10 tips if you’re new in estate agency (or if you’re not and want to earn more money)

We all know someone who’s said “I’ve always thought about getting into estate agency, I think I’d be really good at it”.

I've had countless people come to me with plans to change careers and become an estate agent.

A lot of the people who enter our industry come in for the wrong reasons, or if they’re having a career crisis or worse, have no career experience at all, good old real estate looks like being their saviour. 

It’s abundantly clear to see how this happens. Our industry has exceedingly low barriers to entry, and after all, if you ask a group of people from anywhere in the UK what an agent does, they’ll happily tell you that estate agents “spend their time driving around in nice cars, sipping lattes and making big commissions for a few phone calls.”

You and I know the truth and hence, most people come into our industry, realise it’s nothing like they thought it would be, avoid the hard work and most end up leaving soon after.

In reality, it takes years of commitment and dedication to build an attraction-based business where people call you, as opposed to the other way around. If you’re really good, and I mean the best of the best, it might take you two years to build a strong profile and have a significant influx of people calling you to sell or let; for most it’s more like five.

Once you’re there though, that’s when there’s no job like it and you have the opportunity to help hundreds of people each year and be paid very well to do it. 

Here’s 10 actions to give yourself the best chance and building a recommendation and referral based business in the shortest possible time.

  1. Take a long-term view. 

Play the long game. Your raving fans today will reward you in years to come.

I can't emphasise the long game enough. Estate agency is not transactional. People don’t impulse buy or sell property. And now and into the 2020s they don’t (and won’t) do it nearly as often as in the past. Now more than ever, people need help, guidance and assurance from their estate agents. If you’re there just to get paid, you won’t get the opportunity to work in the first place.

Prove to your market that you bring value before, during and after you’re actually needed.

He or she who has the best relationships wins. It is as simple as that.

  1. Focus on buyers. 

Buyers eventually become sellers. Look after them and they will look after you.

Every single buyer feels physically anxious when they’re making an offer, signing a contract or finalising their mortgage offer. Suddenly this process of moving home becomes all too real. There is no other situation in life (unless you’re buying a business) where you’ll be spending your life savings and borrowing the rest. 

Yes, you work for your sellers. Yes, you want to sell what you’re instructed on. But show some empathy and be there to answer any questions a buyer might have, even if they’re about a competitor’s property.

  1. Always put your clients’ best interests first. 

Don’t ever let a short-term deal get in the way of what’s best for the client. In the long term, offering people the right advice will reward you.

Your reputation is everything. Read that again.

Giving the right advice about price or marketing at the start, and giving the right advice about taking or rejecting an offer towards the end will only serve you well in the future.

  1. Find a mentor.

A reason you have a mentor is because they’ll tell you the truth when you’re blind to it.

I was very lucky to have a good mentor in my early years who is still my mentor today. There isn’t a chance in hell that I’d be where I am today with him. Only my Mum has had more of an impact on my life and I am forever grateful.

Mentors don’t have to be physical. If you don’t immediately know who’d made a good mentor for you then look a little wider. YouTube is a great source of mentors. As are podcasts or books. 

Think of your car as your adult school room. Fill it with good ideas and great mentors and you’ll absorb what you need most.

  1. Too much training is not enough. 

I still find it slightly confusing that training isn’t taken more seriously in this country. 

You should never stop learning, and the more training you undertake, the quicker you will become a success. Books, podcasts, YouTube again as well as events, conferences and webinars. This country has numerous wonderful communities of agents on Facebook, all willing to share what’s working for them. 

If you’re not in them, you’re missing out and doing yourself and your business a massive disservice. 

  1. Be humble, approachable and don’t become arrogant.

Becoming successful does not mean you need to change who you are.

I can remember my career after about two years all of a sudden stagnated. I’d gone from winning circa 7/10 presentations I was attending to none. I went 6 weeks without listing a single property.

I’d been successful in the past because I followed a process and I asked a lot of questions.

I’d started to buy into my own hype. And I started talking to potential clients about my process and how good I was and how I did things, rather than how things were done. I was talking more than I listened and thought I’d made it.

Don’t make my mistakes. There’s a fine line between confidence in your ability and arrogance. It’s easy to over step and your results will tell you which side you’re on.

  1. Never move areas

I see agents work in an area for five years and then decide to sell in another area. Crazy stuff. Stick to one market and own it. The Roman empire (I’m making this fairly ridiculous link to make my point as clear as I can) failed because it became too thinly spread. What could’ve been had they doubled down on what they had.

Remember, you're in for the long game.

  1. Prospect like your life depends on it.

It does. Do not rely on portals for leads. Do not rely on third-party websites for leads. Do not rely on walk ins for leads. 

Rely on yourself. If you do not prospect, you will never be the success you wanted to be when you first got into estate agency. 

This is all about contacting people with relevant information and doing it consistently. It gets easier with every call you make or letter you send. And it compounds significantly over time.

Prospect well and you will give yourself every opportunity to be a massive success.

  1. Focus on your profile.

You are the product. Make sure you have a yearly marketing plan then break it down into quarters, then break that down into two week sprints. Test, invest (in what works best) and implement.

  1. Have fun, keep fit, eat well, and look after yourself.

I’m not here to preach because I love a beer as much as the next guy. But I know how little I get done when I’m hungover.

How good we’re feeling directly affects our work. The most successful period of my entire career was when I was training for my first half marathon and I stopped drinking for the 9 weeks leading up to it. I was more focused, slept better, worked harder and became far more interesting to my clients and prospects in that time.

The healthier we are as a person, the healthier our business.

  1. Because 11 is my favourite number and I want to end with a bang.

Become resilient. Losing business is part of estate agency.

Being able to get back up again quickly is what will make you remarkable next to your competition. Become resilient. Losing business is part of estate agency.

Chumbawamba had it right.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to what you’re good at.

✌ Sam