Though our job may not be all fun and games, we sure do like it for the freedom and financial independence it can provide. Here is a checklist of what to do whether you are just thinking of becoming a real estate agent or you’ve already passed your test.
The New Real Estate Agent Checklist:
There are 4 phases of becoming an agent: Pre-license, on day one, within the first month, within the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, your list should be complete and you’ll be able to operate business as usual from that point forward.
- Enroll in your state-required real estate courses. Your education is truly step one in your real estate career. We have a few recommendations of real estate schools if you just give us a call. One of those is https://kwbothell.theceshop.com/ that has one of the top passing rates in the state and the test prep work is integrated into the course. And these are some of the most affordable classes around.
- Pass your real estate exam. After your course work is complete, you will be ready to take your exam. Though there are lots of tips and tricks available for you to pass the test the first time, but you should know that many people need to take the test more than once. Don’t stress yourself out too much about the exam.
- Choose a brokerage. In most states, you are required to have a licensed real estate broker oversee your work. Many new agents make the mistake of choosing an office with the best commission split but there are many more things to consider. Important things will include:
- What type of training does this brokerage offer?
- Does this broker provide leads?
- Can I use this broker’s reputation to give myself credibility as a new agent?
- What additional costs are incurred with this broker?
- What additional services are provided by this broker?
- Will this broker pay for advertising?
These are by no means the end all be all questions to ask a broker that you may choose but it is a start. We would be happy to go over some additional questions you may find important but not think of right off the bat.
4. Create a business plan. Many agents skip this step because they simply don’t know how to write a business plan. And writing a business plan seems like such a big undertaking, especially with the time and effort you are putting into your real estate courses and exam. But consider this, would you be confident investing in a new business if they didn’t have a business plan to detail their marketing, finances and operations? To make it easier, there are plenty of business plans and templates to be found so you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel.
5. Get your profile photo taken. You’ll need headshots to serve as profile photos for all your social media, business cards and more. While it may be tempting to DIY your photos, hiring a photographer is typically a solid investment as professional headshot photos can boost your credibility and give your brand a polished look.
6. Write your bio. Oddly, one of the most difficult tasks can be to write your own biography. Though it may sound easy, getting the right tone can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are also plenty of help articles and templates online to help in this area as well.
ON DAY ONE
Day one of your new career can be anti-climactic. After weeks and months of getting everything situated just right, your first day will likely end up being filled with administrative tasks that need to be completed before you start contacting clients.
- Set up your email. Don’t forget the signature block with your contact information.
- Set up your voicemail. Don’t overthink it, just make sure to state your name, your brokerage, and that if they leave their name, number and a brief message, you’ll get back to them as soon as you are able.
- Add your profile information to your broker’s website. You will be told how to add all of the appropriate information to your brokers’ website.
- Add business pages to your social media accounts and share your page. Finally, something more fun. Set up new business pages on the social media platforms you use and post an announcement on your personal account letting your friends, family and followers know that you’re open for business. Make sure you ask everyone to like and follow your new business page as it will help you grow more quickly.
YOUR FIRST MONTH
The first month should be focused on brand awareness for your new business and learning the ropes of your local market.
- Get and set up your CRM (Client Relationship Management) system. A CRM is the way you organize your contacts so you make sure you are following up with everyone regularly. It isn’t just for client leads, it can be for friends and family as well since you will want to regularly remind them that you are a real estate professional so they think of you when they need to buy or sell, or when they know of someone else looking to buy or sell. You don’t have to spend money on a fancy CRM subscription when you are brand new. A simple excel sheet can work to start with or some brokerages offer one for free.
- Personally contact everyone you know. You’ve already published an announcement on your personal social media accounts, but that is very different from personally contacting everyone you know. People are more willing to take action based on a personal contact. You can reach out via email, phone direct message or text. Phone conversations typically convert the best but it can be hard to get people on the phone.
- Establish a daily prospecting routine. As a new agent, you should spend at least 2 hours of each day prospecting for new business. And once you’re established, you should continue this habit, so start it today. Prospecting doesn’t have to mean cold calling or door knocking. Any contact you make with prospective buyers and sellers count. Those personal contacts to everyone you know, is prospecting time. You can also prospect via social media or even blogging.
- Set up profiles on other sites such as Realtor.com. You want to be everywhere, so set up profiles on all of the other syndication sites even if you don’t have listings yet.
- Get to know your market. You should be studying your hot sheets everyday to see what is new, what’s old and what’s changing in your market. Pay attention to price points, days on the market, expired listings and which seem to sell unusually quickly. Then get out there and start previewing homes.
- Order a name tag and business cards. You may think a name tag and business card are an unnecessary expense in the age of online real estate marketing but they are 100% necessary for getting leads in that non-virtual life. Wear your name tag everywhere and have an invitation like “ask me about real estate.” You may be surprised at the conversations you can strike up in the coffee or grocery line. Your new contact may want to add you to their phone right there, but if they ask for a card, you will be ready.
- Host an open house. It’s an open industry secret: open houses are more about meeting prospective buyers than they are about selling the home. While in person open houses took a hit during the Covid shutdown, they are still, or back to being viable in many markets.
YOUR FIRST QUARTER
One month down and two more to get your business fully set up and running. Here are the last things you need to accomplish in the first quarter.
- Launch a website. If you’re surprised to see this item on the list, you are not alone. Not enough agents today understand the purpose of a website. They believe that it’s there to provide contact info but that can be found on your broker’s site. The benefits are endless from having your own website vs just having your contact information on your broker’s website.
- Getting found on online searches
- Building your personal brand
- Demonstrating your authority as an industry expert (also instant credibility for a new agent to have a website)
- Building trust with your audience of future clients
- Proving value to your clients even before making contact
- Qualifying your traffic
- Engaging prospective clients
- Building your mailing lists
- Staying top of mind
- Creating multiple streams of income
When you’re ready, there are a few different options. You can hire a web designer that will create and host a site for you. You can get a subscription to a website provider but you will be renting and not owning the site. If you need to know what that means in the website world, just reach out. (Alan is a bit of a tech nerd.) The last option is to build your own website. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds since every blogger out there can create their own website, you can too.
2. Find a mentor. You might have an industry mentor right out of the gate, (we would be happy to help) or you may find one in your first month. If you don’t have one by then, make a conscious effort to seek one out during your first quarter. Their guidance can be invaluable throughout your career.
3. Establish a renter to homeowner program. A rent to own program can be an excellent source of business as it turns you into the go-to agent for first time homebuyers currently living in local apartment communities. It can be an excellent lead generator that few agents take advantage of.
4. Learn more about sales. To generate more leads, convert those leads into clients and convert those clients into closings, you need to cultivate your sales skills. There are almost endless supply of books, podcasts, online courses, hiring a real estate coach and more.
No matter what you do, get out there and sell some houses!
I would love to sit down and have a coffee with you if you are interested to learn more. Just reach out and we will get you on the books.