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What I Wish I Knew Then: Top Agents Share Their Advice on Making It in Real Estate

July 27 2020

homesnap what i wish i knewRecently, Homesnap asked several top-performing agents to reflect on the early years of their career and to share advice, wisdom and lessons learned with those who may just be starting out or who might need a dash of inspiration. Here's what they had to say.

On having the confidence to get started

"Be confident. Don't be so concerned that you don't have a big book of business behind you – everyone starts somewhere. Be yourself and get to know your clients and allow them to trust you. Ensure them you will give them five-star service, and get any questions answered immediately even if you don't have the answer right away. Shadow other agents, your broker, and work open houses. Get active on social media and start making connections. If you have the drive, determination and passion, the business will follow."

—Rebecca Donatelli, McDowell Homes Real Estate Services, licensed for five years

On using digital to stand out from the crowd

"As a relatively new agent myself, I've found leveraging social media is an excellent way to stand out in today's saturated world and establish credibility. These platforms allow us to creatively tell a story that reflects our values, conduct, and past experiences. Anyone who visits my social media pages will quickly get a sense of my mission and what to expect when working with me."

—Aaron Grushow, Compass, licensed for one year

On keeping up with an ever-changing market

"The real estate industry changes very quickly. Online visibility and online presence are becoming more and more valuable. I'm almost five years into my real estate career, and I've had to learn quickly. As a small business owner, you HAVE to take advantage of the ups and downs of the market. You must be able to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Look what happened after COVID-19, everything went virtual in just a couple weeks. Can your business do the same?"

—Taylor Pelzel, Wilcox Real Estate Group, licensed for five years

On building your brand

"Build and invest in your brand. Essentially, aren't we all just selling the same product or service? What is it that will make YOU stand out? Invest the time AND the money to research, develop and build your brand. And it shouldn't just be all about you. Create a consistent brand that encompasses the type of client you want to serve and the market you want to dominate. And the first priority should be identifying your core message/mission statement. THEN you can develop your values, logo, color scheme, fonts, tone, and tagline to support that message. With a consistent, well-executed brand, you will garner recognition, establish credibility, and gain trust."

—Nikki Nabi, Samson Properties, licensed for nine years

On staying focused

"What I wish I knew when I got into the business is to focus on what I wanted the outcome to be for whatever situation I was in. So focus on being successful—how I was going to kill it that month with the amount of closings I was going to do—and not to focus on the negative, worry about a deal falling apart, or let the small things bother me as much. Basically, live by if it won't matter in five years, don't spend more than five minutes being upset about it."

—Michelle Doherty, RE/MAX Allegiance, licensed for five years

On prospecting effectively

"What I wish I knew when I first started in the business was the importance of prospecting your sphere daily! Eighty percent of your business should come from people who know, like you, and already trust you! Talking to your sphere about real estate early on is a great way to build your referral business!"

—Rachel Scheid, Coldwell Banker, licensed for nine years

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.