New real estate agents are often called "cubs" by veterans because they're waddling through the real estate market with the wide-eyed newness of a baby bear. If you want to turn into a grizzled, seasoned professional, you need to know a few things that can help every beginner real estate agent start off strong and keep going stronger.
Let's take a look at these first-year real estate tips for cubs of any age.
More than anything, your database is the foundation of your business. Your database should include properties for sale, real estate that may be listed later, information on buyers, and information on prospective sellers and what they're looking for at the very least.
You can use your website, open houses, and networking events to build your database. Someone who might not need you now will need you later, and a few judicious emails and print marketing campaigns sent during peak seasonal buying or selling periods can turn prospects into new customers.
Buying and selling periods tend to fluctuate with the seasons, and with the market. Typically spring and summer are great for sellers, with plenty of eager buyers willing to pay more; while autumn and winter are great for buyers, with plenty of sellers looking to get rid of homes that have been on the market for a while and willing to compromise on price.
Seasonal periods can change depending on your market, though. If you're working with multifamily units in low-income areas versus single-family homes in high-income neighborhoods is only one factor. Just simple home availability, particularly with millennials seeking property in crowded markets, can completely change peak buying and selling periods.
The point is to know your market and its trends. Look for the factors that affect buying and selling patterns and pricing. Use this knowledge to your advantage to make smart decisions when seeking clients, and helping your clients with their real estate transactions.
Handing out business cards is great, but your website is where you turn curious people into customers. At the very least your site should have your contact information, credentials, and the option to sign up for alerts on real estate that interest customers; this is how you build your database.
Ideally, your website should have listings of the properties you have available; even better if those listings are dynamic and searchable by customer criteria.
You don't have to jump on the first prospect or any available listing to make a name for yourself, because if you start picking up shady transactions, the name you'll make for yourself won't have much integrity. As a beginner real estate agent, be judicious in deciding what properties and clients you choose. Don't jump on sinking properties unless you're one hundred percent certain you can flip them.
If something doesn't seem ethical in a transaction, trust your instincts and avoid it. Part of your job is to make sure that everything in a real estate transaction is above-board and ethical to protect both buyer and seller. If you don't feel you can do that, don't engage.
Buying property is a significant capital outlay, and even if clients are eager they're also protective of their money, and simply looking for reasons to say no. You need to learn how to turn a no into a yes without being too obvious or too aggressive. This opportunity is where persuasive selling comes in.
Many times clients say no out of fear. You need to be able to get them to talk to you about those fears, and ready to reassure those fears with confidence. If they don't understand buyer protections, for example, discuss to them about escrow and title insurance. Educate them on how the process works.
Many buyers (and sellers) feel safer when they have a clear understanding of what seemed mysterious before, so you can often overcome objections merely with factual expertise.
While the majority of your business will be in real estate sales as either owner/seller or buyer representative, as a licensed real estate agent, you have other ways you can bring in extra money on the side. Now slow down; we're not recommending anything unethical.
In fact, you're categorically legally authorized to work as a tenant or landlord representative in leasing situations. Moreover, if you make referrals to other real estate professionals, you can often earn a fee or commission after they make a successful transaction from the deal.
The most important thing to remember is that you can never stop hustling. The market changes on a dime, and you need to always be on top of what's going on. Follow the trades, keep in touch with other professionals, and invariably keep your ear to the ground.
Opportunities crop up fast and disappear faster, so you need to be ready to capitalize on them when they happen. Be smart about this, and you'll go from beginner real estate agent to pro in no time.