Success in real estate depends on an agent’s ability to utilize real estate tips that propel their business to new heights—tips like creating and following a written plan, thinking big, and building successful habits contribute to longevity in the industry. These recommendations will generate a constant stream of high-quality leads to grow your real estate business. Read my 15 tips for real estate agents to launch and sustain a successful career.
1. Create a Business Model Canvas
Among essential new real estate agent tips is adopting a business model canvas over a traditional business plan. This streamlined, one-page document is less intensive than traditional plans, focusing instead on your value delivery and revenue generation strategies. It’s particularly beneficial for new agents, offering an easier, more visual way to plan and grow in the real estate field without the complexity of detailed financial or market analysis.
The nine blocks of a business model canvas include the following:
- Key partners: Lenders, inspectors, other agents, teams, principal brokers, attorneys, and your sphere of influence will be your contact points for information and networking.
- Key activities: The crucial actions you must perform to succeed, like cold calling, listing appointments, purchasing leads, showings, and open houses.
- Key resources: The physical, financial, and human resources you require to grow your business. Essential resources include your customer relationship management (CRM) databases, the knowledge you intend to keep private, and your brand.
- Value proposition: The products and services you provide to solve prospects’ and clients’ problems and encourage them to choose you over the competition.
- Client relationships: The relationships you have with past and current clients.
- Channels: The channels you use to reach prospective clients include online marketing and advertising, direct mail, and email.
- Client segments: The markets and niches you will serve. For example, choose a specific community and/or type of real estate client (buyers, renters, sellers) you’ll focus on.
- Cost structure: Your projected expenses for operating your business, such as dues, continuing education and license renewal fees, marketing, taxes, and travel.
- Revenue streams: The deals you close, referral income, and broker price opinions you prepare for lenders.
Download our business model canvas template to help you start creating your plan.
If you prefer to write a complete business plan, check out How to Write a Real Estate Business Plan: Elements, Examples & Free Template (+ Goal Calculator). Use it as a guide when preparing your business model canvas.
2. Invest in a Quality Client Relationship Manager (CRM)
One of the most important real estate agent tips is to invest in quality real estate client relationship management (CRM) software. A CRM lets you manage client relationships through one platform and is accessible from most devices.
The best CRM software helps manage your real estate pipelines and captures the details of your listings in one place. Another remarkable thing about a CRM is that you can funnel your contacts into channels to automate targeted outreach based on segmented audiences. In addition to organizing your contacts, many CRMs also offer marketing and advertising features to manage your brand and generate leads efficiently.
Here is a list of some of the best CRM tools for real estate agents:
Real estate brokers and agents looking for a scalable CRM with sales automation and a sophisticated built-in phone dialer
Real estate agencies looking for multi-channel communication capabilities
Real estate professionals who need an easy-to-use CRM with visual sales pipeline tools
Real estate agents looking for third-party integrations and comprehensive customization tools
Monthly Starting Pricing
$14.90 per user
$14 per user
Tips for new real estate agents often include balancing cost with functionality. Our article, 6 Best Free Real Estate CRM Software 2024, offers valuable insights into free options, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your business’ growth trajectory.
3. Grow & Nurture Your Network
Another one of the best tips for real estate agents is prioritizing your network. Your best lead and referral sources are your friends, family, and past clients because you already have a relationship with them, and they can attest to your integrity, skills, and trustworthiness as a real estate professional. When you nurture these relationships, it returns tenfold, and they will keep you top of mind when they’re ready to buy or sell their home, too. Below are some ways to nurture your network:
- Greeting cards: Send your buyers a sentimental or humorous greeting card with a handwritten personal note that brings them back to when you handed them the keys.
- Pop-by gifts: They don’t have to be lavish—for example, a plant or a gift certificate for an experience shows you’re thinking of them. Agents typically do pop-by gifts around holidays, but it would be unusual to drop by with a gift that says, “I’m thinking of you,” for no other reason.
- Custom postcards: Craft personalized postcards featuring unique designs or memorable moments from the homebuying process. These can serve as gentle reminders of the positive experience with your service, keeping you top of mind for future real estate needs or referrals. Tailor them to each client to emphasize your dedication to personal touches.
ProspectsPLUS! can help you send custom postcards with its occasion mailing campaign that lets you schedule a full year of postcards in just a few minutes. You can choose from dozens of occasions and mix and match to create the perfect greeting.
