Starting a career in real estate isn’t as easy as you’d think. It’s essential to take into consideration that you’re not just becoming a real estate agent but also a business owner. You have to keep track of your income and expenses, develop a marketing plan, display excellent communication skills, manage your resources and so on. Joseph Sheehan, a successful licensed real estate broker at Bond New York, who also has his broker’s license in Florida, joined us on the “Michael Meier Show for Real Estate Rockstars” to tell us what he’s learned from his five-year journey in the business thus far.
Joe, who lives in the same building as Michael Meier — principal broker and owner of MEIER Real Estate, comes from a detail-oriented, accounting background where it was imperative he implemented certain processes to monitor data. So to him it was essential to transition into the industry with a plan. A two-year plan to be exact. Joe recommends that aspiring agents raise enough funds to last at least two years, if possible, due to the slow start most new agents face in generating income.
Your first transaction.
Whether it’s on social media, at the coffee shop, through another agent or at the airport, your first transaction opportunity can happen at anytime. Joe got his first deal in a more traditional fashion by being on floor duty and converting a walk-in customer into a client. Always be prepared. Always be ready.
Keeping up the momentum.
To keep business coming in after your first transaction, take a look at your marketing and advertising strategies. At MEIER, we encourage our agents to use social media to generate brand awareness, send out monthly videos to their personal network and distribute mailers and postcards. Other strategies to consider: investing in a lead generation platform, like Zillow, and cold calling.
The goal here is to keep going, even when times are tough. There’s a reason the real estate industry has a high turnover rate, and that’s because a lot of agents give up when they experience a stale period in generating business. If you just stick with it and be ready, you’re bound to get your big break.
Knowing your values.
The core values we discussed on the show were that agents should maintain a very professional character on and off the job as you never know when you could meet a potential client. As licensed real estate agents in New York, we also have to abide by certain laws and ethics in our daily lives as well — honesty, for example, and being respectful of certain processes. Some other tips: Practice good time management skills, look polished and keep your wits about you.
Being a resource for your clients.
Your clients will come to you with questions and advice on the market. Teach your clients what to expect from searching for a home to closing a transaction. Be mindful of their time, but also remember that your own time is very valuable. When your clients show signs of shopping around without a purpose, consider focusing more time on another client with more motivation. Also, think before you speak and remember that the home buying process can be an emotional one. Be understanding.
Joining a team.
There are so many benefits to joining a team at a real estate firm. You will not only get to learn from experienced and successful agents, but also take on an automatic revenue stream, as these agents are already known in the industry and have developed a portfolio of clients. You will learn to avoid certain pitfalls and distinguish serious clients from not-so-serious ones. The time you save there alone is better spent on business practices that will help grow your business, like lead generation.
At MEIER, our Accelerator training program fosters a collaborative team environment where agents can learn from the successes and challenges other agents are facing. We do this to help bypass the steep learning curve and develop a more established presence as a team. After all, we encourage everyone at MEIER to assume the successes of our team as their own.
What would Joe say to an agent with a similar skill set?
Be aware that it can take around four months for you to close your first transaction. Create a plan for two years with no income and standard business expenses. Also, make sure you dedicate time and a set budget for promoting and advertising your business. Joe had a nest egg, or as he likes to call it: a “transition fund.” Really grasp onto the fact that you’re starting a business and sometimes you will have to invest in it.
What would Joe say to new agents in general?
Be smart about your business and plan ahead. If you’re committed to the industry and love what you’re doing but just can’t get that first deal, you have to figure out what you can change to do more business. Some of the most successful results come from stepping outside of your comfort zone. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I cut out to manage my own career?
- Will I respect the real estate process?
- Can I implement good time management skills?
- How can I make sure to exude confidence?
- Will I remember that any moment can be an opportunity for new business?
- Am I ready to create a business and marketing plan?
Key takeaways if you’re just starting your career:
- Prepare for a lot downtime.
- Learn how to identify serious buyers.
- Really trust your instincts.
- Have a business plan and stick with it.
- Treat your business as a business.
- Figure out what’s not working and change it.
- Respect the industry and especially your clients.
- Join a team if possible.
- Always remember anyone you come into contact with could be your next client.
Have any questions about the industry or looking for advice on your social media goals? Want to recommend someone you think could add value to our show? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at Info@MeierRealEstate.com or visit our website at www.MichaelMeierNYC.com.
Watch the full show here: Real Estate Journeys – Featuring Joseph Sheehan
Make sure to tune in every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for new guests on the “Michael Meier Show for Real Estate Rockstars”!