Congratulations! You’re officially a licensed real estate agent in the state of California. You got through all of those months of studying and you’ve successfully passed all of your real estate exams. Now that the stress of passing is over, you’re probably wondering what comes next? The next steps after passing your exams is the fun part. Here we go over a few basic tips to help you get started with your career so that from day one you can crush it!
Ready to get started with your real estate journey?
What Happens After You Get Your California Real Estate License?
Hopefully you got a quick minute to rest after your exams and are starting the planning process. The next part of your journey is fun and challenging - you get to work on building your sphere of influence and actually sell properties. Read on for more helpful ideas that can help you actually start making money and help you hit the ground running.
Look For A California Sponsoring Brokerage To Help You
You probably already have a sponsoring brokerage on your side, as most states require that all aspiring California real estate agents have one before even getting their license. If you’ve never really been involved in the real estate industry, we highly recommend that you lean into your team and find a brokerage with years of knowledge and an already established network. Having a broker on your side from the start can help you successfully maneuver your first few transactions and give you a leg up.
Given that the law already requires you to get the guidance and protection that comes with a brokerage, we have a couple of tips to help you choose the right mentor to help your career. Though most agents are looking to work for themselves and set their own schedule, it really is nice to have a team supporting you and helping you navigate tricky transactions.
Something that we recommend when it comes to finding the right sponsoring brokerage for you is to look for a team that already has an outstanding reputation in California. It is also super important that the brokerage you choose has an established continuing education program. We think that is important because the best brokerages know that the success of their agents reflects highly on them. Which means that your brokerage should be willing to invest in you and the other agents on the team. Do a little bit of research and ask around - agents who have a good relationship with their broker will be easy to spot, and you’ll want to be apart of that.
One last quick tip we can pass onto you for new California real estate agents looking for the right brokerage is to identify their specialties. You’ll want to lean into a brokerage that has similar goals as you and will be able to help you grow the way you want to. Whether that be becoming a top residential agent in your area or becoming the go-to agent for commercial buildings, find a brokerage that has experience in what you want to do.
Set A Marketing Budget and Stick To It
Becoming a real estate agent means that you’re in business for yourself now. That means you have to manage all of the marketing and budgeting and organizing that comes with that. Your sponsoring brokerage might be super beneficial in helping provide marketing materials to get you off your feet, but ultimately it falls on you to network and get your name out there.
The advice we constantly give to new agents is to never stop marketing. Always make sure you have business cards and contact information to give out to potential clients. Show up at local establishments and introduce yourself as a real estate agent. You want to make lasting connections and be the first person potential clients call when they have questions about real estate. It also means building meaningful relationships with not only clients and prospects but with people in your industry as well.
It can often take up to 3-6 months before a new agent even starts their first transaction to earn that commission. Your broker might help you stay afloat the first few months by offering a small retainer, there are ways you can earn money right away. It’s pretty common for first time agents to earn some marketing money by leasing rental properties. The commission on rentals is significantly smaller, but it requires less experience and the turnaround can mean you get a paycheck in as little as 30 days.
The first thing you should do is talk to your real estate mentor or sponsoring broker in California. They’ll be able to set you in the right direction and give you advice on marketing materials that work best in you area.
Join A Few Select Real Estate Organizations To Help You Grow
Maybe it’s a no brainer, but joining some local and national real estate organizations in the state of California is a great way to connect with other professionals, grow your sphere and your network and also just gain some more knowledge.
First, we think that the most important association for any real estate agent is the NAR or National Association of REALTORS®. Being a NAR member means that you are held to a higher standard than other real estate agents. You are considered both educated and ethical and can ultimately set you apart from agents.
Second, there are literally dozens of other groups you can join. Whether they are local meetups to networking specific groups, connecting with other people helps you grow your business, give you more opportunities, and boost your reputation.
Network, Network, Network!
Networking and real estate are nearly synonymous these days. The only reason to join any professional marketing groups is so that you can widen your sphere of business and connections. You might start by building a database of people you already know. However, it is also really important that you have a strategy to build relationships with new people and people in surrounding businesses. Whether it’s real estate attorneys, title companies, mortgage companies, general contractors and more, all of these people can help you grow your business.
A few easy ways you can build your business are to host a lot of open houses, take your team out to lunch, try out new meetups and networking groups, and attending local conferences. Again, we want to restate that joining groups that are designed to help you network are a fantastic way to give you a leg up and build a contact list in a much more organized and organic way. We also recommend keeping business cards handy always and try to stay consistent with your social media postings.
If you’re a new real estate agent in California and you’ve just passed your exams, the biggest advice we can give is to organize your database straight away. Every person you’ve come into contact with that could be a potential client should go in there. Document everything you can about them, from where you met to what they do for a living to what their anniversaries are. Take notes on how you might best connect with them. If you do this first, you will be leagues ahead of other new agents and it will help you build your reputation as someone who is organized and thoughtful.
The exciting and challenging journey of becoming a real estate agent in the state of California isn’t for everyone. But you’ve done the hard part already - passing your exams! Now you should team up with a strong mentor that can help you on your way to a successful career. When you commit to going all in at the very beginning, you’ll be able to maintain consistent business throughout your entire career.
We hope we’ve been able to give you some helpful and easy tips to help you get started now that you’ve got your real estate license. The biggest and probably the most challenging part is behind you. Lean into your brokerage and ask for help when you need it. There are tons of resources and courses out there that will give you everything you need going forward. There is a learning curve, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes! There is a world of opportunity and success out there, and it’s waiting for you! You’ve got this.