4. Build Your Online Presence
Maintaining an active website is crucial for real estate agents to build confidence and engage potential clients. Capture email leads effectively by sharing content like blog posts, testimonials, and listings and offering free resources.
As of October 2023, the global internet user base reached 5.3 billion. Among these, 4.95 billion people were active on social media, equating to 61.4% of the global population. So, building your online presence through your website is key, but it’s not enough. Maximize your online presence by following the tips and strategies below:
- Social media platforms: Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share insights, listings, and personal stories. This helps build community and establish your brand personality.
- Landing pages: Create targeted pages for specific offers or listings to capture leads. These can be linked to social media or advertisements, focusing on a single call to action.
- Email marketing: Collect email addresses through your website and landing pages to send out newsletters, market updates, and personalized property suggestions to keep your audience engaged.
5. Develop a Niche
Being a specialist in a real estate niche streamlines your work by breaking down parts of the industry into channels—becoming the authority in your niche. It fits seamlessly into your business model canvas, so you can create a strategy to dominate your space.
Specializing in a particular niche, such as relocation, empty nesters, or first-time homebuyers, is a crucial real estate agent tip. While focusing on a specific property or client type doesn’t restrict you to just one area, it does make you more discoverable to your target market, boosting your chances of success. Once you’ve identified your niche, tailor your marketing efforts to appeal directly to that audience, enhancing the effectiveness of your outreach and positioning yourself as an expert in that particular field.
Pro tip: Your specialty lays the foundation for knowing who you need to connect with and the information you must gather to become an expert in that arena. It also focuses your marketing and makes it more straightforward. Here are the 10 Most Profitable Real Estate Niches & Why They Work to get you started.
6. Diversify Lead Generation
Agents often look for new tips for real estate lead generation to grow their businesses. You can generate real estate leads organically through your network or by purchasing lead generation services. Using various real estate lead generation strategies ensures a steady stream of prospective clients. Some lead generation realtor tricks and tips include hosting neighbors-only open houses and creating social media friends lists with content for their eyes only. To effectively generate organic leads in real estate, consider these targeted strategies:
- Personalize communications: Customize your outreach to specific seller segments, such as for sale by owner (FSBO) listings and older expired listings, which are often less competitive than new expirations.
- Target absentee owners and distressed properties: Like real estate investors, reach out to absentee rental property owners and owners of distressed properties for potential leads.
- Leverage property records: Utilize online property records from Registry of Deeds offices to identify leads that others might overlook, offering a unique advantage in your lead generation efforts.
These methods cater to the 75% of buyers who expect personalized experiences. However, organic methods for lead generation, like the ones listed above, are effective but cost you time and effort. Instead, consider buying real estate leads to more quickly increase your opportunities. Here are some of the most popular lead generation services available:
Automating lead generation and marketing for busy agents
Lead generation with artificial intelligence (AI) insights for agents who want to predict future buyer and seller behavior
Agents who need help with identifying niche leads
Brokers and agents who want centralized lead generation, nurturing, and marketing
$139 per month
10 cents per lead
$39.99 per month
7. Do Something Every Day That Scares You
Taking calculated risks to stretch your abilities is vital among tips for real estate agents. Focus on developing new skills and building self-confidence. For example, if social interactions seem daunting, start by joining a local real estate Facebook group. This step helps you step out of your comfort zone while creating new business opportunities.
Here are some other examples:
- Open a street directory and cold call homeowners to find new listings.
- Invite someone you met at a networking event for coffee to see if you can help each other with referrals.
- Leverage your personal network for referrals, as 82% of real estate transactions are sourced this way.
- Be a guest speaker at an event to position yourself as an expert.
- Attend a conference and utilize a real estate elevator pitch.
Start with minor changes. Once you’ve succeeded in a few things, your confidence will grow, and you’ll be motivated to continue. Don’t worry about doing new things perfectly and letting perfection hold you back. The more frequently you do the things that scare you, the more likely you are to create opportunities to increase your business.
8. Build Successful Habits & Be Consistent
Increase the odds of real estate success when you create new habits. One way to develop new habits is to attach them to existing ones. For example, if you want more real estate agent tips to expand your knowledge, make it a daily habit to read books and articles while drinking your morning coffee or listen to podcasts while working out. If you want new seller leads, schedule prospecting calls for the first two mornings of the workweek.
