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Tips to New Agents: It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Reblogger Lisa Stafford
Real Estate Agent with Broken Arrow, Tulsa, McGraw Realtors

A great list of tips and encouragment!

After reading quite a few discouraged agent posts over the past few weeks, I spewed out the following post just for you…  and to anyone else who may need a  hug.

At one point last year I had a young lady working with me part time.  She was a neighbor and wanted to find out what it was like to work in Real Estate.  She thought that she may like the job but wasn’t sure so she hung out in our office for a few months and helped with paperwork, filing, etc.   She said that she was inspired by me and my husband.  So a few months later she decided that in between her full time job, she wanted to pursue her Real Estate License.  It took her almost a year to complete.   Between the school and the testing, she finally finished.

She came to me a few months ago and said that she was going to quit her job and become a Realtor full time….  (if you are a full time agent you can hear me screaming now……), I was hands waving in the air, jumping up and down and screaming………


Then I promptly calmed down and said ……, “that’s probably not the best way to do it because you may find yourself running through your savings in the beginning and stressing out over the small stuff.  Why don’t you hold on to your job and start slowly?”

on the side story….

Now, the full time agents are going to say, “You cannot do Real Estate successfully part time.”  I agree and disagree with this.  You cannot run a busy successful real estate business part time.  Agreed.  However you can slowly start your Real Estate business part time as long as you organize it properly.  I did it by working a part time job for the first six months.  I worked on call, at nights and at “off Real Estate hours time”.  That you can do.   You just have to decide how badly do you want to do it.

Plus,  there is nothing worse than a desperate Real Estate agent.  You don’t realize it but you look like a wondering lion who has starved for months in the desert on the prowl for a kill.  It’s not a pretty sight and your clients are like the gazelles and can smell your scent ten feet away.

Back to the story….

So you know what happened, she didn’t listen to me.  She quit her job, dove head in and started working.  At first she was happy, positive.  I would see her at meetings, company trainings and she would come to meet from time to time with questions.    But slowly, slowly, I started seeing her go downhill.  I could see it in her face.  The stress of not closing a deal.   The story of how another agent said something rude in front of her client.  How she felt like a taxi cab driver….  The drama, the drama, oh the drama.

Last night  my iphone started blowing up with texts.  “I hate this business.”  “People are awful in this business.”   Moreover, she was going to quit because she decided that she was better off in another career; one where she had a boss,  could walk in, clock in, clock out and get a check at the end of every week.

I am here to tell you my friends, if that is what you need to feel successful day in and day out, a career in Real Estate may not be for you.  I know you see all of the top agents at your brokerage making great commission checks.  Maybe you even watch Reality TV and see how these agents show the property two times and make a $100,000 pay check.

hmmmm……  how can I break it to you gently? “It’s all smoke and mirrors.”   I am not saying that they are not making these commissions because they do....  but my point is that it rarely happens just that easy and just overnight. Most them have good connections that they have developed and of course time in the business.

Tips to New Agents:

