Our industry has seen an influx of new agents over the last year. I was absolutely energized by the number of new agents who were at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference this last week. In fact, I had a few agents stop by our booth who had not yet even received their license yet! Those new agents we spoke with wanted to know what we would recommend for people who are just getting started in real estate.
My advice to them might surprise you.
I remember being a new agent. I remember my managing broker and my colleagues making plenty of recommendations about what tools and systems I needed. However, since I had very few funds available then, I gave myself the gift of time to learn about what I needed in my business – not necessarily what others recommended for me. I needed to learn my own style and how I was comfortable conducting business. I had to complete a few transactions before I felt like I had a good grasp of what would and would not work for me in the business. Then, when I had the funds, I could spend them wisely.
My advice for the new agents coming by the booth was to not be lured in by the bright shiny objects, but take in all the information that was available and then give themselves that same gift of time that I had given myself. Even when it came to finding coaching and training options, my recommendation is to give it time to find the right fit.
What other advice do I have for new agents?
- Before you choose an office to hang your license in, interview the managing broker. Although some agents simply choose an office based on the company, I have found it more critical to interview the managing brokers at a number of offices and make your choice based on who you have a better connection with, what company will provide the mentorship that you need, and what office is in line with your financial reality and goals.
- Remember, mentorship is invaluable. There are two types of mentorship – transaction-based mentorship and business-building mentorship. Transaction-based mentorship can and should occur through your office. Business-building mentorship can occur either through the office or other outside options. Some outside options that offer a variety of resources that could be a better fit for you – not necessarily just the tools available through your brokerage.
- Preview. Preview. Preview. Learn the inventory available in your market inside and out.
- Know your market. This includes creating a book of all the properties that have sold in the last year in your area. Know the days on market. Know list to sales price ratios. Track pendings. Knowledge provides confidence and you would be amazed at how much that knowledge obtained through previewing and research will help build your confidence level. Potential clients are attracted to confidence!
- Don’t apologize for being a new agent. Remember, everyone was new once! There may come a time when you are challenged by a potential client about how new you are. They may be concerned about how your inexperience might affect their transaction. Instead of apologizing, you can say, “You are right. I am a newer agent. But I not only have the mentorship of an experienced agent on my side, but I have a thorough understanding of our market inventory and the trends in our real estate marketplace. In fact, I have spent hours performing this research and I would be happy to show you the compilation of my findings. I am confident in my abilities to complete your real estate transaction and exceed your expectations.” Remind them that it is not the quantity of transactions, but the quality of their transaction that you are most concerned about.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if something is not working. When I was a new agent, my managing broker gave me an empty desk with a phone. He came by and dropped a phone book on my desk and indicated I should start cold calling, as that was the way that new agents got new business. However, it was not the best fit for me. Frankly, my skin would crawl and I got sick to my stomach when I picked up the phone. I should have spoken up sooner, but I didn’t know that I could start to find my own way at that point. I encourage you to not make the same mistake that I did and find your voice!
New agents, I welcome you to real estate! Please take my advice and take it slow. Be true to yourself and the way you do business and you will be unstoppable!