#198 Mail-Right Show: 30 Things to do in Your First Month as a Real Estate Agent
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Hi, Folks. We in this show discuss this article “30 Things to do in Your First Month as a Real Estate Agent” which if you do a Google search comes up quite high when you looking for general advice if you’re a new agent. We also look at the good and the really bad advice given in this article . In truth you going to read and see a lot of similar information online which basically not terrible however not that great either.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 198. Yes folks we are getting close to that big 200. I’ve got my great co-host Robert Newman with me. And we got a great subject. We are going to be going 13 things you should do when you are starting out as a real estate agent. We found an interesting article on one of the better blogs. And we’re gonna I have a little bit of, might be a little bit critical or some of the points. That is their suggestion. But we just have to see how the conversation goes. I’ve got Robert with me. Robert would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: Well, I’d love to. My name is Robert Newman. I am the founder InboundREM, which is an online marketing. It’s both a blog and it is a service company as well. I want to remind everybody that we had a great show last week. That John managed to get us the biggest or one of the biggest guests of the Mail Right show ever. One of the top business coaches in the entire world came on the show. And he gave us some very high level advice. For those of you who are just tuning in, I suggest that you check out that last show. It was pretty amazing. Today we’re going to be focusing on things that you should do as a new agent. But I am going to briefly be touching on what you should look for when you’re trying to select a broker. For those of you who are out there who are brokers already? I strongly suggest that you tune in to that part of the show so that you can hear the advice that I’m giving the agents that you’re trying to recruit. Alright John.
Jonathon: And we got this article from building better agents your first month as a real estate agent. So we’re having the links in the show notes folks. Go to the mail-right.com and go to podcasts. And they will be the show notes with all the links that we’re going to discuss during the show. So we’ve got the start off with. So we’ve got these 30 things to do. Your first month is a real estate agent. You go through the first couple and give us some feedback and I’ll give some as well, Robert.
Robert: Sure. All right guys. Listen, before we get started though, I first want to thank our audience for the listenership. Our audience has been increasing a lot. John and I have been having meetings about how fast our audience is growing. And we are really super stoked. I’m going to ask a favor. Listen there are a lot of you that aren’t new. That had been listening to our show for a while. And the tendency among real estate agents and professionals to see if you find somebody that’s giving you really good advice, you keep it to yourself because you don’t want to compete against other agents. I get that. But I’m going to ask everybody to think outside themselves for a moment and do John and solitude. We do the show out of passion. I’ve never once obtained a client from the eight months that I’ve been doing this show.
This is really about you guys and giving you the best advice. And since we’re doing this, John has picked up some clients from the show, which is great and you should check out the Mail Right system because it’s getting better and better. And it’s truly an awesome piece of software. But on top of that, for me the mission is a little bit different. I use the show to educate you guys. So please do us a favor. Do me a favor, go out and give this show to new agents, people who are just starting. Anybody that’s ever asked you for a piece of advice instead of trying to respond, send them to the show. We’ve got 200 shows for you to listen to. We’ve literally already covered every single topic there is to cover. We just keep recovering it so that we know that it sinks in. And we kind of do this huge rotation of topics that all relate to real estate marketing.
So having said that, thank you for your patronage. Thank you for sharing the show. We really appreciate it. Let’s get started. We’re going to go to a site that’s called buildingbetteragents.com. And we’re going back to an old post of theirs. I’m going to share my screen briefly so that you can see the posts. So for those of you who are on YouTube, you’ll be able to see it. And for those of you who are listening and just going to hear me read through the points. Just give me guys second here guys. I don’t know why, but I’m all of a sudden having a hard time figuring out how to, oh, there we go.
