As a new real estate agent, you’re bound to make a few missteps when you first embark on this exciting journey. But it’s always smart to be proactive.
It’s human nature to make mistakes, but they present a beneficial opportunity to learn and grow. It’s even better to learn from the mistakes of others before you waste valuable time and energy.
That’s why we’ve put together this crucial list of lessons from industry thought leaders which will serve as a road map to success so you can avoid these common pitfalls and thrive in your chosen career.
Fail at Prospecting (Over & Over Again)
One of the most important things you’ll need to do as a new agent is prospect for leads. It takes time and effort to be successful, and you might feel like you’re spinning your wheels at first, but don’t get discouraged. You’ll just have to experiment and see what works best for you and your skill set.
Your Managing Broker will hopefully serve as a mentor who can help you develop your individual strengths and goals. You have to be willing to pay attention, learn continuously, and constantly adapt to new challenges.
Many new agents assume they’ll be swimming in six figures within the first couple of months. In reality, it takes many hours of sweat equity to build your client base and start making money.
Sit down with your mentor and brainstorm your lead generation strategy. Leveraging the latest technology will help you with prospecting, creating a brand, and nurturing your ecosystem.
Many agents still swear by more old-fashioned approaches like going door-to-door, cold calling, and sending letters or postcards. Combine those with the traditional approach of hosting open houses and the modern advantages of social media campaigns and automation software to see impressive results.
Letting Perfect be the Enemy of Good
Even if you’re working with the best brokerage in your area, you’ll still want to project a consistent, unique image that appeals to your target audience. But balancing the work it takes to generate leads with building a brand from the ground up takes ingenuity and dedication.
A powerful brand is more than an eye-catching logo, a professional headshot, and a stack of business cards (although you definitely need those). It combines tangible aspects like those and your online presence with intangibles like perception, value, and reputation.
Authenticity is key — and it’s far more important to get honest content out there on a regular schedule than focus on trying to post the perfect video every time. It’s all about the personality and messaging you present online. Fakery and the hard sell approach are big turn-offs these days.
Social media really maximizes the return on your marketing efforts. It’s also a sublimely inexpensive way to promote yourself, service your current customers, and develop your business.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, set one up as soon as possible. It’s a useful platform for establishing trust, widening your professional reach, and trading referrals.
Facebook has an immense user base and lets you focus your marketing efforts with pinpoint accuracy. It also owns Instagram, letting you target a huge range of potential leads in your area.
Get out into your community. Volunteer, join networking events, and make friends with business owners you can send leads to, such as contractors, decorators, landscapers, and other service providers. This is critical to growing your reputation.
Pursuing an omnichannel strategy with a cohesive brand gets your stuff in front of as many eyeballs as possible. The next step is educating them on why they should choose you.
Letting Your Clients “Always Be Right”
Your job is to be the expert and pair people with the most ideal solution to their needs. You’re the licensed broker, so it’s up to you to learn about the neighborhoods you service and the properties themselves. Ultimately your job is to provide your clients the information, education, and advice to equip them to make the best decision for their needs.
When you schedule a showing, you shouldn’t be caught off guard. Always be sure to amass as much information as you can about the property, the location, and the reasons why someone should want to buy it, especially if you’re dealing with a historic home.
Showings and open houses never seem to stick to an exact schedule. Do yourself a favor and allow a little buffer in your schedule. Allow ample time to commute between properties, and to be able to answer each and every client question — this is possibly the most significant financial decision of their life, and you’re their guide.
Never push. You’re there to help your clients make the most informed choice possible.
Hitting the Wrong Tone
Sometimes it’s tough to find the right balance between trying too hard and being too casual when it comes to prospecting and building your client base.
You don’t want to come on super strong but you also don’t want to seem like you’re not invested. Striking the perfect chord takes practice.
The secret is working closely with an experienced mentor and soaking in every bit of knowledge you can. The real estate industry is vastly rewarding, fun, and engaging, but no one ever said it was easy. It takes dedication and drive to build your sales funnel and generate revenue.
Want to Talk About Building Your Chicago Real Estate Business?
There is no right way to start building a successful career. It’s all about finding what works for you.
As the Designated Managing Broker of Baird & Warner’s Lincoln Park office, I aim to spend as much time as necessary with brokers to make sure their business plans and goals are ambitious yet achievable. Along with the management team, I schedule regular check-ins throughout the year to closely monitor how agents are making progress.
I believe in an individualized approach, encouraging every broker to maximize his or her own natural style, strengths, and opportunities with my support and the support of the office as a whole. It is important that we formulate a custom business plan for each broker, and provide support that is ongoing and constantly evolving as the broker’s career and goals grow.
We strive to create a collaborative environment where our brokers use the innovative tools and support we provide to build thriving, sustainable businesses. Have any more questions? Want to keep the conversation going, or learn more about Baird & Warner — Lincoln Park? I always welcome the opportunity to discuss your real estate career. Whether you are considering a career change or looking for a new partner in your existing business, I truly look forward to connecting.