Passing the Illinois Real Estate License Exam is a major accomplishment, involving hours of study and preparation. But it’s only the first step on your new career journey. Are you ready for what comes next? Find out what you need to know about your next steps after passing the exam.
1. Find The Right Brokerage And Managing Broker
The first step along your new professional path is to find the right brokerage. Illinois real estate brokers work under the supervision of a Managing Broker, so you’ll need to find a managing broker to sponsor you before you can submit your application to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, or IDFPR.
Finding the right brokerage and Managing Broker, though, is about more than just meeting a technical licensing requirement. Your Managing Broker is a mentor, a business collaborator, and a coach, helping you set and achieve your goals for your real estate practice.
Seeking out a brokerage with a non-competing Managing Broker can help to ensure that you are working with someone who is laser-focused on your success. As a non-competing Managing Broker, I know that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a successful real estate business, and finding what works for each individual is critical, especially for new agents. As a mentor, I’m able to help new agents understand changing market conditions and opportunities, and I’m here to help develop each agent’s strengths and goals. I’m always available to help coach, train, and develop the brokers who choose our office, ensuring your larger business success.
2. Build And Nurture Your Network
The best real estate agents are the ones who develop a robust personal and professional network. As Baird & Warner Lincoln Park broker Kira Moscowitz has put it, it’s all about “building relationships with each person, and continuing to nurture those relationships beyond the closing of the sale.” But keeping your network engaged can be tough as a new broker, as you try to learn everything you need to know. Developing a network of friends, family, and your new professional acquaintances can help you to begin to build a “sphere of influence” that provides a source of referral business over time.
As you build a client base, make a plan to stay in touch with your clients after closing. Baird & Warner Lincoln Park’s tools make it easy to nurture your database and keep your digital sphere engaged. Our best-in-class CRM system enables agents to generate custom emails for holidays and birthdays; produce updated market reports; and send regular email newsletters with fresh content from our dedicated marketing department.
For an in-person touch, Baird & Warner Lincoln park offers branded notecards for custom handwritten messages, as well as tags for pop-by gifts. Baird & Warner Lincoln Park agents can also use our client-gifting program LoLo, short for “Locals Supporting Locals.” This program enables agents to email or text their Chicagoland clients a small gift to a local business on a monthly basis.
However, new agents should always remember that the most important factor in nurturing and growing their sphere is exceeding client expectations in every transaction.
3. Seek Out Training And Professional Development Opportunities
As a new broker, your training and education are critical to your continued professional development. Joining professional development organizations, taking advantage of the training and development opportunities offered by your brokerage, and engaging your peers and mentors with questions and dilemmas will help you to develop your professional skills, in addition to giving you the opportunity to broaden your network.
As BWLP broker Michael Hall has put it, the secret to success in real estate is “implementing one good idea after another.” Attending seminars, networking with colleagues, and learning about the secrets of successful brokers can help you to find the ideas and work processes that feel most comfortable, helping you to build a practice that works for you.
Every agent who joins Baird & Warner Lincoln Park’s office is offered access to three important levels of training, including: corporate training; office-level training; and individual coaching and mentorship. We invest in our new brokers, engaging great trainers to conduct useful, productive trainings. We strive to create a collaborative environment where our brokers use the innovative tools, mentorship, and support we provide to build thriving, sustainable businesses.
4. Get Your Marketing House In Order
Marketing is a critical part of your success as a broker, particularly early in your career. Robust in-person and digital marketing can help you create a personal brand, direct potential customers to you, and advertise your services. Joining a brokerage that provides best-in-class marketing, lead generation, and social media services can help you stand out from the crowd and build your business from the ground up.
Baird & Warner Lincoln Park’s services include a user-friendly CRM, in-house marketing services, endless training videos and content, completely paperless transactions, and social media resources that can make building an online presence virtually effortless.
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.