Working As A Real Estate Agent

(for beginners)

So you’ve passed your licensing exam. Congrats! It’s a big achievement and you should be proud! Now, the big question… what next?

You’ve got the basic education under your belt now, which is fantastic! But there’s still a lot to do before you’re a successful real estate agent in Florida. The good news is that we have a proven track record of assisting newly licensed agents and helping them grow into the role of CEO of their own small business.

Here’s the basics to get you started on your journey to greatness!

caucasian male real estate agent in suit and tie standing proudly outside

Choose the brokerage that’s right for you.

The most important thing to understand is that not all brokerages are created equal.

What’s right for someone else might not be right for you, so make sure you consider your options carefully and meet with multiple companies before you make a decision.

We’ve got some great recommendations to help you evaluate your choices, and even a great checklist you can use to stay organized in the process.

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Get Settled In

Now that you’ve chosen your brokerage as a real estate agent in Florida, it’s time to get connected. Make sure you have access to all the systems your brokerage provides you with like email, CRM, marketing tools, transaction management systems, and more. As a beginner, learning how to take advantage of these systems will help!

Next? Learn the company. Read their employee handbook! While it’s not the most exciting thing to do right off the bat, it’s important that you understand your brokerage’s policies and procedures from the start.

After that? Introduce yourself! This not only starts you off on the right foot in your new office, but will also help you meet your coworkers and get to know the staff who are there to support you. Start building those relationships because they absolutely pay off in the end!

Finally? Get your learn on. While yes, you just spent a lot of time in class and then a lot more time studying, you’ve still got more to learn. Your new brokerage will have lots of options to help you continue to learn and set you up for success.

How would our brokerage set you up for success?

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group, we believe that a successful start is key to our agents’ future success.

For that reason, we’ve paid a lot of attention to the experience our new agents receive and have created classes and resources to make sure they’re starting off in the best way possible.

  • Getting Connected Meeting
  • Onboarding Intro Session
  • Berkshire Hathaway University Classes
  • Online Licensing Classes
  • Online & In-Person Continuing Education
  • In-Office Training Opportunities
  • Ongoing In-Person Classes & Webinars
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caucasian millennial man with beard handing business card out of suit jacket pocket

Make Yourself Visible.

As a beginner in real estate, you’re going to want everyone to know you’re an agent! Start with your sphere of influence, but be ready to casually work your profession into conversations with strangers as well. Hand out business cards like candy, but also make sure you get them in return!

Periodically add contacts from new business cards to the database for your sphere of influence.

Pro tip: Record how you met and other personal details so that your interactions with them in the future can be more personal, and more memorable.

If you need to meet people to grow your sphere of influence, get involved! Join charitable organizations, volunteer, attend events at your church, join groups or meetups related to your personal hobbies or interests.

However you do it, just get out and do it! The more people you know and interact with, the more business opportunities you’ll have.

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person holding dslr digital camera

How We Do It

Any of our real estate agents can request a free photoshoot that will provide them with a great headshot to use in all of their marketing materials. {And we don’t mean the stuffy boring grey background kind!}

We also provide a variety of tools to help them market themselves, like an automated graphic design platform, CRM system, multiple email marketing options, and so much more!

Build A Customer List

There’s no doubt. Real estate is a relationship business. While sure, you’ll get business from internet leads or other sources over time you shouldn’t count on that as the primary source of your business. The majority of your business as a REALTOR® in Florida will come from the vast group of people you’re connected to – whether personally or professionally. They’re usually referred to as your sphere of influence, and they’re a gold mine for referrals.

So, one of the most important things to do when you’re starting out as a new agent in the industry is to make a list of everyone you know. You’re going to want to let them know that you’re a REALTOR® and include them in your marketing efforts.

Brush off those spreadsheet skills and start making your list!

bald middle aged african american man with gray beard smiling at office desk holding folder

Create An Online Presence

Having a great-looking website that’s easy for a consumer to use is also very important. It should have information about you, like your bio and professional qualifications. However, the most important feature will be a property search option where your future customers can find their real estate dream in Florida, save favorite properties, and more. Don’t get hung up on the latest and greatest bells and whistles, just make sure it looks great and is easy to use when a new customer visits it after being handed your business card.

Some brokerages choose to provide website services for their agents at no charge, others may charge a fee or not offer them at all. Building and maintaining a website isn’t what you should be spending the majority of your time on as a real estate agent so if you’re not “techie”, make sure you keep this in mind when researching the right brokerage for you.

While you’re at it, make sure you have a high quality professional headshot taken. As a beginner, It will do wonders for your marketing efforts! Don’t give in to the thought that using that really flattering photo of you at that event a few years ago will do the trick. Trust us, it really makes a difference in how you’re perceived as a professional! These days, a headshot doesn’t have to be a stuffy “suit” photo on a boring background, either. The photo will be included in all of your marketing efforts, so make it something that is a great reflection of YOU – including your clothing and the setting.

It’s also important to build up your online presence in other ways – not just your personal website. Create social media accounts on the social media platforms you’d like to be active on. LinkedIn is a great place to start, and of course there’s also Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. You can be active on these platforms as either an individual or a business – which option you choose is a personal choice.

You should also consider creating profiles on other public information sites like Google and Yelp, for example. On both sites, you can create a business profile which helps consumers find and review your services.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have profiles on the real estate syndication sites as well! Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and more are all platforms commonly used by people thinking about buying or selling a home and you should be included there. It’s easy to create an account, and make sure you also complete the profile area with your photo, bio, service areas, and more! This is another great place to gather reviews from people you’ve worked with in the past to beef up that online resume and presence.