Consistency in habits is a crucial realtor tip. On days when motivation wanes, start with the smallest part of a task. For instance, if calling expired listings seems daunting, aim to make at least three calls every Tuesday morning. This approach builds the habit of making more calls over time, enhancing productivity and replacing less beneficial habits, even when motivation is low.
Pro tip: Habits have a domino effect and lead to other good habits. Develop habits and routines in your real estate career now and watch your success soar.
9. Increase Your Marketing Budget as You Earn Money
Earning a salary from sales is a milestone in real estate, but crucial real estate advice is to reinvest in your business, especially in the early growth stages. Allocate around 15% of your gross sales commissions to marketing and advertising, increasing the percentage as your earnings grow. Investing 25% to 30% can significantly expand your reach and lead generation, a vital step for sustained success in the industry.
Randomly placing ads and haphazardly spending your marketing budget will rapidly eat through your money, and you’ll see few results. It’s much wiser to pay for all-in-one tools and automation resources that do it for you. Later is a social media management platform and link-in bio tool for every social network. It helps you plan, analyze, and publish content in advance, saving you time and money.
Later is reasonably priced compared to others, with three package options based on your budget and the tools you wish to employ. Register for a free account and try its two-week free trial to get started right away. Then, decide if you want to keep it. It’s a great way to take advantage of two weeks of free advertising. If you’re unhappy with the service, simply cancel your account before the end of your trial period, and your credit card won’t be charged.
10. Outsource for More Efficiency & Productivity
Among useful real estate broker tips is hiring a personal assistant to boost efficiency and reduce workload. If hiring a full-time employee isn’t within your budget, consider a virtual assistant who charges by the minute. This flexible solution provides necessary support as and when you need it, optimizing your budget and time management.
Fiverr has freelancers for every service you need at various price points so that you can find someone affordable with quality work. Use Fiverr to find a virtual assistant to set up a website, automate your marketing, organize CRM software, design graphics, write ads and blog posts, manage your direct mail, provide tech support, and respond to your live chat. Hire someone to manage your books and pay taxes too. There’s no cost to join, and you can start browsing freelancers who can take on many of your tasks.
11. Read Trade Journals, Books & Articles
In this digital era, it’s necessary to stay on top of what’s happening in the real estate industry as a whole, not just the housing market. This will give you the knowledge to speak with clients to give insightful information and display your value.
If you’re a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), read updated research, statistics, trends, articles, courses, and real estate books. Also, read magazines such as:
- Realty Times: A free online publication that includes industry news and advice for agents, buyers, and sellers. It even allows you to publish your own articles. It’s a great way to keep up with current real estate trends, find answers for clients, and grow your business.
- Inman: Its content includes cutting-edge technology, real estate topics, news, and marketing, and it offers events. It’s a great place to find CRM and other product reviews. It’s a paid subscription, but the site has plenty of free content.
- Realtor Magazine: NAR members receive this as part of their membership. Its most unique features are in its online content, such as access to podcasts, downloadable scripts, and a Business Wellness section that offers advice on work-life balance and business growth.
- Top Agent Magazine: Features the industry-leading real estate agents, providing a way for you to learn from experts. You can subscribe for free to access all Top Agent editions.
Being “in the know” helps position you as an expert in the field and gives you first access to cutting-edge lead generation and online tools to grow or pivot your business. Staying on top of the industry also gives you endless content to write about and share on your social media pages, website, email campaigns, and in conversation.
Continuing education (CE) is another opportunity to expand your knowledge by choosing CE classes where you learn something new. Choosing an accredited online real estate school that offers a large variety of classes from which to choose provides state-approved education and fits conveniently into your busy schedule. Check out the 5 Best Accredited Online Schools for Real Estate 2024 to compare CE courses between them.
12. Take Time Off
Often overlooked among the tips for real estate agents is to take time for relaxation. Being at the top of your real estate game and avoiding burnout requires you to step away from work occasionally. You want a career you love and to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. If you’re all work and no play, it won’t be long before you’re ready to quit.
Research shows people who take time off from work have lower stress levels, lower risk of heart disease, and are highly motivated to reach their goals. Your travels or even your “staycations” give you opportunities to let your network get to know, like, and trust you because they see what interests you. Sharing vacation stories with new prospects allows them to know you more. Spend time in nature and do the things you love. Take a trip off the beaten path. Use your staycation to explore unknown places in your town.
