Starting Your Real Estate Business – You’ve passed the real estate licensing exam! That success not only gives you the opportunity to make scintillating cocktail party small talk, it also acts a bit like rocket fuel. It propels the newbie into an imagined stratosphere of huge commission checks and overnight success.
It also means you’ll need a real estate website that drives your business in the right direction.
Then, the splashdown, which generally occurs the first day you spend in your new broker’s office.
It’s the dirty little secret that real estate school doesn’t share: You have no idea how to begin starting your real estate business
This is why brokers have training programs to help with starting your real Estate Business. They teach newbies how to go after clients, how to fill out listing and purchase agreements and, hopefully, the rudimentary aspects of what to do during a listing presentation.
The day-to-day aspects of actually running your business, however, aren’t usually taught. This knowledge eventually comes with time and experience. In the mean time, there are steps to take regarding starting your real estate business in the right direction.
Learn from the Best
Most experienced agents agree that the first thing a new agent should do, aside from finding a broker with an amazing training program, is to find a mentor.
Look for “somebody who knows what he or she is doing, is successful and who is willing to teach you,” Dano Sayles with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers recommends.
Watch the more experienced and successful agents in the office, choose one and ask if you can hang out with him or her during the business day.
Go on listing calls, buyer showings and open houses. Watching a successful agent in action and then modeling the behavior is a sure-fire way to learn the ropes.
First Year Roadmap
The first year in real estate is one typically spent building your business. Think of yourself as a start-up and commit to making a business plan during your first week.
This business plan will be your roadmap through the twists and turns of starting your real estate business.
Determine your destination first – where do you want to be, financially, by the end of the year?
Once you know the destination, you can fill in the rest of the plan with activities that will get you there.
How many closed deals will you need to nail that figure? How many contacts will it take to get those deals? The latter is a difficult question to answer when you’re first starting out so run it by your mentor or broker.
Next, add your marketing plan and budget to the business plan. If, like many agents, you’re starting your business on a shoestring, your budget will determine how and to what extent you market yourself.
Build your Brand
Regardless of your broker’s brand, you’ll need to determine your personal brand. What sets you apart from other agents? It’s a tough question to answer, especially if you’re new to the business, but answer it you must.
Consider your interests, motivations, educational or professional background and your target market – anything that makes you different from most of the other agents in town.
Once you’ve found a brand that feels right, build it into your business cards, marketing materials and website.
Assemble your Tools
Numero uno in your tool kit is a good computer. This is the one tool, aside from your smartphone, that you’ll depend on the most to keep track of prospects, clients, listings and deals so it’s critical to have it from day one.
Next, you’ll need to add some productivity software and at the top of the list should be customer relationship management software (CRM).
Spend the money to get a robust solution, one that not only manages your interactions with leads and clients but allows you to automate marketing campaigns and client retention efforts.
Finally, get your own website. Every marketing piece you produce should drive people to your site where you have, at the very least, a lead capture system, an IDX so that buyers can search for listings, and a blog.
The biggest mistake you can make is to try to save money by opting out of an IDX system on your site. Real estate consumers shop almost exclusively online when they first decide to buy or sell.
Buyers want to see listings and many sellers do too (to see how their home stacks up, price wise). You can either fulfill these wants or inadvertently send these prospects to someone that will.
Shout it Out
Once you have loaded the contact information of everyone you know (your “sphere of influence”) into your CRM, it’s time to give them a shout out about your new business and publicize your new website. Do this via email, snail mail, phone, text or social media, but do it.
Next, get involved in the community. It’s a great way to meet new people, thus expanding your sphere of influence.
The most important thing to keep top-of-mind when starting out is that real estate isn’t a new job or even a new career – you are starting your own business.
Throw out everything you know about being an employee and start thinking like a business owner. Take the baby steps to give your new startup a strong foundation.
You deserve a real estate website that works as hard as you do. Get a LeadSite, and start growing your business your way.
Ready to start dominating the market with your new business?
Want your business to grow? Use video to connect to your clients in a whole new way:
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