With TV shows like Million Dollar Listing skewing the public’s perceptions of agents’ earnings, there may be some disconnect between what people think an agent makes and what they actually take home when it’s all said and done. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Member Profile survey, the median gross income of REALTORS® was $47,700, while those who have more than 16 years experience typically earn $70,200. The question is, what can you do as a real estate agent to ensure you’re reaching your earnings potential? What steps can you take to earn more as a real estate agent?
While there are many real estate coaches and forums that suggest varying strategies for success, we’ve put together this list of the top five ways you can expand your business and earn more as a real estate agent. Not only will these steps help you earn more money, but they’ll also give you further expertise and experience in your market—which, in turn, will help grow your business.
Strategy #1: Actively seek new clients
You have likely put a lot of money into building your real estate business. You have gone through numerous training programs and seminars, paid for your licenses and exams, and even joined paid listing sites to promote your properties. But the fact is clients are usually not going to just walk through the door by chance. You have to be actively seeking new clients all the time, especially if you are a new agent.
It’s the oldest strategy in the book, but it’s still relevant in today’s market. You’ve got to get out there and actively seek new clients. Here’s a few reminders on best practices:
- Promote yourself online.
- Make sure your website is presenting your brand in its best light.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities.
- Pass out your business cards every chance you get.
- Walk the neighborhoods you service and meet people.
- Participate in community activities in your service area.
- Advertise in professional real estate trade publications.
Strategy #2: Find your area of expertise
With so much information available to buyers and sellers online, it’s important for today’s real estate agents to find a way to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Finding your area of expertise and marketing its benefits can help set you apart from the competition. Perhaps you specialize in golf course homes. Maybe you have a knack for helping first-time homebuyers navigate to the closing table. What if your expertise is in marketing luxury properties or property management?
What will make you stand out from the sea of real estate professionals who are also looking to bring in buyer and seller leads? What unique expertise can you bring to the table?
Strategy #3: Add certifications to your title
Continuing education and the various certifications you can add to your title as a real estate professional can give you the clout you need to turn prospects into actionable leads. There are many methods to obtaining real estate certifications, whether via in-person or online classes, but the benefits remain the same. If you’re trying to earn more as a real estate agent, starting with education is not a bad idea.
Strategy #4: Start your own brokerage firm
If you are new to the real estate business, you will need to spend your first couple of years under the tutelage of a broker—learning the business and building a client base. Once you are confident in your abilities and want to venture out on your own, you can become your own boss by becoming a broker and starting your own brokerage firm. If you’re not quite ready to step onto the big stage, consider partnering with a few agents as a team. This is especially useful if each agent offers a different specialty. There is great power in numbers, and this strategy can fuel growth and revenues for everyone involved.
Strategy #5: Invest in real estate
Another popular way to earn more as a real estate agent and take your finances to the next level is by investing in real estate. It only makes sense that you would use your expertise and knowledge to find investment properties that can offer you a great return and help build your portfolio. This strategy will not only add revenue to the books, but it will also allow you to speak to clients with more confidence, as you’ll have personal experience within the market you are serving.
Starting a career in real estate? Download our free guide, Is a Real Estate Career Right for You?