The real estate industry is a big realm consisting of different professionals, from property managers to builders, government agencies, banks, publishers, and of course, sellers, buyers, and renters.
But it is safe to say that the intermediaries are the key players in the industry. People constantly move between and communicate with these professionals, who are none other than real estate agents and brokers.
Real estate agents are the workforce of the entire real estate industry. They work as salesmen, buyers’ advocates, analysts, auctioneers, consultants, negotiators, and marketers. Now and then, they also work as appraisers, clerks, and loan officers. These experts cater to their clients even on weekends and nights. Most of the time, they also work well beyond the usual 40 hours a week!
A real estate agent can basically do a bit of everything and anything. In exchange, they receive their real estate commission as a form of payment after closing the deal. For this reason, it is not really surprising that the demand for professional real estate agents is on the rise despite a slow market. As a result, more and more people are curious to know if they can also be real estate agents themselves.
Sadly, the moment you finally step into this world, things may seem daunting and scary. When you are a new real estate agent, you will also enter a new world. Aside from not receiving a salary, the real estate school you attended probably didn’t teach you anything that can guarantee surefire success in the industry.
Feeling overwhelmed? Well, worry no more because this quick guide on real estate agent for beginners will give you a few tips you can use to help you take the road to success. Yes, starting a career in real estate is indeed filled with challenges but once you overcome all of them, you will be off to a great strong start!
Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
When you choose to embark on your journey as a real estate agent, you will face a great variety of deals. And with all the different properties and different clients out there, you can expect that you won’t have to do the same thing and follow the same routine day in and day out.
But one thing is for sure. The moment you get your hands on your real estate license and begin your professional job as an agent, you can look forward to reaching a significant milestone in your life. Being a real estate agent offers a long list of benefits not only for your professional life but also for your personal life.
The following are some of the most common reasons why you might want to consider becoming a real estate agent:
- Business growth
- Career mobility
- Client referrals
- Flexible schedule
- Helping your clients
- Unlimited income potential
Now that you know the special perks that this profession can offer, it can make it easier for you to decide if you will achieve a sense of satisfaction in this particular career path.
Specific Requirements for Real Estate Agents
As far as requirements are concerned, it is important to remember that these may differ depending on the state where you plan to work. The most common differences among states in terms of licensing requirements for real estate agents include the following:
- Background Checks
Most states often conduct background checks on aspiring realtors. However, the standards may differ. For example, many states such as Colorado and Texas may even ask for your fingerprints.
- Training Requirements
Several states such as New York and Georgia require 75 hours of real estate education while California may mandate up to 135 hours.
- Better Accessibility for Lawyers
This one applies to lawyers who want to practice as real estate agents. In certain states such as Florida, practicing lawyers are exempt from taking certain courses.
- Educational Rules
Several states don’t require a degree just so you can get your license as a real estate agent. States such as New Jersey and Ohio, on the other hand, require you to have a high school diploma or the equivalent of it.
Aside from these, there are also the standard necessities, and these include the eligibility requirements, pre-licensing education, and real estate licensing exam.
Eligibility Requirements for Real Estate Agents
Once again, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as a national standard checklist for real estate licensing. All the different states have their own unique set of rules and requirements, which means that may encounter a few restrictions.
Lots of paperwork might be required or you might also need to complete several training programs, present proofs of employment, go through background checks, and so much more. Additional eligibility requirements that are often different from one state to another may include:
- Education requirements
- Errors and omissions insurance
- Employment proof with a sponsor or managing broker/brokerage
- Minimum hours of coursework
- Rates of passing the exam
- On-the-job training requirements
Pre-licensing Education for Real Estate Agents
Every state requires its real estate agents to have some form of real estate pre-licensing education. After the completion of the coursework, you can only continue further after passing the exam administered by your specific state.
When searching for a real estate school you can attend, make sure you look for accredited schools in your state. A copy of your certificate of completion is necessary for finalizing your application for a real estate license.
It is also important to ensure that your chosen school offers classes that are suitable for your specific learning style, whether it is an in-classroom or online experience.
