How to become a successful real estate agent

"It's not about hard selling. It's not about holding open houses. It's about filling in the gaps for people from what they see on the internet and what the reality is of buying a home in your market."

If you are looking for a fast way to become a successful real estate agent, consider the following three steps to get started.

Steps to help you become a successful real estate agent

Step 1 – Successful real estate agents don’t waste time

Don’t feel like you need to understand every single possible aspect of real estate – This is just not possible.

One big misstep I see new real estate agents take is spending time going to see neighborhoods. This is simply not dollar productive, and creating the right habits early on, actually includes developing a discerning mindset to analyze what you should spend your time doing.

Consider it like this…

Learning the real estate business is like drinking through a firehose. There is so much information to absorb. Knowing about license law, and getting your lockbox and mls training, and getting business cards (you may not need these anymore by the way), are all necessary steps to take.

Starting a real estate career includes a litany of things to think about, and protecting your time, and really thinking about how to maximize your efforts, is something to grasp on to right away.

The last thing you should add onto your plate is driving around your town aimlessly trying to understand neighborhoods.

Here’s a tip to get to know neighborhoods when starting in real estate:

Pro tip: The time machine method

The Time Machine Method is a way to get fast training on where neighborhoods are located before you show homes. Consider this as a way to understand neighborhoods “on the fly”, or when you need it.

Here’s how the time machine method works:
  • Forget that GPS exists for one year by entering a mental time machine.
  • Identify the homes you plan to see with a specific client – This is key. Don’t make up clients. Don’t spin your wheels driving places without clients. Real estate is too expensive for this, and making money in real estate right away is your first and only priority.
  • Print each of these homes out on a sheet of paper.
  • Don’t be tempted with modern tools to automate each stop – Yes, there are showing tools that will help you determine the best order to see homes.
  • Instead, take each home and look up the address of each property on Google Maps. Visualize where each of these homes is, and then move through the list.
  • Once you have the full list, and typically this is just a few homes, then arrange them in order using your brain, not software.
  • If you commit to implementing the Time Machine Method while showing homes your first year in real estate, you will learn how to visualize your market, and all of the neighborhoods in it, by stepping back in time, and planning your showings before there was GPS.

Step 2 – Learn how to explain the layout of your town to your buyers

The internet is full of real estate information. We have a YouTube full of videos on how to prepare your home for sale. Google is busting at the seams with properties for sale in every market, and customers they have their favorite tools.

Yes, Redfin, Zillow, – these are all real estate technology apps that are living in our customers pocket. And they do a great job of making our lives easier. (Jump back in your time machine and think about sitting down with a new client, opening up the newspaper – not efficient, not fun).

And while these corporate apps make our job easier, and many real estate agents feel threatened by, here is one thing Zillow, and Redfin and will never be able to do.

They will never be able to sit down with a client and explain to them the layout of your town. Developing this real estate skill early on will do the following to help you and is one of the best ways to learn how to succeed in real estate.

How to explain the layout of your town

  • Most towns start at one point and work their way out.
  • Look up the oldest homes in your market to find the starting point.
  • Print a map of your town, and then start drawing concentric circles based on the year homes were built.
  • Look at the different geographical limitations and consider adding them in as talking points. I.e.; in my market, we have islands. One island grew in the 70s and 80s. There is no more land for new growth. New homes had to grow from a different point.

Taking the time to quickly understand and explain the evolution of your town again will position you to help more people, to align people’s expectations, and will shorten your sales cycle considerably.

The benefits of explaining your town

  • Position you as a guide and a person of authority for buyers new to your market.
  • This will help you answer the question “what’s it like living there?” (more on this below).
  • It will help your customers understand early on that what they are looking for may not exist. This will help them focus on reality.

There is an example in the video below. In it, I discuss new buyers coming into my market, with the vision of buying a new home close to the historic district in Charleston, SC.

Step 3 – Answer the question: “I wonder what it’s like living there?”

This is the biggest question you can answer in real estate, and it is also the most powerful way to attract new clients. Put yourself in their position by pretending you are moving to a brand new market.

Now imagine finding a resource that answers all of your questions and helps you visualize what your new life will be like.

There are very few agents doing this, and based on my personal experience of launching my Charleston SC Real Estate YouTube Channel, I have been able to power my entire real estate business with a steady flow of leads and new customers at scale.

My favorite is YouTube, but you can do it in other ways too… like having a blog. But keep in mind, video marketing in real estate is the most efficient way to build a real estate career and will help you become a successful real estate agent if you out the time, energy and effort into making real estate videos. Just don’t forget about developing a strategy. Here’s a good free YouTube course to help you do that!

For new real estate agents looking to springboard their real estate career.
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