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By Ralph Roberts 

RISMEDIA, July 9, 2007—One of my readers recently contacted me to point out that I should write something teaching new agents how to break into the business. This particular reader had just passed his real estate exams, was currently reading my book “Walk Like a Giant, Sell Like a Madman,” and was planning on “associating with a brokerage that offers extensive training and immediately taking advantage of it,” which is certainly a great idea.

I write plenty of articles and books instructing real estate agents in the fine art of taking their business to the next level. I am a big proponent of agent teams, hiring assistants (both visual and virtual assistants), keeping in touch with past clients, establishing an Internet presence via Web sites and blogs, and working hard to build a brand presence. He was looking for advice on how new agents could jumpstart their careers.

Here’s my advice for new agents just starting out in the business:

– Identify your farm area—the area where you plan to live and work for the next 30 years.
– Research your market extensively, including neighborhoods, schools, shopping, and entertainment. Become an expert.
– Using a Web search engine, such as Google, type in the city where you want to work followed by “real estate,” and then make appointments to talk with the any people whose names appear high up on the list.
– Identify the biggest rain maker running an agent sales team in your farm area—the agent who “owns the town.” Visit their Web site, and read all about the person and his or her real estate team. Submit your resume along with a cover letter stating why you want to work for this agent team. Send it via e-mail and FedEx and then call the person to set up an interview.
– Once you land a position with an agent team, begin to tell the world who you are and what you do. Market yourself above all else.
– Embrace change. It gives you a competitive edge and helps you grow.
– Embrace technology. Now more than ever, you need to be Internet savvy and master the technology tools of the trade.
– Become a lifelong learner. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “You’re only as good as the people you meet, the books you read, and the tapes you listen to.” Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops.
– Make a commitment to help people, and then serve them well. Don’t give to get. Give for the sheer pleasure of giving with no expectation of a return on your investment. Good things will naturally come your way.
– Perhaps the most important words of wisdom I can pass along to real estate agents who are just starting out is this: You are solely responsible for your own success. Avoid any temptation to think that you are an employee working for a broker. You are a business entity, a revenue-generating entity. Think of yourself as You, Inc. You can be as successful as you want to be, assuming you have the sticktoitism to do what it takes to achieve that success—it’s not easy. As a business, you are responsible for pursuing the training and resources you need to achieve success.

If you’re just starting out in the real estate business, e-mail me, so I can add your address to my mailing list and send you additional tips, tricks, and techniques to bring you up to speed and closer to your dreams of becoming a top-producing agent.
Ralph R. Roberts, official spokesperson for Guthy-Renker Home and author of “Flipping Houses For Dummies” and “Foreclosure Investing For Dummies” (John Wiley & Sons), can be contacted at 586.751.0000, or by e-mail at

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