Here we go. So we’re going to see John’s beautiful face on my screen. And then here we go. So guys this article, the reason that I’m sharing it and we’re reviewing it, John and I. Is because this is the number one article on when you say I’m a new agent, I’m looking for advice or I’m starting as a new real estate agent. This is the number one. Google hit an article that was written in 2015. And John and I have some commentary on it. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to start with the first section, which is started, which is getting organized. So this again, just to repeat, so nobody’s confused. This particular part of the show is aimed at what you do when you’re brand new agent or you’re in your first year and you’re trying to get your real estate business started. I hope everybody’s clear. Alright, so their advice building better agents is the first section is, and the articles entitled 30 things to do. So the first five things that they’re telling you to do is order business cards, purchase your Ekey to access and show homes, and get a professional headshot. Write a quick bio. Gather names, addresses, and emails of everyone you know. So before I say anything having read those five things. I’m going to ask John to play devil’s advocate and say, give me your thoughts on these first five and then I’ll go after you.
Jonathon: I have got no problem with his first five. I think don`t go bonkers on the business cards. But you probably do need business cards. Purchase your Ekey whereas depending on the brokerage and other factors, but it’s not ridiculous. Get a professional headshot. I actually do agree with that. Get some decent photography of yourself. And on the other hand that can, you got to shop around and get the best deal you can. Hopefully your broker has a photographer that they utilize quite a lot. Approach that you probably get the best deal from that. Write a quick bio. You can probably use that on different things, but so having a decent bio. Don’t have it about just you, but keep it reasonably short. Doesn’t need to be a long piece. And gather names. Yeah, I agree with that. Get into the habit of building your database because so many agents don`t. So I don’t think it’s terrible. What do you reckon Robert?
Robert: For one of very few times I’m going to go deeply in another direction.
Jonathon: So in other words, you think I am talking crap.
Robert: No, I think that both these lists, I think it’s wildly shortsighted. And here’s why I think that everybody and John. So anybody that like if and I have to admit to everybody that I’ve read through all 30 things to do. And John probably hasn’t. And he doesn’t know that nowhere in this plan does this plan actually address digital, a digital strategy, thinking about digital, doing anything with digital.
Jonathon: Robert you are jumping it a little bit. We’re talking about these first five.
Robert: And because I know that these first five are getting organized in my opinion, in the getting organized stage. One of the main things that you need to do is have both a traditional business plan and a digital business plan. And I’m not talking to you or like as a real estate broker. Because everybody gets confused when I say this. As a real estate agent, you are starting a business. And so you need a business plan as an agent, as part of that business plan you need do a number of things. Number one, you need to buy yourself a couple of books on writing a fricking business plan. Because if you are taking a minimal salary or no salary or going into commission only make no mistake, you are starting your own business. This means you need to know things like how you properly research stuff.
If you don’t know how and you’re reading articles like this, you need to read a couple of basic business guides. Number two, you need to have a digital outline of what you want to do. And what do I mean by digital outline? Digital outline merely understands and having done enough reading to understand what parts of digital do you think you want to focus on. You can change that later when you start your plan. But for the moment you should have done enough research to understand are you going to start a Google profile? Are you going to start an Instagram profile? How are you gonna get your name out in terms of the digital world? Because you can do all the things in this plan but nine times out of 10 you need to address digital as well. There are very few agents that can skip digital anymore. And those few agents usually go into their new career with a ton of sales experience doing something else. Or they are masters at like in person networking. And if either one of those descriptions is not you, then most likely you need to have a digital concept as part of your getting organized part of your business.
And in theory, if I was going to give out advice to new agents, God, I hope that there are a couple of you out there that are listening to the show that haven’t quit their day job yet. And there are still pulling in an income. Because if it was me, I would be four hours a night learning everything that I needed to learn because there’s so much blogs like this. Don’t tell you about starting your new business so much, your broker won’t cover for you nine times out of 10. So I’m going to also circle back around and say, are you a newly licensed real estate agent? If you’re fresh out of real estate school, you were probably thrilled that you passed the test and found a great broker. And then they link to another article that about 20 questions to ask when choosing a real estate broker, which I have not read in, John hasn’t even seen the articles. So, so neither one of us is really truly prepped on this. But it covers like business cards, signage, and lockbox.