Several courses may also bring various facets together to provide a complete education. Again, these courses may also differ depending on the license you are applying for and the state where you are applying for one. Among the most common relevant courses may include:
- Business law
- Law of contracts
- Property management
- Real estate brokerage
- Real estate finance
- Real estate fundamentals
- Real estate law
- Real estate principles
There are lots of options available that you can fit into your schedule. Just don’t forget to get your certificates and transcripts afterward which will confirm that you have completed your coursework.
The Real Estate Licensing Exam
A third party is in charge of administering your licensing exam most of the time. It is important to confirm that the specific testing center you choose has been approved for administering the test. You have to pass both the national and state sections of the exam. Several states might take these together for you to get your real estate license.
Obtaining Your Real Estate License
Obtaining your real estate license is the first and most critical tip for a real estate agent for beginners. After all, you won’t be able to work as a real estate agent without a license so it is a must to take the necessary courses.
While it has already been mentioned above, it is important to reiterate once again the steps you need to take and follow so you can start working to getting your real estate license:
1. Research the specific requirements in your state.
There is no national real estate license, and it means you will have to research the requirements of your state. The requirements of every state may differ according to continuing education, background checks, fees, exams, education, age, and more.
2. Finish your pre-licensing course.
It doesn’t matter which state you are looking to get your license in. You will need to take and complete a pre-licensing school that you can do through a local real estate licensing school.
3. Pass the real estate licensing exam.
The pre-licensing course you took serves as your stepping stone and preparation for the final exam which is basically a test that covers laws, practices, and regulations applicable to the state you are applying in.
4. Activate your real estate license.
After successfully passing your real estate exam, all there is left for you to do is activate your real estate license to officially become a real estate agent.
The good news is that you don’t need to do everything alone as far as obtaining your real estate license is concerned. You can consider enrolling in a real estate coaching program that can help you polish and improve your skills and expand your business.
Work Options for Real Estate Agents
Now that you already have your real estate license, it is time to consider the different work options available for you. One of the most important tips for a real estate agent for beginners is to join a team instead of flying solo.
Being part of a team will put you closer to other professionals and experts who have experience in the field and help you learn its ins and outs faster. A team can also give you helpful tips and insights that a new real estate agent like you can implement into your practice and help you succeed in your roles and responsibilities.
When you are a novice in real estate, you can have a better understanding of what to expect if you learn directly from a seasoned team. Joining a team will also make it easier for you to generate leads right off the bat because they might be willing to share with you some of their existing leads.
You can also consider starting your career as an Inside Sales Agent (ISA) or Outside Sales Agent (OSA). OSAs and ISAs are tasked with setting appointments and following up on leads. Starting as an OSA or ISA will help you get your foot in the real estate door and obtain the essential experience to succeed in your field.
When you are an ISA, it can speed up your path as it will put you directly in the center of all the action right on the first day of your job. You will learn how to talk to clients, find and qualify prospects, establish rapport, learn the needs, wants, and motivations of people, and so much more.
While this route might not be for everyone, it is worth considering diving into the action for 6 months or so instead of sitting and hoping that your phone will ring soon.
Sadly, the real estate industry doesn’t need more half-way engaged and part-time agents. It means you have to decide whether you are really committed to this particular career path or if you are just interested in it.
Although this real estate agent for beginners’ tip might be a difficult pill to swallow, taking some time to sit down and determine if this career path is really right for you will help you gauge your story and motivations.
People who were able to achieve success in the field are the ones who have put their full commitment and dedication into doing everything they can to succeed and offer their clients a five-star seamless experience from beginning to end. So, when trying to decide on what path suits you, try to determine if you are just dabbling or you are ready to go all in.
Now that you know the basics, it is now time to proceed to more helpful tips on how to work down your path to success as a real estate agent.
Be a Sponge
It is important to look for a successful and wise veteran that you can learn from and lean on. If you think about it, the likes of Luke Skywalker, Will Hunting, and Michael Jordan wouldn’t reach their goals if Yoda, Sean McGuire, and Phil Jackson didn’t guide them respectively.
Find someone who not just knows what to do and what they are doing but is also someone you feel comfortable around and can truly connect with.
Once you do so, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Remember that the relationship between a mentor and a mentee can work both ways.
