To become a successful real estate agent, you need to be more than someone that sells houses for a living. You must learn to notice and understand what are your client’s priorities.
Most people have some requirements that are necessary for them, without which the transaction would be pointless.
They also have some things they would enjoy but can give up if their budget isn’t big enough.
Learning how to differentiate between the two is essential. That is why a good realtor pays attention to verbal and non-verbal communication.
You must actively listen to your clients and identify the best way through which you can help them achieve their goals, whether that means selling their home or helping them buy their dream house.
Marketing and networking are ways that you can use to get more customers.
Each realtor has a different story and experience. Some of them can be circumstantial. What worked for a person may not work as well for someone else.
That’s why for this article, I didn’t want to share only my experience, so I asked Minuca Elena to reach out to 26 professional realtors and ask them the following question:
What is the best way for a new real estate agent to become successful?
Without further introduction, keep reading to see what they had to say.
Stephan Baldwin – Lead Agent
The best way for new real estate agents to throw themselves into their market and become successful is to use the newest tools available to them in an effort to stand out from others who might not be using them.
For example, a few things available to real estate agents these days that might not be used by more experienced realtors are:
1. Have more high-resolution images available for people to view online.
You might be able to take these yourself even, but you must be focused on providing the best images possible (and as many as possible help as well).
2. Drone footage.
This is a newer trend in the real estate world but can be really helpful for seeing an entire property.
3. 3D walkthroughs.
This is another trend that is becoming popular, especially during the pandemic. If you can find and execute the technology that will allow people to view a 3D walkthrough of the property, then you’ll have access to a tool that others might not be using
4. TikTok and other popular, trendy social media platforms.
These platforms can be so effective to reach new, younger audiences.
TikTok is especially engaging right now and might be able to help you stand out among realtors, especially in your local area. Use those images and videos to make your online presence pop using these social media platforms.
5. Be extremely communicative.
Communication is obviously a big deal in real estate and can help you stand out among clients who are shopping around.
Make an effort to communicate as quickly and effectively as you can in order to grab onto a potential client and impress them.
Things happen quickly and a new realtor who can communicate positively can really make an impact.
These are some newer trends in the real estate industry that could help you stand out in a big way. If you’re new, then use new methods to help you stand out and be successful!
There is a lot of information on the internet on how to become successful as a new agent, but much of it focuses on tactics and a long list of to-dos. I prefer to think about the things to avoid when building your practice.
Here are my top three recommendations:
1. Do not try to cover a large geographic area.
To be successful as a real estate agent, you need to become an expert in the local area. This means knowing the schools, parks, other agents, appraisers, inspectors, vendors, and much more.
It is impossible to be an expert in more than one or two narrow locations, so pick a territory to focus on and say no to opportunities outside of your target market
2. Do not represent anyone who wants to work with you.
Understand your personal strengths and weaknesses and define the persona of your ideal client.
Do you love helping older folks downgrade as they age? Or do you get excited about working with young tech professionals? Do you have a great understanding of the needs of families?
Identify your target audience and demonstrate how you have the unique ability to help them better than any other agent
3. Do not fear technology.
Real estate is becoming very tech-driven, and you must adopt new tools to be successful.
Dive into the nuances of customer relationship management, marketing automation, and end-to-end document management systems to stay organized, remain efficient, and bring the highest quality of service to your clients.
Bill Gassett – Maximum Real Estate Exposure
One of the biggest mistakes new real estate agents make is not investing back into their business.
Having a budget to market yourself and what you do is one of the most significant contributing factors when you’re new.
In most places, there are literally thousands of real estate agents fighting for the same clientele. If you don’t differentiate yourself and tell people how you’re better how will they know?
New agents should have a game plan of how they are going to get in front of more people. That’s the name of the game, especially when you’re starting out.
Agents should have a marketing account with a monthly budget for advertising. Some of the better forms of advertising are sending postcards to a farm area and advertising in the local newspaper.
