Real estate is a dynamic industry with many angles – from the new agent doing her first deal to the grizzled investor flipping another property, there are so many paths to success.
But even with all this diversity, one things stands out – agents that survive and succeed see real estate for what it is.
Helping people buy and sell houses can feel like a business simply because you’re involved in transactions. That said, just because you’re close to a business doesn’t mean you are running one.
In this post, we’ll offer some key suggestions that will help you make sure that you’re setting yourself up for serious business, and not a hobby, a job, or a tipped tour guide.
No matter the size, all businesses need to invest in developing a strong brand identity and this goes far beyond simply sticking a logo or slogan on your website.
So what’s in a business? What can you do to set yourself up for long-term success and make sure you’re building a sustainable entity while you’re growing your client list and making connections?
Here are five crucial components you’ve got to master in order to thrive in the real estate industry and build a business that lasts.
One of the most important principles to remember in real estate is that change is constant. And in order to gain traction year after year, you need to change-proof your business.
What’s that look like?
It looks like planning for change, expecting it, and taking steps to minimize its impact when it happens. In a real estate career that spans decades, you can likely anticipate working alone, joining a team, changing brokers, changing brands, and navigating significant upheaval in the marketplace. Successful agents plan for these challenges, and aren’t surprised when they occur.
#1) What’s In A Name?
Every business needs a name. And you may just be able to use your own. You want to choose something that is universal and can grow with you and your career overtime. If if you don’t have that nailed, check out these 24 Real Estate Company Name Ideas From The Pros by Fit Small Business.
#2) The Online Identity Crisis
The internet can suck you in like a black hole. This becomes especially likely when using social media. Don’t let this happen to you.
Some of the most important foundation steps for a long and prosperous career are the easiest to nail down. Once you have a name, there are some basics for securing an open road for the future.
Get a domain name
Don’t buy all the fancy stuff, just get the $13 a year version, but make sure you secure and renew your online identity. GoDaddy.com is a fine place to start.
Get a business email @ your domain name
There are several ways to do this, but make it simple. If you have to spell your email for people, it’s probably too complicated. Try Gmail for Business to update your email now. Your personal email is no longer going to cut it.
Secure all your social properties
No matter your personal feelings on social media, you need to be active in order to reach leads. Even if you just start with a Facebook Business page, make sure you’re visible on social media. From SEO to building credibility with leads, they want to find you on the web.
When setting up your accounts, keep them just as professional as your website. Use a Twitter and Instagram handle that is consistent with your business name, streamline your bio across platforms and make sure to completely fill out your information so potential leads can reach you as quickly as possible.
Own your lead generating funnel
Let’s say you’re just getting started and you use a site supplied by your broker, a company email, and the office phone number. Think of every contact, advertisement, email, and mail-piece that’s sent. Who is it advertising for? Then say after a few years you’re invited to join a new team, you find a better deal with a new agency, or your broker leaves and you are ready to move on.
Who benefits from the effort you have invested? Not you. You’re building someone else’s business. Business owners partner, but also protect their own investment and long-term income for a win-win relationship.
#3) Become A Lead Generation Wizard
The golden rule of real estate is ‘she who has the leads, makes the rules’. If you’re like a lot of agents, two important drivers in your decision to take up this career are the opportunity for independence and the possibility of making money.
What you soon discover is that both of these require a consistent flow of leads. Independence, flexibility, and a good living are all available to the agent who can wrestle up new deals.
There are lots of ways to get real estate leads. Basically, all the tools and techniques out there break into two categories:
Paying for leads.
Unfortunately, buying leads doesn’t teach you anything about how leads are made. When you buy leads, you surrender the process of lead generation to another entity and you don’t learn about the market, how to market, or how to improve.
Here at Easy Agent PRO we’re a bit partial to the other way of getting leads – generating them yourself.
Agents using LeadSites can use content marketing and paid ads to drive traffic to high-converting pages, where prospect provide their contact details.
The web isn’t the only place to find leads, but it is probably the most efficient method. A single Facebook ad can be created in minutes and seen by hundreds of potential prospects in just a few hours.
#4) Relationships – What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?
In any form of sales, you learn to size situations and people up quickly and determine if you’re going to get a paycheck any time soon. In real estate, you must resist the impulse to turn heel as soon as something gets cold. Business owners know that they are playing the long game.
So how can you stand out and grow your business every day?
Every transaction you’re currently working is an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment, dedication, and skill. What if you thought of every person you interacted with as a lead, a prospect, as a deal in the making? What would you do differently?
Here are some hints :
Be professional – with everyone. Since you never know who’s going to be your next deal, you can’t afford to write anyone off or lower your level of service.
Address issues directly. A direct and compassionate response to challenges is refreshing. Lots of people run when things get dicey. Think of these moments as your chance to shine. Show up and dig in. You’ll make unexpected friends.
Be results-oriented. We all know that person who can make a big mess out of a little problem. Don’t be him. Don’t be her. Be the person who resolves issues, reduces friction, and relieves tension.
The real estate universe isn’t that big in many markets – most agents, brokers, lenders, title folks and even buyers and sellers are going to cross paths again. Commit to be a person they all remember as capable and professional and your business will be on a sure path to success.
#5) It’s Business Time
To successfully run a business, you’ve got to recognize that real estate is an entrepreneurial pursuit.
The nature of real estate activity sometimes makes it feel more like a lifestyle than a business. Between the late night showings, Saturday open houses, client calls early, late, and on weekends, it can be very difficult to see the rhythms that success requires.
The reality is, you have to bring those rhythms. In between the busy, you need to ensure that you’re taking the necessary actions to move your business forward.
Identify critical activities
The things that need your attention fall into the important but not urgent category. Urgent activities will naturally get your attention, so you need to focus on important actions that aren’t going to be screaming your name.
Prospecting, building referral relationships, and bookkeeping are important factors in your long-term success, but will seldom have burn-down-the-building urgency. Identify all of these activities, run your list past your broker and see if they can add any necessary tasks you’ve forgotten.
Fire up your systems
It used to be that you could run a business empire on the back of an envelope. Those days are gone.
These are the days of systems: marketing, follow-up, financial, and feedback systems are just a few of the necessary components of your successful business.
Take a minute and survey yourself. Do you have information that doesn’t have a home?
Tax-related papers that don’t have a spot? Client or transaction documents that are floating? Follow-up items that you’ve committed to memory? Chance are, these are indicative of missing or under-utilized systems.
Review your progress
Okay, so you’re a business of one, but that’s no reason to not pay attention to your results. Take an hour out of one afternoon to crunch your numbers.
What are your marketing metrics? How many leads did you get in the last month? Contracts? Closings? Client satisfaction surveys? Expenses? Income?
What gets measured, gets done.
Update your records at the end of each month and review your progress. Use this information to create your priorities and determine your critical activities for coming weeks.
And there you have it! Keep in touch with us on Facebook to swap tips and stay on track with other agents just like you!
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”