Finding a mentor, attending events, shadowing top producers, and reading books are only some of the many different ways that you can become a lifelong learner in the big world of the real estate industry.
At this point of your journey, there is no such thing as learning too much. It means you have to take your time to see how every person does things differently. Learn everything that you can and apply those you like and do away with the ones you don’t.
You can also take advantage of the different resources and tools available to help you hone your skills. Listening to real estate podcasts, for example, is a great way for you to discover new strategies, keep updated on up-and-coming trends, and rise above your competition in the real estate industry.
Build and Organize Your Database
Staying organized is an important tip that new real estate agents should never overlook at all. The good news is that you can accomplish this with the help of the CRM or customer relationship management system given to you by your company and start to build your own database from there.
After your CRM is up and running, you can then upload every contact you have on your phone. You also need to consider other people within your orbit or sphere of influence. This sphere of influence is your most crucial prospect base not only in the present but also in the future.
The sphere includes your family, friends, acquaintances, church members, club members, and even service providers including your former colleagues, doctors, hairdressers, and more.
These are the people closest to you and the ones who are most likely to have you on top of their minds every time they, or their own friends or family, are ready to sell or buy a home.
Having an extensive list of contacts will help you spread your name, get referrals, and expand your real estate business. You can keep in touch with these personally, through social media, or using a reliable CRM.
Choose Two Supplementary Lead Sources
It is a must to learn and master marketing if you want to ensure the success of your real estate business. Marketing will help you reach a bigger audience and grow your brand which will create more leads for you as a result.
When getting started as a real estate agent for beginners, your sphere or database should serve as one of your primary sources of leads. But aside from your existing sphere and database, it is also recommended to pinpoint and include two more lead generation pillars as well.
There following are the top five sources that successful realtors use:
- Circle prospecting around recent sales
- Digital advertising
- Geographic farming
- Open houses or virtual open houses
These are only a few of the many sources that can come in handy when attracting more leads. There are also other helpful resources you can take advantage of such as real estate case studies and agent tools that can convert and generate more leads in lesser time.
Come Up with a Sound Business Plan
What goals do you have in your first year as a real estate agent? How do you plan to achieve these goals? How much do you plan to spend on technology or marketing?
Don’t make a tricky transition more difficult than it already is. Make a subtle business plan first. Take time to sit down, give it some serious thought, and plan what and how you can achieve your goals and offer quality services as a real estate agent.
Identify Your Brand
Being a real estate agent is your new career title. But do you know who you really are as a real estate agent? What types of properties would be your niche? What particular age group will you cater to? Are you ready to be hip enough to have a better connection with younger buyers? Are your personal activities and interests closely aligned with the older age groups instead?
Your brand is basically who you are as a businessperson and a real estate agent. It also affects your marketing and how you will present yourself as a person. You can never start selling yourself until you have determined whom you are selling to.
Determine the Right Lead Generation Channel for You
Do you plan to focus on building your business and brand through the traditional door-to-door marketing and cold calling and your sphere of influence? Or do you feel more comfortable with using technology that boosts your confidence about building your online brand using your SEO, video, and social media skills?
In reality, all these different avenues for lead generation are essential for every real estate agent. And it is definitely important that you implement a nice mix of both digital and traditional marketing strategies.
However, you will probably lean towards one over the other depending on your specific target demographic and what you are most comfortable with.
When you are just getting started as a real estate agent, it might seem that you can manage everything that should be done to succeed, at least for now.
However, things in this industry can accelerate quickly and before you even know it, you may soon find yourself neck-deep in unfilled paperwork and missed calls.
If you let your guard down even for a minute, you might suddenly end up strapped into the so-called real estate rollercoaster, with no clients or lots of clients, totally stressed out or high life, and rich or poor. This is the reason why consistency is a must if you are a solo entrepreneur.
You won’t be able to fulfill and reach your true potential if you don’t stay disciplined every single day. Thus, you have to find accountability to remain a successful real estate agent.
It doesn’t matter if it is your family member, friend, broker, coach, or another agent, you should look for someone who will hold you accountable for your recurring behaviors and actions that will lead to your success.