Some agents will do this but give up far too quickly when the phone doesn’t ring after the first month. Advertising who you are and what you do is a long-term game. Results don’t happen overnight.
Consistency will win the game. You need to be on top of your mind month after month.
1. Improve your communication skills.
As a certified mentor for new agents at eXp Realty, I always tell our new agents to not be secret agents. Utilize your sphere. So many agents don’t communicate they’re in real estate.
Post it on your social media, and make sure you always put your contact information in an area that is easy to find. Text and call your contacts. Your contacts may not need your services immediately but they will keep you in mind when they do
2. You must be available and always answer your phone.
Real estate agents are a dime a dozen. However, that doesn’t mean every real estate agent provides great service.
If you are not available, customers will call the next agent within minutes until they find someone who is available to them on their schedule, resulting in losing a potential client.
Always answer your phone. You don’t know when a $1 million dollar listing is on the other line.
3. New agents should interview brokerages about mentorship programs.
Some brokerages offer higher commission splits but no training. If they do offer training, ask to see their mentorship program in writing and detail.
New agents at eXp Realty receive a local certified mentor to help the agent through their first three transactions.
4. Join a team to gain training if you don’t have a large sphere.
For agents new to a city or who may not have a large sphere of contacts, joining a team who distribute leads is a great opportunity to learn the industry.
If considering a team, ask the team leader about their commission split and what is expected of you.
Denise Supplee – Spark Rental
To be a successful real estate agent, it is important to network. Go to community meetings and events. Maintain communication.
But my biggest means to success were rentals. Once I received a rental client, I kept the lines of communication open.
Eventually, many of my clients became homeowners and when they were ready, guess who they reached out to. And surprisingly, several ended up using me when selling their first home and upgrading.
Furthermore, referrals from these same rental clients to family members and friends increased business prospects even more.
Some realtors look down on rentals. It is a lot of work, and the commissions are not as big as a home sale or purchase. It has been very good for me. And I grew to like that end of the business and expanded into property management.
Carla Cross – Real Estate Bees
Having hired and trained thousands of new agents, I’ve found three things that assure early success:
1. Start with a proven start-up plan, so you have a focus and priorities.
That way, you won’t waste time on activities that don’t matter.
Most agents just start with the activities that are ‘safe’: Going to classes, previewing pretty houses, playing with technology. None of these activities lead directly to a sale.
They are easy to do and not ‘risky’. Unfortunately, these ‘business support activities’ keep you away from those who could buy or sell!
2. Establish a prioritized weekly schedule.
Your schedule should include 4 hours daily of lead generation. Most new agents don’t start with a business schedule; they just do whatever comes along. That keeps them busy but doesn’t get them onto the sales path to production
3. Get a coach!
Very few new agents have backgrounds in outside sales. So, they literally have no idea of what to do each day, or why.
A coach who coaches to a business start-up plan keeps you on track so you do the activities that lead to a sale.
Your coach helps you analyze your plan and schedule so you can make adjustments fast, and avoid wasting time, energy, and money.
Kurt Grosse – Realty One Group Las Vegas
When a new real estate agent starts out, they should choose a lower-competition niche and expand out from it.
Build an independent website specifically for your target niche and then expand out from there. Commit to writing at least one page of useful information each week.
For example: Instead of me being only a Las Vegas Realtor with over 21,000 agents to compete with, I sell homes in 16 cities around Las Vegas.
Many have no grocery stores and 2 have no residents – yet. People search “cities near Las Vegas” all the time on Google.
Take pictures of the surrounding areas and area events and post them on your website. We went from 100+ to position 9 on Google in 60 days in a city with 9200 searches a month after posting pictures of the city’s views and houses with pictures of the county fair.
Your keyword focus for your website needs to be about things that get searched a lot on Google that national sites aren’t targeting.
Research your niche. There’s a lot of desert around us, but small cities bring organic traffic to my website and away from National sites.
