Once all the pre-licensing courses, choosing of brokerages, and new agent training is over, it’s a whole new, wide world for new real estate agents. To help you figure out a plan that can answer your question of, “What next?” we asked our two directors of new agent growth, Trish Szego and Sandy Rosengarden, to share their thoughts on what the ideal work week for brand-new real estate agents should look like.
Two challenges new agents face when they’re first starting on their own in their real estate business are: not understanding how to run their own business, and falling into a rut if there’s no current client to work with.
Most new agents come from another career, with set hours and duties, and they find it difficult not to have someone standing over them telling them exactly what to do. Trish reminds you, “You are now in business for yourself and, while you have the opportunity to make as much money as you’d like, you need to put forth the effort and do tasks that are necessary.”
New real estate agents can also fall into the trap of believing that the real work of being a real estate agent is working with clients to buy and sell homes. So, when you find yourself without a client to work with, you may feel like you have no work to do. But, as Sandy reminds us, the secret that all successful agents understand, either intuitively or through painfully gained experience, is this: “The real, ongoing, never-ending and most important work of a real estate agent is finding and talking to potential clients. That’s the single activity that the success of your real estate business will depend on every day, in every market.”
Every good real estate agent also knows that proper preparation prevents poor performance. Overall, a good approach would be to start to prepare your schedule for your upcoming week on Sunday. Each day should include at least an hour or two of prospecting, and there should be at least one or two methods of prospecting included along with working your Sphere of Influence.
Learning about your market is also essential, and you can start by previewing the active listings in your office, new construction and other listings in your market area. Don’t forget to set aside time for learning the various systems you’ll be using (client relationship management system, online marketing, transaction system, etc.), as well as office meetings and any training available either in the office or through your local real estate association. If you can, schedule an open house for the upcoming weekend and plan time for all of the necessary prep work.
So, what should an ideal work week for a new real estate agent look like? Preferably, Sandy says, “one that puts the greatest emphasis on getting in front of potential clients with an opportunity to engage them in real estate conversations; nurture them; and, sooner or later, sign them as clients.”
Three possible schedules you can use as a template
One low-cost schedule that took an agent from ZERO transactions to 120 a year in just a couple of years comes from real estate coach Tom Ferry, who CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty has been working with. Tom calls this the “Bob Kuyper Plan”:
Monday – Friday
- 7:30am-8am Aggressive role play
- 8-9am Call old and new expireds
- 9-10am Call hot leads
- 10-11am Call old and new FSBOs
- 11am-Noon Call database (your Sphere of Influence)
- 1-4pm Appointment prep; marketing & admin tasks; preview properties; contracts
- 6-8pm Buyer showings, listing appointments, contracts
Saturday – Sunday
- 12:30-4pm Buyer showings, listing appointments, contracts
What if the idea of cold-calling leaves you cold? Try this minimal-investment approach that leans heavily on outreach to friends, family, acquaintances, and neighbors. Alicia, an agent from Richmond, VA, succeeded in generating 25 transactions in her very first year just from working her sphere. In her second year, she had 45 transactions. Her third year saw no increase in her number of transactions, but her average sales price went up, so her income was significantly higher. How?
She says that “Every minute of every day is spent contacting someone.” She starts each day with a list of 30 people to contact & goes through that list texting or calling each one. She spends a couple of hours on social media every single day, constantly putting up posts and FB Live videos throughout the day and evening. She’s become a one-person resource for contractor, vendor and service recommendations so that everyone who knows her relies on her for advice about everything from power-washers to divorce attorneys. She became the Girl Scout Leader for her daughters’ troops, and her husband headed up the PTA. They both served on committees for their HOA. he relentlessly stays in touch with everyone she meets, whether at a school event or an Open House – “Sometimes it can take 2-3 years before someone finally needs you and gives you a call.” And, she always, always, always asks for every person’s business and their referrals.
Another schedule template you could use from inspiration comes from a third agent, Ken, who is up to 50 transactions in his third year. Ken combines a morning schedule of calls with some personal outreach and prospect cultivation at lunch. Here’s how he gets his day started:
- 6-9am Get up, get dressed, workout, get kids off to school and get set up for morning calls.
- 9-11am Make calls. (Ken has a great tip for getting started. He says, “I always make an easy call first. Basically, I call someone who I know likes me.”)
- 11am-12pm Lunch. (Ken uses this as a chance not just to touch base with his current sphere, but to meet new people. Here’s how he does it: “About a week out, I text someone in my database an invite for lunch on, say, Tuesday. I tell them to bring a couple of friends, and I’ll buy lunch!”)
What do all these successful new agents’ work weeks have in common? Several important things:
Early on, they realized that they needed to establish a set routine that they would stick to.
They spend SIGNIFICANT amounts of time contacting and engaging with prospective clients (whether those prospects are friends, relatives, FSBOs, Open House visitors, Expireds, online leads or from some other source).
They set goals for the number of conversations they’ll have each day, and they track their results for conversations held; appointments booked; clients won and transactions closed.
They are always circling back to contacts, relentlessly trying to reach them time after time.
Sandy points out, “There’s no crazy magic to success in real estate. Hard work harnessed to a structured routine that maximizes your productivity will pay back your diligence with success and material reward. And, relying on working when you’re inspired to, luck and waiting for the universe to drop opportunity in your lap? That will get you just about what it deserves.”
Trish’s last piece of guidance for new agents? “Above all, I feel it’s necessary to schedule your personal appointments and family obligations first, then work the rest of your schedule around those obligations. You’ll also need to schedule at least one day off per week. If not, you will burn out quickly.”
Do you need some additional guidance as a new real estate agent or would like someone to look over your current weekly schedule to see where you could make some positive changes? Drop us a line. We’d love to help.
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