What Makes a Successful Real Estate Agent?

What Makes a Successful Real Estate Agent?

The allure of flexible working hours and the potential to make a great income are some of real estate’s biggest draws. But like any sales position, becoming a successful real estate agent takes persistence, drive, and a strategy to grow your business. If you’re passionate about the role, the first two are almost inherent. But not everyone in real estate has taken the time to create a sound strategy for growth. This is essential, whether you’re new to the industry or looking to advance your career, because success is harder to achieve without clear direction.

If you’re looking for guidance on where to begin, we have you covered. First, you’ll need to lay out a plan of action that addresses the most important aspects of a successful real estate business:

1. Be an expert in all things real estate

2. Build relationships and a network

3. Strengthen your online presence

4. Invest in marketing, and be consistent

5. Work the long game

There’s no one-size-fits-all path toward achieving each step, but there are rules of thumb to follow. Let’s break down each of these five areas so you can create a thorough strategy that will lead you to success in your field.

How to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent

1. Be an expert in all things real estate

Expertise is the reason buyers and sellers hire an agent. This includes having extensive knowledge of your farm area and the real estate transaction process so you can answer your client’s questions, guide them through the experience and ensure they attain a successful outcome.

To hone your real estate and market expertise, you need to learn about:

  • The neighborhood. Know everything about your farm area from schools and local businesses to street names and public transportation options.
  • Who lives there and what they experience. Be up-to-date on local demographics, politics, environmental issues and other information that impacts the area.
  • Recent transactions and valuations. Learn the features and valuations of the homes in your farm; what the average days on market is; and which properties required price cuts and why.
  • Overall market and industry trends. Where do supply, demand and pricing currently stand? Check out these real estate media to stay current on industry news and statistics.

2. Build relationships and a network

Warning: if you don’t love interacting with people, this job may not be for you. At its core, being a real estate agent is all about building relationships. You want to get to know people who live in your farm area so you can be top of mind when they are ready to sell; maintain open communication with leads and prospects to build trust; and develop strong relationships with fellow agents so you can refer each other when one of you gets a lead outside of your farm area or specialty.

Professional relationships also serve a more strategic purpose. Think about it as building a network of trusted colleagues that you can call on when needed (and vice versa). Imagine this: You have a client who puts an offer on a house that has multiple competing bids. But, you happen to have a great relationship with the listing agent. They’d be more willing to negotiate a deal with you than agents they don’t know. A win for your client will net you a five-star review and referrals down the road.

3. Invest in marketing, and be consistent

Most real estate agents can’t rely on their brokerage to fund their marketing activities, making it an out-of-pocket expense. As such, many agents are reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on marketing. The problem is that you can’t look at it as an expense. Marketing is an investment. It’s the way you will build brand awareness and acquire new leads to keep your funnel full and your business growing.

Most marketing tactics won’t generate an immediate, quantifiable ROI. That is understood among all marketing professionals. But the results build over time and eventually snowball if you remain consistent in your efforts. When you run ads, keep them up week after week. If someone sees your ad just once, you’re making it really easy for them to forget you. But the more impressions you get per person (i.e. the number of times the same person sees your ads), the more likely they are to think of you when they’re ready to buy or sell.

4. Strengthen your online presence

We live in a virtually connected society, so it should come as no surprise that 95% of people use the internet during their home-buying journey. Whether they are searching for the right neighborhood or an agent to work with, most are using Google over other search engines. Those two stats alone indicate where you should focus a majority of your efforts—and marketing budget—if you want to be a successful real estate agent (online and on Google).

When thinking of where to advertise online, Facebook is king. Nearly three quarters of its 223 million U.S. users are on the site daily, while 98% of its users go on monthly. Those are incredible engagement numbers! Although people don’t turn to Facebook for real estate searches specifically, homebuyers are certainly on the site. It’s the perfect channel to build brand awareness and promote listings with ads. Plus, nearly a quarter of users click on Facebook ads, meaning your ROI is more than just views—you’re acquiring new leads.

Specific to Google, you’ll want to build a real estate website that is optimized for search so that it appears on the first page of results when someone searches for an agent in your farm area. Perhaps even more important is claiming and managing your Google business profile. This is akin to a digital business card and shows up to the right of search results when someone Googles your name or a related search term. It contains your agent bio, headshot, contact information, latest real estate successes and reviews with star ratings.

5. Work the long game

In #3, we mentioned how important consistency is. Likewise, taking a long-term approach to all aspects of your strategy is what will help you become a successful real estate agent. You can automate many of the inner workings of your strategy (and even outsource aspects like ad creation or Google business profile management), but as a whole, you cannot “set it and forget it.”

Keep a long-term outlook when it comes to your client relationships. These are people who can refer you or become repeat business when they are ready to move again, so it’s important to stay connected and maintain a good rapport. Put together a marketing plan that helps you stay in touch, whether that’s an annual anniversary email, a birthday text, a rewards program for referrals or something similar.

Build time into your weekly schedule to brush up on your market knowledge; touch base with prospects, colleagues and past clients; expand your online presence; and manage live digital ads or launch new ones. You will see results when you work the long game, and that is how you will ultimately become a successful real estate agent.

Homesnap Pro—provided to real estate agents for free by their MLS—gives agents access to an extensive collection of data so they can gain the market expertise they need. Dig into current and historical market data; review tax, deed and sale history details at the property level; and stay in the know with Homesnap Pro’s real-time newsfeed, which alerts you each time there’s new market activity in your farm area.

When agents invite their clients to work with them in Homesnap, they are guaranteed a one-to-one relationship, free from advertising and deceptive practices. Together, agents and clients can set up saved searches and alerts, share homes through in-app messaging and review favorited properties.