Jonathon: Let`s get back to this article, which I don`t actually feel terrible. Fundamentally create a short letter. But developing any content or any advice about developing some content, I’m not against it. Because so many agents are so bad at producing anything. And then create a Mailchimp or a newsletter account at Mailchimp. Well, obviously Mail Right does that a bit. I’m not totally against it. Number 8. I think number 8 is better advice.
Robert: I would add to it. But I agree with you.
Jonathon: But they leave out the one, all these areas I’m not totally sure about LinkedIn be quite truthful. They are these are the ones. But they’ve left one of the most important out and that might be because of the age of the article. And when we discussed it a few weeks ago is your local business page. That should be number one that you should be filling in with as much information, which they’re advising you to develop for your bio and your head shots. This is all stuff that you’d be able to use in your Google business, your Zillow. I don’t suggest that you use Zillow and give them money. But I would utilize their free tools to the maximum I could. Trulia, Facebook and Realtor.com all these platforms I would utilize all the free. Whatever they offer for free, I would fill it in and use it to the maximum. I won`t give them any money.
Robert: So actually I do agree with John. In the article six, seven and eight are much better. So what they’re basically saying. John and I have covered this in a lot of our past shows. So what they’re saying is take a list of people that you know and then create a free account on Mailchimp. And that’s one piece of advice I give to every single new agent that calls me. Like to the best of your ability, don’t spend a single fucking penny on anything. Sorry, we’re on an adult show so I can curse. So don’t spend a penny on anything at all. When you are in the beginning of your new career. Look for free like when you’re in your first 30 days, six months. More agents than I can count go out of business and don’t survive being an agent because there’s a certain number of things like other membership services that you have to have as a real estate agent. That you have to pay that relate to your license and things like that. So anything that you can skip paying, skips paying. So I love the free advice. Mailchimp lets you send out 2000 messages per month for free and that should be way more than you need. Most people can’t come up with a hundred people in their database. And if you happen to be one of the rare ones has two or 300, then I’m excited for your real estate career. Because most likely you’re gonna get your first few leads the first time you employ this strategy.
Jonathon: And the nice thing about using Mailchimp is this is changing because Mailchimp is changing dramatically. It was purely a newsletter kind of service that is changing quite dramatically. But at least even if you just use it for. It’s a solo, it’s a way of getting everything into the system that you can export to out reasonably easily. Where you have these names and addresses in one centralized area. So you might have limitations, but its great strength is, it’s free. You can send the newsletter out like you say to 2000 people. But the main thing is getting you in the habit of putting everything in one place. And keeping and building up a list, which so many real estate agents just don’t do from day one. Do they?
Robert: Well that’s correct that they just simply don’t do. I agree with that. I agree with that. So guys, here’s where I feel like they’re short sighted. So six, seven and eight. Zillow, Homesnap, Trulia, LinkedIn, Yelp and create a Facebook business page. All right, so here’s the thing about this article. They literally left out the most important profile to create. The number one profile you should create. In my opinion, that is a Google profile. Google my business page, which is absolutely free. I cannot emphasize that enough. This is my Google profile page. Inbound Real Estate Marketing. You’re looking at it and the reason that you’re looking at this edit and they’ll create post ads photo is because I’m the owner. And it recognizes that. At this point, I’m actually shocked to say this, but I am pulling in business off my hyper local lead generation at this point.
It took a couple of years to get to that point. But now this profile by itself, no other mechanism generates me business. So I know for a fact that this particular tool worked correctly by itself. Will actually generate your business. I now have what I like to call case study or definitive proof. And that took a while. I’m not gonna lie about that. But in terms of could you use this by itself as a website type destination? Yes, you could. You could skip a website, use this profile, collect authority from Google, and have a type, its hyper local, the authority. But guess what the most important kind of authority is for a real estate agent? Hyper local. You don’t need a website to start coming up in local search as a real estate agent. So to leave that out, like the number one paid people that are searching for a realtor and then not like point out the tool that gets you in front of that search.
