Many real estate agents will wait until they are licenced to begin the dive into real estate. However, there is prep work one can do in advance to help you succeed like crazy in your first year. Preparing for your real estate career can be one thing that propels you forward in your exciting new career in real estate.
1. Be brutally honest with yourself.
Did you get into the business for a flexible schedule and lots of money? Change this mindset ASAP before entering the industry. You are jumping into a career that takes long days and the income will take time to build. There is no shame in having this mindset when you enrolled in the course work, but it's recommended you work on this before the wake-up call coming your way when you are licenced. Prepare yourself for challenging days, hard conversations, rejection, fear, confusion, slow months, and hardship. In return, you will reach financial freedom, flowing business, happy clients, an expanding network, and an organized schedule. Stay honest with yourself!
2. Work hard on your confidence
Often, confidence is lacking in new agents. It is a new industry, and we are left to sell homes on our own (although you should choose a brokerage with tons of training). Confidence comes from experience, wins, knowledge of product/process, and strong self-esteem. Focus on what you can control: learn everything you can about sales and real estate, shadow an agent in the industry, attend open houses, work on rejection therapy, and focus on improving your self-esteem. My personal favourite: Join Toastmasters to improve your confidence and leadership in front of people. Focus on coming from a place of learning and stretch your confidence daily.
3. Build your database
Ok, so you don't have a database full of clients. Of course you don't, you are new to the business! That said, your database will become your best friend and within your database is more business than you can imagine. It doesn't matter if your database begins with just two friends and your parents. It's not the number when you start; it's how you approach them and how you add names.
Add the following information for each person in your database:
- Full Name
- Cell Number
- Home Address
- Birthday/Important Dates (use Facebook)
- Important Notes
Where do you add the following? Start exploring different CRM (Customer Relationship Management) options, there are tons of free and paid solutions out there. If you would like to review a few options try these.
Most people that begin will not have this info on people they wish to add to their database; this is perfect! Now you have an opportunity to touch base with everyone you know (you will be looking for these opportunities constantly in your career).
Text or Email
Hey ___________, guess what? I'm working on my real estate licence! Can I grab your email address and home address so I can add you to my database so we can stay in touch?
Hey ___________, long time no chat! How are you? Just touching base to let you know I'm almost a fully licenced real estate agent. I'm just reaching out to my close network to let them know and add awesome people like you to my database. Can I grab your home address and email?
Once received, send them a handwritten note in the mail!
4. Start using social media as a business tool
Don't just be a lurker on Facebook; it's time to be a creator! You will hear over and over that content is king, and you need always to be producing content. This is true, and a Facebook or Instagram post is content. Use the 4 to 1 principal and post 4 personal posts to one real estate post. This will show people you are in real estate while not bombarding them with real estate content. Post when you are taking your exam. Post when you are at an open house. People need to think you = real estate!
Have a daily plan! Start a conversation using social media:
10 Likes on others posts
5 Comments on others posts
Send Happy Birthday notes - make it personal. Better yet, call them!
5. Build new relationships and rekindle old ones
As an agent, you do not need more leads; you need more relationships. Keep this in mind and you will be successful. Chasing leads will never be the best source of business for top agents.
First, start planning how you are going to build new relationships:
Determine your interests and join 3-5 clubs/groups/meetups that align with your interests
Say "Yes" to invites and events
Make it a goal to talk to 10 people/day - phone, person, text -- this can be in the Starbucks line or lunch with your best friend. How isn't important; what's important is that you have conversations constantly!
Now, plan to rekindle old relationships:
Write on friends’ Facebook walls
Shoot a text to someone you haven't spoken to in a while
Invite some friends over for dinner
Say "Yes" to invites and events
Important note: you shouldn't always be talking about real estate or my guess is people will be turned off, but mention in passing that you are building your real estate business and working on your licence!
6. Open houses, Realtor.ca, and Events
Go through 5 open houses each week. Browse Realtor.ca constantly. Attend real estate related events and learning sessions (community, city, real estate brokerage, etc). Work to sharpening your understanding of your product. This will pay off when you are out showing your first few homes.
7. Set a budget
If you are switching from a career that provided you with a pay cheque every two weeks, be prepared for a change. You can make millions in this business and not have any money. Research budgeting and set yourself a personal and professional budget. You will be happy you did this.
8. Treat it like a business
You are not getting a job. You are starting a business. You will be spending money on listings, marketing, licensing, etc. and you will need to understand this is all part of running a business. You will wear all sorts of hats when you enter the industry so know how you want to run your business. Take an objective look at businesses you love and ask yourself what type of business do you want to create. You will need to know about everything from accounting to branding. Always keep in mind you are running a business and not just working a job.
9. Grow personally
Personal growth is crucial. You can know everything about real estate but if you don't take care of yourself, what's the point? Growing personally will directly impact your business. Feel free to jump on board with what gives you energy. Here are some important daily personal growth habits of many top producers:
Wake Up Early
Phone Off Time
Reading For Personal Growth
Learn a New Skill
10. Train, Train, Train
Choose a brokerage with modern training and mentoring. If you choose a brokerage with little training or antiquated techniques, you could be in for a bumpy first couple of years (or worse - you may not make it through your first year and leave the industry). Ask if you can attend training before you are licenced.
Attend the following types of events (real estate or not) regularly:
Real estate investing
Read books, listen to podcasts, and listen to audiobooks - always be absorbing content!
Most people will wait until they are fully licenced to begin their real estate career, but there are a ton of things one can do to prepare for your new career. Sure you can't sell homes yet but you can certainly begin the process of building your network, learning, and growth.
Follow the above 10 activities prior to receiving your licence and you will hit the ground running!