After months of real estate classes, passing your exam, and selecting a broker to work with, it’s time to start the real-world process of getting into the business. Here are some things to keep in mind before you jump in head first.

  1. Prepare to have a lean first six months

Being a real estate agent isn’t like working a traditional 9-5 job. You’ll often need to be available outside of normal business hours, answer phone calls from interested clients, and meet with potential buyers and sellers. Plus, it can take months to close a sale, so it’s important that you pad your savings account and have enough funds set aside for the first few months of this new career. For more

  1. Make sure you are ready to work hard

Real estate is a sales career, and like any other sales position, it requires an abundance of hustle. The work isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time to build up your book of business. This means you’ll likely have a lean period where you’re not making as much money as you could be (Ryan Serhant of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York told Business Insider that he didn’t make any money his first year in the business).

  1. Create a real estate agent business plan

Being an independent contractor can feel like a wild ride when you start this new career. It can be easy to get distracted by new marketing ideas or focus on what you want to do instead of how you will do it. That’s why it’s important to have a clear plan that you can refer back to when you are feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Practice your communication skills

Real Estate is all about selling, and it’s important that you can effectively communicate with your prospects and clients. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing active listening, which involves ignoring distractions, actively listening to your client’s needs, and asking relevant follow-up questions. Another great way to improve your communication skills is by using a CRM platform that helps you organize contacts and schedule meetings, and boost SEO rankings with streamlined emails.

  1. Participate in your community

Having a presence in your local real estate community is vital for any real estate agent, especially early on in their careers. This can be done by attending local industry events, participating in community service projects, and even by simply introducing yourself to anyone you encounter. By putting in the effort to show you care about your community, people will be more likely to trust you and want to work with you.

  1. Find a mentor

There is no substitute for experience when it comes to becoming a successful real estate agent, so it’s crucial that you seek out experienced professionals to help guide your career. Whether it’s your broker, an experienced real estate agent you know, or a peer from your pre-licensing class, having someone to turn to for advice can be incredibly helpful as you navigate this new career.