Be your own boss. Flexible hours. Big income potential. 

It sounds like the dream job you’ve always wanted. Your new career as a real estate agent definitely has the potential to be the best job you’ve ever had. You probably chose this new adventure because you enjoy working with people, setting your own schedule, and being in control of how much income you can make. 

Currently, you’re one of 2 million real estate agents in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Realtor® labor force will grow 2.3 percent between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 8,700 jobs should open up. 

If you’re new to the real estate game, this is an important time of year. Home-buying season is about to heat up, and you need to know how to get out of the gate quickly to build your network and score some commissions. You’ll have your work cut out for you as you try to keep up with all the experienced agents. But with a lot of hard work, energyand some tricks of the trade, you can taste success. 

Here are some key tips and tricks to keep in mind as you adjust to your new career (or if you’ve been an agent for a little while and just need a refresher) and strive to establish yourself as a top-performer: 

Select the right broker 

You might be your own boss, but much of your early success will depend on which real estate broker you’re working with. You can lean on their experience and knowledge to help map out your path. Picking the right broker is one of the most important decisions you’ll make early on. 

Don’t choose just any broker. As a new agent, take the opportunity to shop around for a broker and interview with several. They aren’t just interviewing you. You’re also interviewing them. Compare what each has to offer in terms of compensation, knowledge, leadership, and training. Don’t be tempted to sign with the one offering the highest compensation package – the other factors are important, too. 

Be a sponge 

You’re the new kid on the block. You may not even know what you don’t know yet. So, while showing some enthusiasm for your new gig is great, you should spend most of your time early on listening and watching. Soak up all the knowledge you can from your broker and other experienced agents. One idea is to talk to your broker to see if they have an onboarding training program you can use to learn the ropes to get your business up and running. 

One of the best ways to learn new career skills is by finding a mentor willing to take you under their wing. Find someone who not only knows the real estate industry inside and out, but who you connect with on a personal level as well. Odds are, they will be more likely to allow you to ask questions about how things work, policies, and more. 

Spread the word 

One of the biggest keys to success for a real estate agent is having strong relationships and many personal and professional contacts. Now that you’re selling homes for a living, tell everyone you know – and we mean everyone! 

Email and text all your contacts. Send personal letters. Post about your latest adventure on your social media pages. Tell grandma and grandpa, your dentist…even the waitress at your favorite restaurant! These people could someday need to buy or sell a home or know others who will. And when that time comes, they need to know your name. That’s how you build prospects and future business. 

Use technology 

Everyone you know, or at least most, are techsavvy. They search for information on their phones, tablets, and laptops. If they’re online, you need to be online, too. Think about how you can use technology to communicate quickly, clearing and regularly with your clients – current and future ones. 

Think about launching your own business website. Start a weekly, monthlyor quarterly email newsletter to stay top of mind with your target audience. Share your listings and successes on your social media. And don’t forget about video. More and more, buyers want to house hunt online before committing to attending an in-person open house. Make sure you offer virtual home tours, photo galleries, and other ways for prospects to engage online. 

Learn the neighborhoods 

In the beginning, use your free time to get to know the neighborhoods where you’ll be selling homes, as many experienced agents are known to have expertise in certain communities. 

But before you focus all your efforts on becoming an expert on just one or two neighborhoods, get to know a wide area so you will have at least a minimum base of knowledge everywhere. That helps expand your potential playing field. As a new agent, versatility can come in handy. 

So, what should you know about neighborhoods? Things like home styles, price pointsand amenities. What is the average sale price for a home in the area? How fast are the homes signing? Learn as many details as you can so when clients come calling about a house in those areas, you’ll have all the right information. 

Be patient 

You’re not going to become a star overnight. In fact, the average real estate agent sells one or two properties their first year. And, honestly, only about 25 percent of new agents continue selling after that first year. But if you’re realistic with your expectations, stay patient and passionate, you’ll beat the odds.   

Keep learning. Keep training. Keep asking questions. Also, keep in mind that every agent you know started where you are. That means that success is attainable. Remind yourself of that every day and someday, you‘ll be right where you want to be. 

Stay educated 

Every industry changes over time. New qualifications. New technologies. New buying and selling trends. In addition to being required to have continuing education to renew your license, you should always be looking to increase your industry knowledge.

Read real estate books. Listen to industry podcasts. Follow industry blogs. Attend in-person or virtual networking events and join social networking groups. All these activities offer the opportunity to learn from others in the industry and equip you with the latest information and tools to improve your chances of being a successful agent. 

*Not all borrowers will qualify. Contact us for more information on fees and terms. Not intended as legal, financial, or investment advice. Contact your financial representative for more information.

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