New Agent Primer: 19 Tips for Getting Started in Real Estate

New Agent Primer: 19 Tips for Getting Started in Real Estate photo
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Being a new real estate agent can be scary.

You’re in a new world. You’re not receiving a salary. Real estate school barely taught you anything relevant to actually achieving success in this industry.

So today, I’m creating a path forward for you with 19 tips for getting started in real estate.

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in…


New Agent Tip No. 1: Get Licensed

Starting out easy here. Done? Let’s move on…


New Agent Tip No. 2: Consider Joining a Team

I often suggest new agents join a team to start out rather than flying solo.

A team will put you in close proximity to others who have experience and allow you to learn the ins and outs of the industry faster.

Joining a team can also make lead generation easier right out of the gate, as they may be willing to share leads with you.


New Agent Tip No. 3: Consider Starting as an ISA/OSA

Inside (or Outside) Sales Agents (ISAs/OSAs) are tasked with following up on leads and setting appointments.

I know, I know… YOU got into this business because YOU want those appointments (and the commissions down the road).

But being an ISA can accelerate your path by putting you right in the middle of the action from day one. You’ll learn how to prospect, speak with clients, build rapport, qualify prospects, learn people’s motivations, wants and needs – and more!

This route isn’t for everyone, but it might be worth considering plunging yourself into action for six months or so rather than sitting around hoping your phone rings.


New Agent Tip No. 4: Interested or Committed?

I’m gonna be blunt – the market doesn’t need more part-time, halfway engaged agents. So you’ve got to decide if you’re just interested in this career path, or if you’re committed to it.

Those who succeed in this business are fully committed to doing everything in their power to succeed and to provide today’s modern customer with a seamless, five-star experience from start to finish.

Which is it… Are you all in or just dabbling?


New Agent Tip No. 5: Play the Long Game

Here’s another reason to be fully committed… Real estate sales is not an “overnight success” type of business.

You need to understand and accept that you’re starting a five-year marathon, not a sprint.

Before you get discouraged, know this: Doing the things I’m outlining on this list can accelerate your progress, but it’s still a process. Success in real estate takes time and disciplined action.

Are you up to it… or just looking to make a quick buck?


New Agent Tip No. 6: Know Your Story

Why are you getting in this business? Because of the low barrier of entry, or because you genuinely want to help people and believe you can build a thriving business by doing so?

What makes you different? Why should someone choose you over the competition?

All of these questions need answers, and you need a compelling story of why you got into real estate. It might take some soul searching, but I’d argue that it’s important work you need to do to define exactly who you are, who you’re for, why you’re doing it, and why you’re better.

Finding answers to those questions will help you build confidence faster, too. And that’s huge.


New Agent Tip No. 7: Track & Measure Everything

There are certain habits you’ll want to start right from the beginning, before they get difficult to adopt. Chief among them is tracking and measuring everything you do.

Data means everything in today’s world, and the more you know your numbers, the more certainty you can bring to your business.

Here’s an article from last year on what, exactly, you should be tracking.


New Agent Tip No. 8: Know the Market

“Well yeah Tom, of course I need to know the market.”

NO! I mean really know the market. The quickest way to build confidence (and speak confidently) is to know your market inside and out.

I’m talking about studying the MLS on a daily basis so you can develop talking points to share with your sphere and prospects. You need to know what’s selling, how quickly, what’s not selling and why, what’s going on with interest rates and more.

The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to identify trends and guide your clients to successful outcomes.

Make studying the market part of your daily morning routine.


New Agent Tip No. 9: Know the Answer to “How’s the Market?”

You’ll soon learn – especially when things get back to normal with increased social interactions – that as a real estate professional, there’s one question you’ll hear more than any other:

“How’s the market?”

Many agents make the mistake of responding with a simple “It’s good” or “I’m busy,” but those replies don’t lead them anywhere fruitful.

For many years, I gave agents this real estate script for how to answer this question:

“It really depends. Are you looking to buy, sell, invest, or rent?”

This engages them into a conversation that you can explain whichever situation they mention, or many people will reply, “Oh, I was just curious.”

Don’t let those “just curious” people off the hook. Follow up by saying,

“Well I’m curious… who are you asking for?”

This often leads to them opening up about their own motivations or someone they know who might be making a move in the near future.

This is pretty much an “evergreen” script, but I’ve recently come up with a new variation for during the pandemic. The objective remains the same – to find their motivation – but the process takes a different path.

When they ask, “How’s the market?” you say:

“The market is actually very challenging.”

Then continue with some market-related specifics. In most areas, these three elements will be true:

“There’s virtually no inventory. There are tons of buyers. And mortgage rates are at all-time lows.”

Then the key is to turn the conversation back to them, with an empathetic ear:

“But hey, how are YOU doing?”                          

Eventually, you want to get to this question:

“How has the pandemic or working from home impacted your housing needs?”

