Real estate is a naturally fickle market, prone to ups and downs based on the larger economy, shifts in society, and countless other factors. Navigating all those components, while still serving clients, is where the challenge lies for even the most seasoned of real estate agents.
Learning about real estate and gaining your license comes with its own challenges, but maintaining success as a new real estate agent is another story. Here are some helpful tips from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties on how to be a successful real estate agent.
Real estate markets can fluctuate widely, and property values can vary just between neighborhoods and ZIP codes. It can be a lot to take in, but building your market knowledge of the real estate industry will naturally come with time. As a newer real estate agent, you can spend your time researching current market conditions to learn more about home values. As you gain more experience, you can gradually shift to predicting or anticipating how your local market might change based on shifts in the economy or industry.
Establishing that baseline knowledge can be difficult just because it encompasses so much, so beginning brokers should instead focus on the needs of the clients. Understanding what clients are looking for by researching comparable properties gives you a good starting point for building market knowledge, which will help you become a successful agent. As you become more established, you can expand that knowledge, going beyond your local markets to gather data from nearby neighborhoods. This essentially gives you more information to share with buyers and sellers, which can shape their expectations and ensure a more informed decision.
Beyond local markets, brokers should always stay up to date on industry news at local, state, and national levels to determine potential trends that could affect property value. Real estate is one of the few careers where you truly cannot stop learning new things, whether it’s market information or learning new ways to build potential client connections. After all, this is one of the top reasons as to why many people become real estate agents in the first place!
We offer ongoing training webinars, a six-week Success Path program, and more for new and experienced agents alike.
While it can be easy to build your real estate business in a solitary vacuum, partnering with other agents is a great way to build experience, gain mentorship, and increase your income at the same time. Staying too isolated will narrow your view, which can prevent you from gaining broader knowledge about areas outside of your ZIP code. Working with another broker can give you information about the market in a larger region, allowing you to better predict trends and serve your clients.
Many brokers also tend to have their own specializations, or they may have gone through situations that you aren’t familiar with. Even if you are a new agent, you can probably provide other brokers with your own knowledge. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that can lead to long-term connections.
Splitting a commission can seem troublesome at first, but think of it like earning part of a commission vs. not getting a commission at all. You’re ultimately building your business and clientele while increasing your income in the longer term.
We live in a technological world that is advancing at a rapid pace. While it doesn’t hurt to maintain traditional modes of marketing, like newspaper classifieds, the main crux of your business should involve technology and the digital landscape. The foundation of that is a good website that offers easy navigation, informative copy, and a bit of your unique character.
From there, you can begin building your social media presence. Just about everything happens on social media, and it remains one of the best ways to connect with potential clients and market your business. Social media is easy to use but increasingly difficult to master. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but your social media presence should focus on engaging with your audience directly to either inform them of the market or your own agency. For example, you could ask followers to guess the amount of a certain home’s selling price, or you could host a Q&A session to give followers a better idea of your business and your life as an agent. Above all, stay inquisitive and understanding of other people. Social media is one of the best ways for clients to relate to you as a person instead of a faceless business.
Email marketing campaigns are still an effective way to check in with previous clients while catering to potential clients, and they provide an easy, upfront method for clients to contact you. You can find a wide range of reliable email and newsletter services that you can use to send out regular messages that showcase your expertise, and keep clients up to date about your business.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, we proudly offer tools for your social media marketing, email campaigns, and more.
While technology does play an integral role in any business, it truly can’t replace an open house. Photos and virtual tours can be helpful, but the best way for anyone to get an idea of a home is to walk around inside it.
Open houses are also a great way to meet potential clientele from a specific neighborhood face to face. You can easily make new contacts with everyone who walks through the door. While getting an offer on the home would be ideal, think of it more as an opportunity for clients to learn about you, see the house, and get an idea of the types of properties that you like to sell.
Consider hosting at least one open house each week. Write down what worked and what could use improvements. Follow up with any potential buyers and ask them what they liked or didn’t like about the house they came to see. This can become an invaluable resource for determining what buyers in the area are looking for, and it’s a chance to drop some knowledge and professionalism on them. You can tell them about comparable properties in the area, property data on nearby neighborhoods, and other active homes on the market. This increases your chances of setting up home searches for buyers, which naturally leads to more clients.
Good communication is the key to any positive relationship, and that applies to you and your clients. It can be frustrating for a client not to get a call or email back within a reasonable timeframe, and that frustration can easily lead to them seeking help from a different broker.
Of course, things come up in your busy day, and it’s often not feasible to immediately respond to every phone call or email. Most clients are understanding of that, but don’t test their good graces. You have some flexibility, but going 24 hours without some sort of response is unacceptable. Be as prompt as possible. It’s also a good idea to determine the preferred method of communication for your clients.
When you do talk to your clients, be engaged. Listen to what they say, answer the questions to the best of your abilities. Your clients should feel important and heard. The best agents go the extra step of maintaining constant contact and checking in with clients even after the initial transaction.
You should always lend a helping hand to people who ask, but it’s worth distinguishing between people who are serious buyers or sellers and people who are just dipping their toes into the water. Learning to make the distinction helps you determine who to focus on.
Getting leads of any kind is hard, but potential clients who are indecisive or simply browsing the market can result in disappointment. Granted, it’s always possible to turn lukewarm leads into commissions, but it can take a lot of energy and resources. “Hot” leads will naturally need more of your time, knowledge, and help and, assuming you do your job right, will be more likely to lead to a commission. Prioritize your hot leads.
If you have been in the business long enough or have the right connections, you probably have a go-to list of attorneys, appraisers, inspectors, bankers, and contractors to recommend to clients. It doesn’t hurt to ask them to return the favor and refer potential leads your way. You don’t have to be blunt about it, but if they do have any clients who are looking to buy or sell a property, they could keep you in mind or maybe even pass along your contact info. Just make sure that you trust these vendors. Read vendor reviews and ratings and make sure that they have had successful outcomes of their own.
Building a successful business in any industry comes with inherent challenges, and real estate is no exception. As you grow and gain more experience, you’ll figure out what specifically works for you and what doesn’t. It’s important to stay flexible and go with the changes.
If you are looking to become a real estate agent, or are searching for a brokerage that can support you better, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties can provide you with the right tools and steps to success.
If you’re interested in real estate jobs in Southern California, contact our team today.