What you should be doing while you wait for your license to be processed.
Now that you have passed your state licensing test and found a brokerage firm to affiliate with… what do you do while you wait for your license to be processed by the state real estate board? … LOTS … so let’s get started!
As you know, you cannot practice real estate until you are “officially” licensed by the state (in Virginia, this means your license number has been issued which can be looked up on DPOR’s website). This can take days or weeks in some states (right now, the average is about 7-14 business days in Virginia, this timeframe fluctuates depending on the time of year). But have no fear, until this happens, there are several tasks that you can get started on to launch your business!
- Start working on your database (otherwise known as your sphere of influence). Now that you have made a commitment to developing your real estate business, you are ready for your ﬁrst step – MAKE YOUR LIST. This list of “potential” new clients is very important. Once you sit down and start listing EVERYONE you know, it will surprise you how many friends and contacts you have! Right now, the goal is making a list; qualifying the people on your list comes later. A simple excel spreadsheet will suffice for now, column headers should include: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Street Address, City, State, Zip, phone number. This will work until you figure out which CRM to use – more on this below).
- Start setting up new social media accounts for your business. Facebook business page, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat to name a few. It is highly recommended that you take advantage of these FREE platforms to spread the news of your new business venture. Set up new business accounts so you are not spamming your friends. Of course, you will invite them all to like your new pages 😊
- Join private social media groups for real estate agents. There are several groups out there that offer support, answer questions and even referrals. Join these groups, they are very beneficial to your growth.
- Set up a YouTube page and start recording videos. Video is the future. Get over your fear of the camera. Start making informative videos!
- Create online profiles. Start with basic real estate sites such as Zillow, Homesnap, realtor.com, and homes.com.
- Attend Events. Immediately start attending training, classes and any meetings your brokerage firm offers. Attend other real estate events and seminars offered in your area. Join a networking group too!
- Buy a calendar/day planner (or utilize the calendar on your phone). Use it to keep yourself organized and fill your day with business-building activities, meetings, and appointments. Organization is KEY in this business! Check out my favorites on my Recommendations page.
- Read. There are TONS of resources out there to help you learn about the industry and relationship building. I recently polled a group of experienced REALTOR’s and these are some of their suggestions:
- The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – Gary Keller
- The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents: It’s Your Time to Rise and Shine – Hal Elrod
- The Book of YES – Kevin Ward
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller
- Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller
- Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience – Ethan Beute (this book is the BOMB)
- #GetSocialSmart – Katie Lance
- The Honest Real Estate Agent – Mario Jannatpour
- Start working on your Business Plan – start with your Why. Do NOT skip this step, you must have a plan to succeed in this business. Don’t dream it, do it!
- Set your goals. Make sure they are specific and measurable. Do NOT skip this step either! You need goals to work towards, reach and exceed to be successful in real estate. Post them where you can see them EVERY DAY!
- Follow others. There are many well respected, successful real estate
moguls to learn from. Follow them on YouTube/podcasts and sign up to receive their emails:
- Go get a professional headshot taken. Find a professional photographer to take a professional photo of you to use on your business cards, website and more. Do not use a selfie for any of these. You are a professional. Make the investment.
- Order necessary business promotional items. Such as name tags (wear this ALL the time) and business cards as soon as possible so you can start handing them out right away.
- Create a social media announcement post. Get ready to announce to the world your new career (but don’t post until you are officially licensed). If you don’t have any design software, use Canva. You only need the free version to create some great material!
- Start building your network. Set up coffee or lunch meetings with lenders, title companies, home inspectors, staging companies, etc. These people are eager to meet you and work with you, start building partnerships now.
- Start touring the area. Go visit new homesites and take tours of the neighborhoods in your area. Do you want to become the area expert? You need to know the housing types, average sales prices, etc. This is a great way to start.
- Start researching CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management software programs). There are TONS to choose from (if your firm does not offer one to you to use). Prices range and commitments range from monthly to annual. Some offer free 30-day trials. Some to research: Top Producer, Boomtown, Realvolve, LionDesk, and Contactually. Compare these and others HERE.
*Side note, if you are joining RE/MAX, they have an AMAZING new tech platform launching this year and it includes a FREE completely re-designed CRM program!!!
- Start learning about the market. Including housing inventory stats, average sales prices, the latest interest rates and any information necessary to be able to answer the question “how’s the market?” You will get asked this question when you are wearing your nametag in Starbucks, be prepared to answer it!
- Connect with other agents at your firm. Ask to shadow them on appointments and open houses. Pick their brains, learn from others! Be a sponge. You might want to buy them coffee or lunch for their time. At the least, you should send a handwritten thank-you note!
- Find a mentor and business advocate. Both of these people will play VITAL roles in your success. The mentor to train and help you navigate through the real estate process. The advocate to hold you accountable for all the things you say you are going to do to reach your goals (and to cheer you on!). For more on why these people play an important part in your life, check out this recent POST.
- Research coaching programs. There are several to choose from. Research and find a program that you feel will embellish your career and training. These can be pricy; you may need to wait until you receive a commission check to make this investment. Learn more about selecting a coaching program HERE.
As you can see, there are numerous activities that can be completed while you wait for your official license to be issued. Do as many of these as you can, but don’t stress yourself out about it. Start learning the art of time blocking to fill your calendar with business-building activities. You’ve worked so hard to get this far, keep the momentum going! This is just the beginning of your new career, enjoy it!