Getting Started Action Plan for New Real Estate Agents
1. Real Estate is about HELPING PEOPLE, not making money.
Do what you love and the money will follow. You don’t have to be a “salesperson” to make a good living in this field. If you do not have a PASSION for real estate, then your passion lies elsewhere. Do not waste your time, energy and money if you do not have a passion to live, breathe and sleep real estate. It can be all-consuming in the beginning, with everything you have to learn. Later, you will learn to establish workday hours and days off, but in the beginning you are so eager to please everyone, you will be consumed with it. So you must rely on that passion to carry you through!
2. Your first day!
You are given a telephone number and a desk, unless you work from a home office – in which case you will want to hang out at the company office until you’ve done at least 3 transactions. Trust me, you won’t learn this business sitting at home by yourself. You need to hear the buzz, the conversations, how people interact with clients… and you will have a long list of questions to ask! Write down EVERYTHING. Get a notebook of some type, and in it you will write every question, every answer, every suggestion, every voicemail message, every conversation, EVERYTHING. It will be your Real Estate Bible. When it’s full, keep it for future reference and buy another notebook.
3. GOAL WRITING is important.
Write your goals down; make them attainable and work toward them. Take a goal writing course and implement it.
4. Build a DATABASE, also called a SPHERE OF INFLUENCE.
Ask for phone numbers and/or business cards from people you come across each day. Write on the back of the business card where you met them, to jog your memory later. Add there to your database. Send them a hand-written personal note with your business card in it. Think of everyone you know, and add them to your database. Family, friends, high school reunion list, wedding invitation list, previouS CO-workers, anyone and everyone. Then send them a hand-written persona note with your business card!
5. Send an introduction letter to your sphere of influence.
Let everyone know you are now selling real estate, and to please send you referrals. Include your business card.
6. Get a Mentor.
Find an experienced agent in your office who you have connected with. Make arrangements to “”shadow them as they go about their daily business.
7. Business cards.
Flashy, not basic templates. Make yourself stand out. Go ahead, use COLOR and PICTURES and BACKGROUNDS… the reason why? Well, you will see when you start handing them out. If people comment on them, then you’ve made an impact.
8. Plan ahead!
Plan your work and work your plan. Keep a written marketing plan, and a spending budget, and STICK TO THEM! Track WHERE your dollars go. Track your progress!
Buy three-ring binders and tabs and create a library of reference materials that you can easily access when needed. This will be particularly handy when you sit down to write your first contract, if you took detailed notes during classes and filed the notes in these binders.
10. Know your housing market.
Find out when the marketing meeting and Broker’s Tour is for your area. Attend the weekly meetings. This is where the new listings are announced. Caravan with experienced agents and ask questions while traveling between open houses. Write the questions/answers in your notebook. You did bring the notebook on Broker’s Tour, right? What if a client calls you on your cell phone – where were you going to write down your notes from the conversation? Plan ahead!
I highly recommend a laptop with wireless access and a smartphone with PDA, camera, speaker phone, internet and most importantly, immediate email access. Statistics show that more and more clients are using the internet and email to find agents and search for homes. You want to be able to respond to prospects and clients emails as rapidly as possible. It will make you look that much more professional.
12. Website and Domain Name.
Find out if the domain name you want is available at www.Godaddy.com or www.internet Crusade.com. There are many places where you can register domain names. If you have a commonly misspelled domain name, then register the misspelled version too, and “”park and point it to your main domain. Then work on getting your website presence immediately. If you have web design skills, use them. Otherwise, use a company such as www.iHouseWeb.com wher you can point and click on templates and have a website presence in minutes.
13. Electronic Faxing is the new technological way to go!
The freedom of checking a fax from anywhere there is an internet connection, or having it sent to your email inbox is wonderful! No more running to the office to pick up a
14. Get a Toll Free Phone Number.
There are multiple advantages to this Clients can contact you to get information directly from you; and you can set up a recording for each listing via a menu (press 1 for 1234 Main Street… ).Think about how convenient it is when a prospect drives up to your listing, calls the number on your For Sale sign, and instantly gets information regarding the house IMMEDIATELY! Do your research on the toll-free number services, and get one that is also a virtual fax number included in the price, and sends the fax to your email.
