Top 5 Fundamentals for Getting into Real Estate as an Agent
Say what? You just got your real estate license? Now what are you going to do!
Whoa, a new year already! 2-0-1-9. Can you believe it? It’s true what they say…the older you get, the faster time flies by, right? And, it does! Well, the good news is that this is the time of year when new goals are set, we focus our intentions and press the reset button! I don’t know about you, but I am already ready to take a break from all the socializing, super late nights and far too many glasses of red wine!
Now, it might be obvious (try not to smirk), but I’m definitely a goal setting kind of gal. I aspire to bigger and better things. I want to push myself to live beyond my comfort zone. Being safe and in a day-to-day routine is a little bit of a snore to me. What I find fascinating is that everyone’s aspirations and goals are so different and unique to who they are. There’s so much opportunity out there and tons of room for all of us to kick some serious butt in 2019! Some of you may want to train for your first full marathon, others are looking to read more, travel more or give back more. And, some of you of are looking for a big whopping “360” – like quit your job, move to a new city, go back to school or start fresh from the bottom-up kind of thing.
When your goal is Toronto Real Estate…
When the new year hits, we often receive a lot emails and texts from friends and associates looking to shake up their career choices. And of course, many are toying with Toronto real estate as a new path. Now, everyone knows that real estate allows for flexible hours and unlimited earning potential right? LOL. No, seriously…LOL.
All kidding aside, I was once a new real estate agent too (not that long ago really)! I decided that the “sink or swim” approach was my best option. So, I quit my job, got my license and joined the largest dollar volume brokerage in Toronto at the time. I wanted to join a team that would elevate me – one with hyper successful people. And you know what? I kind of crushed it in my first year. I ended up winning Rookie of the Year (which I am still proud of to this day) and I grossed more in commissions than I did in my old day job. How did I do that? Well, that’s what I’m going to share. Because, I want you to know that you can do it too. If this is something you want for yourself this year, I thought I would talk about some of the fundamentals that helped me move from a Freshman to a Sophomore pretty damn fast.
Disclaimer! Please know, what I’m about to tell you is not going to blow your minds…there is nothing that I really did that a Keller Williams book won’t tell you to do too! But, what I did do (and, this is one of the big differentials) was commit to these five practices with gusto. When you put commitment and gusto together in a room, great things can happen. And, they can for you too!
1. Start an Excel Spreadsheet
Write down the name of every person you know! You should be able to recognize this person on the street and identify them by their first name. Scour your emails, social media accounts, corporate networks and high school yearbooks. Write down the person’s name, their email, phone number and anything else you know about them. The first people you should add to your spreadsheet? Your Mom and your Dad. I’m not joking. This list is your starting point – a sacred group of people who will be your biggest supporters, your number one advocates and largest source for referrals. Your friends and family want to see you do well. And, everyone wants to help the newbie! It’s called “beginner’s luck” for a reason. I promise you that your own sphere of influence is where you need to start asking for business. Forget online leads, Instagram and office referrals…you’re not going to start a business there. Instead, you will start your business by pooling together this awesome group of people and marketing to them first.
2. Find Successful Agents at Your Office
This was probably my smartest move. And, I’m telling you to do it too! Find out who is big time at your office! Not the person with the biggest ego (they are everywhere). I’m talking about who is doing real deal business. I guarantee that they are so busy that they cannot keep their heads above water. This is great news for you! Why? Because you’re going to help them as much as humanly possible. I’m not talking about making them coffee or typing up their offers. I’m telling you to volunteer to cover their open houses, accept their low budget rental referrals, attend their home inspection appointments and do an amazing job each and every time. I promise, you’ll become this agent’s new favourite person. The more you hustle, the more small jobs they will give you! And, the more jobs you get, the better you become. Simple right?
3. Rentals, Rentals, Rentals
Real estate agents that do not do rentals are insane. Especially new agents. No one is “too good” for rentals. Now, does everyone have the time to do them? Absolutely not. They are a S$%t ton of work. The paperwork is bananas for leases – not to mention the logistics of keys, insurance, cleaners, hydro setup, new tenant forms, reference checks, credit scores and the list goes on…
So, what does this do for you? It means you get into buildings to see product and inventory, learn to plan timely itineraries, negotiate deals, find lockboxes, network with agents and practice paperwork. Not to mention, you’re also building your client and referral base one rental at a time. All of your rental clients will buy one day. And, if they don’t buy, they certainly know someone who will. Every real estate agent on our team started in the trenches and all of us will agree that this kind of hustle builds the best foundation for you to do bigger things!
4. Training Bandwagon
Just because you graduated from the Ontario Real Estate College doesn’t mean you know anything. For real. In fact, you’ll soon realize you didn’t learn much at OREA, other than re-familiarizing yourself with studying and multiple choice exams. Obviously, the best place to learn is on the field…as it is in any profession. When you’re not out there “doing”, you’re learning. You’re soaking in as much information as you possibly can. Go to every single training sessions your brokerage offers. Attend real estate conferences. Go to real estate coaching seminars. Take online courses on content marketing, social media and business planning. And, read a ton of books. Now, I’m telling you that there is a lot of “cheesy” stuff out there. It takes a lot of restrain on my part to avoid rolling my eyes at some of these events. But, what I do know is that I take one “tid-bit” away from every single session, which has informed our business, our operations, our project management and our marketing reach. Go to training sessions. You’ve got to keep learning.
5. Build Your Toolkit
This is imperative. You need to get cracking on this right away! Like, stat! It’s never been easier to build a simple website (you can craft a beautiful one yourself using an online template). Write your bio and have it proofread, snap a professional photo, print business cards, update your social media profiles, prepare a basic listing and buyer presentation with the help of your office. Get all of your contacts from your spreadsheet uploaded to a CRM system now. And, score a domain name and branded email address. Nothing screams “new” more than your Hotmail Account. Once you get these basics in place, then you can start telling your story and building your brand. Newsletters, testimonials and blog posts are just a few ideas to get you started! And, your list of things to do to improve should never, ever be complete. This is our own business and no one is more responsible for its success more than you.
Ready to get into Toronto Real Estate?
So, there you have it! My top five fundamentals that led the way to staying alive and thrive, versus shrivel up like a sour grape (it happens to so many, I thought I would be dramatic with my metaphor). If getting into Toronto real estate as an agent is your plan for this year, I have faith you in you! I really do. But, you have to know it takes a lot of hard work, tenacity, hustle and quite a bit of back bone. If you can stay on track for one full year, you’re already through the toughest part. Promise to keep pushing, promise to do things that are under your pay grade and never, ever say “no” to opportunity.
I look forward to doing our first deal together! Good luck out there!
This article is written by Kori Marin, Managing Partner and Broker at Fox Marin Associates. With a passion for Scandinavian design and all-things-Toronto, Kori brings her own brand of charismatic energy, creative integrity, and expertise to her work.