Top 10 things every new real estate agent should do right now
Top 10 Things Every New Real Estate Agent Should Do Right Now
New Real Estate Agent Tips from Industry Veterans
Get a Designated Email Address
Using your personal email address for your professional correspondence is a bad idea for two reasons. First, the address itself might be unprofessional, difficult to remember or spell, or difficult to communicate over the phone. Second, keeping your work separated from your personal communication is more conducive to time management, organization, and overall performance.
If you don’t already have a business email, start by thinking of a handle. Make something that’s easy to say and easy to understand. If your name is commonly misspelled, don’t use it. Keep it short and marketable without being too specific to your service area.
Once you have the name, choose a platform and create your account. For business, Gmail is probably the best there is. For about $6 per month, you can even have your email registered to your domain name (more on domain name later). You’ll use this address to create your accounts on other platforms and as a contact method in your marketing material, so get this set up before moving on to the next task. Make sure you update your contact info with your real estate brokerage once you’ve set up your new address.
Create a Professional Voicemail Message
Your voicemail message is the first impression of you a lot of prospective clients will get. It’s crucial to make sure that impression is professional, informative, and inviting.
If you’re able to set a personalized recording for your voicemail, do that before you start marketing and receiving calls. In the message, tell the caller your name and the company you work for. Then, acknowledge that you’re not answering the phone. A lot of professionals opt to skip this step in favor of a more concise message, but that makes your message feel cold.
Let the caller know that you do want to speak to them by thanking them for calling, apologizing for missing them, or simply giving a brief explanation for why you didn’t answer. Be sure to tell the caller what information you need from them, like their name, phone number, and their reason for calling. Let them know how quickly they can expect a response from you and offer alternative methods of contact if you have any.
It sounds like a lot, but a good message could be as short as: “Hi, you’ve reached Katy with Rise Realty. I’m out of the office. Please leave your name, number, and reason for calling, and I’ll get back to you in the morning. If you need a faster response, feel free to send me a text.”
Secure Your Domain Name Early
Your domain name is the name of your website. It’s also the address where users can find you. Think of your website as an apartment complex with several units (pages). If your URL is the complete postal address that tells the postal worker which unit to go to, your domain name is the street address that anyone can Google to find your front page.
Two websites can’t have the same domain name, so it’s a good idea to plan it out and lock it down early, even if you’re a newly licensed real estate agent and not publishing your website just yet. Just like your email address, you’ll want something that’s easy to say and spell. Shorter is better, but you do want to include your service area this time. That’s because it will help you show up as one of the Google 3-Pack (top three business results in local search).
A lot of people dread the idea of having a headshot done, but it’s an essential part of your toolkit. The good news is, this is not about being a beauty queen or king. This is about connecting with your audience and showing that you’re a real human being, that you’re professional, and that you’re approachable. They might not even know it, but people pull a lot of info from that single photo and it’s info that will help them choose you as their agent.
Dress comfortably, but professionally. Think about the persona you’re creating and how it aligns with your corporate and personal values.
Avoid strong patterns because they’ll distract from your face. Same goes for cheesy props like pets, cell phones, and gimmicky poses. Choose black, pastel, or mid-tones, and wear sleeves.
Don’t feel pressured to do heavy makeup. A photographer’s camera will pick up more than your phone camera does, so keep it subtle (jewelry too!) unless a glam look is your everyday preference. An updo is not required, but get your hair off your face. If you wear glasses, just make sure they’re spotless because the camera will show your dust and fingerprints.
If you can’t get a headshot done right now, you can DIY it, make sure your DIY headshot looks professional.
Multiple Listing Service
You’ll need MLS access to work with your clients. Contact your local real estate board and begin a membership application. If you don’t know which board to apply to, ask your broker or office manager.
It typically takes one or two days to finalize your membership, depending on the location. Once in, get acquainted with the system and how to search for properties and run comps. If your a new real estate agent and this is your first time joining a board of Realtors, you’ll need to complete the mandatory orientation and training.
You should also take advantage of the webinars and training offered by the MLS to familiarize yourself with the search function and other features.