Smart homes for sale, energy-efficient homes for sale, and homes with a casita or with handicap access are also lower competition areas of expertise that people need.
New agents should join free networking groups on Meetup.com. Choose a business networking group without a Realtor and stick with it. If you can’t find one, start one in your city.
My networking group brings in over $50,000 a year for a 2 hour a week-breakfast time investment.
It takes time to cultivate relationships. Once you prove your expertise and support your group members, your time will be well-rewarded.
Gina Baker – Fit Small Business
The best way new real estate agents can become successful is to pick a brokerage that has an extensive training and mentorship program.
Many brokerages offer a few days of training, but this is often not enough time to learn how to properly conduct a transaction, communicate with clients, organize a schedule and business plan, learn about the market, deal with client issues, generate leads, create marketing materials, and many other responsibilities that a real estate agent has daily.
Seek a brokerage with a training program that extends for at least a week (if not a month) and will incorporate both traditional classroom and in-the-field training.
You should have a go-to manager or experienced agent that you can reach out to for questions and advice at any time throughout the training process and beyond.
There should also be a mentorship program that allows you to shadow and learn from an experienced agent so you can take notes on how to navigate day-to-day activities, client interactions, and technology.
A new agent must learn everything they can about the real estate industry and training and mentorship is the best way you can do that.
The best way for a new real estate agent to be successful is by leveraging the people around them. A newer agent should examine who they know – who is their network?
You start with announcing your new career to family, friends, neighbors, former coworkers, etc.
If a real estate agent doesn’t have people around them that are willing and able to buy homes, it’s time to meet new people.
A real estate agent’s number one job is getting leads and if the people you know can’t offer you that, grow your sphere far and wide by developing new relationships.
Eric Sztanyo – Team Sztanyo
When I first started in the business, the best advice I received was this, “lead generate every single day.”
Having had a past experience of trying and failing in sales in the financial services industry, this advice was a bit scary to me.
However, the training I had as a 24-year-old kid out of college was my manager tossing a phone book on my desk and telling me that those were my leads.
As a young and inexperienced introvert, nothing could be worse. I failed miserably. I still get cold chills just thinking about that experience.
Fast forward 10 years later, and I had gained a few skills as an internet marketer. I learned a few things about SEO, inbound marketing, YouTube, etc.
So, when my Keller Williams coach said to lead generate every day, I asked if it mattered how I did that. “Nope. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Just do it every day.”
That was music to my ears. I knew how to get leads online already, so I diligently set off to work and steadily built a library of content that produces an ongoing stream of leads for my business.
Real estate is big, and you can lead generate in many different ways – work your sphere of influence, door knock, hold open houses, call expired listings and fsbo’s, buy leads, or in my case, write a lot of blogs and make a lot of videos.
No matter how you do it, just pick what you like to do. And, do it every day.
Ashley J. Saunders – My Dream Haus
1. Know your market, cold
Be able to drive around your area and know the date, price and features of every home within your target market. Be the person who can’t drive around the area without telling everyone else in the car the details of every house on a street!
2. Invest in good personal branding
It doesn’t need to be fancy, just impactful. Consider how your target market should perceive you, what language they use, and who they aspire to be.
The more you understand your target, the more effective your marketing can be.
3. Get a good website
Again, I don’t mean flashy. Build a website that answers the key 20 questions you’re being always asked, create area guides, and a local business directory. Prove to your target client that you know your area in minute detail
I’ve followed Christophe Choo for nearly 10 years, having accidentally stumbled upon his videos about LA.
If you search for anything real estate in Bel Air, Little Holmby, Holmby Hills, etc, you’ll see one of his videos.
By investing heavily in video, Christophe dominates Google and YouTube for his area, making him the most attractive option. You can borrow his strategy and apply it to your area with equallu impressive results.
5. Hire a coach
The faster you learn, the more you’ll earn. By trying to figure things out for yourself, you slow down your rate of progress. So, find the best business or real estate coach you can afford and take notes.
