Here are the first 5 lesson every Real Estate Agent should learn by Lori Ballen, to read the rest of her lessons click the following link:
1.Start day one with a database. – Yes, moment one. You need a system for storing and communicating with contacts. Your first system does not need to be high-tech, but it does need to be something you will use. When my husband and I first started, I actually used a card file box (index cards) for him because he’s more “old school” than high-tech. It worked brilliantly. For listings, he kept a 3-ring binder sorted by dates. He created a contact “file page” for each client and moved them around the binder so that he knew when to follow up. This works well for storing and for calling but not as well for emails and such. The type of system you choose will depend on you and your needs.
Some agents use multiple CRM‘s (Customer Relationship Managers). One example is keeping your contacts in a simple Excel spreadsheet. Use the Excel sheet while using email software such as BombBomb.com. This software allows you to send time set, action plan video emails. The best database is the one you will use. Many databases come with a free trial, so I’d suggest you play with a few to decide what works for you. I use Facebook as one of my CRM‘s. It’s great for seeing what is happening in people’s lives. It gives me suggestions on how to communicate based on their post, and I can take it offline and send them a card, make a call, or schedule a meet-up. Some high functioning CRM‘s (databases) now integrate with social media. I believe this is the trend moving into the next era of CRM‘s.
Every person you meet should be added to your database. You will want to know exactly how you plan to communicate with each “group” and how often. Then, you will need to hold yourself accountable for contacting them. You could simply add them to your CRM and set a timer in your phone calendar so you know when to contact them, if not already using a CRM that allows you to schedule reminders. As you get busier in your new real estate career, you will find it more challenging to do things like this. Having the discipline to communicate with your database will be the difference between you launching a high-profit business out of the gate, rather than staying the struggling rookie.
Have a basic system for rating your contacts and clients. We like to see who our top referring contacts and top clients for income are at a glance. Our system is simple. Each time someone does a real estate transaction with us, our earned commission gets added to their score.Let’s say we close a $200,000 home with them earning a $6000 commission. They would now have a score of 6000. The next year they send us a referral and we earn another $6000, their score now becomes 12,000 (the new buyer or seller they referred gets the same score of 6000). This continues as long as they refer or do business. Then, we group our contacts by a score range so we always know which of our contacts are Platinum and VIP. We believe that Platinum and VIP contacts should be rewarded extra throughout the year. The more you communicate with your database, the better your business will be.
Related: Best Real Estate CRM’s to implement in 2015 as voted by Real Estate Agents
2.Avoid loans and credit cards. – It’s so easy to get caught up in loans and advance payday structures when you are just starting a new business. In your head, you might think, “If I only had $X, I could invest and then the return would be there, and I could pay it back with no problem.” The challenge is really doing the math to structure ROI and many times the ROI takes much longer than the loan payback does. You wind up chasing one after the next with large fees when the loan is paid back. It’s easy to throw things on a credit card. Many agents forget that credit is really cash and it will have to be paid back in full, or you will pay more in fees than you did for the item over time. This decreases your ROI significantly if you purchased marketing products on your card. The best policy is to only spend what you have and as you build a great business, you will have more room to spend. If you need to use a credit card for tracking, best practice is to use one that requires pay off each month. This will help you stay in check with your balances.
Related: 8 Ways to guarantee your success in Real Estate as a business
3. Lead Generate 3-4 hours a day. – Nothing in your business will matter more than leads. If you tackle the most important task of the day, the rest of your business will flow. Many new agents get caught up “in the deal” and let lead generation time go. This is why so many new agents ride a roller coaster with major ups and downs all through the year. Seasonality and the market may bring you up, but if you are not lead generating daily and holding to that discipline of 3-4 hours, your business will always come down. Learn this skill early, and you will exceed your goals. Calendar your time and protect it, as it truly is the most important activity in your business.
4.Hire a Coach – As soon as possible, hire a coach. A coach isn’t there to tell you what to do as much as they are there to help you discover. A coach can be someone to assist you with accountability and help keep you on track. They know the questions to ask to help you get to an A-HA moment. These moments can be pivotal in your choice of activities and the direction in which your business goes. The best investment I ever made as an agent was getting a coach. I personally chose MAPS.
5. Find a mentor. – The key, to finding a mentor, is to look for someone that has done what you want to do. This person has a life like you want to live or a business like you want to own. Find someone who believes the same things as you. By watching and learning from them, you could duplicate that success. When finding a mentor, you don’t ask them to be your mentor. You build a relationship with the person from which you want to learn. Ask them if you can shadow them, or have lunch, or offer them value in some way that has nothing to do with real estate. YOU should come from contribution first and many will reciprocate. Mentors usually love to mentor others. I was lucky enough to find three and each one brings something different to my life. I once asked one of my mentors why they spend so much time with me with nothing asked in return, and I was told that he loved helping someone that actually took the strategies and guidance and put them to work, finding success, and then coming back for more. A mentor won’t offer guidance to you long if you don’t take their suggestions. Listen to them and take action.