Your first year in real estate is essential for laying the foundation of your business. As you begin leaning into the unlimited opportunities of the industry, you are bound to make mistakes – in fact, you should EMBRACE failing forward. However, some mistakes are more difficult to rectify than others, and when it comes to your finances and your marketing, it is best to be armed with as much information as possible right off the bat.
To help, KSCORE and KW MAPS BOLD Coach Molly de Mattos share five finance and marketing real estate tips agents should consider during their first year in the industry.
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Keller Williams has partnered with Kaplan Real Estate Education to make entering a career in real estate affordable and accessible with the Keller Williams School of Real Estate (KSCORE). With prelicensing education provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education through the KSCORE training program, aspiring real estate agents no longer have to worry about the financial constraints or confinement of a physical classroom**.
Five Finance and Marketing Tips
- Have a financial cushion. As you start your real estate journey, try to have at least six months of living expenses saved up and be fully committed to the job. “If you can financially create the opportunity to build a foundation and really go all in, then you’re going to be able to build the career that will help you get to those huge numbers of success,” says de Mattos. “My advice would be to have a plan to not have any income from real estate for your first six months. If you prepare for that, you’re going to be able to focus on the activities and not attach yourself to the results.” If six months is not doable, de Mattos shares her own journey: having enough money to cover bills for three months, and a plan for the post three-month-mark financial support on standby.
- Find a related side hustle. For many, a savings account or financial support might be completely out of the question. If that is you, do not worry. All it takes is a little bit of creativity to ensure that your current income opportunities are setting you up for long-term success in the industry. De Mattos suggests finding a path to make money within the career of real estate while you are still learning. “At the market center level, share that you are willing to host open houses for a fee, or are willing to show property for a certain amount. This is your one thing. Make sure that you are attaching yourself to these activities every day and not getting distracted by a completely different side hustle.”
- Don’t forget about taxes! As soon as you receive that first commission, set aside half of it in a separate account dedicated to taxes, and find a CPA who is experienced in working with Realtors. If half of the payment is not an option, add at least one-third to the tax account. “Oversave, and whatever is left over, either parlay into preparing for taxes for the next year, or invest in real estate or your retirement,” advises de Mattos.
- Don’t just market homes on social media. As you build your social presence, don’t just focus on homes exclusively. Instead, vary your approach and showcase your authentic self. “People generally like to work with people they like,” de Mattos shares. “Offer help. Offer suggestions. Come from contribution. It can be the base and foundation for you to step into building new relationships.” If you are feeling stuck, Outfront has a robust social media archive, featuring monthly calendar prompts and best practices for individual channels.
- Understand marketing versus prospecting. Being prospecting-heavy is essential as you are creating your business, but equally important is becoming marketing-enhanced. Marketing serves to enhance brand awareness, and if you are putting any money or effort into marketing without a plan to follow up, you are missing out. “If you’re going to do marketing, make sure you have a plan to follow up on it,” de Mattos says. “It’s about the humans, not the houses.”
At the end of the day, being successful in real estate is related to the work you put in. “The only way to fail in this business is to quit it,” de Mattos says. “As long as you keep going, detach yourself from the results, and attach yourself to the success of the actions you take every day. If you detach yourself from the results, your actions will drive your success.”
**Keller Williams Realty, Inc., has an agreement with Kaplan Real Estate Education to promote online course information to consumers and real estate licensees. KSCORE, Keller Williams School of Real Estate, KW School of Real Estate, KW Prep, Keller Williams Realty, Inc., and Keller Williams market centers and franchisees (collectively “KW”) are not the developers of these prelicensing (PL) and continuing education (CE) courses; they are simply providing a referral. This program does not apply in Minnesota, New York, and elsewhere prohibited. PL and CE instruction will be provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education, a state-approved education provider (PL approved in: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, NM, NV, PA, SC, TN, TX (TREC Provider #4546), VA, WA, WI; CE approved in: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX (TREC Provider #31), VA, WA, WI). KW offers nonvocational training to help individuals become better real estate agents. KW is not an approved provider of state real estate PL or CE. Any questions regarding PL and CE course content or technology should be directed to Kaplan Real Estate Education.