Jacob Blackett – SyndicationPro
Extricating my experience in the industry, the insights that I have derived is that being a real estate agent is a unique and incredibly challenging profession that requires a tremendous amount of passion and commitment.
A new agent should be prepared to put in the hard work and effort required to succeed.
There are several things new real estate agents can do to become successful in their careers, but the most important thing is to focus on building solid relationships with their clients.
New real estate agents should be available to their clients whenever they need help or advice, and they should ensure that the information they provide is as accurate and up to date as possible.
Also, finding a mentor who can guide and encourage you as you begin your real estate career is crucial.
Finally, take advantage of any available training programs to help you hone your skills and develop the vital foundation to become a successful real estate agent.
Additionally, new real estate agents should be patient and allow their clients to make the final decision on all property negotiations and closing processes.
It can take some time for clients to find the right property, negotiate the best deals, and close escrow on the sale.
If new real estate agents push too hard to close escrow, their clients may become nervous or confused about what is happening.
The agents should be prepared for any unexpected curveballs that may come up during a transaction.
There may be issues with inspections, financing, title issues, or other conditions that arise during a purchase or sale process.
If new real estate agents are not flexible and ready to deal with these issues, their clients might become frustrated or nervous about the process.
Evan Smeenge – The Smeenge Group
Asking the best way to be successful in real estate is like asking what diet is the best. There isn’t a clear answer, and any answer works for someone.
The thing that continues through all the answers is: be consistent. No matter the lead generation, nurture process, or networking tasks, being consistent is key.
However, if you must know one way to be successful. Every Monday, search your listing portal for properties listed by your brokerage and focus on an area you want to work on.
Email or text the listing agents in order to do an open house at the property. You WILL get buyers from these open houses, and you WILL make money. Do 2-4 open houses a weekend.
Josh Samuel – LP Property Group
As real estate investors in multiple markets for over a decade, we are constantly interacting with agents. We have stayed loyal to some and as a result, they have closed numerous transactions with us.
The reasons we have stayed loyal feed right into the advice we would offer a new agent on becoming successful:
1. Think about how you can add value based on your specific client’s needs.
For some clients, it might add loads of value to take the typical approach and set them up with a search that feeds them properties matching their criteria.
However, if your client is an investor, they have probably set up searches on their own. Consider reaching out to your colleagues and other agents to see if anyone has pocket listings.
Look for off-market opportunities. Find those, and your investor client(s) will think you are golden.
2. Be responsive.
Nothing sets apart a professional from their competition like being quick to respond to calls, emails, and texts.
When we interact with an agent who is quick to respond, it makes us want to work with them.
3. Get a good handle on the paperwork.
The contracts your clients must sign to close deals are where the rubber meets the road.
Nothing is more frustrating than mistakes in the documents that will ultimately seal the deal (and get you a commission).
Follow those rules and we are certain you will find loyal clients who bring you success.
As a new real estate agent, it’s not a bad idea at all to join a team. Being part of a team typically provides you with a coach and can also be a source of business.
A new agent must learn the distinction between working on real estate versus working in real estate.
Experience must be gained as it is incredibly valuable. When you’re new, though, you can leverage your team’s experience.
Some teams may offer a lower split on team-provided business opportunities. My advice is to graciously accept that. You want to get very good at your craft. Last time I checked, one way to get really good at pretty much anything is to do it a lot!
Aside from taking the steps to become a bona fide great real estate agent, you must work (and expand) your sphere of influence.
Literally, talk to everyone you know and everyone that you come in contact with on a daily basis and talk real estate.
One can be the best real estate agent in the world, but if nobody knows that, they’re not going to succeed.
Real estate is a “people” business. It’s a social business.
You must be out in the world having conversations with the people that you know and by being yourself put in contact with new people to know and talk to on a daily basis.
Start, of course, with the people that you already know and expand from there getting involved in your community.