It’s why it is so shortsighted. And by the way, this information was accurate two years ago, four years ago when they wrote the article. So I do think that it’s a wildly shortsighted article and so I’m going to add that to it. I don’t disagree. I mean, but I would say that I do actually think that LinkedIn is good. I think that LinkedIn is a good support tool in order to. If you’re still in the part where you’re searching for a broker and you happen to be a little ahead of your real estate. Like you haven’t decided on whom to hang your license with yet. But like LinkedIn becomes a real good advertising tool as a real estate agent. And I’m a big believer in an old Michael Jordan saying. Somebody wants to ask Jordan what?
Like what made him the greatest jumps shot artists ever in the history of the game? And they’re like you must practice your jump shot all the time. And Michael Jordan said something that’s become wildly famous. And he goes, nope. And everybody goes what? He goes I practiced that in my mind. You know what? I get up every day in my practice number, just like what my dribble. So this is practicing your dribble as marketing and sales person is creating a marketing tool that may not be a super huge priority. But if you’re still looking for brokers, you are going to be looking for brokers in the future. It is a great support tool for both real estate prospects and for real estate brokers. In other words, you can advertise yourself on a good LinkedIn profile. You could say if filled out properly, you can use it because it’s more Facebook. A Facebook page does not give the right format for information on you, whereas LinkedIn does. So Facebook marketing page and a LinkedIn page are actually two different things, which is why I suggest you do focus on LinkedIn. And in terms of Trulia and Zillow guys, Zillow or Trulia are deprioritizing. Zillow, if you’re gonna create a profile, use it on Zillow and start to build up your reviews everywhere.
Jonathon: I would say Zillow and Realtor. I am personally going to slightly disagree there. I think if you’ve got the time. Yeah do the LinkedIn. I think getting a good Facebook business page up. And getting that up is more of a priority than you need. But that’s the slight difference. We are going to go for our break folks. And we’re going to delve into this list a bit more. And give you some more insights. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We’re talking about a rather large list but we are getting through it. So I think we’ve said stuff in there now. Understand your market. Go and show yourself a few homes. Pick a neighborhood every day. Run real estate market reports using the mls. Offer free home variation reports to your friends. I don`t totally disagree with this. Apart from 12, probably. Probably doing a research about your area, which is going to be where you are going to specialize in, is rather important. What were your feelings about this? Understand your market.
Robert: Okay, so I love this part. I love this part. This is great suggestions. I need to be updated a little bit, but like go and show you a few homes. I do believe strongly in bleeding practice and die more. It’s like, listen if it was me, I’d probably commit to a full 30 days. I’d be making all my cold calls and setting as professional sales, a lifetime professional salesperson. What I would be doing is I’d be calling everybody in my database, but making sure that I was trying to set appointments for a month out. And I would be doing stuff like this. Go and show yourself a few homes. I would show myself everything that seemed promising inside my defined niche. So guys, I would select a demographic. I don’t care how hard it is or how narrow it is or how short sighted, but I would just mentally decide, and it has nothing to do with working your base.
Your base is going to have houses listed in your entire market. So I’m just saying to practice correctly. I would choose a niche. And then I would look at as many things inside that niche. In the first 30 days I counted a lot of gas in a lot of time, but I would want to know every single home in my marketplace. I really would. I try to walk it every single listing. Right now the market has been in a great market. So here in California there’s not actually that much listings in each city. It’s not like you’re talking maybe 27 and then eyes right now. So I would try to see 20 of the 27 and we’ve maybe a small handful alone.
