Got My Real Estate License, Now What?

There's more on "how to become a real estate agent" than just getting your real estate license!

Building a Successful Career is Like Building a House

After you get your real estate license, you need to start building your real estate business. I compare building your real estate business to building a house. You want a house to live in and to enjoy and to entertain your friends and family. The fun part of owning a home is the decorating, and the parties, and the family dinners. But before you can hang curtains, arrange furniture, and throw your house warming party, you must:

  • Buy the land
  • Hire an architect to create the blueprint
  • Hire a contractor to build the home
  • Clear the land
  • Prepare the lot
  • Lay a firm foundation
  • Frame the house
  • Put a roof on it
  • Build the walls, windows, and doors
  • Install the electrical and plumbing
  • Add the sheetrock
  • Install the cabinets, counters, lighting fixtures, faucets, etc.
  • Finish the trim work
  • Paint
  • Lay the flooring
  • Inspect and fix the details
  • And more!

The point is: You don't buy the land on day 1 and then start enjoy living in the home on day 2 or even day 20. Many things have to happen, and in the correct order, before you can start enjoying a new home. But who wants to think about laying a firm foundation and installing electrical and plumbing?!

Likewise, many things need to happen before you can start making money in your new real estate business, but most agents want to put the cart before the horse. They want to start decorating (lead generation) before they have laid a firm foundation (set up their systems and acquire the right knowledge). Then they wonder why those open houses aren't working and why they aren't making any money.


What You Really Need to Do at the Start of Your Career

When new real estate agents ask for help, everyone starts telling them to "work your database" and "post three times a day on Facebook" or "do videos" or "call your sphere." What we need to be doing is asking agents:

  • Have you learned what you need to know about home construction, materials, defects, remediation, and so you can actually call yourself a real estate expert? If you don't know that much about houses, what value can you offer clients?
  • Have you studied your area and know it like the back of your hand? Can you demonstrate that knowledge to prospective clients? (People want to hire real estate experts...not real estate amateurs.)
  • Have you analyzed your local market and chosen a target market that will be profitable based on your area and your personality? Or are you just haphazardly hoping that anyone will hire you?
  • Have you chosen the correct marketing strategy to attract people in your chosen target market? Do you know what you need to do every day to implement that strategy?
  • Are you implementing a strategy that will build your credibility and prove to your target market that you are THE go-to real estate expert in your area?
  • Have you built an Internet platform to promote yourself and your business effectively? One that builds rapport but also establishes your credibility as a real estate agent? (Recipes and pet videos are cute, but they will not establish you as the local area real estate expert.)
  • Are you branding yourself correctly based on your chosen target market?
  • Do you have all the forms, checklists, and templates that you need to meet with (and impress) clients and manage your transactions effectively?
  • Do you have a detailed daily schedule and marketing calendar to promote your business?
  • Do you have a lead generation system, including tracking sheets, call lists, contact forms, etc. to make sure every lead is handled effectively?
  • Do you have an awesome follow-up system for the leads that you get to convert them to clients?


Industry Training Should Focus More on Product Training

Sure, a few lucky people make it in this business without all of these things in the beginning of their career. They are usually the ones who have outside financial support for the two to three years it takes to develop all of this expertise. However, studies show that up to 87 percent of new real estate agents fail. Probably because they give up trying to figure this out on their own or because their savings runs out before they start earning a living.

In the corporate world, companies may train their sales people for several months before sending them out to the field. They know that, to be successful, sales people need to really know their product first. In the real estate business, our product is residential housing (usually) and our local market area. However, you will hardly ever see any training on those two topics in the real estate industry! It's like everyone assumes that agents know these very basic, but important topics. (No wonder Americans place real estate agents as one of the least trusted professions.) 



Would you hire a surgeon who only knew the basics of the surgery but had never performed one? Would you hire an attorney who went to law school, but never won a case? Just because you live in a house, doesn't make you an expert. If you want to help people buy and sell houses, shouldn't you be a housing expert?

With Zillow and the Internet, people don't need us to find houses any more. However, they do still want real estate experts to help protect them from buying a money pit and to walk them through the complicated transaction process.


Real Estate is a Business - Not a Job

Successful companies don't just put up a sign and hope someone will buy their product. They do detailed market analysis and business planning to make sure they are following the correct strategy and headed in the right direction. They select target markets they can be successful with and then gear their marketing and advertising efforts towards those specific markets. Yet, in the real estate industry, very few agents even know how to analyze their market.

A career as a real estate agent isn't a's a business. You are the CEO of your own company. The quicker you can get into that mindset, and start running your business like a successful company, the quicker you will be successful. That means you need to begin at the beginning...laying a solid foundation for your business first. (That includes all the boring market analysis and business plan writing that you don't want to do.) Then you can get into the fun side of Closing deals and making money. 

As an analogy...who's chocolate cake is going to taste better? Baker A who just throws some ingredients they have available in a pan and bakes it at 450 degrees for 10 minutes (because he's in a hurry)? Or Baker B who obtains a great recipe from an expert Chef, and follows that recipe (but adds his own touch of an extra 1/4 cup of chocolate syrup), and bakes the cake at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time? It may take longer, but Baker B's cake is going to be a great cake!

If you want the step-by-step recipe for success (more like a detailed 230+ page cookbook) then get the JumpStart for Real Estate Agents book today. This book will walk you through the start-up process you real-world practical tasks that build on each other, creating a well-planned business that will draw clients to you. Our unique methodology is based on creating new real estate experts who modern clients want to hire. When you follow our program, no one will ask you, "How long have you been an agent?" because your marketing efforts will have already demonstrated your expertise. 


When you finish the JumpStart book, you will have the knowledge, tools, and skills that an agent with two- or three-years experience has. That's what you need to jump-start your career!

P.S.  Broker's do not (generally speaking) teach new agents all the things you will learn in JumpStart. You'll find that out pretty soon and then you'll wish you read JumpStart sooner!  



Helpful resources for real estate agents:




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