Advice out of the mouths of (real estate agent) babes...
You know you’re a young agent when you sell your first listing before you buy your own home. New agents on a team and those flying solo alike face challenges, but some young business generators are finding success regardless and proving that, indeed, age is just a number. But with the great freedom that real estate allows — namely, the ability to jump into the industry with just a licensing exam — comes great responsibility.
Common threads of wisdom among stand-out rookies (or those that started in the business at a young age) include the value of mentorship, openness in listening to new ideas, and the power of surrounding yourself with smart and established people.
Here are six young agents who are doing something right and their advice for others in the field.
Those who rise in the business are not expecting any favors and believe in the importance of sheer hard work, they say.
Jessica Houghton, 27, sales associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Experience: Four years
What is the biggest factor that has led to your success as a young real estate agent? Working in the business full-time. You have to make a conscious decision to dive in at the beginning and do the legwork to get your business off the ground.
Many agents treat real estate as a hobby or a part-time job. To make a career in this industry, you have to be fully prepared to put the hours in and be accountable to yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to work 100 hours per week (although you probably will some weeks), but it does mean having a schedule and being organized in a way that facilitates production and allows for success.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career? Get comfortable with social media. It might be the most efficient way to market yourself and your business that exists. Use social media to engage your current contacts but don’t try to do it all.
Pick one — Facebook, for instance — and be consistent with your message. Once you have a good grasp of what’s working or what’s not working, add in Twitter and so on. If you try to do all social media channels at once, it can be overwhelming, so go at your own pace — but don’t underestimate the power of social networks.
Thomas D’Alcamo Jr., 28, associate broker, co-owner and franchisee of Exit Realty Top Properties
Experience: Eight years
What is the biggest factor that has led to your success as a young real estate agent? I started in real estate when I was 20 years old and the market was in the gutter. At first, it was difficult, but I took all the training that I could get my hands on. It also didn’t hurt having my father as the broker. My father was my mentor, and he showed me the ropes and set me up for success.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career? I would advise any agent starting out in real estate to take as much training as possible. You will learn different techniques and skills that are necessary to succeed in real estate. You should definitely have an experienced agent mentor you.
Follow them around, do open houses when other agents don’t want to do them to build a client base.
Call everyone in your sphere of influence and most of all, get off your butt, go knock on doors, call and knock on the expireds and FSBOs every day.
Meghan Fife, 27, real estate consultant and founder of Omni Properties Group, Keller Williams Realty
Experience: Three years
What is the biggest factor that’s led to your success as a young real estate agent? The willingness to not believe I know it all and instead, choose to model others who have been successful, has been the no. 1 factor in my success. Even when they didn’t look “fancy,” “fun” or “techy,” I quickly realized the tried-and-true techniques of prospecting and follow-up would create success for me.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career? Start now. There will always be constant improvement upon systems, processes and marketing material. Nothing can replace taking action today to build and multiply a database of people who choose to buy a home, sell a home or invest in real estate with no one else but you.
Miles Daly, 18, Pacific Union & Christies International Real Estate
Experience: Obtained his license in August 2016
What is the biggest factor that’s led to your success as a young real estate agent? Up to this point it has been having the drive to complete my goals. When I began working for my current broker as an intern in September of 2015, I had a goal that in 12 months I would be on my own — 11 months later, I completed that goal. When I began my original internship with the brokerage, I set my sights on the end goal of passing my license test and made sure that I had concrete stepping stones to get to that goal. In a larger sense, I look at the bigger picture of my personal success and the path to that success.
Since getting my license, this same mentality of goal setting has helped me to become a more knowledgeable and diverse agent, trying to learn as much as I can at every opportunity and fully understanding that the steps I take now in my career will have a direct effect on the success of my career in the future.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career? Try to get started as an assistant with a top producer. You will learn the nuances of the industry in a much more influential way than just in a classroom or online, and my experience with a top producer helped ignite a passion for real estate that keeps me interested and excited to do work every day. The passion and experiences that you will pick up from working as an assistant will infinitely enhance your career later on.
Jay Luebke, 22, marketing coordinator and Realtor at The Art of Real Estate
Experience: Four years
What is the biggest factor that has led to your success as a young real estate agent? The biggest factor so far has been the support that I have received from being a part of a high-functioning team. With 12 other team members, every one with different experience levels and from different walks of life, these varied perspectives have been instrumental in my professional growth. The leads that were provided by the team were also an unbeatable advantage that most agents don’t have access to.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career?Find a solid mentor with the heart of a teacher who wants to see you grow and improve. It’s important to work with someone who will not only listen to your ideas but provide constructive criticism and advice along the way. While you may be able to figure it out all on your own, you will excel much faster if you have the support of a mentor.
Gilley Mendoza, 30, Realtor, Phyllis Browning Company, LeadingRE member
Experience: Three years
What is the biggest factor that has led to your success as a young real estate agent? More than anything, there are three principles I live by and do business by. One is to always do what you say you’re going to do. If I tell a client I’m going to do something or be somewhere, whatever it may be, I keep my word. The second is the golden rule, which we should all live by — treat others as you would want to be treated. The third is to practice what you preach. If I’m a leader and want to do something a certain way and get people on board with something, I realize it starts with me, so I make sure I’m doing what I’m preaching to others.
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a peer or to an older agent wanting to restart a career? Find your passion. With me, I found real estate to be my passion. It does not feel like work to me, and that is where success comes from. I am excited about going to work and helping others. Whether I’m working with families or young professionals, it is the most significant purchase they will make, so it is important for them to work with a person who loves what they do and takes it seriously throughout the process. And, you have to treat it like a business. While there is so much flexibility in terms of whether you want to come into the office, the real success comes from being there every day — surrounding yourself with other successful people, studying the market and continuing to learn and grow. Quite simply, you have to show up and be there, and good things will happen.
PUBLISHED ON NOV 29, 2016
BY GILL SOUTH