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How to Become a Successful New Real Estate Agent

In this article, we will give tips, tricks, and resources to become a successful new real estate agent. e’ll go into topics with shorter posts you can check out, like:

If you’re considering becoming a real estate agent in the near future or are in the process of getting licensed, you’re probably wondering how you can immediately jumpstart your success as a real estate agent. Whether you’re starting a new career or just picking up a new and lucrative side hustle, here are some tips to help you become a successful new real estate agent!

Become a successful new real estate agent and dominate your market!

Let’s start by talking about whether you should become a real estate agent. Then we’ll look at the steps to become an agent followed by tips for being a successful new real estate agent!

Quick clarification: While all REALTORS are real estate agents, not all real estate agents are REALTORS. So while you read this, just understand that when we say agents, we are also including REALTORS! (Learn more)

Should You Become a Real Estate Agent

First and foremost there are certain individuals that should definitely consider getting their real estate license and become an agent. Real estate investors are one group that can benefit the most from being a real estate agent. Not only can investors have access to properties, the MLS, and important data, they can also open up a whole new aspect to their business with the ability to list properties for sale. Read more about advantages for investor real estate agents.

Other folks who would make great real estate agents are those who have a passion for real estate, those looking for a transition to a different career, and those looking for a hustle-based income where you get to be your own boss (mostly!).

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Costs Associated with Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Calculate the costs of becoming a successful new real estate agent.

A major obstacle tends to keep many people from actually becoming a real estate agent is the cost associated with becoming a real estate agent. But if you actually look at the numbers, it might not be as bad as it seems. Heres an example:

The typical brokerage charges agents around $150 per month and has a 60/40 agent commissions split. Your local MLS (which you will be required to join) will typically charge up to $1,500 of required fees annually. All added up that comes out to about $3,300 per year in required fees for real estate agents. The average sale price for a home is $220,000 and the typical commission earned by an agent is up to 3% which means you will earn $6,600 in gross commission income for selling one house. After the 60/40 agent/broker split, your net income after selling one house comes out to around $3,960.

So now you can see from the example above that just selling one house every year covers all of your fees as a real estate agent. Now the numbers we used were just rough estimates of traditional brick and mortar brokerages. But what if you happened to join a brokerage with a higher split such as 80/20 or that has lower fees. Then you would’ve end up with $5,280 in net commissions income in our previous example!

Now that’s not to say everyone should become a real estate agent. Being a successful new real estate agent takes a lot of work and will require you to make some sacrifices in your time. For example, while being a successful part time real estate agent is totally possible, it may be tough if you have a very busy and inflexible work schedule.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

While this will vary by state, there are generally nine steps to become a real estate agent:

  1. Take pre-exam licensing course (in-person or online)
  2. Perform background check
  3. Register as a real estate agent with the state
  4. Take state real estate license exam
  5. Wait for state to approve your license status!
  6. Join a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to practice real estate locally
  7. Optional: Join the National Association of REALTORS – this is usually done as part of joining an MLS (a REALTOR is a real estate agent, but a real estate agent is not necessarily a REALTOR)
  8. Join a brokerage, which is required to practice real estate
  9. Optional: Join an agent team

We go into detail on how to become a real estate agent in another post, but that’s the general idea.

The last step of becoming a real estate agent is to join a brokerage. And as we talked about earlier, your choice for a brokerage can greatly effect your success as a new real estate agent. Make sure you consider your options and pick a brokerage that will allow you to maximize your potential.

How to Be a Successful New Real Estate Agent

Plan Ahead

In order to be a successful new real estate agent you must plan ahead.
In order to be a successful new real estate agent you must plan ahead.

As a budding real estate agent, one of the first things you will learn is that you will have to plan ahead. Now you might be reading this article after you’ve already taken your courses, but if you are still in the early stages of the licensing process, use that time to plan for your business.

Your courses can take 3 to 12 months to complete. Use that time to focus on your courses, but also find some spare time to slowly begin marketing yourself to your friends and family and tell them that you’re in the process to become a licensed agent. That way, once you’re licensed, it will be go time!

Tell everyone that you’re starting a new career as an agent!

Here are some things you should be thinking about during your licensing courses:

  • What your business plan will be?
  • How will you work around your schedule?
  • Which markets you want to mainly serve?
  • How to choose the right brokerage for you?
  • Will you be a buyers agent, listing agent, or both?
  • Who will be your ideal client?
  • How much support and supervision do you want?
  • Will you join an agent team?

And once your licensed, you should still make it a habit to plan ahead. As a new agent you are bound to run into some more issues than other more experienced agents. Make sure you plan for those mistakes and accidents along the way. Remember: it’s ok to make mistakes as a new agent, that’s how you learn and grow. It’s also why you have broker and mentor top cover!

Contact your Sphere

The absolute first thing you should do when you become a real estate agent is to let your friends, family, and even neighbors know that you got your license. These people might not want to buy or sell a home immediately, but you never know when something might come up in a person’s life. The last thing you want is to see your best friend listing their home with a local agent simply because you forgot to tell them that were also a real estate agent.

Your sphere can also be a great referral source for you. If one of your family members or friends have a co worker that wants to buy, sell, or invest in a home, they can now refer you to them as a potential agent they will work with.

