So you finally have your real estate license and you’re ready to kickstart your new career as a real estate agent. What do you do now?

While launching a career in real estate can be daunting, the following are a few ways to ensure you position yourself for long-term success in the industry.

Research Brokerages Before Joining

When looking to join a brokerage, it’s imperative that you fully research what each potential brokerage has to offer you before you commit to it. These are just a few of the things you should consider as you search for a suitable brokerage:

  • What’s the brokerage’s culture like? Ensuring that your values will align with the brokerage’s and other agents’ values is a huge part of finding a harmonious working relationship.
  • What kind of support will they give you? Because you’re new, you will have questions as things come up. Who can answer them for you and at what times will they be available?
  • What expectations will the brokerage have of you? You want to be sure you can meet whatever expectations they will have of you, such as the quotas you need to meet.
  • What are the brokerage or office fees? Whether they be monthly, yearly, or administrative, you have to anticipate any fees so you can prepare your budget.
  • What will be provided by the brokerage? Will the brokerage provide signs, business cards, technology, insurance, office space, or other tools?
  • What growth opportunities do they offer? Is the brokerage you’re joining going to invest in your progress and ongoing education? Is there a mentorship program you can join?
  • How will they support your business? Do they provide quality leads? A brokerage that can provide you with quality leads could be worth the effort of joining or paying the fees.
  • What is the brokerage commission split? Keep in mind that services and opportunities the brokerage provides will be reflected in the split they offer. Remember that just because a brokerage says they’ll give you 100 percent of commission doesn’t mean you’ll make a lot of money, especially if you or the brokerage aren’t well connected or positioned to get you quality leads.

 

Set aside time for researching and prospecting.

A tip that often gets overlooked is setting time aside to research market trends and prospect for leads in a deeper sense than just surface level. Communicating relevant trends to prospective leads will prompt them to trust you as their agent.

Real estate professionals have to keep track all of the rapidly changing listings, market price points, and client preferences, so start off by making a calendar for your prospecting and researching tasks.

Feeding your database with prospective clients on a regular basis could also be overlooked when you’re trying to keep track of a million other tasks. Setting up weekly or monthly prospecting goals will keep you accountable for finding leads on a timely basis.

 

Create agency-quality branded marketing collateral.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always take your marketing efforts seriously. This is especially important when you’re initially trying to make a name for yourself as a real estate agent.

Whether it’s your business cards, headshots or email communications, every piece of collateral you distribute should be branded using consistent logos, colors, and fonts. Consistency is the key to creating a memorable presence that builds trust with potential clients.

Make all of your materials high quality and professional. Any headshots or photos of properties that you want to display anywhere should be taken by a professional photographer to ensure the best quality.

While printed materials are typically meant to be supplemental to your in-person conversations, the printed materials you hand out are what leads take home to review when they’re making their final decisions about who they’re going to trust with their business. Make sure your collateral makes the right impression.

 

Never Stop Learning

 Because the industry landscape is always changing, continuously learning and adding to your skillset is a fundamental part of being a competitive member of the real estate industry. Seek additional certifications and niches that can provide you with a competitive edge.

The best way to learn the business is from someone who’s been in your shoes. Consider finding a real estate professional who can serve as a mentor. Attending networking events and joining industry groups and associations also come with a number of benefits, and can connect you with the right people.

 

Set Time for Yourself

Lastly, while you’re chasing your dream of breaking into the real estate industry, you can’t forget to make time for personal time. In this industry, it’s very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of trying to please clients, no matter the toll it takes on your personal life.

If clients could, they would have access to your services 24 hours a day seven days a week. And while you do want to be available to them, you also need to make time to recharge and spend with your family. Set boundaries early on and be clear about the times that they can expect a reply from you– midnight should be off limits– unless you’re okay with that.

Treat the time you set apart for yourself as if it was business time, even if it means you have to physically schedule it in your calendar.