Lessons I Learned as a New Realtor®
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
As I come up on my second year of real estate, I can't help but feel a little nostalgic. To think of where I was the day after I passed my anxiety fueled exam to where I am today as a real life working real estate agent is a little crazy to think about.
I remember leaving the exam room to finally turn over my passed status papers to a brokerage thinking I was completely ready to guide the people of Savannah through the realm of real estate. I mean I had spent countless nights and days going over and over all of the laws, terminology, and math until my eyes crossed. I had to have it all figured out, right?
Thinking that was my first mistake.
Don't worry, it didn't take me long to start figuring it out. But, I did have to progress in a falling forward sort of fashion. The good news is, now I can share my own mistakes and tips with you so you can be better prepared and set up to succeed as a real estate agent.
Do not fear failure
It is so easy as a new real estate agent, with no clients, and no current income to fear failure. This is an obstacle so many of us have to go through, in a number of different careers. However, fear of failure will only hold you back. Why? Because you will fail at some things. We ALL do. It's OK. Read that again. It's OK. Maybe your buyers get outbid in a bidding war or an older agent snags a listing you interviewed for. It's all a part of the process and will help you get better.
Don't try to master everything at once
When I was a new agent, I was so excited to get out there and make a name for myself that I tried to master too many things at once - condos, townhomes, rentals, houses, investments, videos, blogs, etc. The reality of it is you can't possibly cram all of the information you need to know about everything and post to every marketing platform possible. Those things are just too expansive. Trust me. Even for a kid who grew up in the age of technology, it was still a lot to try and tackle all at once.
Start by trying to master one thing at a time. Find a niche. When it comes to real estate knowledge, see what avenues present opportunities and dive right in. On the marketing side, my advice would be choose a platform or a few you enjoy being on. Consistency is key! It looks sloppy to try and be everywhere and leave unfinished abandoned platforms. Build up to multiple platforms after slowly mastering a few at a time and getting the hang of being consistent on those.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable - Put yourself out there!
This was the lesson I struggled to grasp to most. I still have to push myself to get out of my comfort zone. As a real estate agent, especially a new one, you have to really find a way to get your name out there. That, of course, means telling the people you already know, but it also means talking to strangers and people you don't know. Whether you are trying to get new clients or meet other new business professionals to work with, like inspectors, lawyers, and contractors, getting up the courage to just do it is crucial. Go door knocking, check out your city's social calendars, attend BNI or community outreach events.
Find a mentor
Real estate is fast paced and multi faceted. Having a mentor to go to for questions, walk throughs, shadowing, etc. can be an incredibly beneficial experience. Especially in the beginning when you haven't made a buyer packet or interviewed for a listing opportunity. Ideally find someone who has been in the business for at least 5-10 years. Examine and evaluate their style and method of doing things and use it to create what works best for you. I recommend having a mentor walk through at least your first few deals. Every deal is different and having someone well versed in the industry be a resource will give you a jump start to efficiency and knowledge of the market.
Being your own boss has incredible perks but it also requires incredible discipline. I used to think agents had it so good. They could make their own hours and work when they wanted. No punching a clock or answering to a boss over your shoulder. However, that meant I had to have the self control to get up early and say no to social invites sometimes. What worked best for me to finally get myself working responsibly for myself was time blocking.
I make a schedule for myself daily. I set aside time for each goal or task I need to accomplish for the day. For example, I hate prospecting. Which is funny because it is the most important thing about maintaining sustainable sales business. But I strongly dislike putting myself out there. So I make sure to time block for it, so I don't make excuses to put it off all day until I run out of day and don't do it at all. I was a pro at that before time blocking.
I find it best I do the things I hate the most first. I get them out of the way and follow with the more pleasant tasks to motivate me to get done in a timely fashion.
Have a solid support system
Sales is rough. There is no sugar coating it. When I was a newer agent handling one of my first deals, I remember another agent calling and cussing me out for a situation neither my fault nor in my control. I kept my composure all through the conversation. But man, the minute the call ended I cried. I'm a little embarrassed to share that, but I did. I immediately fell victim to feeling inadequate and ill equipped. In that moment, I wanted to quit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moments like that. Especially in the beginning. What got me through was having an incredible support group that surrounded me with positivity.
I would encourage you to find support in various avenues of your life for this. I really found the drive to keep going from the encouragement of my wonderful fiance, family, friends, and coworkers. Don't be scare or too shy to make friends with other newer real estate agents. They are probably experiencing the same growing pains as you. This can be a great way to make rough situations light hearted.
Don't get bogged down in comparisons
The final lesson is to not get down on yourself over the successes of other agents around you. This career can take some time to master. The rule of thumb is it takes 3-5 years to feel like you have the hang of it. And sometimes those agents that blow up fast fizzle out because they haven't had the time to learn the foundational skills to maintain. What does every stable property need? A solid foundation.
While I wish I could share every lesson needed for you to succeed in real estate, unfortunately a lot of it is on the job training. Feel free to reach out