Allyson Waddell – RentHop
An agent who strives for success should adopt a beginner’s mindset and understand there is always more to learn about their designated area, the current market, the best systems to effectively communicate with clients, etc.
While it is simultaneously important for an agent to confidently engage in their interactions, feigning false knowledge could harm you in the long run.
Therefore, agents should take time to identify their strengths and weaknesses in their level of information about the field and their communication skills.
Once an agent understands where they excel and need to improve, they should continue going through the early stages of their career with an open mind.
They should take time to learn as much information as possible from available presentations, conversations with those in the industry longer than you, and conversations with your clients.
Many brokerages and real estate affiliated partners offer training and information sessions to best serve agents. Consider organizing a schedule to include these kinds of meetings.
Furthermore, having an open mind will serve agents even ten years from now, as a client will always have valuable insights about their home, which an agent should consider in the selling process.
Jim Malamatinas – A Game Property Advisory
Here is the way I became successful:
I went above and beyond for each client to exceed their needs
Integrity and honesty at all times so if the client wanted a property that I didn’t think was good value I would give them my professional opinion and be guided by them on their decision
Treat clients like friends as we normally work together in a team environment for 8 weeks to buy their home.
Try and save them money by sourcing off-market opportunities.
Iane Mance – Crown Asia
I believe that the way new real estate agents can become successful is to properly build relationships, get a very good online presence, and be proactive.
Real estate is all about building relationships with clients and sellers. If you have a good seller network and you’ve built good relationships, more clients will come to you.
As such, in today’s digital age, a good online presence is needed. This may not lead to outright sales immediately but in the end, targeting the right people, and inviting them to see the property will help in sales.
Lastly, being proactive is needed for a good real estate agent. Constantly searching for new ideas to sell and building relationships will only lead to better sales.
Boyd Rudy – Dwellings Michigan
Becoming a real estate agent can be a great way to build a successful career. However, it takes more than just getting your license to succeed in this competitive field.
Here are some tips for new real estate agents looking to get ahead.
First, focus on building a strong customer base. This means developing relationships with potential clients and providing them with the best possible service.
Keep in mind that word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools available, so always be professional and courteous.
Second, stay up to date on the latest market trends. This includes keeping track of prices, properties, and interest rates.
By understanding the current market conditions, you’ll be better able to advise your clients and help them make informed decisions.
Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in your own education. There are always new laws and regulations being enacted, so it’s important to stay current on industry news.
In addition, taking continuing education courses can also help you brush up on your skills and learn new techniques.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful real estate agent.
The best way for new real estate agents to succeed is to seek out another real estate agent willing to be your mentor.
Ideally, you and your mentor should be licensed at the same real estate brokerage, and your mentor should have at least a few years of experience as a real estate agent.
When you first get licensed, there’s no one telling you how to find real estate leads, write enforceable contracts, how to negotiate deals, or how to best optimize your daily schedule.
Having a top-producing agent as a mentor will positively impact your career and help you navigate the industry to become a more confident, skilled, and successful real estate agent in a faster period of time.
In addition, a mentor will provide guidance and encouragement to help you succeed as a new real estate agent.
Overall, being a real estate agent is a rewarding, fun, and challenging career. A great mentor will be there to provide value throughout your career!
Chuck Vander Stelt – Quadwalls
The best way to become successful as a new real estate agent is by creating digital content wanted by homebuyers and sellers in your area.
Find out which questions homebuyers and sellers are asking the internet and answer those. You can figure this out by learning some basics about keyword research.
Start a basic website and begin blogging. Write content you know is being searched. Learn some very basic principles about search engine optimization, too.
Compliment every one of your blog posts with social media posts on multiple platforms, a Google My Business post, and a YouTube video.
A lot of homebuyers and sellers are interested in local content about real estate. I have found huge success writing deep dive articles to help people get familiar with towns and cities where I sell real estate.
Even getting more granular by writing about frequently searched neighborhoods has produced a lot of traffic for me.
