6 Steps for New Agents to Succeed Long-Term
Do these things at the beginning of your career, and you’ll set yourself up to build a lasting business well into the future.
A lot of real estate agents fail and are out of the business within the first five years of their career. In some cases, that’s a good thing; not everyone is cut out for it. But in other cases, it’s an absolute shame that good people with great potential are not realizing their dream to grow a successful real estate business.
Why do so many fail? I think the answer is simple: We are an industry that requires people to complete anywhere from 60 to 90 hours of classroom time to get licensed, and in most cases, the coursework teaches them only how to pass the exam — not how to run a business.
So here are 6 steps every new agent needs to take to ensure the longevity of their business.
Practice, practice, practice. Brokers hire based on talent, but you will succeed based upon your level of skill. Most new agents are insecure about what to do and say each day, which is why the majority of them would prefer to work with buyers rather than sellers. I hear it all the time: “What if they ask me a question I don’t know the answer to?”
A lack of confidence almost always comes from a lack of certainty. When you aren’t certain what could happen, you lose confidence. And confidence is a main ingredient all top salespeople have. For this reason, you need to practice constantly. Role-play with people in your office — and do it more than once. Do it every morning, in fact. Role-play every possible situation that could arise and see what happens to your confidence.
I’m able to get up and speak at events with thousands of people because I’ve done it over and over, and I’m relatively certain how it will go, which gives me complete confidence. You are no different. Start practicing and doing every possible open house that you can so you are forced to talk to people. Change the questions you ask as well. Instead of asking potential buyers if they are working with an agent — to which most will say yes to get you off their back — ask them if they have anyone sending them good deals, and watch how the response changes. It takes practice to become a professional. In real estate, everyone is talented, but few have the skills needed to succeed on a significant level.
Get a mentor. Whether it is someone in your office or an agent you know locally, you need someone you can talk to and shadow at times. In the same way that practice creates certainty and confidence, the same is true when you watch other people you are familiar with do what you want to be doing. Watching them creates a narrative for yourself that, “If they can do it, and they are a normal person, so can I.”
Find the right resources. Take advantage of the Internet and search for coaches who put out a ton of free training and content in a way that we couldn’t do 20 years ago. Find someone you relate to and respect, and become a sponge. I had someone tell me recently that they get more from the sales advice I post daily on Snapchat than they do from the coach they pay for. I am constantly posting free templates, business plans, and more for new agents. Other trainers do it as well. Find that person you can follow and take advantage of all the resources that they offer.
Don’t just rely on referrals. The truth is it’s not the best agent who wins locally; it’s the one with the most opportunities. If you want to succeed in 2016, stop marketing like it’s 1983. Referral business is great, but it’s unpredictable and takes a long time to grow. Now is the time to start using Facebook, Snapchat, Google, and other online platforms to expand your lead pipeline. Use direct-targeted marketing to start creating seller leads. Get over your fear of the phone and learn how to convert FSBOs and expired listings to create immediate business for yourself. You need many different hooks in the water if you want to catch a lot of fish. Don’t just rely on referrals.
Set up your systems now. Agents who have been in the business for more than 20 years still don’t have their CRMs and other systems set up. Laying the foundation of a house is the most strenuous and boring part of building it — but it’s also the most important. The same is true for creating your systems in your real estate business. Pick the CRM you will use for years to come and do the unsexy work of setting up your step-by-step systems while your business is young. If you don’t do it now, you won’t do it when you are busy. Trust me.
Get a coach. Good coaches not only teach you a business strategy and hold you accountable to stick to it, they also show you how to run a business. One of the first things we do with our students is conduct a full financial audit to see where they are wasting money, and then we show them how to reallocate that money to bring a greater return in other areas of their business. We also use various tools to track and measure everything they do so we know where their business is coming from and, more importantly, where it’s not coming from. Then we can train them to pursue those neglected revenue streams.