Jonathon: And I think it’s linked to what you said when we’re looking at section one. Is having a business plan. Having a business plan is important because you should be deciding in that business plan. And we’ve been hammering away at this through the past 8 months. Is find a niche, find something, it can be either Geo based area in a city. In a region, it can be a certain type of property, a certain age group. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you think it’s appropriate and you think those are the size that could provide the kind of income that you’re looking for. But find that niche. Don’t be everything to everybody and try and sell houses to every type of person. Unless you’re in a very, very small market because I just don’t think it’s gonna really work for you. What do you reckon Robert?
Robert: I don’t disagree with anything that you said. I’m going to capitalize on picking a neighborhood every day. Drive by every home that is first on the mls. So I just said something different, but you know what? Honestly, if you in your first few days you should be looking in other neighborhoods. And just like are different kinds of concept for everybody to understand the market. I’m going to pull a fact that in my real life and share it with you guys because I think that people don’t realize this. So I know a personal friend of mine I’ve known for 20 or 30 years. And he’s worked his way up to have a career that is literally probably in the top 0.01% of careers in the US. Like he was working for Comcast. He’s one of the top content creators in the digital world.
You know his last salaries, 400 or $500,000 a year. He’s, he’s incredibly successful. And he went and he started a business and he built a business up and took on some partners. And he’s having this reevaluation of his life because he’s not sure that he took the right path. So what is this super successful guy doing? He’s going out and meeting with a whole bunch of different people out of his Rolodex. Because he doesn’t know what he wants to do next? And one of the things about picking a neighborhood every day that plays into finding a niche. So a lot of you are going to be confused about picking a niche. So when you’re confused about what to do, how do you fix that? You literally put your boots on the ground and you go look around. It will come to you if you take the action.
So yeah, if you don’t know your niche, drive all the neighborhoods, figure it out, walk every single neighborhood if you can. That would be my advice. Until something speaks to you. Talk to people in the neighborhood, decide through action what you want your niche to be. That’s just like my friend is doing, who’s got a lot of success behind them. And I personally look for people in my life who are, I’ve done a lot more than I’ve done in terms of success to mentor me. And I suggest that if you have anybody like that in your life, call them up. Call in a favor and who knows. Maybe they need to buy or sell a home. Run real estate market reports using the mls. I love this. I do. Everybody has to join an mls and get a license when they get their license and they sign up with somebody.
This is a great piece advice. I can’t say that I like I have, I don’t have enough good things to say about this. It’s great. Offer a free home evaluation report to all your friends. Another great way to build your database that might even be one of your first emails. Right John?
Robert: You could send a message to all your friends. Because here’s what works inside marketing. You want a call to action when you send a communication everybody. So you could say like you are a hundred or 75 friends. Listen, I just got my real estate license. I know that maybe a lot of you aren’t in the process of buying or selling a home currently. And that’s great. But listen can you do me a personal favor? Will you allow me to get my toolkit honed and run a free home evaluation report or do a market report on the general area that you live in? And just send me the details, like send me your address and that will get you used to dealing with a practice real estate situation. So John, we’re closing in on the 30 minutes.
Jonathon: We can do some bonus if you are up to it. Number five is the exception.
Robert: With other agents.
Jonathon: Start with open houses and that’s another thing. I have being thumping away for the past year and a half. I just feel open houses are fantastic. So many established agents keep open houses. Some think they’re totally wasted time. But you as the new agent, open houses are one of the greatest ways of presenting yourself into an area that you want to build your credibility. Finding that niche, if you found that niche, then it’s a great way of building your credibility if its GEO based. Or if it isn’t, just showing you to the target audience.
But also open houses can even for the new agent can be a total waste of time. So I’ve just contradicted myself. But there is some logic. Basically if you don’t have a process, if you haven’t worked out a methodogies about how you’re going to squeeze every little bit of value out of these open house presentations that you’re going to be doing for other agents. They will turn into a total waste of time. If you’ve worked out a process which you repeat in every open house that you do, they’re just a great methodogies for getting new possible clients, buyers or sellers. What do you reckon Robert?
