Recently my son and his wife visited with their 4-month-old daughter; our first grandchild. Our hearts melted as she snuggled into her mother’s arms. The comfort of ages. She felt secure. This was her place of belonging. As we grow up, many of us relish these comfort moments. A bed to sleep in, food in the refrigerator, and nurturing parents help us grow into productive adults. Many times our places of employment can give you the same sense of security.
If you are an employee, working for a responsible company, you have the comfort of knowing that you have a secure job with a regular paycheck allowing you the freedom to live your life. Once again, someone else, (in this case your employer), is taking care of providing for you. In these cases, you become an order-taker. You are given your tasks to do by your employer, and you do them in a responsible manner. The rules are different when you are a salesperson.
By definition, an order-taker is someone who collects orders but does not make any diligent attempt to increase the size or frequency of the order. A classic example is the check-out person in a store. They stand at their register and collect money, but they do not attempt to sell or upsell you. Perhaps, out of politeness, they ask you, “Did you find everything you were looking for,” but it’s typically insincere. They have no way to assist you since they can’t leave their register. They are just collecting orders.
Things are different when you are a salesperson. You are expected to go out and find the customer, prequalify them, and then maneuver them towards a closing. It is much harder. There are no ground rules; you are on your own.
As part of my (President of DPIShowcase realtor website Mark Weithorn) networking, I( Mark Weithorn as instructor) have been teaching marketing classes to Realtors across the United States mostly at the Miami Association of Realtors. One of my (Mark Weithorn as instructor) favorite classes is, Surviving The First 6 Months with the IDX website for realtors. This class is full of newly minted licensed real estate professionals. Many of them are lost and afraid. They don’t know what to do. The course they take when getting their license teaches them the law, ethics, and how to do surveys. They are not taught the business of real estate. How to prospect or work a deal. Many of them are scared and afraid, a deer in the headlights.
Another challenge they have is that most brokers don’t take the time to train their new agents or provide them with leads. And didn’t know how to make IDX Websites for Real Estate Agents, the seasoned agents won’t talk to them as they view these rookies as a threat. It is my ( President of DPIShowcase realtor website Mark Weithorn) job to give them direction on how to transition from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. How to become a successful Realtor.
One of the first topics discussed is how to change your frame of mind from being an employee who is handed tasks to do, to becoming a self-driven businessperson who knows how to find customers, write up the sales, and then take it to closing. This is difficult to do. For the first time, many of these new Realtors have to learn how to be an entrepreneur, and how to think for themselves. Very scary.
When starting a new business, or even before commencing the venture, it is important to write a business plan. Put down on pen and paper what it is you plan to do, what is your product or service, and who are your potential clients. Then start working on a budget. What will it cost you to produce your product (or service), will you need an office, employees, marketing costs, etc. Then do a projection of cash flow over the next 5 years. How much money will you need? When will you start earning a profit? Or will you ever earn a profit? If you need assistance, you can always reach out to the SBA, Small Business Administration for counseling.
The next step is your image. You must project yourself as a professional. It is estimated that over two-thirds of all newly minted Realtors don’t last more than a year. The problem is that they can’t convince their people that they know how to negotiate these high-dollar deals. You must show them that you are taking this new role seriously and will work hard to look out for their financial security.
The first step is to set up your online presence. Each Realtor must have their own website and their own domain name. Not the one your broker gives you. You are an independent contractor, and you must have your own identity. Plus, if you switch brokers, you must be portable. Your website and all the contacts it will generate must stay with you, not left behind with your old broker. Also make sure you have your own email address, not the one your broker provides. You have to design your website clean and user-friendly with relevant content and images like this-
Next, you must set up your social media. Set up a Facebook business page, and an Instagram business account. Then link to two together. Then setup, or update your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn targets businesspeople and is gaining in popularity. Then start using your social media on a daily basis. I ( Mark Weithorn as instructor) teach a class on this, the 15-Minute Social Media Workout. It is a 15-minute-a-day routine of getting the word out.
Now you are ready to start prospecting. Open the contact list on your phone. Some people have over 1,000 contacts there. The National Association of Realtors states that 15% of these people will move in the next year. Start telling these friends that you are now a Realtor. Point them to your Realtor Websites With IDX. Ask them to like your Facebook and Instagram pages. And, most importantly, ask them to consider calling you for their real estate needs.
I (founder of dpi showcase website) find that one of the biggest challenges with Realtors is their struggle to learn how to use technology. They have difficulties managing emails or using the various programs the real estate boards offer. It is a problem in this computerized world. Realtors must rise to the challenge of using technology to both promote themselves and communicate with clients. They must stay in touch with people on a consistent basis. Out of sight, out of mind.
Our company, Dpi Showcase, creates websites for Realtors. Understanding the technological challenges that Realtors have, we automate as much as possible in our system providing regular communications between the Realtor and their clients or prospects. One less thing the Realtor has to worry about.
Yes, making the transition from being an employee to becoming a successful entrepreneur can be scary. There is no written playbook. You are on your own. Study, take classes, ask questions, and look at YouTube videos. Take this new challenge head-on, because if you succeed, you will be in business for yourself, and the sky is the limit.
Mark Weithorn is the Founder & CEO of DPI Showcase Web Sites, a 19-year-old company that has been creating websites for brokers and Realtors around the USA. He (Mark Weithorn) has also been teaching marketing classes to Realtors for over 20 years. He can be contacted at www.DPIshowcase.com