February 23, 2022
People come to Garden State Real Estate Academy to get their NJ real estate license. Real estate school is tough, and we are proud of the high success rate our graduates have in passing the real estate exam.
But then what? Sadly, the required curriculum set by the state does little to prepare candidates for the real world of being a successful real estate agent. That’s why our instructors—all of whom have super-successful real estate careers—go beyond “teaching to the test” and provide hundreds of tips on how to be a great Realtor® after they finish New Jersey’s top-rated real estate school.
Step 1: Build a database
Even before graduating from real estate school, you should be compiling a database of everybody you know who could possibly need to buy, sell, or invest in real estate in the future.
Start with a simple Excel spreadsheet. Use the columns for first name, last name, address, phone, and email address. Even better, break up your contacts into separate lists, so you might have one for family, one for neighbors, one for, say, church friends, one for work colleagues, etc. That way you can personalize your marketing messages to your specific audiences later on.
Everybody has more potential additions to their database than they may think. In my current evening class, we have a teacher, a former hotel catering director, a high school football coach, a car salesman, and a person who sold luxury yachts, to name just five. Imagine how many parents the football coach and teacher could put in their database. Think of how many former corporate catering event clients or car buyers or yacht owners those other classroom guests know and whom they could add to their own databases and who would be “warm” touches if the new agent subsequently included them in their marketing campaigns.
Commit to feeding your database every day. A database can grow to thousands of names in just a couple of years if you add 5-10 new contacts every day. And you can direct your marketing efforts to every one of those on a regular basis—FREE—through email campaigns.
Step 2: Sign up for every available training event.
One of your most important questions for brokers you interview must be about their training program for new real estate agents. Training should be a lifelong commitment, but it is never more important than in your first year.
Whenever you can attend sessions on scripts, lead generation, effective communications with buyers and sellers, how to run successful open houses, etc., you should. No, you must.
Step 3: Get a mentor.
A mentor is an experienced agent who will take you under his or her wing. A good mentor will listen to you express your personal goals and areas where you want to focus, such as commercial, investment, or residential real estate, and will then lay out a road map for you to reach those goals.
You should treat this relationship seriously. Some mentors will tell how their mentees fail to show up for their weekly scheduled meetings, or constantly use excuses for why they have not completed assignments to which they committed. You mentor is giving up his or her own time when he could be making money just to help you.
You must respect that and take advantage of the expertise and experience that can propel your new career to new heights.
Step 4: Commit to lead generation.
I’ll be completely honest: lead generation is not much fun. In fact, I hate it.
However, both during my 30-year real estate career and now as a real estate school director, it is an essential part of my every working day. You should time block 2-3 hours every work day for lead generation. Like any unpleasant task, you should get it out of the way early, or you’ll be dreading it all day long! Most of the top agents I know spend 8-11AM every day on lead generation.
Lead generation is simply a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more leads you’ll come up with. Lead generation doesn’t have to be cold calls trying to sell people something. It includes just calling people on your sphere of influence list to see how they are doing and then gently reminding them of your real estate career and asking whom they know who might be thinking of buying or selling real estate.
Remember, when you first earn your NJ real estate license, you are a secret agent. That means nobody, except for your mother, knows you are now a Realtor®! You job is to connect with a broker that can provide the tools to train and educate you and to then let the world know that you are the one real estate professional they need to know if they, or a person in their own sphere of influence needs to buy or sell real estate.
Garden State Real Estate Academy offers live pre-licensing, broker licensing and Continuing Education classes for aspiring and existing New Jersey real estate agents. We also provide the “Supplemental Course” for out-of-state licensees wishing to earn their NJ license and our popular “Across the River” class to prepare NJ agents to pass the Pennsylvania real estate licensing exam. These are all delivered by live instructors via Zoom.
We also offer online self-study real estate licensing classes in 21 states through our partnership with The CE Shop. New Jersey does NOT allow self-study pre-licensing classes.
For information on the real estate school’s upcoming New Jersey licensing classes, click here: https://www.gsreacademy.com/pre-licensing-courses/
For real estate licensing classes in all other states, click here: https://gsreacademy.theceshop.com/pre-licensing
David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 33 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 20 books.