Master these two scripts early in your career, and you’ll be on the road to success.


New Agent Tip No. 10: Build Your Database

Take whichever CRM your company provides for you and start building a database.

For starters, upload every contact inside your phone.

Then consider who else is in your orbit – family acquaintances, club members, church members, service providers like hair dressers, doctors, former co-workers, etc. – and add them as well.


New Agent Tip No. 11: Choose Two Additional Lead Sources

Peter Drucker once said, “All business is innovation and marketing,” so if you’re not marketing yourself, you’re simply not going to be in the game.

Starting out, your database/sphere should be one of your primary lead sources.

I’d encourage you to identify and implement two additional pillars of lead generation as well.

These are the top five sources used by our coaching members who average 36 transaction sides annually:

  • Database
  • Geographic farming
  • Digital advertising
  • Open Houses/Virtual Open Houses
  • Circle Prospecting around recent sales/Yikes campaign

Which ones will you choose?


New Agent Tip No. 12: Get Comfortable on Video

Nothing connects with today’s consumer faster and more effectively than video.

If you’re camera shy or “don’t like the way my voice sounds,” get over it or seek a different career path. (Just bein’ honest.)

The key to creating effective video is acting like you’re talking directly to a longtime friend or client.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to video topics, but here are a few that you could create on a recurring basis:

  • How’s the Market – Providing regular market updates
  • Did You Know? – Educating the public about real estate issues
  • Around Town with… – Feature local businesses, activities, destinations, all demonstrating your connection to the community

Notice these aren’t all strictly real estate related.


New Agent Tip No. 13: Get Social

This one should be a no-brainer, but make sure you’re active on social media.

Furthermore, be yourself!

Show people the business side of you and the personal side. Give them behind the scenes access, educate them, reveal your personality and sense of humor.

Most of all, engage with people!


New Agent Tip No. 14: Practice Your Scripts

I’ve always said, “Never practice on your clients,” which means before you speak with a prospect or a client, you need to do your homework to learn and internalize your scripts.

As a new agent, I’d highly recommend you find a role play partner (or better yet, several of them) and make practicing your scripts part of your morning routine every single day.


New Agent Tip No. 15: Make Your Calls

Bay Area Rockstar Andy Tse and I devised his 3-2-1 plan many years ago, and he still sticks with it today as a $15 million annual producer.

So I’d suggest you adopt it as well. It’s based on a super simple daily plan:

  • 3 hours of prospecting calls or other lead gen
  • Identify 2 leads
  • Set one appointment

If you follow that plan every day, you’ll be a huge success in this business. The key, however, is doing it daily… not just when you get around to it or feel like it.


New Agent Tip No. 16: Strategize & Implement

Three strategies you need to create as a new agent are your email strategy, direct mail strategy and your social media strategy.

Don’t just “play it by ear.”

Instead, sit down and do the work. Learn best practices.

Then, make sure you implement, stick to your plan, and review metrics regularly to see if adjustments are needed.


New Agent Tip No. 17: Master Your Presentation Skills

As a new agent, you shouldn’t be too picky about who you work with. You can learn from every transaction, every showing, every renter, every buyer, every seller, every investor. Even if it leads nowhere, it’s a learning experience.

But at a certain point, you’re likely going to want to focus more on listings as your real rainmaker.

Which means it’s never too early to master your listing presentation.

If you haven’t yet established your own statistics to show to a potential seller, use those of your company. Practice your presentation over and over again with friends. I’d also encourage you to video yourself and watch it back to see how you can make improvements.

The more comfortable you get presenting to clients to win their business, the quicker your ascent will be.


New Agent Tip No. 18: Be a Sponge

Read books. Attend events. Find a mentor. “Shadow” top producers.

There’s no such thing as “learning too much” at this stage of your journey.

See how different people do things differently. Learn it all and apply what you like, and ditch what you don’t.

You’ll never have this opportunity again, so make the most of it!


New Agent Tip No. 19: Find Accountability

As a new agent, everything you need to do to be successful might seem manageable – for now.

But things accelerate quickly in this industry, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself saying “Well, it won’t hurt if I push those calls to tomorrow. I’m too busy today.”

And when you let your guard down like that, suddenly you’re strapping yourself in to the “real estate rollercoaster” – rich/poor, lots of clients/no clients, high life/totally stressed out.

That’s why consistency is so important as a solo entrepreneur.

If you don’t remain disciplined day in and day out, you will never fulfill your true potential.

So here’s my message to you, as self-serving as it sounds – find accountability.

Whether it’s another agent, your broker, a friend, a family member, or yes, a coach… you need someone to hold you accountable to the recurring actions and behaviors that create success. Who will yours be?


That’s all 19! Good luck on your journey. If you feel stuck or need help, feel free to reach out to me via text at 949-216-5466.


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