Be Comfortable on Video
Video is like a hidden thread that helps consumers connect faster and more effectively. If you happen to be camera shy or you don’t really like the sound of your voice, take time to get comfortable and practice. By doing so, it will become second nature for you to talk in front of the camera.
The real secret to coming up with an effective video is to act as if you are talking directly to your longtime client or friend. There are endless possibilities that await you in terms of topics for videos but the ones that you can create regularly include:
- Around Town With… – Feature local destinations, businesses, and activities that all show your connection to your community.
- Did You Know? – Educate the public about issues in the real estate industry.
- How’s the Market – Provide regular updates about the real estate market.
Take note that these are not all strictly related to real estate. Discussing a diverse array of topics can help you gain more attention and appeal to a bigger audience.
Create a Social Media Presence
This next tip for a real estate agent for beginners may sound too obvious and a no-brainer but is still worth mentioning. Make sure you are active on social media and while doing so, always be yourself.
Different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok will let you show people both your business side and personal side.
You can provide your audience with access to behind-the-scenes, reveal your sense of humor and personality, and educate them. All of these are great ways to be more personable and engage with your audience better.
Learn the Answer to the Question “How’s the Market?”
You will learn soon enough, especially as social interactions increase and things return to normal, that as a real estate agent, you will often hear one common question: “How’s the market?”
A lot of real estate agents commit the mistake of answering with a simple “I’m busy” or “It’s good.” However, these replies will never lead to anything useful. It is best to memorize a real estate script that will help you answer this particular question, like asking clients about their intentions of selling, buying, renting, or investing.
Asking your clients about their true intentions will let you engage with them in a conversation that will let you explain any situation they mention. One tip for a real estate agent for beginners is to engage with those clients who are still on the fence or those who are simply curious about the market.
Making sure to ask them why there are interested can encourage them to open up about their personal motivations or someone else they know who is planning to make a move in the near future.
By mastering your script, you can engage better with clients and leads to make conversions that will help expand your business. But it is also important that you understand the latest news and how the happenings in the world affect the current real estate market.
Coming up with a new script for the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, will help you learn their motivation although the process may take a different path.
If your clients ask you about the current condition of the market, just be honest in explaining how challenging it is because of a surplus of buyers, lack of inventory, and all-time low mortgage rates. Honesty is always the best way to establish trust among your clients and lets you lend an empathetic ear if you ask them how they are doing and the effect of the pandemic on their housing needs.
After fostering the needs of your clients, you will be able to forge a more solid relationship establish on trust that will help pave your way to success.
Be Familiar with the Market
Aside from learning the answer to how’s the market, you also need to know the market well inside out so you can speak confidently and build confidence better.
It means you need to study the MLS regularly so you can come up with talking points you can share with your prospects and sphere. You have to know what is selling and how quickly, what doesn’t sell and why, what the current interest rates are, and more.
By doing this, you can increase your chances of identifying trends and guiding your clients to more successful results. Aside from these key market features, you also need to have a good grasp of common talking points such as:
- Crime rate
- Public transportation
It is important to make studying the market a regular part of your everyday routine as a real estate agent for beginners.
Know Your Story
A successful career as a real estate agent also lies in knowing your story. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to figure out your story, even if it is your own. To know what really brought you to the world of real estate in the first place, there are several important questions you should ask yourself.
These include the following:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What sets you apart from others?
- What motivates you every single day?
- Why do you want to get into this business? Is it due to the low barrier of entry, or is it because you sincerely want to help others and believe you can shape a thriving business if you do so?
- Why should people choose you instead of your competition?
These questions all need answers, and you have to come up with a compelling story of why you decided to enter the industry. While it may require a bit of soul searching on your part, it is a must that you define who you truly are, why you are doing it, why you are better, and who you are for.
Once you find the answers to these questions, you can also build your confidence faster, which is big deal in itself.
Pick Up the Phone
Although it might not be the most thrilling part of being a new real estate agent, picking up that phone and making calls is a critical aspect of your job. You can follow the simple 3-2-1 plan to make it easier for you to call prospects. The plan is as follows:
- Set aside 3 hours of prospecting calls or other forms of lead generation
- Find 2 leads
- Set 1 appointment
You will make it big in the business if you follow this plan day in and day out. But again, the secret here is to do it daily instead of just when you feel like it or when you have the time to do so.
