As StepStone grows and our reputation as an excellent brokerage for Licensed Real Estate Investors spreads we start to attract not only folks already in the REI world but those wanting to get into it. We’ve had many brand new agents come on board who see the advantage to having the skill sets of both traditional agents and creative investors to provide them the most likely chance of turning leads into deals and succeeding in the world of real estate.
However, as “greenhorns”, knowing exactly where to start can be daunting. On one hand there is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming and yet on the other hand there is no set curriculum or guide on exactly how to start that you can feel stuck. I’ve chatted with several of these agents over the last few weeks and as a result we are working on creating a Getting Started guide to help our newest agent/investors get off to a good start.
In the meantime, though, if you are one of these agent/investors, there are some active steps you can take to get started in the world of both retail and creative real estate. Make no mistake… breaking into this field takes time and commitment. Determination and willingness to put yourself out there is a requirement. If you are willing to take these first steps you are putting yourself on a path for success.
STEP ONE: EDUCATE YOURSELF
As many of you know, the pre-licensing education you received didn’t exactly prepare you for the day to day activities of a licensee. While StepStone provides various training opportunities through our recorded webinars, MasterMind meetings and Workshops, there are still many gaps to fill.
First, check out the class schedules at your local Board of Realtors office. Every board offers inexpensive classes, many of them with Continuing Education credit, including how to use the MLS systems and other technologies, marketing, understanding various loan products as well as more sophisticated topics such as understanding 1031 exchanges.
Second, check out the offerings from local title companies. A quick check of their websites will yield great How-To and explanatory videos as well as classes that will help you build your business and presentations on current market trends and other topics. Feeling hungry? Reach out to the business development team of your favorite title companies. They will likely treat you to lunch and add you to their email list so you will always be in the know of what offerings they have each month.
Third, if you haven’t already, check out BiggerPockets.com for a wealth of knowledge provided via blogs, podcasts and discussion groups.
STEP TWO: NETWORK
You’ve all heard it: Your Network is your Networth. Getting to know others, and them getting to know you, inside and outside your industry is paramount to your success in this business. You might be surprised at how many deals and partnerships are formed between folks who met networking.
Feeling shy or out of your league? It can be hard when you first start but make a commitment to yourself to do it and be consistent and before long you will find it an enjoyable exercise. The more you go the more people you will recognize and will recognize you, the more connections you will make and the more comfortable you will become.
Not only will you make some valuable connections but the more people see your face the more credibility you will gain. I once had an agent tell me he attends 3-5 network events a week. As a result, he got in on a million dollar listing because they assumed he must be a mover and a shaker because he knew everyone and everyone knew him.
Not sure where to start? www.MeetUp.com. Also, watch our monthly newsletter to find out what meetings StepStone is a vendor for and you will be sure to see at least one friendly face in the crowd!
STEP THREE: TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU DO
I’ve had some agents tell me that they hesitate to tell friends or family that they are a real estate investor because they haven’t done any deals yet. Don’t let that stop you! Even if you don’t have the skills or the knowledge to do a deal on your own yet you do have a team of agents and investors behind you that do have the ability and can help you. Working your “sphere of influence” is the cheapest and easiest way to get a deal.
How to do this? Post on Facebook! Let everyone know that you are an investor and agent. Walk your neighborhood and introduce yourself. Put flyers on their doors if they don’t answer. Go to neighborhood events like Neighborhood Night Out or Neighborhood Watch meetings. Download and join the Nextdoor app.
I’ve helped a family member do a short sale on their house, helped a friend get a new lease, helped another friend buy an owner finance house, helped an uncle sell two houses, bought a distressed house from a neighbor, helped my pastor buy and sell a house and another pastor’s son buy a house. I did not have to market for this business… I just had to make it known that I was an Agent and Investor.
No one will ask you to help them if they don’t know what you do! So, be loud and proud and let the business come to you!
The New Year is upon us. It’s the perfect time to make the decision to take the bull by the horns and just do it. Now, go get ‘em!