YPN’s G.E.T. (Grow. Elevate. Thrive.) breakfast series continued at Manny’s last week with a panel of three of 2015’s Rookies of the Year.
Joseph Dixon, EXIT Strategy Realty, Ryan Walsh, HomeSmart Realty Group, and Adam Zagata, d’aprile properties, shared their experiences with quickly growing a thriving real estate business.
Advice for rookies starting out:
CONFIDENCE IS KEY
Confidence came up a number of times throughout the conversation. Dixon said that maintaining his confidence was a huge focus his first six months. It’s not the only thing you need to be successful, but it plays a big role. Zagata agreed – having a positive mindset and confidence in his capabilities helped him overcome any rookie mistakes.
Walsh noted the importance of preparation. It’s one thing to have done the work in the classroom, but focus on real world applications, because then your inexperience becomes less of an issue. He spent time learning the contracts inside and out, because that’s where he knew his clients would have the most amount of questions and he had the least amount of knowledge. He wanted to know as much as possible so that when his clients had questions, he was the one with the answers.
USE YOUR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE
Walsh started building his database with his inner circle, as did Zagata. Picking up the phone and calling the people you know is old school, but it works. When Dixon recognized his sphere wasn’t going to ignite his business, he quickly established himself on social media.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS KEY
Dixon and Zagata stressed being intentional with posting and sharing. Posting consistently on a variety of channels catches the attention of different audiences. It’s also important to engage that audience and know who they are.
Lead gen is so important. Zagata signed up for Zillow early on. Walsh printed about 10,000 business cards and handed them out frequently – it’s something a potential client can reference later. Both Zagata and Walsh keep Excel and Google Spreadsheets that help track their business – everything from leads that come in, to active and closed clients and commission. At the end of the day, it’s not about the CRM – it’s about how consistently you use it. Build a habit that works for you.
CHOOSE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT’S PERFECT FOR YOU
Recognizing what environments in which you thrive can help you pick the brokerage that’s right for you. The setting, energy, environment, people and training all vary – what fits your needs and your personality?
DON’T NEGLECT SELF-CARE
Work-life balance is a struggle across the board. Be sure to utilize time management tools like time blocking. Set boundaries – Zagata tried to wrap up work by noon on Sundays to spend time with his fiancé. Walsh won’t drive before 9:30, so that he has time to run errands and work out. Dixon has implemented “showing days,” so that rather than building his business around his clients’ schedules, he’s bouncing around less and being more intentional with his working hours.
All three agreed that they wished they had screened clients better in the beginning. You can waste a lot of time chasing down every deal and pursuing weak leads – regardless of where they come from. Spend more time upfront figuring out who’s serious about buying and who’s a good fit.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS
Mindset is the biggest differentiator in this business. Be confident, know your stuff, be prepared, play to your strengths and care about your clients. This will help you succeed, particularly as you make the transition from a regular paycheck to commission. Think long-term and be consistent.