Getting Started in RE, What I Wish I Had Known

Real Estate Agent with E*Rae Realty 651873

Hello Newbies!  I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with others, and there is so much I wish I had known when I first got started in real estate.  There are so many aspects to this business and it can certainly be a bit overwhelming at the beginning when you don’t know where to start.  I hope my answers to these question will help guide you!


  •        What do you wish you had known the very first year you were in the business that cost you lost business or income? 


First, I wish I truly understood that when you are interviewing with brokerages, you are interviewing the brokerage, not the other way around.  Unlike in a traditional job, the broker will make money off of you!  Do your research, interview multiple brokers and find the best fit for you!  I didn’t understand the team philosophy when I first started.  In fact, my brokerage said something along the lines of “you’re a go-getter, you don’t need to be on a team”.  Consider joining a team when you first start.  You will learn much more quickly this way, even if you are sacrificing more of your commission.  Also teams sometimes give leads.  When you’re first starting out a high commission split lead is better than no lead.


  •        Was there ever a time you questioned whether you had made the right choice of being a real estate agent? What events caused you to stick with it and succeed?


Six months into my real estate career I was freaking out.  I had been doing everything I was told, prospecting for leads everywhere I went, and still didn’t have a sale under my belt.  Ultimately, I ended up joining a team where I learned a ton, and also started making a living in real estate.


  •        What are 3 things you have learned along the way that have positively affected you and helped improve your real estate business? 


Never be afraid to move brokers.  One broker may be the right fit for you today, but you may find another broker makes more sense down the line.  Prepare that you will change brokers during your career and develop your own systems that can travel with you.  Create one email that is not tied to a brokerage company that you can use throughout your career.


It’s all about the follow up.  When I first started, I would call a lead once, email them, and maybe text.  If I didn’t hear back, I would simply assume they weren’t interested and forget about them.  If you want to be successful in this business, you must be willing to follow up frequently.  I was recently told “keep contacting the lead until they tell you to go away.”  Many new agents believe they are bothering the person by continuously contacting them.  If that’s how you feel, change your mindset.  Remember the value that you bring, and keep calling by being driven by your genuine desire to help this person.


Tell everyone you know you’re an agent, and keep telling them.  When you first start in real estate, it’s recommended you send out a letter to your SOI announcing your new status as a real estate agent.  Do this! Tell your hairdresser you’re an agent, leave business cards with the cashier as your buying groceries, don’t be a silent agent.  75% of my business comes from word of mouth, and the more you use your mouth to tell others about your occupation as a real estate agent, the more chances you have to make money!



Posted by
Erika Rae Albert 
Broker, Realtor®, GRI
108 Wild Basin Road South Suite 250
Austin, TX 78746
t: 512-779-7597
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Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

You've shared a lot of good advice here, Erika. I especially like the "it's all about the follow up;" stay in touch until they tell you to go away!

Jan 19, 2018 06:57 PM #3
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

Thank you for sharing your experiences . I had a similar start and to this day, I find it hard contacting people over and over and... It is a mindset. The old adage is true, out of sight, out of mind!

Jan 19, 2018 07:24 PM #4
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Erika, this excites me (and ignites me) to write my own perspective on this incredible industry and how much I, too have learned along the way! 


Good for you for readily sharing your aha moments. I LOVE this business! And how wonderful that you made it on the Daily Drop! Kudos. 

Jan 19, 2018 08:01 PM #5
Greg Mona
eXp Realty - Chandler, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Hi Erika. These are questions we all ponder from time to time. Mistakes are part of the learning process. The key is to learn from them! We all wish we had “do overs” but those missed opportunities have prepared us to do better and be more successful in the future. If you talk to anybody who has been in this business for a while, they will all have stories about what they wished they had done better or had done something different. Great post, and congrats on the feature!

Jan 19, 2018 09:11 PM #6
Gwen Fowler-864-916-2019 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

Real estate is an ever-changing business.  There is no true plan, but if you work at it every day and are consistent in what you do, you will succeed.  Good Luck, great blog.

Jan 20, 2018 06:08 AM #7
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I agree that a good starting point is carefully selecting your Broker. Interview them and interview several.

Look for the help you will need to have to get your business going and growing.

Jan 20, 2018 07:22 AM #8
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Erika,  I think we all can look back out starting out and wonder "what was I thinking?"

It really takes time, ambition and a little money put in a savings account to go into real estate.

Sure there are a lot of folks that have "beginners luck" - we have all seen it, but continuing to make a living at real estate is a whole 'nother ball game.

Jan 20, 2018 08:26 AM #9
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well done. I'm sure this will be very helpful to new agents!

Jan 20, 2018 09:12 AM #13
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

All good points for new agents. I especially like the part of changing brokerages.  You have to find the right company for YOU, not somebody else!

Jan 20, 2018 10:16 AM #14
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

It just makes sense that you are interviewing the Brokerage, not the other way around. I found brokers I didn't believe I could work with and ones who seemed to have the same weaknesses I did and went with none of these places.

Jan 20, 2018 01:12 PM #15
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Erika, thanks for the post. Very good information here for all.

Jan 20, 2018 01:14 PM #16
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Erika- Thanks to Barbara Todaro I have bee introduced to your post and this offers excellent information to those getting started. I agree that agents need to establish their own email address...their own brand that can follow them. 

Jan 20, 2018 02:15 PM #17
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Like you Erika, I started out on a team and it helped tremdously.  Also, I was on a very small team--just four of us--which I also liked rather than a 10 or 20 person team.

Jan 20, 2018 03:08 PM #18
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Really enjoyed your Blog!  Good information.

Jan 20, 2018 08:54 PM #19
Nick DeMers
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Lancaster, NH
Your Dreams My Mission

Nice article for us newbies.  I'm two months into my career as an agent.  I would add that it's a good idea for any agent to make a daily and a weekly schedule.  It's way to easy to get knocked off course in the day and before you know it you're day is over and you didn't accomplish anything you set out to do.  I would also add that any agent new or seasoned should have a great business plan and constantly evalutate it.  Where are you going to be in 30, 60, 90 days, 1 year, 3 years etc.  You have to be mindful of how much money you're investing into your business and what you're getting for a return.

Jan 21, 2018 07:51 PM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I think you shared some really important advice and lessons here, in particular abnout interviewing the brokerage.


Jan 21, 2018 08:21 PM #21
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Erika Albert 
So true ---Never be afraid to move brokers.
You are on the right track here in my opinion.
CHANGE -- the big scary word is often indicated.
All the best - Lynn

Jan 22, 2018 09:54 AM #22
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Erika,

The fit bit does not just count for brokers, but clients & neighborhoods too. Some Realtors are horse people, some are boat people, some are sports people & then there are the geeks like me, who help all the rest of the bunch.

Jan 25, 2018 02:49 PM #23
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

All great points for new agents.  It's critical to keep the right mindset, but it's just as easy to doubt yourself in this business.  Joining a team helps with that aspect of being a new agent.

Jan 30, 2018 07:25 AM #24
Karen Simms
Century 21 Arizona Foothills - Queen Creek, AZ
Horse Property Specialist

Very good advice.  The mindset is so important.

Feb 21, 2018 11:55 PM #25
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