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Finally getting your real estate license and beginning your career as a new realtor is an exciting and stressful time. On one hand, you’re ready to embark on a new journey. On the other, you might not know exactly where to be begin. Here are some tips for new realtors on how to succeed in the real estate industry:

1. Interview at Different Firms

Do you think you’re ready to start selling listings now that you have your license? Not so fast, my friend!

Your first step should be to find an office, brokerage or firm to join that fits with your goals. This is a very important and commonly overlooked step.

Don’t simply focus on the commission split. Instead, think about the things that matter most in getting your career off on the right foot, such as educational opportunities, training programs and resources.

2. Find a Mentor (or Two)

It’s so important to find a wise, successful veteran to lean on and learn from.

Think about it: Luke Skywalker couldn’t restore the Jedi Order until he completed his training with Yoda; Will Hunting was going nowhere until Sean McGuire broke through his walls; and Michael Jordan didn’t win until Phil Jackson became his coach.

Find someone who not only knows what they’re doing, but who you truly connect with and feel comfortable around.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions. The mentor/mentee relationship can work both ways.

After all, the Mighty Ducks were a ragtag bunch of hoodlums and Gordon Bombay an arrogant lawyer before banding together to experience personal growth (and a Pee Wee hockey championship).

3. Create a Business Plan

What are your goals for your first year? How are you going to reach them?

How much are you going to spend on marketing? On technology?

Don’t make an already-difficult transition harder than it already is. Sit down, think about and plan how and what you can achieve and provide as a real estate agent.

4. Discover Your Brand

Your new career title is realtor. But who are you as a realtor?

What property type is your niche? What age group? Do you think you can be hip and better connect with millennials? Or do your interests and activities more closely align with an older generation?

Your brand is who you are as an agent and business person. It also impacts how you present yourself as a person and in your marketing.

You can’t begin to sell yourself until you decide who you’re selling.

5. Work Your Sphere

Your sphere of influence — friends, family, acquaintances — is your most important prospect base, both now and in the future. These are the people you’re closest with, and the most likely to have you top of mind when they, or their family and friends, are ready to buy or sell their home.

Keep in touch personally, via social media and/or a reliable customer relationship management system (CRM).

6. Prospect, Prospect, Prospect

Different real estate agents consider differing things the lifeblood of their business.

For some, it’s all about marketing. For others, it’s more about putting forth all of their effort into prospecting for new clients. Both are important, but which of those two areas (and others) you decide to put more effort into is completely up to you.

Regardless, make sure you spend a lot of time prospecting – especially at the outset of your career. Cold call, attend community events and put up fliers. Do everything you can to get your name and brand out into the world.

7. Discover the Right Lead Gen for You

Are you going to focus on building your brand and business through your sphere of influence and traditional cold calling and door-to-door marketing?

Or are you comfortable enough with technology that you believe you can build an online brand through social media, video and SEO skills?

The truth is, all of these lead generation avenues are important for every agent. And you should implement a nice mix of traditional and digital marketing tactics.

You’ll likely skew one way or the other, however, depending on what you’re most comfortable with and your target demographic.

8. Market Yourself

Once you figure out who you are as an agent, what your brand is and through which avenues you want to market, it’s time to … market yourself!

Create a logo. Get fresh business cards. Create a professional email account.

(Pro tip: Use an email address that you own, rather than one provided by your firm. That way, if you leave, your email address stays with you.)

Remember: Don’t skimp on marketing. The more professional and eye-catching it is, the more eyes will catch it.

9. It’s About What You Know

Don’t forget why people hire real estate agents. It’s not only because of your beautiful marketing and witty personality.

It’s about your knowledge.

Keep up on national and local trends. Learn your market like the back of your hand. Start taking the steps now that will eventually make you a local market expert.

It won’t happen overnight. But as you become more experienced and your business begins to grow – whether it’s one, three or five years down the road – you’ll be thankful you began to immerse yourself in market stats at the beginning of your career.

10. Utilize Time Blocking

Now through nine tips, you might be starting to get overwhelmed and thinking:

You want me to find a mentor, create a business plan, prospect, market myself and study market stats. You haven’t even mentioned showing listings yet. How can I possibly find the time to do all of this?

It’s all about being organized, creating a daily list of your activities and sticking to it.

Or in other words: time blocking.

It’s a tried-and-true method to not only complete every task on your plate, but also build a routine that eventually becomes second nature.

11. Leverage Technology

That said, even the most organized person could have some tasks taken off their plate. Thankfully, we’re in an age where technology continues to evolve.

Use a CRM. Consider email automation if you plan on doing a monthly newsletter. Schedule your social media posts a week or so in advance.

To more efficiently manage your showings and feedback, consider using a professional service like the ShowingTime Appointment Center. Our appointment specialists are available 24/7/365 to answer showing request calls, confirm appointments and share all information with the relevant parties.

We also automatically request feedback on your listings after showings, provide a mobile app, reporting tools and several other features.

12. Communication is Key

All leads, prospects and clients are equally important.

Sure, you might get along with one seller better than another. And one listing might be priced higher than another – some even significantly so.

But when it comes to marketing listings, promptly responding to messages and discussing prices, each and every lead/prospect/client deserves your best and most professional effort.

It’s those little things that make or break your reputation and business.

13. Stay Educated

Yes, you have to take a real estate exam every year to renew your license. But simply doing that is a bare-bones approach to being a truly qualified realtor.

Read real estate books. Listen to industry podcasts. Follow industry blogs. Attend in-person networking events and join social networking groups.

Life itself is a journey of never-ending education, and your career in real estate should be no different.

Are you a real estate agent looking for tools that will help you save time? Learn how the ShowingTime Appointment Center helps free up your time to focus on other tasks to grow your business.