How to be a Successful Real Estate Agent: Practical Guidance and Actionable Advice

Real estate can be an especially rewarding career. Once you build up your reputation as a Realtor® and develop an understanding of your local market, you can enjoy plenty of opportunities to form relationships, close deals and help your clients find the home of their dreams — and potentially make a tidy profit in the process, too.

How can you start gathering that knowledge and experience? What does it take to position yourself as a dependable and valuable asset for a buyer, seller or both groups?

If you’re just starting out in your real estate career, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions. Keep reading to find out the answers.

Foundational tips for success as a real estate agent

The real estate business is unique, to say the least. A Realtor® generally earns money solely on commission from successful transactions. While Realtors® have to work under the supervision of a brokerage, they do not usually form a traditional employee-employer relationship. Keeping this context in mind is important for truly understanding the field of real estate.

Building your own expertise

Honing your talents as a real estate agent is a critical consideration. While you might have the opportunity to learn from a more experienced agent or broker, the best way to build knowledge and expertise is by taking the lead in your own career.

The good news is that you have plenty of options for free and low-cost real estate education. Your local board of Realtors® offers learning resources and educational seminars. Similarly, there’s plenty of opportunities to develop your knowledge of real estate through state and national conventions. You can also consider paid training if the free alternatives related to a specific area of real estate fall short.

Managing time effectively

Real estate agents do plenty of independent work, from marketing properties for their clients to setting showings and working through the details and potential difficulties of a sale.

You’ll need to efficiently set your schedule each day, taking your own needs and those of your clients, and potentially your brokerage, into account. There isn’t a single method for time management that’s objectively best for all real estate agents — everyone works differently. However, you should consider:

    • Prioritizing your most crucial tasks, and regularly assessing the relative importance of responsibilities you need to address in the short-term future.
    • Carving out time to take care of all your obligations. That includes key considerations like finding leads and directly working with clients, of course. It also means managing your professional finances, marketing yourself, reviewing trends in your local market, conducting market analysis and more.
    • Building your calendar around events with fixed times, like showings and meetings, then filling in the remaining time with more flexible and less pressing work.
    • Recognizing that, throughout your career as a real estate agent and especially when starting out, you may have to put in significantly more time than a “normal” 40-hour work week.

Standing out with real estate marketing

You could have an incredible aptitude for building relationships, finding the most relevant listings for your client and influencing negotiations in their favor. But if no one knows about your career as a real estate professional, you won’t have many opportunities to demonstrate your talent. That’s why effective marketing is absolutely crucial to becoming a successful real estate agent.

How can you raise your profile and start building relationships with clients? As a new real estate agent, you could:

    • Look at options for direct mail, email and social marketing. All are effective paths to finding clients, although social media is increasingly popular and useful. If you’re new to using social media to support your business, talk to your mentor and seek out information and courses offered by your local association of Realtors®.
    • Work at open houses put on by a fellow Realtor®, to potentially find both clients and listings.
    • Build a professional website. This can serve as a one-stop source of information for potential clients, and can be much more organized and in-depth than social media profiles and pages.
    • Define and target your ideal market. It might be first-time homeowners, mid-level properties, the luxury market or something more specific, like a certain profession. When you have a clear picture of who you want to work with, whether as a seller’s or buyer’s agent, you can focus your marketing on the channels relevant to them.
    • Become an expert in the market you work in. Learn about and stay current on pricing trends. Note common issues and concerns and share them with clients to keep them informed. Have an understanding of the boundaries of area school districts and how location can affect access to other services.
    • Develop local connections with clubs and charities. Just make sure you support the organization itself and don’t only use it as an avenue for marketing.

For marketing to be truly successful, you need to commit to marketing for a significant period of time. You may not have dozens of clients getting in touch after one round of mailers or a few weeks of social media marketing, but consistent efforts can pay off.

Similarly, you must budget for marketing appropriately. In general, a Realtor® should set aside 10-12% of their previous year’s income for outreach. As a new agent, look to your broker and mentor for guidance about marketing budgets.

Building long-term success as a real estate agent

Long-term success in the real estate business is most often the result of dedication and years of investment into marketing and building a client base. Good habits that start at the beginning of your career will pay off over time.

Successful Realtors® have large networks of past clients who choose to continue that partnership when they choose to purchase their next home. Those satisfied customers may also provide referrals, as their own friends, family and coworkers enter the market for a new home.

Experienced agents can also choose to become brokers, completing additional education and licensing that qualifies them to own a real estate firm and sell property on their own. Leading a brokerage isn’t easy — you will need to oversee your agents and ensure they act responsibly and ethically.

A Simple & True Brokerage for Realtors®

Amerivest Realty is committed to supporting Independent Realtor® Associates by helping them develop their careers. We offer a knowledgeable and committed support team for your benefit along with resources for networking, training and much more. And our commission plans couldn’t be any easier to understand. Learn more about associating with Amerivest Realty as an 100% Commission Real Estate Independent Realtor® Associate.