This is an email I received from one of my contacts and I chose to answer publicly without publishing personal information:
I’m looking to establish myself as a real estate agent here in Auckland. I know you were very successful in the time you were here and thus hope you will be kind enough to share some of your experiences and ideas. Some questions that I have…
What would you say (with the benefit of hindsight) are the 3 most important things I need to do to get established?
- Build a great database – You don’t need to invest a lot of money into it – MS Outlook would do. Connect with many people, communicate with them regularly and business will come as a result.
- Become and expert and work hard – Know your area better than anyone else: sales stats, rates, building styles, zoning, schools, cafes, easteries, buses and the locals of course. Armed with this knowledge you will walk talk ready to answer any query from a buyer, a seller or a visitor.
- Training – Read books, listen to audio, attend seminars (The Complete Sales Persons Course is a MUST! Fly to Australia and do it), learn sales skills and immerse yourself into real estate.
- Marketing – You asked for 3 but this last one will give you amazing leverage. Start a newsletter immediately (it’s free on MailChimp), drop appraisal letters (this software is recommended) , start a blog and post DAILY (yes I said daily), get on Twitter, create a professional profile on Facebook and one on LinkedIn, Start a YouTube Channel, Network in any event you can and go to Toastmasters so you speak like a champion with no um-ing and er-ing.
How long did it take you to get established? How long for your first listing? How long for your first sale?
I listed my first house after about 2-3 weeks, sold my first apartment off the plans quickly after that and had about 12 listings within 5 weeks of starting to work. Then I sold three houses in one day and that’s being a Rockie. Success is matter of velocity and intensity.
What were the things you did that were really successful?
- Keeping in touch with people
- Appraisal letters
- Following up on all open home attendees and asking: Do you have a house to sell
- Working with other agents where I didn’t specialise
- Targeting expired listings and leaky homes
Equally what things did you try that didn’t work out?
- Cold calling is dead
- Private Sales wasted a lot of my time
- Trying to send email newsletters myself
- Working with a partner
How did you set up your website and online presence?
Bayleys Real Estate gave me a website and Realestate.co.nz provided me with a blog. Content I created myself but you can get articles written for $10. I created my own videos using Picasa or my iPhone and uploaded them to my YouTube channel – NZ Super Agent.
I can work part time after hours and weekends and still keep my day job (or at least that’s the plan) until I get established. Do you think that’s practical?
Real estate is a life style – you either give it your all or you don’t. Take the plunge, leap across the chasm and success will be yours.