13. Practice Realtor Safety
Realtor safety is not often discussed in the real estate profession, but you must learn a few safety tips to protect yourself and your clients from danger and harm. Agents meet strangers frequently, are alone with people regularly, and often drive and walk in unfamiliar locations. These situations can put agents in a vulnerable position, so you need to be prepared.
Here are some tips that help keep you and your clients safe:
- Screen your clients: Before meeting a new client, research them on social media like LinkedIn or Facebook to confirm they are the person you are meeting with.
- Meet in a public place: Just like with a date, meeting in a public place is a great way to meet a new person, but does not leave you vulnerable since you’re surrounded by people. Meet your new clients at a coffee shop, restaurant, or office to ensure your safety.
- Do not provide property access without your presence: When you are showing properties, always be present at the location. Unsavory clients may cause damage to properties, or the property may be hazardous and put others in physical danger.
- Create a buddy system: Enlist a colleague as your buddy so you can look out for each other’s well-being. If you or your buddy are going on a showing, let them know the location and time you will return. Consider sharing your location via mobile so that if you or they don’t return in the allotted time frame, you can check in on them.
- Have a distress call ready: Many phone apps are available that will automatically send a distress call to the authorities or select contacts if you are in danger. For example, Homesnap Pro allows you to set a safety timer when you go on a showing with an unfamiliar client. If the timer expires, a text message will be sent to your emergency contacts to notify them that you are in distress.
- Take a self-defense class: Self-defense classes will give you the necessary skills and tools to protect yourself or your clients if there is physical danger.
- Wear a hard hat: Especially with commercial properties, investors, or developers, you will visit properties that are under construction. To avoid any physical danger, wear hard hats (which should be provided to you) and pay attention to your surroundings.
While you might think, “That would never happen to me,” it’s better to be prepared for any situation that can harm you or your clients. When in doubt, get out of the situation and alert the authorities.
14. Save for Taxes
How much you pay in federal and state taxes depends on your household income from all sources, taxable deductions, business loss, where you live, and if you have to pay state taxes. Your federal real estate agent taxes need to be paid quarterly. It’s wise to set aside 30% of your gross income, but this doesn’t mean you will pay 30%. If you overpay, you will get a refund and avoid late payment penalties.
15. Look at the Big Picture
It’s easy to get caught up in our daily minutiae when we have so many tasks and must respond to urgent concerns between buyers and sellers. However, looking at the big picture of where we are heading in our real estate careers and life goals is critical. Periodically looking at the big picture keeps you on target and allows you to adjust your course when needed.
Developing the ability to think about the big picture is an invaluable skill that fosters creativity and enhances productivity. This involves embarking on projects such as crafting a comprehensive real estate business plan, which challenges you to step outside your comfort zone.
Through this process, you learn vital skills like lead generation, marketing strategies, and development of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. While maintaining focus on the grand scheme of things, it’s equally important to refine and adjust the strategies that haven’t yielded the desired results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The hardest part of being a real estate agent is eliminating or reducing the fear of rejection. It’s human nature to want to fit in and be liked. Hearing “no” daily can be disheartening. If you can overcome your fear of rejection, you can become unstoppable.
Another big challenge for new agents is to keep working without an income. If you’re committed to succeeding, you will find a way to overcome this. You can work part time until you earn enough or sell items you no longer need. Not having enough money can be a powerful driving force to commit to your success, so go for it.
One of the most important things for realtors is knowing how to price a listing. This will ensure the property sells, the homeowners are happy, and you accomplish your goals.
Another important thing is to consistently follow up with prospects. You don’t have to hound people, but you can create a follow-up strategy that includes occasional calls and emails or sending something in the mail like a greeting card or postcard of a just sold listing. Consistency is crucial in nurturing and following up with leads.
The three most important factors for succeeding as a real estate agent are commitment, knowledge, and self-confidence. With commitment, you’ll be determined to succeed and overcome obstacles no matter what. Knowledge is power, so you will ensure you continue to learn from your mistakes and stay up to date with what works and what doesn’t. Lastly, self-confidence assures you that you’re willing, capable, and deserving of the success you crave.
Gathering real estate agent tips, even as an experienced agent, is essential to improving your business. By incorporating the tips above into your existing business model, you’ll be able to increase your brand presence, organize your lead generation, and manage your time more efficiently.