A Guide to Level Up Your Real Estate Career

How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Everyone starts off in real estate with tons of enthusiasm, positivity, and vigor. But we’ve all seen agents start off strong and then fade fast, like a meteor shooting through the night sky. Why does this happen and, just as important, how can you prevent it from happening to you?

In other words, how do you create a successful, long-lasting, and fruitful career as a real estate agent?

In this article, we’re giving you tips on how to beam like a star and not burn out like a meteor. And yes, I know stars burn out too, but that’s a comparison of millions of years versus mere seconds. The idea is to create a sustainable career that lasts for the long haul. Let’s get into it.

Understand the Challenges of Real Estate

A career in real estate can be exciting and rewarding, but it’s not a walk in the park. There are pitfalls you must identify and avoid if you want to make it far in real estate. Let’s look at the most common pitfalls and what you can do to avoid them.

Common pitfalls for new real estate agents

The first pitfall is known as the "do-it-all-yourself" mindset. It's common for newcomers to think they must handle every aspect of the business on their own. This comes from a place of passion and ambition. While that DIY spirit is commendable, it can also lead to burnout quickly. Remember, a career in real estate is a marathon, not a sprint!

Learn to delegate tasks where possible. Hire an assistant or tap into your brokerage's resources for administrative and marketing support.

The next pitfall is overlooking the importance of a digital marketing strategy. You can’t just rely on traditional marketing methods these days. In this age of technology, an online presence is a must.

Get your own website, list your properties on multiple online platforms, use email marketing, and leverage social media to increase your reach.

The third most common pitfall is underestimating the importance of networking and relationship building. Don't be that agent who thinks a quick sale is the end goal. Real estate is a people business. Building strong relationships can yield a lifetime of referrals and repeat business.

After closing a sale, follow up with your clients, ask for referrals, send holiday cards, or even drop by with a small gift on their home anniversary. Little gestures go a long way.

The need for resilience and adaptability

The real estate market can be volatile. You can’t lose your heart when the roller coaster dips down because it will rise again. Having both resilience and adaptability will ensure that you outlast temporary or long-lasting challenges in the industry.

Resilience is about staying the course despite setbacks. Not every deal will close, not every client will be easy to work with, and not every day will be a winner. But that's okay! It's all part of the journey. What's important is that you dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

Adaptability, on the other hand, is about adjusting to the changes in direction. The real estate market can be unpredictable, and having the ability to quickly change strategies will help you stay ahead of the game. The market will shift, trends will change, and technology will evolve. You have to be ready to learn, unlearn, and relearn.


Embrace Technology

The world of real estate, like many industries, has been completely transformed by technology. But don't let that scare you. Lean into it, and use technology to streamline your operations. Here’s how:

Get comfortable using the following types of software for internal operations:

Next, use the following technology to elevate your client’s experience:

Master Digital Marketing

If real estate is a game, digital marketing is the playbook. Digital marketing is how you get your name out there, attract clients, and stay top of mind in your market.

Here’s how to get started with digital marketing:

Step 1: Build a digital base

First thing’s first, you need to establish your digital home base, which is your website. Your website serves as your online business card and portfolio all in one. If you don't have one yet, invest in building a professional, user-friendly website. Include listings, client testimonials, a blog section for real estate advice, and a simple way for potential clients to contact you.

Next, optimize your website for search engines (SEO). Use keywords in your website copy that potential clients might search for, like "homes for sale in [your city]" or "[your city] real estate agent." This helps your website rank higher in search results, making it easier for clients to find you.

Step 2: Build your social media presence

Get active on social media. But which platform should you choose? Each has its own unique benefits. Facebook is great for community engagement. Instagram is perfect for showcasing visuals of your properties. LinkedIn can help you network with other professionals. You can be on all three (and others), but start with one first. Once you establish a follower base and a posting schedule, branch out to other platforms.

Develop a content strategy for each platform you choose. Regularly post engaging content, respond to comments, and take advantage of features like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live. Remember, consistency is key.

Step 3: Get serious about email marketing

Email marketing is another essential component of a long-lasting real estate career. Use email to send monthly newsletters with market updates, new listings, or home buying or selling tips. CRMs often come with email marketing features that allow you to segment your audience and automate your emails.

Remember, the goal is to provide value and stay top of mind, not to spam your clients.

Build a Robust Professional Network

The first rule of building a professional network is to start with who you know. Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances and tell them about your business. You never know where your next referral could come from.

Also, join local business groups, real estate associations, or community organizations. These groups provide opportunities to meet like-minded professionals and potential clients.

Once you’ve established those relationships, continue nurturing them.

Satisfied clients are more likely to refer you to their friends and family. Make every interaction count—from the first meeting to the closing and beyond. Show your clients that you're not only interested in a transaction but also in their overall satisfaction and well-being.

Use CRMs to keep in touch. As we discussed earlier, CRM tools are a lifesaver when it comes to managing client relationships. They help you keep track of each client's preferences, communication history, and important dates like birthdays or anniversaries. This personal touch can make your clients feel valued and appreciated.


Develop a Personal Brand

As a real estate agent, you're not just selling properties. You're also selling yourself. Your personal brand is what sets you apart from other agents and attracts clients who resonate with your values and style. Here’s how you can create and maintain your unique personal brand:

Write down what you believe sets you apart from other real estate agents. It could be your in-depth knowledge of a particular neighborhood, your negotiation skills, or your commitment to eco-friendly homes.

Need help? Answer these questions to start shaping your brand:

Use these answers to create a mission statement for your personal brand.

Next, study the greats. Research successful real estate agents who have strong personal brands. Note down what stands out about their brand and how they communicate it to their audience. Use these insights as inspiration for your own brand.

Cultivating a personal brand is a continuous process that requires consistency and authenticity. Keep refining.

Final Thoughts

A successful real estate career is built on recognizing and overcoming challenges, embracing technology, effective networking, and cultivating a personal brand. However, remember that you also need to be adaptable and persistent if you want to shine like the star you are and not burn out.

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