Knowledge can be gained by anyone at any moment, but only time and experience can yield wisdom. When I look back on my career in real estate, there are five things in particular that I wish I’d known before jumping into the business. Most of these lessons I learned the hard way, but I’m sharing them in the hope that aspiring new agents can be spared the trial and error, and hit the ground running.
1. Building a database. I never knew how important it was to not only build a list of contacts but also regularly engage with those people. Today, we have an 18-step follow-up process so that our database receives something from us every month. As my database has grown over the years, so has my business.
2. Buying more leads. Whether you’re buying them on Zillow, Realtor.com, or UpNest, it’s so easy to buy leads these days. If you have the proper follow-up and have the right systems in place, those leads you buy today turn into business tomorrow and referrals after that. Buying leads allowed me to grow my database by bringing in new clientele while I strengthened the relationships I had already established.
3. The importance of follow-ups. You’ve probably heard the saying, “The fortune’s in the follow-up,” and that couldn’t be more true; 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. I didn’t have those expectations at first, so I treated a lot of the leads from cold calling, open houses, or online like referrals. I’d call them once or twice, and if I didn’t hear back, well, I just figured they weren’t interested. Making sure you have a system in place to consistently follow-up on leads is so important.
4. Having a business plan. Goals written down stand a better chance of becoming reality. I always tried to exceed what I did last year, but sitting down with a coach and projecting three, five, or even 10 years out (which can be hard to do) was so game-changing for me. It allowed me to wake up every day and know I was moving in a positive and specific direction. Make sure you have someone who holds you accountable to your business plan and encourages you so that you reach the next level.
5. Employee versus entrepreneur mindset. We real estate agents are 1099 contractors—entrepreneurs at the helm of our own business. Coming into this business, however, I brought an employee mindset; many people would say to me, “The sky’s the limit, you can make as much as you want,” but what they never told me is that there’s no floor in real estate. If I were to do it all over again, I would’ve taken more time at the start to learn about entrepreneurship and what other successful business owners have done. I ultimately implemented a lot of great practices I learned directly from industry leaders and observed elsewhere.
If you have any questions about this business or some of the tools, techniques, and systems that have made all the difference in my business, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via phone or email. I’d be more than happy to chat with you!