Tips for Being a Successful Solo Real Estate Agent
If you’re a solo real estate agent, then you’ve got guts. Choosing this career path is as daunting as it is challenging. It can be a difficult journey and attrition rates are often very high. In fact, many real estate agents aren’t able to make it through their first year. However, if you can make it through, it has the potential to be one of the most exciting, rewarding, and high earning jobs you could have chosen.
Benefits of Being a Solo Agent
As we lay out in another article of ours, there are many benefits to being a solo real estate agent and building your own business.
- You get to be your own boss. Being the big man (or woman) that makes decisions means that you are also in charge of building your lead list, maintaining your client’s needs, networking relationships, marketing your business, and managing the day-to-day office needs. This is all in your hands. If you’re a real estate agent and you skimp out on any of these areas, your real estate business is not going to make it very far.
- You get to set your own schedule. It’s true real estate agents work flexible schedules, but what that also means is that you are going to be working when most other people aren’t. You won’t have the mundane 9-5, which is awesome, but you will most likely have to work and take appointments in the evenings and on weekends. If a client calls and needs something, most likely you’ll have to drop whatever you are doing to assist them.
- You control your income. Many people are attracted to the real estate industry because there is huge income growth potential. But in the beginning, the direction of your cash flow is going to be out. Making your first sale is going to take some time and work and, depending on your market, you may consistently experience a famine-feast situation.
But how do you beat the odds long enough to actually achieve the level of success you’d like and reap these benefits? Here are some tips for being a solo agent.
Set Goals and Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the more difficult aspects of working for yourself and being a solo real estate agent is ensuring that you are setting goals and continuously working towards them. You don’t have a boss or team reminding you to do things, setting deadlines or benchmarks for you, or tracking your performance. Take the time to define specific goals, like how much money you want to earn, for example. Then, set a time frame and work towards it with daily, weekly, and monthly targets.
A great way that solo agents can hold themselves accountable is by posting about their goals and what they’re working on on social media (you don’t have to include specifics about the number you’d like to earn). Doing this allows you to, in effect, be held accountable by the world. You’ll feel bad and your reputation may suffer if you don’t follow through on the things you say you will online.
Stay Motivated and Tell Yourself Good Stories
Why are you in the real estate business? What are you trying to accomplish by being a solo real estate agent? Why is being a solo agent more valuable to you than being on a team? Continuously refreshing and reminding yourself of the answers to these big picture questions is key to keeping yourself motivated, especially through the more difficult times.
Always tell yourself positive stories about your line of work and what your goals are. As a solo real estate agent, your career and life are in your own hands. When you are busting butt making calls and following up on leads, you are building the life you want to live. In doing so, you’re creating value for the client and for yourself. Selling and productivity are noble endeavors that you should be proud of.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
Again, when you have your own real estate business you don’t have anyone telling you when to do certain things. That means you have to block out time in your day to create ad campaigns and lead generate, to follow up with and qualify current leads, to speak with existing clients, to meet with clients, to show houses, etc. Lead generation will quickly fall by the wayside when things start to get busy. Critical to the future of your solo real estate business is ensuring this does not happen.
It’s also important to value your time and guard it closely, because certain leads are going to want to waste your time. They might want to have weekly open houses, or they decide to rent after you show them a million properties, or they just ghost you after months of speaking back and forth. If this does happen, you can’t let it affect you mentally. You just have to move on. As your lead qualification improves, this will happen less and less.
Hire an ISA at the Right Time
I explain the role of ISAs to my clients in terms beyond the general view of appointment setters or lead scrubbers—ISAs are skilled real estate professionals who are highly trained, skilled, and dedicated to their craft in the same degree as an outside agent. The advantage of the ISA is that they specialize in the initial tasks of lead generation, lead nurturing, and setting listing and buyer consultation appointments.
Their goal is to nurture the lead from start to finish, from prospect to client. Often, they own the entire sales process. They do their own prospecting, reach out to potential leads, show the lead their intimate understanding of their needs and the product they are selling, and make follow up calls as necessary in order to set up an appointment.
Among other things, you probably need to hire an ISA if you meet the following conditions:
- You have too many leads to deal with and are unable to follow up with them all.
- You are so focused on existing clients and income-generating activity that you have no time for prospecting.
- You have too little time available to properly prepare for listing appointments.
- Once a client is finished with the inspection and appraisal process, they often don’t hear from you until right before closing.
If you are already bringing in around 150,000+ in annual GCI, and you already have a solid and well-trained assistant handling your transactions for you, then you are ready for an ISA. At this point you are able to scale and do more business. You can leverage your lead generation while producing more appointments and contracts.
Conclusion: You Can Be a Successful Solo Agent
Take your career into your own hands and build the life you always dreamed of. That’s what it means to be a real estate agent and grow your own real estate business. Take the tough times in stride and have pride in the journey.