"Do not mistake activity for progress. You can keep busy in a rocking chair, but you won't get anywhere."
Yesterday I published a post about the word BUSY. Today, I am bringing forth an old blog from June 2016 which goes along with that message. Since I can't reblog my own posts, I'm doing a Throwback copy-and-paste.
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I often hear new and struggling agents tell me how busy they are and, yet, they are frustrated because they aren't actually finding clients and closing deals.
There are several primary reasons for this:
1) Lack of a Business Plan: Being a real estate agent is making a commitment to run a small business. It is a real business. YOUR business. You may be working within an agency, but it is still your business and must be set up and operated as such. Have a sit down with your principal broker and work out a comprehensive business plan together.
2) Lack of capitalization:
The problem with many (dare I say MOST) real estate agents is they go into business underfunded. There is a total misconception about the cost of running your independent real estate business.
Here is a partial list of start-up and on-going expenses:
* Real Estate School to study for a license
* Cost of taking the test
* License fee once you've passed the test
* Local, State, & National Board fees (these are annual dues)
* Local monthly MLS fees (to access data)
* Business cards, name tag
* Technology needed to serve clients
(computer, scanner, printer, copier, smart phone, camera)
* Internet and email service
* Cell phone expenses
* Cost of building and maintaining a website and blog
* Car expenses: You're going to be doing a lot of running around looking at inventory and showing properties. You need a reliable automobile and it's going to take a lot of gas.
* Required Continuing Education classes
* Extra classes to improve your knowledge and skills
* Marketing and advertising costs. This adds up big time. Successful agents say they spend from 20%-30% of their income in this category. This is a difficult pill to swallow when you are first getting started if you are underfunded. And, by-the-way... there is a difference between marketing and advertising. The words are not synonymous nor interchangeable.
* Broker fees. Yes, they take part of your commission... sometimes as much as 50%, depending on what you have negotiated.
* Taxes. If you make money, you have to pay taxes. You need to pay estimated quarterly taxes, or you're going to get into trouble come tax time.
There are other expenses such as business clothes, business lunches, signs, riders, and the list goes on and on. Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of underestimating the cost of getting started... and keep going. Six months of savings (for living expenses) is a realistic goal before you get started.
3) Being disorganized: If you're spending your time jumping from this to that and never getting anything done, then you need to get organized. Learn some Time Management and focus skills.
Trying new stuff all the time: A marketing plan takes time to work. You can't throw out marketing pieces and expect immediate results. Studies show that it takes six touches for people to remember or take notice of you. You need to come up with a planned marketing strategy and stick with it. If it isn't working after a few months, then maybe you need to try something else.
That's not to say you should put all your eggs in one basket and do just one thing at a time. You need to have several marketing avenues and work them all consistently. Make a schedule and stick with it. Adjust as necessary but be patient.
So, get out of your rocking chair. Make a plan, be sure you're properly funded, get organized and shoot for the stars.
Wishing you great success,