The 7 Habits of Successful New Real Estate Agents
You have a shiny new license in hand and are ready to conquer the real estate landscape! The median age in real estate is now 57 years old, which may cause young agents to have a difficult time getting clients or referrals – or being taken seriously by peers. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a couple of years into the profession, these are the seven habits you’ll want to adopt in order to be perceived as a driven professional with longevity.
1. Always, always, always take notes
Learning should be your top focus, and a great way to be successful at this is to take notes – on everything. Jot down bullet points on how to process vital client paperwork. Mark down the steps on invoicing. Keep a list of your clients’ favorite restaurants. Write down the steps on how to work the office coffee maker. Also, if you’re talking to someone you should be taking notes. It doesn’t matter if it’s Google Docs, Evernote, your iPad or a trusty pen and paper – find a way to write stuff down.
2. Choose your brokerage firm wisely
Spend some time looking into a brokerage firm that’s right for you. Get a sense of the overall culture – talk to as many other agents in each firm you’re evaluating as you can. Keep in mind that a big named company might not always be the answer. Ask yourself – is the firm focused on growth? Or are they content with what works now? Likewise, make sure you are assigned the right mentor. In the end, align yourself with an organization and mentor that will support your success and goals.
3. This isn’t the “Devil Wears Prada”…
But this isn’t a Sandals vacation either. Appearances do matter. Sure, that C-level exec may march around the office in a salmon-colored polo shirt and cargo shorts, but that doesn’t mean you should. Fair or not, your clothes, your hair – it all makes a difference. As a junior-level employee it really matters. Not just for how others see you, but how you see yourself. You only get one chance to make a first impression. You’ll take yourself and your job more seriously when you dress better than your current job requires.
4. Stay curious and be motivated
If you aren’t motivated to do your best, you’re wasting your organization (and your clients’) time as well as your own. Ignored phone calls, deals that fall-through, losing out at the negotiation table – these are all things that can happen almost on a daily basis. It’s easy to beat yourself up and fall into the dark hole of apathy. Remember – don’t be too hard on yourself. Approach each experience with an open mind and see it as an opportunity to learn.
5. Talk less, listen more
When you’re in the company of others, listen more. As the Greek philosopher Epictetus once wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Be present and in the moment, whether you’re out with your boss or with a client. Keep your ears open – opportunities and ideas can often time spring out of nowhere.
This is an incredibly powerful tool. Pick 2-3 times each month (or a week if you’re really a go-getter!) to attend a networking event in your city. While you’re there, keep your elevator pitch handy; however, just speak to people as you normally would. Let the conversation flow naturally. When you feel like an interaction has reached its end, don’t be afraid to politely excuse yourself. There’s nothing wrong with telling the other person “I’ve really enjoyed chatting and I’m short on time, so I’m going to make my way around the room before I go. Let’ grab coffee next week, so we can dive deeper into how your grandmother’ property is driving her bonkers.”
7. At the end of the day, just be patient
You can hold yourself in a confident manner. You can be organized and dressed professionally. You can be an expert at communicating with clients. You can have the right mentor at the right firm. However, at the same time, you’re still young. There may be times where you’re overlooked for a promotion or a new client. It’s not fair but it’ll happen. You can’t control how you’re perceived but you can control your reaction. Wear a smile, put in the work, be gracious and opportunities can – and will – fly your way.