Advice For New Agents Getting Into Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes

This is year #16 for me working in the residential real estate business!  As I was gathering my thoughts for this blog, I was looking back thinking "yes, I did make the right choice".  I feel lucky, because I would not have thought about getting my license until I ran into an old collegue at a coffee shop who had switched careers and asked me to consider joining their team.

So here are my answers to the questions set forth in this challenge: 

What do I wish I would have known the first year that cost me business?

I joined a team of three women, who were very important to my development as an agent.  I shadowed them constantly.  What I wish I would have known was this:  solicit new business from FSBOs.  As a newbie, I was pretty tentative, thinking I didn't know much (which was true!).  However, when I did start contacting FSBOs I gained more confidence and also thought "what do I have to lose here? Nothing!".  So I started contacting FSBOs.  Many times I got ignored, but eventually did get business from a few of them--one person who I keep in contact with all these years later. I didn't sell her house but she did refer me business!

Did I ever question my choice of career?  What caused me to stick with it?

There were times in the first couple of years when I did question my choice.  I wasn't making much money and seemed like I put in ALOT of hours, seven days a week, for very little return.  My team members did encourage me to keep going though, and stick with it.  Also, I felt like I didn't have an alternative--having been laid off from my previous job in 2002, I knew I didn't want anyone else ever to have the power to fire me. I was a hard worker, very motivated and loyal. I knew I was a good employee--and my evaulations reflected that. But it didn't matter in the corporate world. So I applied my self motivation and work ethic to my new career--and it paid off.  

What are the three things I learned that positively affected me?

1)  Have a positive attitude.  In general, I've always been a very postive person, appreciative for what I have and what I've earned.  But there are times when I know I made a stupid mistake, said the wrong thing, could have been more motivated to get the business.  These are times I have regretted. But instead of dwelling on them, I focus on doing better the next time.

2) Market yourself.  When I was on the team, the marketing revolved around the team--not me as an individual.  After a few years I realized I needed to make a name for myself and not the team. So I left, got my own website, blog, and promoted myself to customers.  It paid off.  I work alone, which is SO much more work than having team members to help  out, but I make more money and am totally responsible for my own business.

3) Save money from every  paycheck.  When I get paid, I immediately deposit money in separate accounts to pay for (so many) taxes, marketing, fees, etc.  My net earnings are  MUCH smaller than the gross amount. However, at the end of the year, I always have the funds to pay expenses and the government. Be disciplined!


I look forward to newbies writing a post similar to this after they experience a year or so in the business!



Posted by

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR

(Brookside/Armour Hills resident, local business supporter, NPR fan, Habitat ReStore volunteer, thankful for the gift of another day!)


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Kansas City Homes

816 510 1262



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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

i enjoyed Your post Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR  This is a wonderful business . True no one can really ever fire us we can always move on .

Jan 11, 2018 06:27 PM #1
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, great advice to all. Thank you for sharing your secret to success. 

Jan 11, 2018 06:47 PM #2
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

  thank you for sharing a little about your past and great advice to the new agents coming on board. Your suggestions for saving money from every commission check is most wise.

Jan 11, 2018 08:16 PM #3
Dr. Karen Lewis, Broker 954-2489149
K1 Realty Group - Miramar, FL
No Compromise When it Comes to Our Clients!

Take taxes

Jan 12, 2018 08:29 PM #4
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Putting money aside from those first checks is so incredibly difficult if you've gotten into the business from a w-2 job where take home is so very different from self employment.  But very wise advice.

Jan 15, 2018 03:00 PM #5
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR Thanks for the wise wisdom...especially about saving money for the end of the year!!

(even that is valuable to an old buzzard like me)

You have made a ton of great points that will be valuable for my new agent, Lindsey Haden who just received her active real estate license a few weeks ago and has just joined AR.

If you have spare time, please send Lindsey a message of encouragement...I believe she is one of the future leaders of the industry in central Nebraska...but she has to get through the early days...and months...and years!!

Have a great day!

Jan 16, 2018 08:08 AM #6
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

You've given new agents some excellent advice here.  Putting money aside is probably the one thing many of them don't think to do if they come from being an employee.  Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur can be difficult for some.

Jan 31, 2018 08:20 AM #7
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Don't know where to begin, Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR .. as you mention so many great points in your post.  Points that are valid and smart for LO's as well.  Your last point about discipline is especially strong ... as being disciplined helps in so many previously mentioned issues.  You share great info and suggestions here ...


Feb 09, 2018 10:22 AM #8
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Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR

Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area
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