Make sure to let your friends and family know that you are an agent so they won’t be saying this…

When people look for a real estate agent to help them with their real estate transactions, the first thing they do isn’t look for the most popular brokerage brand and picking a random agent listed on their website. They ask their own sphere of influence for referrals because when it comes to real estate, people will choose someone that they know, like, and trust over a top producing celebrity agent most of the time.

Don’t be Afraid to Tell People

If you’re a person who likes to be social and have a lot of friends then you should have no issues being successful at generating leads as a real estate agent. Other than immediately contacting your sphere and letting them know about your new business, new agents should mention to everyone and anyone they strike up a conversation with that they are a real estate agent.

Be friendly and let everyone know you are a successful new real estate agent!
Be friendly and let everyone know that you are a successful new real estate agent!

Whether if it’s the cashier at your local grocery store or your trainer at the gym, make sure to let everyone know that you are now a real estate agent, ready to help anyone who’s interested with their real estate needs. Here are a list of things you should remember when you’re talking to anyone as a new agent:

  • offer them your number
  • offer them your email address
  • let them know what areas you serve
  • tell them that you are new and looking for business

The most important item on that list is to make sure you are always carrying your business card. Your broker might give you some for free, but if they don’t, make sure to go out and get some printed yourself. Don’t forget to follow your local marketing guidelines!

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Join a Team or Find a Mentor

As a new agent you probably want and need all the support that you can get. Although your broker should provide you with enough free real estate agent training to be successful, it is always good to find some more structured guidance from one or a few experienced agents.

One way to do that is to join a real estate agent team. Teams are usually made up of a few agents, lead by a more experienced team leader who will generate leads for agents to work and sometimes assign jobs to each agent. Teams are a great way for new agents to be successful. Since it’s hard for a new agent to tackle an entire transaction by themselves, having a team’s support can be really helpful for new agents when they’re working their first few transactions.

If you prefer to work solo, a great alternative to teams for new agents is to participate in an agent mentorship program. Agent mentorship programs are extremely helpful for new agents because mentors can be someone that new agents can refer to when they have questions or concerns that are specific to them. That way, the support you get is more personalized and the guidance you receive is more unique. Here are a few things that a mentor should be able to do with you:

  • Shadow their transactions
  • Guide you through your first transactions
  • Periodic check ins
  • Help you develop a business plan
  • Help you develop a marketing and lead gen plan
  • Refer leads to you
  • Co-list with you on your first deals

Some brokerages will assign new agents a mentor. But you want to make sure that your mentor is actually qualified and incentivized to help you succeed. Make sure to ask your potential brokerages about their mentorship program while you are interviewing them.

Differentiate Yourself

A lot of new agents are concerned about competing with the more experienced top producing agents who own a large percentage of their local market share. And usually, that is the reason that many new agents tend to fail – not knowing how to compete with the top producers. That’s okay! No one starts as a top producer on day one!

Sometimes being a different realtor is better!
Sometimes, being different IS being better.

In order to be a successful new real estate agent, you must be able to differentiate yourself from those agents that already have a solid reputation. Research their businesses, look for anything that they aren’t doing that you might be able to do. Maybe they aren’t generating any internet leads, or maybe they only work with sellers.

Remember that no one agent can fit the criteria and needs of every client and even the top producers can’t do everything when it comes to marketing and lead generation. Instead of competing with them head on, look for ways that you can differentiate yourself from them so that you can create your own competitive advantage. Here are some things you might want to consider:

  • How are other agents generating leads
  • How are other agents marketing properties
  • How are buyer’s agents helping their clients look for properties
  • What makes the investor friendly agents unique
  • What is lacking in those agents’ businesses
  • What can you specialize in that no one else is already doing

Aside from deciding for yourself what you can do different that might give you a competitive advantage over other agents, you can also look to join a brokerage that gives their agents new tools and platforms that other agents might not have access to. A lot of agents are having a hard time competing with iBuyer platforms such as Opendoor and Zillow, why not look for a brokerage that is also partnered with an iBuyer platform? That will surely give you the competitive edge you need as a new agent.

Prioritize, Execute, and be Patient

It can feel quiet overwhelming as a new agent, especially if you’re an ambitious overachiever like many new agents are. You probably want to do everything and anything in order to be successful and quickly become a top agent. Having ambitious goals is great, especially if you want to be a successful new real estate agent, but no one can do everything at once.

Remember to prioritize your tasks and focus on them. And once you’ve one task, move on to the next one so you are laser focused on getting one thing done at a time. Once you do that, you will see your productivity skyrocket!

Don't overextend yourself as a new realtor!  It is better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver!
It is better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver!

Another thing to keep in mind as a new agent is that you won’t see immediate results. In every business there is a time where you’re first starting out when you’re working harder than ever but won’t see a lot of results. Don’t lose focus and keep sights set on your goals, keep working aggressively, but also be patient, knowing that the hard work you put in today will bring you results in the future. Remember: it takes years for a freshly planted seed to grow into a mighty tree.

Get Started

Are you ready to jump in head first and start your journey as a successful new real estate agent? Hopefully we’ve given you the resources and information you need to crush it out there in your market as a new real estate agent!