Polish Your Presentation Skills
Knowing your audience is one of the most essential credos in marketing and sales, which is especially true in presenting your listings. Make sure you match your presentation to the personality type of the homeowner.
For example, if the homeowner is very analytical, they will prioritize seeing the data first. Others may care more about the lifestyle and amenities of the neighborhood. Match the presentation to the person instead of forcing the homeowner to match the one-size-fits-all presentation you made.
As a real new estate agent, avoid being too picky with the people you work with. Learn from every showing, every transaction, every seller, every buyer, every investor, and every renter you encounter. Even if it doesn’t lead anywhere, consider it a good learning experience.
At one point or another, however, you will probably want to use listings as your true rainmaker. It means that it is never too early to master your listing presentation.
You can use the statistics of your company if you haven’t established your personal statistics yet to show to potential sellers. Practice your presentations repeatedly with your friends. You can also consider recording yourself and watching the playback to determine anything that needs improvement.
Your success will be faster if you feel more comfortable presenting to your clients to earn their business.
Always Think Long Term
Another critical tip for a real estate agent for beginners is to understand that in this type of business, real estate sales don’t come overnight. You have to remember and accept that you are starting a marathon, and not just a quick sprint.
Before feeling discouraged, doing everything included in this list can speed up your progress. However, remember that it is still a process. Real estate success requires disciplined action and time, so you have to be prepared for a long game and not overnight success or quick money.
Having said that, you have to determine your why. Learning why you are entering the real estate market will help you remain focused and work to achieve your goals. As mentioned earlier, it is important to have a solid reason why you are getting into the industry and why you want to hustle beyond selling tons of properties or making money.
You have to make it as personal as possible. What does success really mean to you? You have to spell things out comprehensively and make sure your why is always up there and visible to serve as your motivation all the time.
Practice Your Scripts
As the adage goes, practice makes perfect. This is the reason why you have to take time to practice your scripts every morning before you meet with your clients. Memorizing your scripts will make you feel more confident when talking, allowing you to sell homes easier and faster.
To practice, look for a partner you can role play with like a family member, friend, or colleague. Allotting a few minutes daily for memorizing your scripts will show clients that you are an expert and well-informed in your field.
There are now plenty of resources available at your disposal that you can use to practice your scripts. Practicing scripts is the best way for you to refine your skills and build your confidence.
Prospect, Prospect, and Prospect More
Different real estate agents always consider different things as the lifeline of their business. For other agents, it is all about marketing while others put forth their efforts into prospecting for new clients. While these two are both important, it is all up to you which of these two you should focus more on.
Nonetheless, see to it you spend more time prospecting, particularly during the start of your career. Distribute fliers, show up at community events, host open house and do some cold calls. Do everything possible so you can get your brand and your name out for everyone to see.
Strategize and Implement
Your direct mail strategy, social media strategy, and email strategy are the three strategies you have to follow as a new real estate agent.
Avoid playing it by ear. Sit down instead to learn the best practices and do the work. See to it you also implement, follow your plan, and review all metrics routinely to see if there are necessary adjustments to be made.
A critical component of strategizing is to constantly educate yourself and keep up with the latest industry trends and news. You can find many helpful resources online where you could research the different ways to hone your strategy, whether it is expanding your social media presence or developing an email marketing campaign.
Track and Measure Everything
Last but not least, an important tip for a real estate agent for beginners is to always track and measure everything. You will want to form some habits right from the start before they become harder to adopt later.
The first one among them is to track and measure the things you do. It means you need to collect, analyze, and understand data. Doing so will let you reach educated decisions based on solid proof.
How many leads convert to sales, for example? Do your marketing efforts reach the right target audience? Through analytics and data, you can gather figures to check your progress and determine if your marketing or lead conversion efforts really work or if you have to make changes to reach your goals.
In this modern world, data is everything and when you are more familiar with your numbers, you can bring more certainty to your business. Know what you should track including emerging trends, appointment setting conversion rates, and others.
I became a realtor when I was 25, Right now I’m a digital marketing expert helping realtors, brokers and real estate agents generate more leads online.