• Set a proper foundation, and focus on the knowledge bank before the piggy bank.

New agent? No problem!

We’ve all been there at some point in our careers — new to the industry, learning as we go.

You might assume those with connections in real estate have an immediate advantage, but the successful agents in your area all began at the same starting line: Having to select the right brokerage, learning the ins and outs of the business, building on their sphere of influence and getting the word out about their profession.

Here are some great things you can do as a new agent to overcome the odds of failure.

1. Select the right brokerage

As with any house, setting a proper foundation is key to building a stable home, and the same applies to selecting the right brokerage.

An environment that constantly challenges you to be your best, holds you accountable for your activities and provides you with meaningful continuing education will shape your perspective and how you approach each day.

You might ask yourself:

  • How is the staff?
  • What about interaction with the other agents?
  • Let’s not forget the broker(s); are they easy to contact if you have questions or concerns?
  • How vested are they in your personal success versus the company’s overall monetary gains?

Whether you join a real estate team or ride solo, the support systems in place at your brokerage (or lack thereof) will play an integral role in your ability to succeed in the industry, thrive as a professional and grow as a person.

2. Go to the knowledge bank

I don’t know about you, but when I first got licensed, I thought I was going to be the next Million Dollar Listing protégé in the making.

Watching the guys on MDL Los Angeles and New York was not only exciting but seemed fairly easy: Acquire high-end clients, market their properties for sale and make a dream income. Simple, right?

You may be one of the very few who gets the opportunity to do such a thing right out of the gate, but even if so, would you confidently feel like you knew the ins and outs of the business?

Do yourself and your clients a favor by focusing on the knowledge bank first and the piggy bank second.

Real estate is one of the biggest financial investments most people make, and no one can afford to work with those who don’t know what they’re doing.

Find a mentor at your office, whether it be your broker or another agent. Have someone in your corner who you can ask advice of in situations that you’re not familiar with.

It also helps to partner with an experienced agent for your first few buying and selling clients to get a feel for the transaction process.

That said, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Doing so always serves as a learning experience. Just make sure they’re ethical ones!

3. Build on your sphere of influence

From the get go, you should make a contact list of everyone you know: family, friends, colleagues from past jobs, etc.

Now, narrow that list down to only those you speak to or have spoken with in the past year.

Whether it ends up as long list or drastically shorter, this is your true sphere, your warmest leads and your biggest cheerleaders.

These folks know you, your intentions and your abilities. Your list of names — 100 or 10! — are the people you should start with and build off of.

They are your foundation.

4. Tell em’ all

A saying that held true in the past and is even more relevant today: The only thing agents have control over is their time and the activities it’s dedicated to.

It can take months before a new agent closes their first piece of business, and unless you have a pause button for your bills, chances are you can’t afford to wait that long.

If you want to hit the ground running from the beginning, make yourself available and let everyone know who you are and what you do.

Most people move for life changing events: a growing family, empty-nesters, job relocation, and so on. The contacts you make may not be moving in the next few years, but chances are they know someone who will be, and if you keep yourself top-of-mind, there’s a likelihood you could be referred.

Getting the word out about your profession may not grant you immediate returns, but it plants the seed for future growth. Remember, real estate is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in an industry where so much is going on, especially when you’re new to the scene.

However, if you can mute the noise and focus solely on the things that will grant you the greatest returns short and long term, your foundation as a new agent will be set for a solid beginning and stable career.

Anthony West is a real estate agent, the founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty, and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.

Email Anthony West.

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