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hand holding smartphone taking video of inside of sellers home
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Personal Promotion

When it comes to your real estate business, you are the star! That’s why you need a great partner to provide you with tools, technology, and a powerful brand presence and promise.

Interested in learning a little bit about how we help our agents make sure they’re always visible? Take a peek!

Set Aside Time For Prospecting

Ever heard the saying, “What you do today will determine your future?” In our industry, it’s incredibly true. While the person you just met and gave a business card to may not be in the market to sell or purchase a home today, they will at some point in the future. So it’s important not to just have that initial conversation, but to make contact with them in the future as well.

Make sure you set aside time in your weekly (if not daily) schedule for prospecting, and come up with a plan for keeping in touch with all of your customers on a regular basis. Also, make those interactions as meaningful as possible. It’s best to incorporate multiple methods of contact in your prospecting plan – email, phone calls, postcards, even in-person meetings. Make the choice to devote time to prospecting now, and it will continually pay off for you in the future.

Want a great place to start? Offer free home valuation reports to all your homeowner friends! It’s valuable information for them and great practice for you. You never know… maybe it will convince one it’s the perfect time to sell their home!

Pro tip? Set goals. We all perform better when we’re held accountable. Set up a tracking system for yourself to make sure you’re meeting your prospecting goals on a regular basis.

Ninja Selling

Prospecting is key to a real estate agent’s business, which is why we place a lot of focus on providing tools and programs that support it within our company. One way we do this is by hosting an annual class that literally churns out NINJAS!

Buyside

Another tool our company provides which helps to support the prospecting efforts of our real estate agents is Buyside. It’s a fantastic platform that’s easy to use and addresses the two most important questions every potential seller has!

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Be active in the office.

Yes, you’re most likely an independent contractor. You’re the CEO of your own small business. But thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone! Be an active participant at your office. Attend sales meetings, go to trainings and events, hang out there and work for a few hours each day or week and make some friends. Building relationships within your office will not only make you happier, it will help you learn more about the business as well.

This can also be a potential source for leads as well! Ask fellow agents in the office if they need help hosting an open house, it’s a fantastic way to meet buyers. If your office has it, volunteer for floor duty! Even if you don’t get a lead, it’s often a great time to get work done and an opportunity to learn more about the properties currently on the market.

Also, find a mentor. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have people they see as mentors who they can learn from and grow as people and business owners. Maybe it’s just someone who you can bounce some ideas off over a cup of coffee. Or it could be a more formal business relationship – some real estate brokerages in Florida will have established programs in place to help you.

Get Involved!

At Florida Properties Group, we make sure there are plenty of options for our real estate agents to get involved. From company-wide events to in-office meetings, there’s never an excuse for someone to be sitting on the sidelines.

Make a plan

It’s important when you’re first getting started to develop a business plan. Set some goals, and determine the best path you need to take in order to achieve them. Think through your potential marketing options and develop a plan there as well – including a budget. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning and think you need to do “everything” in the beginning in order to get your business up & running, but that’s often not the case. There are plenty of free or low cost options you can get started with while you build up your business (and your marketing budget).

Remember, your business plan will change over time, so it’s important to be flexible. Especially when you’re first starting out! As you learn more about the industry, you may develop an interest in an area you initially didn’t think you’d like. When that happens, you can shift your priorities, and revise your plan to match!

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Coaching Is Key!

Need help? Consider working with a mentor or coach to help guide you in the right directions and keep you on track as time goes by.

For example, every single one of our agents at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group has their own personal coach available to them for bouncing ideas off of, business tips, general advice, and even contracts knowledge! Why? Because we firmly believe that our agents are more successful when they’ve got someone in their corner.

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Learn the market

This will be one of the most important things you can do. Learn. Observe. Absorb. Pick a neighborhood every day, starting with those where you know the most people. If you’re not completely familiar with them, take a drive! Learn the streets, the schools, the dining and entertaining options, the playgrounds, and more. That way, when you get a new listing you know exactly how to market it to potential buyers. Or, if you have a buyer for the area, you’ll be incredibly knowledgeable about the lifestyle and amenities the area will offer.

In addition, you need to understand how the Florida real estate market is performing in the areas you intend to work. How fast are homes selling? What’s the average price point? How many homes are currently on the market? Are properties selling close to list price, or above or below? When you’re asked, “How’s the market?” your answer shouldn’t be just “Great!” You should be prepared to provide valuable, detailed information. So be prepared!

Interested in learning more?

If you’re looking for more information about working in the real estate industry, we’ve got plenty for you to review. Here’s a few pieces we recommend to review.

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Is Real Estate Right For Me?

While, yes talking to strangers, negotiating, networking, cold calling, being personal, and having good customer service is all important as a real estate agent, there truly is more to it! Every single individual has strengths and weaknesses- whether that be certain skills, personality traits, or different confidence levels.

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Benefits & Insurance

As an employee starting a new job you’d typically expect to receive a benefits package which includes paid time off, insurance coverage, retirement plans, and perhaps some other perks. As a real estate agent, you should understand that while you’ll be receiving benefits and services from your brokerage, they’ll be different from those offered in general to employees.

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Become A Luxury Agent

Breaking into the luxury real estate market is all about getting into the right mindset, and adjusting your actions and activities accordingly. To work in the luxury market long-term, and not only when the occasional luxury listing lands in your lap, you need to be a part of that community, making connections.

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© 2020 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Equal Housing Opportunity.