Top real estate agents get to the top and stay there because they have a book of business sustained by robust referral networks. But that business wasn’t handed to them, and rookie agents should never assume it will be for them, either.
If rookie agents want to eventually reach those upper echelons, they need to start laying the foundations of their client base on day one.
- Prospect – Even though leads may sometimes fall into your lap, you have to put in the work to turn them into paying clients. Effective prospecting is a skill that sets the future top producers from the part timers. You’ll need to make phone calls and send emails, network anywhere and everywhere, and adopt a persona that’s “all agent, all the time.” An article from RealtyTimes, featured in the National Association of Realtors’ “Field Guide to Farming and Prospecting,” suggests you should choose a selling strategy that works for you. Some find following sales scripts and being pushy can make them feel “icky.” If that’s you, don’t do it. Find a strategy you can be excited about; prospective clients will pick up on your passion and enthusiasm.
- Know your stuff – Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t have experience? Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t know their business? Being a rookie agent doesn’t give you license to parade the fact that you’re new at this. It’s not like being a server, where you tell someone “I’m new” so they’ll forgive a forgotten refill. Homebuyers and sellers want to entrust this process to a professional, and being a professional means knowing your stuff and proving it – whether that’s your local inventory, or trends in price and sales, etc. Cultivate that sense of authority early on to impress your clients and instill in them the confidence that you can handle their business.
- Network…at yard sales – When you network in public places, there is never a guarantee that the person you’re meeting is looking to buy or sell a house. Networking at a community event like a yard sale is a different story. When a person tosses their belongings on to a driveway for pennies on the dollar and says, “please buy this,” the subtext is limited: either they’re cleaning or they’re moving. Never dismiss an opportunity to interact with homeowners on their home turf: after all, even if they’re simply shedding a few unwanted belongings at a garage sale, they may remember you and call you when the time comes to buy or sell.
- Become a team’s buyer agent – Joining a solid team as a buyer’s agent will not be a glamorous position and you won’t be making the big bucks, but it is an effective way to quickly gain experience and start building a referral network. Clients will be hand-delivered in many cases, and for an agent with limited experience and knowledge, it’s an ideal scenario to learn the business.