15. Email marketing.
Beware of spamming with your emails. Ask for email addresses from people you come across each day. Add them to your database. But be respectful and tasteful with your emails. Remember to proof read before sending them, too. Ask someone to look them over for errors if you need to. After all, it is a reflection of you!
16. Invest in yourself.
Budget at least 10%, up to 25%, of your profits for your PERSONAL marketing efforts. This is in addition to marketing your listings
17. Get educated!
Designations, continuing education credits, classes – knowledge is power! Take every class you have time to take. Learn about contracts, inspections, the escrow process, listing presentations, housing statistics, etc. Then, as a new agent, when you think you’ve learned all that you can learn, start taking the classes over AGAIN. You will be surprised at how much you missed the first time. It’s very overwhelming when you first get your real estate license. You can’t possibly remember everything, so don’t put that kind of stress on yourself. Here’s another way to look at it: you won’t know what questions to ask in those classes until you’ve closed a few transactions. Then when you take another class, it will make more sense because of a transaction you just closed. When you take a course for a designation, you will get listed on their members list online, and you will show up on the internet search engines
18. Marketing-be different!
They say don’t reinvent the wheel. Well, ok, but why not put a little extra thought into it in order to stand out from the crowd? It’s worth a try!
19. Branding Yourself – tagline and logo.
Once you decide on what you will use as a tagline and logo, USE THEM EVERYWHERE. Email signatures, websit
e domain, car signage, business cards, daily classified advertising, marketing brochures … just BE CONSISTENT. Be sure to check the Trademark Commission website at www.USPTO.gov to ensure your tagline isn’t already in use.
20. Name Badge.
Order a name badge and wear it everywhere.
21. Apply to Register/Trademark your tagline and logo after they have been in use for a few months.
You will want to save invoices and samples of all the marketing materials where you’ve used them, i.e., Website domain name, classified advertising, postcards, newsletters, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, car signage, note pads, fridge magnets, etc.
22. Personal notes
Send out 20-25 HAND WRITTEN (not typed) personal cards or notes PER WEEK. Yes, per week!
23. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
I suggest using pay-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords and Overture.com (Yahoo!). It is relatively inexpensive, and you don’t have to waste your precious time trying to figure out how to get your website listed at the top of the search engines. Your business now is selling real estate, remember? Leave SEO to the professionals.
24. Notary Public Commission
If you have the time, it will be useful. Plus, you will get additional exposure online – it’s another way your name will show up on internet search engines.
25. Join an organization Chamber of Commerce – become an Ambassador and network!
Rotary, Professional Associations, Volunteer organizations, these are all networking possibilities and a way to promote yourself. You will be on their members list online, and you will show up on internet search engines.
26. Time Management is very important for self-employed real estate agents.
It is very easy to get caught up in mundane paperwork, or to get distracted when working in a home office. Schedule a block of time each day to engage in proactive business activities. This means activities that will grow your business, such as phone calls, networking, taking a client to lunch, writing personal notes, or having a business-to-business meeting with someone you can refer business back and forth to contractors, lenders, etc.). Shuffling papers around on your desk or surfing the internet is not going to get you your next client.
27. Hold an Annual Client Appreciation Party – it’s all about the CLIENT – so reward them for using you – then ASK for referrals!
Give away promotional items with your website domain name on them. T-shirts, golf balls, stress reliever balls, to name a few.
28. Feed the client on moving day.
Find out their favorite meal, pack it up and take it to them, plates and all. Make sure you arrange this in advance with the client, so they know you are coming! They will appreciate it, remember you and tell their friends about you.
29. Ask For Referrals because this will grow your business faster than anything else you can do.
30. Hold a Housewarming Party for the client after dose of escrow.
31. Track your progress.
How will you know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been?”