Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started My Real Estate Career

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Life as a successful real estate professional can be exciting and fulfilling — but there are also certain challenges that aren’t covered during your 75-hour pre-licensing course.  

While the managing broker who sponsors your license application will serve as an invaluable teacher, it never hurts to be as prepared as possible. 

If you’re thinking about transitioning to the real estate world from another career, you might not be aware of these insider tips, so we’ve put together this handy compendium of advice for you from experienced industry pros.

A Good Support Team is Crucial

While realtors are similar to small independent business owners in many ways, it’s vitally important to start off on the right foot by working with a brokerage that offers training, mentorship, and a strong support system

Your own style will evolve as you learn the secrets of closing deals, but nothing beats the mentorship of an experienced broker. They’ll determine your strengths and offer individualized coaching to ensure you’re on the right path. 

It’s also imperative that you find a great lender to work with. The right loan officer will make all the difference and allow you to provide your buyers with the best possible customer service. They’ll also help to ensure you spend time working with qualified buyers, looking at appropriately priced homes for their budget. 

Have a Plan in Place

One of the most essential things to know before committing to a career in real estate is that it’s a long game. 

It takes time to build an ecosystem, generate leads, and develop client relationships that result in sales, so make sure that you have several months of living expenses set aside in advance. Real estate can be a feast or famine, especially for the first year, so it’s critical to budget accordingly. 

Your mentor or managing broker should help you create a detailed business plan that maps out your unique approach to networking, branding, and marketing. Growing your network is a huge part of getting referrals, as well as having trusted service providers that you can refer in turn. A strategy for networking with other professionals in adjacent industries as well as the general public should be a substantial part of your business plan.

Leverage Technology to Your Advantage

Social media will be one of your top tools when it comes to generating leads. It’s an incredibly affordable way to reach a huge number of potential clients. A big part of establishing your brand as a real estate professional will be the content you share online via social media.

If you’re not that experienced in creating engaging online content, here’s your opportunity to expand your horizons and learn about the latest trends in audience engagement. With your smartphone and trusty laptop, you can drastically increase your reach without spending a lot of money.

Your brokerage will have cutting-edge customer relationship management software (CRM) that lets you automate many of the processes you’ll need to establish as a busy real estate agent. All-in-one platforms like Cloze, powered by AI, centralize your data and ensure you stay in touch with former and potential clients.

One of the biggest mistakes real estate professionals make is underestimating the importance of staying top-of-mind with past clients. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, “90% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.” 

A substantially smaller percentage of home buyers actually used the agent they worked with on a prior transaction. The reasons? Firstly, they couldn’t remember who their prior agent was, and second, there was another agent introduced to them or conspicuous to them day-to-day. This is an untold opportunity simply left on the table by agents who aren’t leveraging their tools. 

As the world moves further into the digital age, your tech stack will play a bigger role in the way you do business. However, good old phone calls and in-person showings will never go out of style. 

You Have to Be Dedicated

Many people who consider going into real estate or opening their own business imagine a flexible schedule, being able to sleep in, and having more free time. Unfortunately, this is not the case when you’re just starting out in the real estate industry if you plan to build a successful business.

If you have clients who want your expert guidance at 8 am or 11 pm, you need to be prepared to answer their questions at any time, on a variety of channels. (That’s not to say you shouldn’t set some boundaries as your business grows.) Make hay while the sun shines, they say — if you’re crazy busy, it means you’re earning money. 

You should always be active in either prospecting for new leads, providing outstanding service to your current customers, or learning something new. Set goals, set a schedule, and stick to them.

Always Do Your Research

One of the top things you can do to ensure you stand out from the crowd is to get to be an expert in your field. That means investing time and energy into really learning everything there is to know about the neighborhoods where you work and the current conditions of the real estate market in your area. 

Both buyers and sellers will appreciate partnering with a deeply knowledgeable agent who can give them valuable advice and guidance. 

It’s imperative that you have all the data you can possibly gather when it’s time for contract negotiation. Having the facts on your side and understanding the priorities of your client will help you navigate to a winning deal.   

Find Your Future

The real estate industry offers lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities for those who are prepared for the journey and willing to put in the magnificent amount of effort that it takes to be successful.

Working with an experienced mentor and a highly respected brokerage like Baird & Warner Lincoln Park is the best path toward reaching your life goals. Learn more about the process of getting your license and our innovative training and coaching — give us a call today!

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