In the first half of this two-part series on becoming a real estate agent, we looked at the crucial considerations all new agents should bear in mind when setting up a fledgling real estate business. In part two, we offer additional tips on how to calculate and handle your marketing budget to help you really get off the ground and start securing clients.
The ‘funnel’ approach to budgeting we referred to in part one also needs to factor in an allowance for marketing, so that you can spread the word about your business and attract clients. However, it’s important to spend your money wisely: ongoing image advertising in newspapers and magazines is expensive and the results tend to be long-term, so this isn’t an ideal marketing strategy for new agents trying to build their business. On the other hand, investing in a well-designed website makes good business sense thanks to the low cost and excellent potential returns. Ensure that your social media presence is wholly career-oriented, so that anyone who sees your profile gets the right impression of you and your work.
You will also have to choose a broker to carry your licence: be aware that different brokers offer different services and charges can vary dramatically. To maximise your personal takings, don’t simply go with the best commission split – a broker offering excellent support could leave you with more money in your pocket than one with a better commission split. To ensure you make the right decision, you’ll need another spreadsheet, comparing anticipated broker expenses and returns for every option you’re considering, keeping in mind the different systems of compensation.
Progression in the real estate business is all about increasing your ‘sphere of influence’. Inform friends, relatives and other acquaintances of your new business to spread the word the old-fashioned way. Make a list of everyone you know to create your initial contact database and use emails and even phone calls to increase awareness in your immediate circle. Once everyone knows you’ve started as a new agent, create a plan for regular updates and set out to increase your list of contacts through activities such as work in the community, or simply striking up conversations with people you encounter in the course of your daily business.
Finally, once you’ve gained your first clients and made the first tentative steps towards becoming a successful real estate agent, you may want to carve out your own specific marketing niche. Find statistics for your area to help you figure out a target customer base, or concentrate on a particular type of property to make the most of strong demand. Post regular updates listing your successful sales or giving your professional opinion on emerging real estate trends in your area to prove to anyone visiting your website, blog or social media account that you are an authoritative expert in your field, who they can trust to find them a new home.
As one of the world’s leading specialists in the sale and leasehold of premium properties, with offices in 38 countries and more than 4,500 employees, we know exactly what makes a successful real estate agent. If you want to benefit from our intensive training scheme and excellent knowledge of the industry, visit the E&V Academy website for more information.