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7 Tips for Starting a Real Estate Career

Tara Nicholle, founder of REThink Real EstateThe following is a chapter ("Real Talk")* from the book REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate. The author of this chapter is Tara-Nicholle Nelson, founder of REThink Real Estate. @taranicholle

*Minor modifications have been made to adapt the chapter into a blog post.

Over the past decade of my life, I’ve sold real estate and been a real estate attorney. I’ve listened to hundreds of buyers’ dreams and life visions in the car, at their dining room tables and at the litigation table. I’ve also spoken and written about real estate on a much larger stage—the stage of national media. I have listened to millions of buyers’ and sellers’ issues, fears, triumphs, dramas, and dreams online.

I know a little something about this business, and I’d like to share with you some takeaways I think would have been useful to me when I was beginning my own real estate career.

Buckle up.

1) Create an online presence

When it comes to marketing, there are lots of ways to be successful in this business. I know people who make seven figures working by referral only, while others have nailed the fine arts of online marketing, knocking on doors, farming with postcards, and even, as crazy as it sounds, putting their faces on bus benches. Even crazier, cold calling.

That said, what’s crazier than these old school marketing methods is not having a well-built web presence and tending to your online reputation, even if you choose to focus your marketing efforts offline.


2) Manage your mindset

Here’s the key: don’t be addicted to immediacy. The agents who have thriving businesses and brands that generate qualified clients in all market climates are the ones who are consistent. Learn to manage your emotional reactions to not getting immediate results. Put a strategic marketing plan and goals in place every year, and then work the plan. Tweak the plan. But don’t abandon the plan before it has a chance to pay off.

Managing your emotions and your mindset is part and parcel of running a thriving, sustainable real estate business. Prayer and meditation are sanity-saving practices in a business that can mess with your mind, if you’re not careful. Create a habit of paying yourself first by devoting your first waking hour or so to quiet time and self-care, attending to both your physical fitness and emotional wellness.


3) Manage your finances

Managing your personal finances is equally important. Living well within your means, saving and investing, paying your taxes on time, and avoiding debt empowers you to avoid panic, fear, and paralysis while you’re building your brand, ramping up your marketing, and when the market slows down.


4) Prepare for down markets

Because the market will slow down. Listen—more than most, I’m a big believer in the power of positive self-talk, the practice of declaring what you want to be as though it already is, the Biblical wisdom that the power of life and death are in the tongue. I believe in refusing to participate in recessions. But the agents who last are those who are brutally honest about the reality that the real estate market, like all economic markets, is cyclical.

Without losing hope or conceding to fear and doubt, they acknowledge these seasons. They plan for the down markets, position for them and, thus, last through them. Be one of these agents.


5) Treat each transaction as a lifestyle transformation

And speaking of power, remember this: the transactions that you work on are the single-most powerful lifestyle transformations most of your clients will ever experience. Learn to think about what you do—this business of real estate—from the same perspective as your clients, and learn to talk about it with the same vocabulary that your clients do. They are not looking to you only for the granular expertise on the nuts and bolts of how to find a home or do a deal. 

They crave to level-up their lives. Their children’s lives. Their financial futures. Their ability to care for their aging parents, or build a thriving marriage. And they need an ecosystem, a habitat for all of these things. That’s what they want from you. If you can get them to entrust you with their holistic vision of life in the home you sell them (or sell for them), and if you show yourself as worthy of that trust by coaching them through the real estate experience as a lifestyle transformation initiative, they will crave to consult with you for the rest of their lives. As will their family and friends.


6) Learn from your mistakes, then move on

If you fail at something, metabolize it quickly, just like your body metabolizes food. Keep only what’s helpful, like the lessons and takeaways, and throw away the rest—the upset and angst.


7) Envision big

And above all else, never be cheap when it comes to your vision. Vision is free, so don’t be stingy! Without it, you’ll flounder and even perish in this business. Envision big. Know that everything is possible in this business and in your life. You are limitless. Onward and upward.



About The Book

REAL book coverMost real estate books fall short. REAL goes beyond mere tactics and strategies to focus on the core of what really matters - You. In addition to the authors' lessons learned, this book also includes contributions from some of real estate's most influential thought leaders: Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Marc Davison, Spencer Rascoff, Sherry Chris, Krisstina Wise, and many more.

If building a real estate business that lasts is important to you, this is a book you surely won't want to miss!

Buy the book

Dave Crumby

Dave is the Chairman of Firepoint / Realvolve, a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) platform built expressly for real estate agents. Dave began his real estate career as an agent in 1996. Dave authored in 2013 the book titled 'REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate’ that has since become a best seller. The book features Dave's experience and the wisdom of other successful real estate leaders, such as the CEOs of Zillow, Trulia, Better Homes and Gardens, and many others.


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