Becoming a successful real estate agent is far more than handing out a million business cards. Developing a marketing strategy and business plan, identifying ways to set yourself apart from other agents, and making a commitment to bringing unique value to your clients are all important steps towards your success.
Where to begin
Many real estate bloggers address the subject of “where to begin” by suggesting mentoring, choosing the right real estate brokerage, budgeting, goals, and more. These recommendations are important but your success may begin even earlier.
What are you doing to prepare for your career before you finish your studies and take your licensing exam? Have you begun identified:
- Marketing ideas that are affordable with your budget and workable with your personality or style?
- At least a generalized budget for your first marketing campaign?
- A financial backup plan to help sustain you through the early months of building your business before income is generated? (Your first income may be 60 or more days away from your starting point.)
- Property markets in which you might become the area expert?
- Your first goals as a new real estate agent?
There are many ways you can prepare to market yourself to real estate success even before you receive your license.
Experienced agents recommend interviewing prospective brokers before committing to a given agency. Your ideal brokerage firm will be the place where you are groomed to become a skilled agent.
Next, identify a likely mentor in your new brokerage, an agent who is already well-established and successful, and willing to form a mentor-student partnership with you. A good mentor may help guide you through developing a realistic first marketing budget, how to develop leads, how to build thinking client relations, and refine your knowledge of all the details of making sales. Absorb all you can from your mentor.
Establish a business plan that includes:
- Clearly defined goals – what do you want to accomplish, stated in concise, measurable, achievable terms.
- Services that you can provide (even in the early days).
- Your first marketing area.
- A budget that identifies every possible expense (including every cost of living and doing business item).
- Funding that covers your expenses for at least the first 60 days.
- A marketing plan for systematically and effectively notifying your sphere of influence about your services.
Set yourself apart
What can you do that will set you apart from other agents in your area? Look for simple things that you might do that most other agents do not do. One blogger recommends being “quietly effective” like returning prospect and client phone calls within an hour of receiving them.
Build your client-agent relationships by looking at the services that are most meaningful and convenient to them, including the preferred ways of communicating with your clients. Become well known for your follow-through and consistency.
Find a niche and master it. Is the condominium market only adequately marketed? Make yourself known as the condo agent in town. Are you creative at turning around hard-to-sell properties? Build your early career and reputation one focus market at a time.
Use the media
Billboards, newspapers and real estate magazines are all traditional ways to market your services and listings. They are ongoing useful tools. But if you are not using the Internet and social media, you will be far behind the competition.
Develop a web presence. Keep the content fresh and current and include your personal thoughts and insights. Use the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest to help you build prospect and client relationships.
Growing your success
Success in real estate often begins with the simple steps and small actions. Staying focused on your business plan, becoming a niche market specialist, and discovering ways for setting yourself apart from other agents are all ways to start successfully marketing yourself in real estate.