Setup Your ZipForms Account or Other Real Estate Document Storage Portal
If you are a new real estate agent in California, Zipforms is the system that houses all of the C.A.R. real estate documents you’ll use in your transactions.
Once you’ve joined your local board of Realtors, you’ll have access to a personal Zipforms account. Activate your account and familiarize yourself with the basic navigation and features. You can find help and training at ZipLogix Support.
Even if you don't have a need for any of the forms or contracts at the moment, having your Zipforms set up will reduce frustration when it's time to write an offer or listing agreement and time is of the essence.
Business Cards and Marketing Materials
Your business card design should incorporate your headshot and maintain the same level of professionalism and personality. Consistency lets your prospective clients know what to expect from you. Keep the same branding going in your yard signs, open house signs, and email signature.
Some platforms will allow you to use an image in your email signature, which will help prospects connect with you in early communications. Business cards can take ten days or more to be delivered from the printer, so get them ordered as soon as you have your headshot and branding ready.
Real Estate Agent Bio
Your real estate agent bio is the face of your business in the digital world. It’s what tells the world that you know how to sell homes as a real estate agent.
It’s important to offer all the right information in a way that connects with your readers and drives your best selling points. Your bio should include your headshot and be posted on the platforms that reach the biggest targeted audience in your service area. It’s also a tool that will direct your prospects to you, so make sure to include a strong CTA (Call to Action) and contact information.
Boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by inserting a key search phrase two or three times throughout your bio. A good, local key phrase is the name of your service area followed by “real estate agent” or "Realtor" if you are one. Don’t overdo the keywords. Bios are short and Google doesn’t reward keyword plugging.
For more detailed instruction, check out our guide for writing a powerful real estate bio and some great examples of killer bios.
Build Your Digital Footprint
Posting your real estate agent bio in the right places will help you build an impactful digital footprint. Your digital footprint is the collective information that’s available about you online.
There are two types of digital footprints: passive and active.
A passive footprint is a footprint that develops without your deliberate planning and direction. These can often be weak and in worst-case scenarios, negative.
An active digital footprint is one that’s crafted by the owner by posting positive and compelling information on social media platforms, directories, and your website. By creating and maintaining an active digital footprint, you can guide clients to your contact and service information by leaving a trail in the places you know your audience will be looking. Your digital footprint is crucial to the health, growth, and longevity of your real estate business.
Online Business Profile
Your real estate agent bio is part of your online business profile, which will ideally be posted to multiple sites. Profiles are typically free and will benefit your business for years to come.
There are six real estate platforms and three social media platforms every real estate agent should have a profile on, which we’ll cover in just a second, but you should also do a local search for real estate agents in your area and check the first two pages for other sites and directories that you can add your profile to. This broadens your audience and gives you the opportunity to network, build relationships, bring in more clients, and eventually start pulling in referrals, which is a huge part of business for a new real estate agent.
Top 6 Consumer Search Portals You Should Have a Profile On
Top 3 Social Media Platforms You Should Be On
Now Create Your Business Plan
You’ve set yourself up to start bringing in business, but it takes just a bit more than that to keep things going long-term.
Start by setting business goals. Define quantifiable goals that you want to accomplish within your business. Make them as ambitious as you like while remaining realistic. They should also be specific and have deadlines, whether short term or ten years from now. Commit yourself to those goals and design your marketing plan around them.
Be creative with your marketing, but make sure you’re hitting all the key channels as well. Google PPC and social media advertising is a great way to target locals with a recent interest in real estate. Include a budget in your marketing plan. Use your goals, target market, budget, and marketing plan to create a comprehensive business plan that will be your guide for timelines and productivity.
Implement your business plan using time blocking to get the most out of every day. Time blocking is a method of scheduling yourself where each “block” of time during the day is assigned to certain tasks. Your time is valuable, so it’s important you treat it as such.
Once you get going, assess your progress periodically and adjust your plan. If certain marketing endeavors are proving fruitless after you’ve given them a fair investment of time and funds, pull that effort to a more lucrative channel.
If you enjoyed our new real estate agent tips and are looking for a great 100% commission broker to work for, contact us today!