5 Essential Tips for Starting a Real Estate Career


November 2, 2020

Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed down “live” classroom instruction, Garden State now attracts real estate licensing students from the entire state of New Jersey, not just South Jersey. There are LOTS of real estate schools in New Jersey. Unfortunately, many of them cannot offer much advice on how their graduates can jump-start their real estate careers because they hire instructors with little if any real-world success as real estate agents. Garden State Real Estate Academy ONLY hires instructors who are experts at both helping you pass the state exam and who have fabulously successful careers themselves.

Here are our top five tips on what new agents should do once they earn their real estate license.

1. Create and feed a database.

The last thing you want to be is a “secret agent.” Start even before you get your license by assembling a database of everybody you know. It can be divided into several categories so you can send appropriate messages relevant to each group, such as family, friends, former school friends, neighbors, people you know from previous jobs, etc.

It does not have to be kept on an expensive software program. A simple Excel spreadsheet with first name, last name, phone number and email address across four columns is sufficient.

Then commit to feeding your database by adding at least five new contacts every day.

2. Know the inventory.

Buyers say that one of their main expectations of a real estate agent is that their agent knows the local market. In your first few weeks, it is not likely you will fill every day with client appointments. Use that time to learn about the neighborhoods in your market area. Print the MLS sheets for homes that are for sale and that have recently sold in those areas and take them with you as you drive through the community. It will give you valuable insights into current market values and availability and will show your future buyers and sellers that you are a true neighborhood expert.

3. Communicate

When I first became a Realtor® 32 years ago, I had no experience, no track record, I didn’t even know the names of the neighborhoods in my town. So when I made expired listings my primary marketing segment, I couldn’t “tell” them anything about my real estate capabilities.

So instead of telling, I asked.

I asked about the relationship they had with the agent who had been unable to sell their home for the past many months. To my surprise, the more listing appointments I had, the more they gave me the same answers. And one consistent complaint was that the agent was a poor communicator. Five hundred listing appointments later, I would still hear sellers say, “My agent went days before she returned my phone call.” Or, “We had so many showings, but my agent rarely called to give me feedback from those buyers.”

Few things make us more frustrated than people who do not return our voice mail or email messages promptly. It is both good customer service and a sign of our professionalism to do no less to our clients.

4. You are responsible for your own success.

Hang around agents who are—at best—mediocre performers and you will hear them complain a lot:

The market is terrible.

The company doesn’t give me any leads.

My broker should spend more money on advertising.

Look at that deal she just got. She is so lucky. It’s not fair!

Truth is, you are an independent contractor! You are in business for yourself. You may have a brokerage name like ReMax or Century 21 on your business cards, but this is your business, and as such, you are the CEO, Chief Marketing Officer and responsible for lead generation.

5. Use Leverage

YOU are the Brand You. The highest and best use of your time is when you are lead generating or working with buyers and sellers. I once measured my income and divided it by the number of hours I worked to get the transactions to closing and discovered my time was worth $222 per hour. It helped me realize that I should try to leverage any tasks that would not return at least $222 per hour. But how?

Suggest your clients get an attorney. There is no reason you should be spending hours on end negotiating with the cooperating agent over home inspection repair claims. Let their attorney do that. Is driving to the hardware store to have keys cut and then going to your new listing to place the lockbox and For Sale sign worth $222 per hour? Hire a high school kid or college intern to do that. You could do the same with your social media posting and placing of weekend open house signs.                                                                                                                                                                                         Remember, the only thing you have to sell is your time. Make sure you use it to your best advantage.

If YOU are considering a career in real estate, Garden State Real Estate Academy has licensing classes during both daytime and evening hours, and new classes begin every two weeks. The school is ranked by Google as the top real estate school in New Jersey. For more free articles on how to succeed in real estate, or to register for an upcoming class, go to www.GSREacademy.com

David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 32 years ago. During his career, David and his business partner sold more than 500 homes in South Jersey.  He is now School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 16 books.

Go to Top