Robert: I couldn’t agree more with what you said. I’m just going to get a little granular on it. So guys, this is brilliant because established agents won’t do open houses. So it’s not now any more than previous. So often times a broker that he’s holding onto, let’s just call it a hundred listings for small local brokers. And a few thousand for a larger brand name brokerage. They very well might want to just be able to tell their clients, like to show some action even though they may not have anybody willing to do these open houses. So yeah, it’s a great strategy to say I’m willing to do these open houses to the broker of record and see if he can get some going. But here I’m going to take it a step farther. The only reason that that people might let you do an open house is since nobody else wants to do it. Is because they probably don’t think that that particular house is going to get a lot of street traffic.
So you’re going to run around, you’re going to set up your signs. And if the broker themselves hasn’t done a lot of advertising on your behalf, which a lot of times brokers don’t do anymore. Then you’re going to be sitting in a house mostly by yourself with a couple of curious neighbors wandering through the house. So a lot of people are going to say, well that’s a waste of time. Okay, I’m going to say this. You should get used to having an action plan for an open house. And some of these action plans are going to be getting on Next Door. This was not around really prevalent when this article was written. So I don’t blame them for not having it. But Next Door is now really popular social site that deals at the neighborhood level with homeowners talking about the neighborhood in general.
So saying that there is an open house on Next Door about three weeks before you host the open house is a really good strategy. Number two, you should run around to local grocery stores who still allow you to pin things on the grocery store. You should put little things on light posts. You should spend maybe 10 bucks in copying charges and post things manually in high traffic areas that say that there’s going to be an open house. Don’t expect your broker to do it. Do it yourself. Number three, have a signup sheet when people walk in. Make sure that you ask them politely as they walked through the door to sign the signup sheet because that right there is your new database guys. To get name and an email address as they walked through the door and collect more information if you can, but you shouldn’t be pushy. So say hi, my name is so and so. Please enjoy the tour of the house.
So I am just kind of slightly interrupted. What I have found is obviously I’m going to plug into Mail Right because we have that built in system that you can utilize for open houses. It`s main purpose is to get testimonials. But you can use it in open house situation with a cheap tablet. But the main thing if you don’t want to do that is use is a list. But you got all from say that you’re gonna be doing the drawer the next day. And everybody that fills in the details, you’ll be choosing somebody and somebody is going to be getting a $20, $30 Starbucks card. And you you’ll be emailing them and you’d be putting them up on your Facebook page. It’s just a little bit of encouragement to get people to fill in whatever system that you’re utilized. We are going to end it now, Robert, but we’re gonna continue a little bit for another 10 minutes. Which you’d be able to see on the Mail Right YouTube channel. So if you want to listen to a bit more of this discussion, hopefully we get to add to the list. Or we might continue next week. But you’d be able to see that bonus content on the Mail Right YouTube channel. So Robert, what’s the best way for people to learn more about you, your company, and what you’re up to?
Robert: Guys, if you really want to learn something about me. Go to my website, you can learn something about me on the about page. Or the real estate SEO consultation page that talks about me. And if you want to learn something great for yourself. If any of you are thinking about a real estate website, check out my article, which is in the middle of my refresh about the 10 best companies selling websites right now. Real estate websites.
Jonathon: If you want to learn more about Mail Right go to the Mail-right.com site. If you want to see a free demo of the whole system, you can book a day and time that works for you on the site. And it will be me giving you the demo. And I’ll show you all the functionality that’s built into the Mail Right system. We’ve actually done some updates lately. We have added Instagram to our social media calendar platform. So it will actually push content automatically to our Instagram page. And we’ve done some other updates as well. It’s a great program. I’m really impressed with our own work. Go to the Mail Right website. We will see you next week folks for another interview. Or we’ll be finishing off this particular list. We will see you next week, folks.