Many people get into real estate as a second career, but did you know that you can still earn a great income in your first year even if you don’t have a huge sphere of influence?

Real estate has tended to be an industry of “who you know” and word of mouth business, but things have changed with digital marketing and social media – thank goodness!

So whether you’re a first-year Realtor, a bit of an introvert, or someone new to the area with few contacts, you can still maximize your income in your first year of real estate as you build up your experience and local connections.

When I got started in real estate, I was in my early 20’s and I had absolutely no experience or connections when it came to potential clients. After all, everyone I knew was just graduating from college and they weren’t in a place where they could (or wanted to) buy a home yet.

And living in Colorado, it was quite expensive (and continues to be), so I knew I’d be waiting awhile for any of my friends or acquaintances to be willing to make that big purchase with me as their agent.

So what’s a girl to do when everyone you know is a broke barely-out-of-college kid with no interest in real estate for the foreseeable future?

I’ll be sharing the 6 ways that I’ve learned in my time as a real estate agent, and then a digital marketer that would have been highly beneficial to my first-year in the business. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and build your real estate business even faster!

1. Find a Mentor

When I first started out, I was at Keller Williams and they automatically set me up with a mentor. She was great at showing me the ropes and gave me confidence in my interactions with future clients because I’d seen how she conducted herself.

There’s a lot to learn in the art of selling, what to say and when, the order of events at an open house, or many other small things that you might not know the best way to handle without seeing them first hand.

2. Choose a Brokerage With Maximum Training & Support

It can be tempting to go with a brokerage that doesn’t take such a huge cut of your commission, or just charges a flat monthly or per transaction fee. In your first year of real estate, it’s important to learn as much as possible, take advantage of training, and learn from the other agents in your office. Focus on education and training.

Then after your first year or two, you can make the jump to a brokerage that takes a much smaller cut, but doesn’t offer as much training and support.

3. Time-Block for Productivity

As a real estate agent, you have a lot of freedom. This is one of the really great things about this career! But in order to be successful, you’ll need to be disciplined. One great way to make sure you stay productive and don’t waste the day away is with a time management strategy called “time blocking.”

To do this, all you have to do is section your day off into “blocks” where you perform certain tasks. For instance, you could write on your schedule that between 10 AM – 12 PM you want to respond to emails or follow up with leads and clients. From 1 – 4 PM you might do showings and appointments. Maybe from 4 – 5 PM you workout at the gym before you head home for the day.

It’s a simple concept, but powerful. Create your own schedule and hold yourself to it.

4. Spend Time On Activities That Actually Make Money

I cannot tell you how many veteran real estate agents encouraged me to do a million busy-body things that don’t actually make any money or contribute to your success. Wasting time on meaningless tasks in order to feel like they’re “doing something” and “being busy” was such a huge plague in the industry that I felt like an alien not conforming to this time-sucking ideology. 

There is no benefit to attending networking events with other Realtors – why on earth would you spend time talking to competitors rather than networking with new clients?

There is little to no benefit to canvasing a neighborhood and knocking on every door to introduce yourself or talk about an open house you’re having. They do not care and you will very seldom get a single lead out of this. 

Open houses don’t often sell houses. Most of the time you’ll spend hours every weekend watching neighbors and “Look-y Lou’s” wander through your property just to be uninterested or already represented if they are, in fact, a buyer. Some agents luck out and get a couple of buyer clients this way, but in my experience, it was extremely rare and wasn’t worth the time/effort.

There are plenty of other pointless activities many old-school Realtors will tell you are worth they’re weight in gold. You’ll know them when you see them because it doesn’t actually make sense why any of those tasks would work to make you money. 

5. Get a Rocking Website

Every major brokerage provides their agents with a generic, boring website that you can direct clients and leads to. They all look the same and they are so unimpressive it pains me to look back at my old lame website. In a sea of real estate agents, you need to stand out. And in today’s world, you need to stand out online.

With most buyers and sellers beginning their real estate search online, online dominance is the name of the game. Build a beautiful, eye-catching website that makes you look professional and like the local expert. It would also be wise to write blog posts that illustrate your expertise and target local keywords so that you can show up in local searches.

Hire a freelancer or build your own using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace.  

6. Digital Marketing

#6 is my favorite piece of advice, and one that I didn’t learn until later in my career: digital marketing is your best friend. Many agents when I first started out advised door knocking, cold-calling, door hangers, and hosting open houses for other real estate agents in the office as methods to drum up business and get leads. However, I wasted so much time doing this and had very, very minimal results! It was honestly so frustrating, as I’m sure many of you have experienced in your own adventure to getting clients.

When I began in real estate, social media was just becoming popular. It wasn’t widely used and definitely not an avenue for real estate marketing just yet. But times have changed! Now, I’d argue that digital marketing is the most important way of reaching new clients. After all, with everyone spending so much time on social media, why wouldn’t you use this avenue to connect with them?

Many agents struggle with digital marketing because it can be overwhelming, confusing, and take a lot of time trying to figure out what actually deserves your energy and attention – you’re too busy to just be going through the motions without getting any results!

I created Restate Social because it’s all of the marketing strategy & tools I wish I had when I first started out in real estate, and would continue to need throughout my career. It’s like Realtor marketing in a box!

To succeed, you need a strategic program that incorporates social media, advertising, email marketing, and content creation seamlessly. Restate Social provides our members with a monthly step by step marketing plan and templates for all pieces of the marketing materials and social media posts contained in that plan. Then members simply customize and post! Marketing has never been so easy!

Learn more about Restate Social and how we help real estate agents easily market themselves and reach new clients online