Real estate

5 Steps to Building a New Real Estate Business

5 Steps to Building a New Real Estate Business

Getting started in Real Estate is an absolute thrill… Realizing you have no idea how to bring in new business is pretty much the exact opposite. Today, I’m covering 5 essential steps every agent should consider when looking into how to start a new real estate business

Passing the real estate licensing exam gives you the opportunity to make scintillating cocktail party small talk. Imagine how impressive you’ll sound when you share that there are 43,560 square feet in an acre and when you describe the difference between riparian and littoral rights.

That little piece of state-issued paper also acts a bit like rocket fuel, propelling the newbie into an imagined stratosphere of huge commission checks and overnight success.

Then, the splashdown, which generally occurs the first day you spend in your new broker’s office. It’s the dirty little secret that real estate school doesn’t share: you have no idea what you’re doing.

This is why brokers have training programs. They teach newbies how to go after clients, how to fill out listing and purchase agreements and, hopefully, the rudimentary aspects of what to do during a listing presentation.

The day-to-day aspects of how to start a new real estate business, however, aren’t usually taught. While this knowledge eventually comes with time and experience, there are steps to take to get your real estate career off and running in the right direction.

1. Learn from the Best

5 Steps to Building a New Real Estate Business

Most experienced agents agree that the first thing a new agent should do when considering how to start a new real estate business, aside from finding a broker with an amazing training program, is to find a mentor. Look for “somebody that knows what he or she is doing, is successful and who is willing to teach you,” Dano Sayles with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers recommends.

Watch the more experienced and successful agents in the office, choose one and ask if you can hang out with him or her during the business day. Go on listing calls, buyer showings and open houses. Watching a successful agent in action and then modeling the behavior is a sure-fire way to learn the ropes.

2. First Year Roadmap

The first year in real estate is one typically spent building your business. Think of yourself as a start-up and commit to making a business plan during your first week.

This business plan will be your roadmap through the twists and turns of your first year in real estate. Determine your destination first – where do you want to be, financially, by the end of the year?

Once you know the destination, you can fill in the rest of the plan with activities that will get you there. How many closed deals will you need to nail that figure? How many contacts will it take to get those deals? The latter is a difficult question to answer when you’re first thinking about how to start a new real estate business, so run it by your mentor or broker.

Next, add your marketing plan and budget to the business plan. If, like many agents, you’re starting your business on a shoestring, your budget will determine how and to what extent you market yourself.

Free business plan templates are available all over the internet.

3. Build your Brand

5 Steps to Building a New Real Estate Business

Regardless of your broker’s brand, you’ll need to determine your personal brand when considering how to start a new real estate business. What sets you apart from other agents? It’s a tough question to answer, especially if you’re new to the business, but answer it you must.

Consider your interests, motivations, educational or professional background and your target market – anything that makes you different from most of the other agents in town.

Once you’ve found a brand that feels right, build it into your business cards, marketing materials and website.

4. Assemble your Tools

The number one necessity for your tool kit when thinking about how to start a new real estate business is a laptop or iPad. This is the one tool, aside from your smartphone (which we are assuming you already have), that you’ll depend on the most to keep track of prospects, clients, listings and deals so it’s critical to have it from day one.

Next, you’ll need to add some productivity software and at the top of the list should be customer relationship management software (CRM).

When you search online for software, you’ll see that everyone and their brother seems to be hawking it to real estate agents. Take the time to read reviews and talk to other agents in the office about what they use before settling on anything.

A good place to start when looking for software reviews is g2.com.

Then, spend the money to get a robust solution, one that not only manages your interactions with leads and clients but allows you to automate marketing campaigns and client retention efforts. You’ll be glad you did.

Finally, even if your broker has a website, get your own Easy Agent PRO site. Every marketing piece you produce should drive people to your site where you have, at the very least, a lead capture system, an IDX so that buyers can search for listings and a blog.

The biggest mistake you can make when considering how to start a new real estate business is to try to save money by opting out of an IDX system on your site.  Real estate consumers shop almost exclusively online when they first decide to buy or sell.

Buyers want to see listings and many sellers do too (to see how their home stacks up, price-wise). You can either fulfill these wants or inadvertently send these prospects to someone that will.

5. Shout it Out

5 Steps to Building a New Real Estate Business

Once you have loaded the contact information of everyone you know (your “sphere of influence”) into your CRM, it’s time to give them a shout out about your new business. Do this via email, snail mail, phone, text or social media, but do it.

Next, get involved in the community. It’s a great way to meet new people, thus expanding your sphere of influence.

The most important thing to keep top-of-mind when starting out is that real estate isn’t a new job or even a new career – you are starting your own business.

Throw out everything you know about being an employee and start thinking like a business owner. Take the baby steps to give your new startup a strong foundation.

Check back soon for more tips for how to start a new real estate business!

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