In our 11 years in business as Lamb Real Estate, we have trained a considerable amount of new agents in the Snohomish County area and are frequently asked about “the do’s and the don’ts” as these agents attempt to jump-start their careers. What new agents often don’t realize is this career is not about selling houses as much as it is about selling yourself as a trustworthy partner to prospective buyers and sellers. We’ve narrowed it down to five common mistakes we see new agents make (and how to avoid them) when launching a career into real estate.
Mistake #1: Didn’t take the time to define their brand
Sit down and set aside at least 1 hour to brainstorm and establish who you are as a brand before scheduling meetings with clients. Determine how you are going to set yourself apart from the other competing agents in your area—what is going to make you stand out? Are you going to be the goofy agent with a ton of personality, the local guide to all activities and places to be in Snohomish County, or the agent with extensive knowledge in construction and home remodels? Establishing this part of your business first is going to be the most crucial piece to delivering your clients an experience unlike any other!
Mistake #2: No established system for leads
In order to keep your business organized on the inside, you must also develop a master plan for maintaining and nurturing your leads as they begin to pour in. Once you are working with multiple leads at a time, you will heavily rely on the systems you have created to keep you organized and on track. Building these systems will create a client base that will help grow your business and create referrals in the long term.
Pro tip: Establish a system for post-closing. How will you keep in touch with clients after the process has come to an end? 1 year gifts, cards on their “home-i-versary,” in-person visits? Do not let closing day be the last form of contact you have with your client!
Mistake #3: Lack of marketing budget
There is so much more to real estate marketing than advertising your client’s properties! It is crucial to create a budget that covers everything from physical marketing materials & signage, to online advertising & web design. Allow this budget to increase each year as you become more established as a business owner and are preparing to increase your rankings online.
Mistake #4: No networking within the community
It’s 2019 and the world puts a lot of emphasis on being present on social media and in online communities. Yes, this is true…but don’t let that distract you from building relationships that will help you extend your network and open greater possibilities. Step out of your sphere of influence (SOI) and engage with groups of people that you have never met before. Doing so will only increase your SOI as your business grows.
Mistake #5: Expecting quick results right from the start
Remember—you are a brand new business owner. You are not joining a company—you are the company. Most businesses do not turn a profit in the first two years of being open and it is highly encouraged to pour any profit you make directly back into your business. Your results will be far greater in the long run if you choose to invest in your business in the short run.
Pro tip: Read books on starting and running a business—not books written specifically for running a real estate business. Reading with this approach in mind will help you develop healthy strategies as a business owner that will further benefit you in your career as a real estate agent. Ever heard of the quote, “work smarter, not harder?” Case in point. 😉
Like any new career path, there is going to be a challenging learning curve here. But if we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that pouring your time and effort into strengthening all these areas (lead organization, brand development, budgeting, and networking) will be the most fruitful for your business in the years to come.