The majority of them are coming from my sphere. However, I also actively call FSBOs, expired listings, and absentee owners.

What are you doing on Facebook?

Ultimately, I’m capturing leads. I’m running some branding and listing ads—and they’re working! The main type of ads that have worked the best for me are the ones that have to do with properties.

I’m also looking at who’s commenting, who’s liking, and who’s sharing. I reach out to those who comment with a direct message, and then determine the best plan of action to convert them into clients.

What’s your biggest mistake?

Not taking responsibility for certain things. So many things can go wrong during a transaction and you need to be willing to take the fall. Take the responsibility, and do it with a smile.

What are three things that you do every single day that contribute to your success?

  1. Continue to lead gen every day. Get on the phones and out in the community.
  2. Take responsibility.
  3. Focus on your goals, and take action.

Action Items

Following this podcast, our goal is to provide you with as many actionable tips as possible. This episode includes…

  • Decide how you will lead generate every day.
  • Determine if you’re taking appropriate responsibility.
  • Focus on your goals so that you can take action.

 As always, take action on these tips!