As many can attest, the real estate career can be a series of trial and error at first with no clear road map of how to build your business. So we asked our Illinois Young Professional Network (YPN) alumni to take us back to the very beginning and share their tips and best practices for success. Their “Success Tips” are now available to download in PDF or podcast format.
Over the next few weeks we are going to share more of these YPN success tips in a blog series to help you start the new year out right.
Tip # 1: Don’t spend money you don’t have
New agents are inundated with products and programs, ways to spend money even before they make their first commission. Our 2019 Illinois YPN Advisory Board Chair Brian Kwilosz says this is a mistake many new agents make right out the gate.
“As a new agent, focus on lead generation techniques that cost little to nothing instead of purchasing leads or buying the latest technology,” says Brian, managing broker and owner of EXIT Real Estate Partners in Downers Grove and President-elect of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®.
Here are some of Brian’s cost-friendly ideas for building your business.
Network and build relationships
“A database is not just a list of names, people you have met and their contact information,” says Brian. “It’s more of an organic collection of relationships.”
First and foremost, Brian mentions that you don’t start your career out being a secret agent. Establish your database with those already established relationships in your life. Let them know you are in the business, whether or not they are looking to buy or sell or even if they are in a different state, because there is still the opportunity for referrals. If you use a CRM program or an excel spreadsheet, be sure to track these relationships and communication. And then don’t forget to also think beyond real estate and lenders. Establish business-to-business relationships to diversify your network. This will help you offer value in other areas to your clients.
Cold-call or door-knock
“Set a minimum for yourself,” says Brian. “Say I want to give out five business cards every day, five days a week. You do that consistently you will be at the top of your market.”
Brian says this will be far more effective than purchasing a billboard that will cost you a lot of marketing dollars. He also notes this is effective if done strategically and consistently—be a resource and offer value first.
Take advantage of the FREE resources for REALTORS®
Establish yourself as the go-to expert within your sphere of influence
“You need to have a mind-shift when you are talking to people you already know,” says Brian. “You aren’t begging them for business. You are calling them up and being a resource.”
By being a giver and not a taker you can offer value whether it involves buying or selling home or not. Help your clients in other areas. You don’t have to know all the answers right out the gate, but what you can do is find out the answers. Not only do you offer knowledge when it comes to real estate, but you have a support system backing you that you can reach out to from your managing broker or team to REALTOR® friends and colleagues.
Be consistent and persistent
“Be consistent on a day-to-day basis,” says Brian. “We wake up with the best intentions but then you walk out the door and life hits you in the face. Treating this like a job is very important. The better and more consistent you are, the better you are going to do.”