30 Things to Do to Kickstart Your Business
Congrats on getting your real estate license! After months of classes and hard work to pass your state real estate exam, you're probably on Cloud 9.... but are now wondering what you are supposed to do to get your new career up and running?
Unfortunately, most real estate schools do not prepare new real estate for what it takes to become a successful REALTOR, so your first year in the business can often be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully you've found the ActiveRain community and the support and education you'll find here are going to help you more than you realize. Below you will find 30 things you can do in your first month to kickstart your new real estate career.
New Real Estate Agent Checklist
Get the Basics Covered
1) If you don't have a broker, interview at least three! Here are a few questions you should ask potential real estate brokerages.
2) Order business cards – a basic card is fine in the beginning, you can always order more later with your website and branding
3) Purchase your eKey to order to access and show houses
4) Have a professional photo taken
5) Write a short bio about yourself – even though you don’t have any experience (yet), share your background, values and let people know why they would benefit and enjoy working with you
6) Gather names, addresses and emails of everyone you know (this is your new database or sphere of influence)
Let Everyone Know You're a Real Estate Agent
6) Register and add your professional photo and bio to Zillow, HomeSnap, Trulia LinkedIn, Yelp and create a Facebook business page. If someone googles your name, you want them to find you and build credibility online.
7) Create a short letter and mail to your database to let them know that you’re now in real estate, loving it and are here to assist them – and anyone they know
8) Create a MailChimp.com eNewsletter account (it’s free!) and then add all the names and emails from your new database so that you can send them a monthly email with real estate tips, neighborhood news, etc. Please note that you may want to create more than one mailing list in MailChimp; for example “Close Friends”, “Past Clients” and “Acquaintances”. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts down the road.
Understand the Market
9) Go and preview a few homes – test your new eKey, open the lockbox and get comfortable with the process.
10) Pick a new neighborhood every day. Drive by every home for sale in the neighborhood. Get to know the streets and why homes are priced the way they are. Doing drive-bys will also help you navigate different areas of town, so that when you do have a buyer in your car, you are much more familiar with the area.
11) Run real estate reports using the MLS – make sure you understand the current market conditions (i.e. how fast homes are selling, average prices and list to sales price ratios). If you find something interesting, share on Facebook or in your monthly eNewsletter!
12) Offer free home valuation reports to all your friends – it’s great practice and you never know if one may consider selling their home!
Connect with Other Real Estate Agents
13) Open Houses – let everyone in your new brokerage know that you are available to host open houses! Usually your broker is willing to send an email out on your behalf. Here are some amazing tips for hosting and promoting open houses.
14) Offer to show homes for other agents – busy real estate agents will gladly pay you a small fee or mentor you in exchange for your help
15) Shadow another real estate agent on a listing appointment and/or buyer consultation
16) Attend Agent Caravans on Tuesdays
17) Ask other agents in your office if you can promote their listings on your Facebook page and in your MailChimp newsletter - many would love the additional exposure!
18) Ask for buyer or rental leads! Your broker or agents in the office may have extra website leads that they would be willing to share with you in return for a referral fee.
Learn Everything You Possibly Can
19) Take at least one class with your local MLS to make sure you know to search for homes, pull comparable sales reports, create just listed alerts and more
20) Listen to the stories of top real estate agents around the country on webinars and podcasts (See our list of the top real estate podcasts)
21) Review the real estate contracts and practice writing contracts for single family homes, new construction and condominiums
22) Attend any new agent orientations with your new real estate brokerage
23) Attend every class your brokerage offers
24) Find a mentor – a seasoned real estate agent or broker can show you the ropes and help you confront the unanticipated issues you’re sure to face with your initial clients. If you’re willing to share some of the the commission on you first few deals, many agents will work with you from start to finish on your first contracts. An experienced mentor is also a good sounding board and can level-set your expectations for your first year in the real estate business.
25) Placester created a New Real Estate Agent Guide and it's worth a read. You can find it here.
26) Create a basic website – If your broker offers a free website, it should be relatively easy to create a basic website. You can add your new headshot, bio and if you're feeling brave, start creating content and adding photos of the neighborhoods or communities that you want to work in.
27) Get blogging! Write about local events, neighborhoods, listings and advice for potential home buyers. You can get a free blog at Blogger.com or Wordpress.org. You can also have a blog here on ActiveRain for a small monthly fee. If you need some inspiration, here are 101 ideas for your real estate blog.
Create a Plan for the Future
28) Draft a business plan – you probably aren’t going to know what to include in your plan initially, but setting some basic goals and a budget for the next 90 days is the perfect place to start
29) Outline your goals for each week — setting realistic goals will keep you on track and can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can also review your goals with your broker or mentor to get additional feedback and make sure you’re on the right track.
30) Mindset is everything. When you are building a new business, you will most likely have some highs and lows, especially when you are a new real estate agents. Stay postitive, focus on your weekly goals and connect with as many people as you can that will inspire you and support your new "adventure"!