Homebuyers want to know about crime rates, school information, and amenities in an area along with housing solutions. Home sellers are most interested in the latest headlines about what homes near theirs are worth.
Zev Freidus – ZFC Real Estate
There is no better way to build a skillset than by using it. As a new realtor, your most significant obstacle is getting the opportunity to put your newly acquired skills to work.
Why would any buyer or seller hire you if you have never bought or sold a home? For this reason, I suggest newly licensed agents join a broker that will allow them to jump in and start working on deals.
One good way is to work as a realtor assistant. You can begin showing homes immediately while having an experienced realtor overseeing your work. The best part of this is that you will get paid much sooner than waiting to close your own deal.
Another option is to join a broker with a strong lead generation program. With proper supervision, you could begin working with leads immediately, and while you will burn a lot of leads before closing one, you will learn from each experience.
As they say, “Experience is expensive,” so keep this in mind when negotiating your split with your broker.
I have been generating internet leads for 17 years and can tell you that it is much more profitable to give leads to an experienced agent at an 80% split than to provide those same leads to a newbie at a 50% split.
Allowing newbies to work leads is an investment in their future, with the hope that they will stay with you when they become successful. If they are closing your leads, they’re not going anywhere.
Sammy Lyon – Lyon Ideas
My advice is to have integrity and practice what you preach! I am always telling my clients to BUY — keep the mortgage to a reasonable amount, likely lower than what you qualify for, and you will be fine.
I am an investor myself and have continued to buy through this entire seller’s market, so I am not telling my clients anything I wouldn’t do!
Other than that, I offer a lot of FREE education, workshops, and advice to folks.
I read every book I could find at the library about real estate, listening to hours and hours of podcasts, so I’m able to share a lot of tools with my clients beyond the basics.
Another piece of advice is to create an amazing network of professionals who can support you and your clients as well — estate planning attorneys, insurance, lenders, and other vendors who share your high standards and are experts in their fields.
This will help you be a better agent and provide even better service to your clients, so they have an entire team supporting them!
Richard Harless – AZ Flat Fee
The best way for a real estate agent to become successful and skilled at what they do is, to be honest, knowledgeable, and communicate well.
Our entire field is about building and maintaining good relationships, both with our clients, and those we work with, and that begins and ends with honesty and communication.
Although technology will continue to improve efficiency and further close the market-to-consumer gap, real estate will always be a relational transaction where trust and experience play pivotal roles in which agents are hired.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an experienced real estate agent provide honest, knowledgeable insight into the market and specific guidance into their client’s specific situation.
In fact, presenting key information that has led clients to decide not to buy or sell has led to some of our strongest relationships because they know we are being honest and have their best interests in mind.
87% of all Realtors fail and go out of business within the first couple of years. That means only 13% make it.
The best way for new real estate agents to become successful is to align themselves with a real estate mentor with a proven track record who has inventory, buyers, and sellers to work with right out of the gate.
New Realtors must have clients to work with as soon as they are licensed, as well as a network or close mentorship of other real estate agents. Doing it alone is never the best option.
Aaron Walker – Broker Direct Realty Group
My advice for new agents is to first pick the best brokerage that fits your goals. Do they offer any training or coaching to help set you up for success?
Some brokerages may only offer a certain level of training so another good tip is to reach out and find additional training opportunities.
From my personal experience, having a schedule to stick with is important. It’s always a busy time and things come up all the time, so sticking to a schedule has helped me.
Another tip that I’ve noticed is creating marketing materials for yourself. Whether it’s business cards, direct mail materials, or automated emails to new leads.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself either. I’ve hired assistants and marketers to help me gain transactions and generate leads to further help my success efforts.
Mentoring is another big one for new agents to reach out to and learn the business from an experienced agent like myself, who can take time to share insights on starting a career in real estate.
Thank you so much to all the experts that have contributed to this expert roundup! Please share this post with your friends and followers on social media.