Earlier this year, real estate social networking site Active Rain encouraged its 300,000-plus members to share their thoughts, advice,  experiences and real estate insights with those just beginning or considering entering the real estate industry.

The site is an invaluable resource for rookie and experienced real estate professionals alike, with millions of blog posts ranging from industry insights, marketing ideas, discussions and networking with like-minded professionals.

As expected, the community provided valuable wisdom in many of its posts. Here are a few of our favorite insights:

“Be a listener. In this business [it] is not about us, it’s about listening and understanding the client’s needs.”
Abby Stiller, an agent serving Southwest Florida, started her real estate career on a part-time basis while working another job. She has no regrets and now is a full-time realtor, but also said the one thing she wishes she knew when she first started was the proper way to make money on referrals.

“Also, keep in touch ALWAYS with your clients.”
When Joan Cox first started her real estate career in Denver, she didn’t have a good system for keeping track of clients. That led to her not staying in touch with them on a consistent basis and, eventually, losing their business on future sales.

She recommends keeping a detailed list in Excel or a CRM (customer relationship management) system from the beginning so those valuable clients never feel neglected.

“I wish I had been better at designating tasks, so I could save energy and focus on what made me money instead of trying to do everything perfectly myself.”
Carol Williams spent 30 years as a real estate agent in Washington and now works as a customized mentoring and marketing services specialist. Her focus is on agents with two years or less in the business, so her post has many valuable insights spanning multiple layers of the real estate industry.

“A good solid training program will help you move forward with your new career and hopefully keep you out of trouble.”
Don’t decide which office you’ll first join based solely on the commission split, writes Colorado agent Debbie Laity. She did, and ended up belonging to four offices before she was even in the business for two years.

Focus instead on education, training and finding a mentor to help show you the ins and outs of the industry.

“I focused too much on the advertising end and not enough on marketing statistics and trends in local neighborhoods.”
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin entered the real estate industry with a background in advertising and marketing, so creating eye-catching listing presentations was no issue. The Utah-based agent wasn’t yet a market expert in her first listing presentation, however, and it showed, as the prospective client quickly called her out.

Beautiful fliers, business cards and active social media accounts are part of the game, but the real reason buyers and sellers hire real estate agents are for their knowledge and professionalism.

Scroll down to the comments section of this Active Rain post for even more insights from veteran real estate agents, and check out this Inman News piece on “5 etiquette tips for a new agent’s first day on the job.”


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