What I Wish I’d Been Told as a New Agent

shutterstock_70207033Starting any new career is challenging, but even more so if that career is one that requires you to be self-motivated, highly organized and always “on”.  Real estate is an exciting, rewarding career, but it’s not for the faint of heart!

Do you ever think back on why you got into the business in the first place? What drew you to becoming an Agent and what do you wish you knew when you first embarked on the career?  Here are a few things you may wish you knew when you were getting started as a real estate agent:

There’s a wonderful community.

From Facebook groups, to ActiveRain and the colleagues at your brokerage, take advantage of the network around you and ask questions.  Veterans of the industry are a wealth of knowledge and are often happy to share their insight.  The internet has made it easier than ever to communicate with your peers from all over the country, so join some forums and Facebook groups and start sharing knowledge.  Participating in the community is a powerful way to gain wisdom and help you feel less isolated when you’re working on your own.

You don’t really make your own hours.

One of the most common misconceptions is that Agents don’t put in as many hours as their office-bound peers.  In fact, Agents put in more!  From hours prospecting on the phone, to weekend open houses and late night phone calls, your schedule will fill up.  Even if you consider yourself a part-time agent, real estate sales is a full-time job. To be a top producing agent, you can expect to put in a lot of time, so learn to manage it well, with the right tools to help you.

You’ll become a jack-of-all-trades.

No matter how well you’re surrounded with support, real estate is a job that requires a high level of self-motivation.  You’ll likely become your own manager, driver, public relations coordinator, marketing director, web master, and assistant.  At least until you’re lucky enough to hire help!  Invest in yourself by learning best practices around marketing and advertising.  Your success depends greatly on your own knowledge, so educate yourself in the business.

Now’s the time to develop thick skin.

Chances are that you’re hoping to become the “go-to” Agent for your family and friends, and if you’re lucky that will be the case.  But it’s also possible that you’ll be passed over for another agent that they’re loyal to, or you may be viewed as too new to be trusted.  Losing listings is disappointing; especially if the client was someone you have a relationship with.  Don’t let these experiences shake your confidence or damage your relationships. Keep working toward your goals and acknowledge that these things happen to the best of us.

Optimism is your secret weapon.

Too many real estate professionals let a negative experience drag them into a downward spiral.  There will be bad days sometimes.  You’ll get clients who are impossible to please, people will hang up on you on the phone, and deals will fall through.  But there will also be terrific days where you help a family find a dream home, or sell for over asking price.  Resist the urge to be a victim to negative thoughts on bad days. Remember the positive parts of your career and keep your glass half full.  Your attitude will greatly impact your success as an Agent.

You’ll make a ton of friends.

Call it what you’d like- prospecting, networking, list building- what you’re really doing is forming relationships and that’s a wonderful thing!  Instead of approaching it as a chore, be your friendly, warm self and strike up conversations with people everywhere you go, including the grocery store, your kid’s school, and yoga class.  New friends can become leads, and leads can become lifelong clients and lifelong friends.  Real estate is a socially stimulating career, enjoy it!

Every sale is a big sale.

While you’re aware of the vast difference between a client purchasing for $100k and a client purchasing for $900k, try to remember that for each of these individuals it’s a huge life decision.  You may not always feel like picking up the phone for a client in the midst of a smaller deal, but you should treat them with the same respect as you would the big spender.  If you secure a lifelong client, who knows how many more leads and sales you’ll attribute to them in the future.

There are tools available to help.

You wouldn’t become a chef without a stove, or a mechanic without a toolkit.  Likewise, you shouldn’t become an Agent without the appropriate tools to help you get the job done properly.  Staying organized and in control of your time is the foundation of a prosperous real estate career.  Use a real estate CRM from day one to maintain your contact’s information, keep in touch effectively and be reminded of important tasks.  IXACT Contact even has a special Rookie Agent trial for new agents, offering 6 months free of the powerful CRM software.

What do you wish someone had told you when you first started as an Agent?