If you’ve talked to any seasoned agent, you’ve probably heard the failure rate in real estate is high—87% of real estate agents leave the industry in their first five years. 

So before you get caught up in where you want to work, and before you make the decision whether to work as a single agent or to join a team, you’ve got to identify your two most important goals as a new agent. 

Once you identify them, you need to work as fast as possible to make them happen within your first 12 months in real estate. 

But before you do that, you need to commit fully. 

Commitment to being a full-time agent

When you enter real estate, you must make a commitment: I am going to be a full-time agent—a full-time professional. 

This is one of the best pieces of advice I received when I started in this industry. 

Think about it. If you had major knee surgery, would you want to work with a part-time doctor who only performs surgery on weekends? 

Or if you were in serious legal trouble, would you want to work with the attorney who only practices law on Fridays? Would that be the individual you want representing you in a high-stakes legal defense? 

It’s the same thing when it comes to someone’s biggest financial asset—whether they’re investing, purchasing, or selling. This is likely the biggest financial asset they’ve ever made in their entire life. If you mess it up, that money is not growing back. 

When the stakes are high, you want a professional in your corner. And if you want to be a professional, commit to being a full-time agent. 

Know that it does take some time before those commission checks start coming in, so you may need to get creative here. Some agents save up 3-6 months of living expenses before they start in real estate, while others work part-time at night when just getting started. What do you need to do to go full-time?

2 Most Important Goals for New Agents

Once fully committed to your career, the two goals you need to work to accomplish as quickly as possible are:

  1. Double-digit (10+) sales 
  2. Double-digit (10+) reviews

Before you start, this may sound easy enough. But how do you get those first sales? 

You need enough people to know who you are, to like you, and to trust that you’re the right agent to help them get their transaction done—and help them smash their goals. 

This will lead to double-digit sales and double-digit reviews, giving you much-needed credibility for future prospects and clients. 

Think about it. If you wanted to buy a house in another market and didn’t know any other agents, would you use the agent with no reviews and no past sales to their name? 

Or would you look for someone with experience? 

Generating leads as a new agent

So, once you’ve decided to go all-in on real estate, how do you advance your level of experience quickly? 

It comes down to how many leads you can generate early in your career. There are many ways to generate leads, and this is often the hardest part for any new agent. Where are you going to find people who want to work with you—a brand new agent?

That’s why Zillow has been so successful in this industry. It creates more leads and more brand trust than most brokerages—if not all brokerages—in the entire real estate industry. 

So, here’s the question we want to answer: Can you get enough leads on your own? Or is there a team in your market generating a high volume of leads that needs help servicing those consumers?

If joining a team, does that team also align with your beliefs and with your core values? Do they have a culture that fits you? 

That’s the kind of team you want to look at immediately. Because you’ll be able to walk in on day one and get the training, the systems, and, ultimately, the leads and opportunities you need early on in your career to start working this business instantly. 

Top takeaways for real estate agents

To build a successful real estate business, you need credibility as an agent. Part of that is gaining experience, along with the proof of your growth as a professional: 

  • Documented growth in the number of your transactions (double-digit sales)
  • A growing list of favorable reviews from satisfied clients

People want to work with an agent who is fully committed to helping consumers make the best decisions when buying or selling a home. This is not a job for weekend warriors. 

Make it your goal to get double-digit sales and double-digit reviews as early as possible. And make time to research the top teams and brokerages in your market.