  1. Be Positive.  Feel Good.  Get up in the morning, look in the mirror and clap three times and tell yourself what a great day it is going to be and how awesome you are.  (Trust me, it works.)
  2. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  You have to be confident in this business.  No one wants to work with the down and out agent.   You can accomplish this by finding a positive resource that makes you feel good and you are going to have to find out how to do this asap!  For me, it’s The Secret.  I have a vision board in front of me and I have projections in front of me.
    You can call it “hokey pokey” but I recently took out my old projection list and most of them have already come true.
  3. Know that in reality most people are never overnight successes.  It takes years.  All of my family are entrepreneurs so I have grown up seeing how hard it is to start a business and actually succeed in it.  I would say based on my experience it takes 2 to 5 years to get it going to where you feel good.   We are on year 4.
  4. Surround yourself with good people.  If you are not around positive, successful, driven people…. it’s going to be hard for you to make it.  Delete Negative Nellies from your circle.  Also you know those people who are energy drainers?  (i.e. those people who you feel exhausted after being around for any time)…..  Delete them.
  5. Find a successful agent who you admire and look up to.  Ask them to if you can have an hour of their time.  Buy them dinner, a cup of coffee, a movie ticket.  Tell them to tell you how they made it.  I did this three times in my first year of business.   You are probably not going to have the budget or resources to do everything they are doing but do it in a small and “niched” out way.
  6. Be sure that you have a really great broker who is supportive of you.  If you don’t, maybe you need to find one who is supportive.  My broker and office team leader is there for me 100%.  They have helped me grow, develop and they don’t put limitations on my creativity.
  7. Find a niche that you love.  Focus on it, master it and grow it.
  8. The only way you are going to succeed is to get out of the classroom and start working.  I know it may seem scary at first but just do it.  And if you are scared…..  see #6.  Maybe you don’t feel like you have the support?  Maybe you are scared to write your first contract?  I remember for awhile, I was scared to work with buyers because of the buyer contract, that was a limitation I put on myself.  A psychological warfare that held me back.  That was ridiculous.  Now I know these contracts inside and out….  yes, I still have questions some times but agents with 20 years of experience still have questions.
  9. Real Estate is competitive.  Don’t get caught up in the game.  Make other agents your friends, colleagues and be positive.  I cannot tell you how many agents are now my friends and they refer me business every week.  My partner and I have a very super niche, they know this and they know we are good people.  Guess what?  They actually send us business.  I have one agent 30 minutes north of me and he sends me his buyers, other agents send me their friends and family.  How great is that?  Of course you are going to run in jerks but who cares, that’s their problem not yours.  Stay positive, stay the course.  It will pay off.
  10. Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Get on Active Rain and see what other agents have done.  Active Rain has been a valuable resource for me.  Broker Bryant is awesome!  When I first started in Real Estate I followed his expired listings program (it has changed a bit now) but I got three listings off of doing what he said.  Now I have Katerina Gasset as our coach.  I took her SEO seminar and also hired her as our Real Estate Coach……..  she has totally changed our business!
  11. Develop good systems and STOP working with unqualified clients.  This will kill you.  Shucks, I would rather hang out at the pool than drive around some one just who is just wasting my time.
  12. Just because you are getting calls and driving clients around…. doesn’t mean you are busy.  See #11.
  13. You have to find a source of leads.  Most likely more than one source.  You hate cold calling?  Me too, never done it & never will.  But guess what?  I like blogging, my partner likes Internet lead generation….  we each do this EVERY SINGLE DAY for three hours in the morning.  If you don’t have a constant source of leads…….  you will not make it in this business.  The good news is there are many ways to do it and you should be able to find one that matches something you actually like doing.

Whew!  Okay, so I think that is about it.  You are working for yourself, you are an independent contractor and some times it is kind of lonely.  It can definitely be a stressful type of business.  You are working with clients who are spending their life’s savings, it’s probably their biggest investments of their lives…..  hello?  You have to develop trust.  They are most likely not going to get your trust on your first whip around the neighborhood….  so you cannot be starving.

Point is, it is definitely not as easy as it looks.  But if you love it like we do…..  I guarantee you can do it.

Posted by


Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Thanks for pointing this one out Lisa - I'd missed it before.

Jul 31, 2010 03:28 AM
Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

Very nice points. Maybe the real estate careers look like easy pickin's to some, but it is actually much harder than it looks. nice post.

Jul 31, 2010 03:53 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Good morning, Lisa

Thanks for reblogging this post.  Good advice for new, newer and even seasoned agents and you know this from experience.

It is nice to see you again and for me to have time to be involved in the Rain (AR) again.

Have good weekend.


Jul 31, 2010 04:23 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Lisa I think we all may have been in for much more than we bargained for.  Fortunately for me, that did not deter me.

Jul 31, 2010 09:39 AM
Paul Franciskato
Asset Brokering Services - Junction City, KS

Thanks for reblogging this great information!  I hadn't read this one until now.  All are good points to put into practice and I especially see the value in surrounding oneself with positive people who are driven to succeed.

Sep 15, 2010 02:11 PM
Katerina Gasset
The Gasset Group & Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Provo, UT
Amplify Your Real Estate & Life Dreams!

Excellent reblog Lisa. Very useful and helpful information to us all. Thanks for sharing!

Nov 30, 2011 11:10 AM